Sunday, April 6, 2008
Japanese Whaling - The Science of Whales
I came up with the idea for this video sometime around Christmas, a fairly easy way to satirize the bogus science that used to justify Japan's whaling program.
I wasn't entirely sure where I'd get the needed footage, but happily came across a 1945 film called "Fish from Hell", which contained plenty of useful shots. The original film is pretty hilarious just for the severely dated V/O and I thoroughly recommend checking it out.
The other graphics (whale meat / natural predator) I put together using Photoshop and Premiere. I then used the "Old Cinema Filter" for VirtualDub to age the footage (I also used this on the Rudd Propaganda videos). It's a good free way of achieving this effect for anyone who's interested.
The V/O I took from a Japanese news report on the whaling controversy, but it obviously in no way matches the subtitles. I was a little worried that the video would be too similar to the Rudd Propaganda videos, and so deliberately avoided using broken English subtitles. I'm not sure of the meaning of the Japanese symbols used - if you look closely you can see that some are repeated, inverted, mirrored or rotated.
In retrospect, I'm not entirely sure that the V/O and music really work that well. The video doesn't really build to an ending, so much as just end. Sometimes it just feels a little unfinished or short to me. Anyway, in a strange coincidence, the day after the video was posted, whaling was the top story of the day in Australia and the ABC had a striking image of two dead whales at the top of its front page, with a link to my video below.
A little disappointingly, the comments on YouTube have descended into some fairly crazy racist rants. A surprising number of people don't seem to have realised that it's not a genuine video, my favourite comment being: "The translation from Japanese to English is totally wrong. I doubt about author's purpose."