bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
Title: Masters of War (Pegasus Rising Remix)
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Characters: Ensemble Atlantis team; members of many Pegasus Galaxy cultures
Rating: PG-13
Length: 4:02
Music: "Masters of War" by Bob Dylan (edited)
Summary: The Atlanteans came, they explored, they destroyed lives and families and whole civilizations. The people of Pegasus have had enough.
Physical/content warnings: Themes of imperialism. Potentially disturbing image of bodies at 2:00.
Thanks: To a group of friends for their encouragement and feedback on an earlier draft when I wasn't sure if it was dragging; and to kassrachel and deelaundry for beta and for saying it was good enough to send to Vividcon.

Notes: This vid took three years and two rebuilds to put together. It was actually one of the first vid ideas I ever had and among the first I started making. It would have been less agonizing to give up, but the vid had something to say, and I wanted it to be able to say it. It's not a new idea in SGA fandom, but I don't think I've seen it in vid form before.

Anyway, I'm happy with how this turned out. I hope you like it, too.



Streaming on Vimeo | Download MP4 (40 MB) and srt file



Masters of War (Pegasus Rising Remix) from bironic on Vimeo.





Lyrics (edited):

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther when the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water that runs down my drain

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you sit back and watch
While the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
While the young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies and is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood that runs in your veins

How much do I know
Not to talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never forgive what you do

And I hope that you die
And your death will come soon
I'll follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave 'til I'm sure that you're dead.





Comments and concrit are always welcome.

x-posted to vidding (LJ), vidding (DW), atlantis_vids and sga_noticeboard

This vid has also shown at: WisCon 37 ("Crafting Narratives of Speculation and Resistance" vidshow)
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Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellethill.livejournal.com
Brilliant!

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you! It definitely owes a lot to SGA fandom and its intelligent conversations, through meta and fic, about the problems threaded throughout the series.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thingswithwings.livejournal.com
This is amazing. What a gorgeous, sharp, perfect vid. I am so glad that you didn't abandon the project, because it's an incredibly valuable piece of art and commentary to have. I've really been waiting for someone to make this vid for ages (a pal of mine was working on a similar concept once) and I'm happy that it was you and you did it so beautifully and mercilessly. By the end I was right there with the Pegasans, cheering for the deaths of the interlopers, cheering for the homemade guns that bring down the fancy spaceships, calling out for their blood. Beautiful and stark and just gorgeous. I love it forever.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you. So much. Seriously—I was sitting next to were_duck when your comment came in and I turned to her and said I didn't need to receive any more comments on the vid because what you said is all I could have hoped someone would say about it. She didn't believe me (and, yeah, okay, it's nice to have more than two comments!), but the part about being thrilled that you called this a valuable piece of commentary is true.

It's also been fascinating to see people react to strongly and/or viscerally to the argument in vid form. Maybe that's something I should have anticipated? But I vid analytically so I'm never sure what sort of emotional impact a project will actually have, and this one had me especially nervous because of the music choice and because I'd been working on it for so long. Watching it in a room full of people after a two-month break was the first time I'd felt its potential power since the early stages.

ANYWAY. Thank you again. I'm so glad the vid worked for you.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 02:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kassrachel.livejournal.com
You know I love this vid, but I'm going to say it again anyway, just to have it on the record. :-) It's fabulous. And I am loving hearing people here at the con as they rave about it -- none of us has ever seen this argument made in vid form, and it is so persuasive. I have to compartmentalize my brain so that this astounding dose of political reality remains separate from my candy-colored la-la-la-I-can't-heeeear-you love of the characters! Seriously -- so awesome. You rock.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deelaundry.livejournal.com
\o/ So happy to hear Vividcon is giving this vid the thought, the appreciation it deserves!

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From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com - Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com - Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tli.livejournal.com
That was fantastic.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you very much.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kuwdora.livejournal.com
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. just woke up and my eyes are crusted shut so I will be back later with more thorough squee, but YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Still laughing at this comment. And so glad that this satisfied your desire for a vid that makes the imperialism/fucking-up-everyone's-lives argument. If you do come back, I look forward to whatever else you have to say. <3

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kiarasayre.livejournal.com
This is amazing.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
I am so glad you think so. Thank you.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] j00j.livejournal.com
Very nicely done!

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you very much!

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dine.livejournal.com
excellent! this is fabulous and I'm very glad you didn't abandon the effort, because it's an important reality the show ignored

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thanks. Yeah, it's been discussed a lot in SGA fic and meta but I hadn't seen it in vid form before and I'm glad that the final product turned out/went over well.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
ext_22446: (SGA_Atlantis)
From: [identity profile] rawa-02.livejournal.com
Thank you. Have downloaded.
This is so, so true. Our affection for the characters causes us to overlook/forgive their arrogance.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Yeah, there's a lot going on there. I'm so glad you enjoyed the vid (if that's the right word for it, ha)—thanks for the comment.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
ext_1175: (Ronon & Teyla)
From: [identity profile] lamardeuse.livejournal.com
Wow. A brilliant and thoughtful piece. Wonderful work.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you very much. It means a lot to me to get this comment from you after I spent many years reading your fic in the fandom.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stultiloquentia.livejournal.com
Boom. This is incredibly well put together. I couldn't look away.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
That is excellent to hear. (Especially since my fear was the opposite—that I needed to fight to keep people's interest because of the song's vocals and pace.)

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-detective.livejournal.com
This is so, so, so very awesome. <3

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
I am really glad to hear you say that, you have no idea. ♥

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarym1.livejournal.com
WOW what a thought provoking vid. I had always wanted Stargate to be darker and more aware that their actions might not be look upon so kindly by the Pegasus Galaxy. Loved Rodney's comment at the end that they are the Good guys because sometimes it was hard to tell.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you very much. I agree (as do so many others in SGA fandom) that the series had this dark undercurrent that the showrunners didn't seem to recognize and that the characters only sometimes did. That last Rodney comment has been a point of contention among viewers so it's good/interesting to hear that it worked for you and why.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harriet-spy.livejournal.com
HOORAY. I'm glad someone had the guts to make a vid on this point, because I think it's a lot harder to take this way than in fic form.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
That's an effect I hadn't thought of until people started commenting on it here—how the imperialism argument feels more powerful in vid form, where all the clips pile up on top of one another, than as meta or fic. Fascinating. And I'm so glad the vid worked for you.

"Our hero, ladies and gentlemen."

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] livejournal.livejournal.com
User [livejournal.com profile] harriet_spy referenced to your post from "Our hero, ladies and gentlemen." (http://harriet-spy.livejournal.com/852637.html) saying: [...] (greensilver, HP) Masters of War [...]

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
semielliptical: McKay and Sheppard walking in a field (SGA, The Defiant One) (sga)
From: [personal profile] semielliptical
Wow wow wow! I love how relentless this vid is, never any real sympathy for the people from earth. The ending clip of Rodney is a great final punch.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thanks so much. "Relentless" is a great bit of feedback. Re: the ending clip, there was some debate during Vid Review about its effectiveness; it's interesting/good to hear that it worked for you. How you describe it is what I was hoping it would do.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
ext_417449: Atlantis, 50,000 C.E. (The Last Man) (atlantisTLM)
From: [identity profile] skaredykat.livejournal.com
Oh my, I like this vid very much. It's in the same vein, but from a different perspective than [livejournal.com profile] yevgenie's Open Secrets of the Pegasus Galaxy (http://yevgenie.livejournal.com/52930.html), which I also love.

In yours, the narrative feels more intimately personal, immediate, and often from the outsiders'/non-expedition members' POV, while Open Secrets feels more sweeping or remote/at one (journalistic or historical) remove -- perhaps as if it's the "unauthorized" not so hagiographic biography of the expedition and its members and choices afterwards. The intimately personal vs. more sweeping or political thing can probably be brought back in part to that kind of difference between the songs, and the choices and treatment of footage they inspired (lots of extreme close-ups in yours vs. fewer and many more steadicam and CGI/"crane" shots in Open Secrets, etc.).

Anyhow, great work, great vid which I'll be rewatching regularly right along with Open Secrets, and it inspired thoughts and feelings in me.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for this thoughtful comment. Absolutely the intention was to tell the story as completely as possible within the Pegasus people's PsOV, so after the first couple of shots I tried not to use scenes from within Atlantis, for example, which most citizens had never visited. The predominance of close-up shots in this vid was a consequence of wanting to focus on the emotional impact on people's lives and their shifts from fearful/wary to angry/defiant, but I think if I'd realized quite how many there were I might have more closely examined whether it would have worked better to mix up the shots more. It's a tip that came up this weekend during the panel on pacing as well.

I wish Open Secrets were still online; I'd like to watch it again now.

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From: [identity profile] skaredykat.livejournal.com - Date: Aug. 17th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com - Date: Aug. 23rd, 2012 12:59 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
Oh, that was so intense and brilliant. Just damning, when you put it all together, the same way “Women's Work” was. It's not all there is to the show, but it's there, and it should be acknowledged and challenged.

So relentless, to quote semielliptical above me.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. It's really interesting that you and a couple of other people said that the argument feels different in vid form than in meta or fic. Fascinating.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elishavah.livejournal.com
I did not have the chance to find you at the con, or say this during vid review, but thank you thank you for vidding why I decided SGA was no longer for me. This is wonderful, and I hope it kicks off more alternate viewpoint vids.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you! Changing POV has become a favorite vidding technique for me (starting with the much less serious Wraith-POV Halloween vid (http://bironic.livejournal.com/184035.html)), and I'd also love to see more.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timespirt.livejournal.com
Great job!

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
busaikko: Something Wicked This Way Comes (SGA Match dancing shoes)
From: [personal profile] busaikko
This is excellent. I have always felt that TPTB never realized that *this* was the show they were making (the episode with John on trial for war crimes basically said, 'Ah, you silly local people, with your inability to look beyond your own genocide to see the big picture -- the white guys who represent military powers will just make a behind-the-scenes deal, and that'll silence you'). Excellent use of facial expressions to convey both the arrogance of the people from Earth and the fear and protectiveness of the local populations.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. And yes and yes for what you say above—this is what the trial episode should have been like, not a clips show that concluded with bribery. Man, finding that one shot of Sheppard shrugging off the accusations was gold.

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mific.livejournal.com
Oh man. As someone who still has SGA as their comfort fandom, this was painful. But brilliant, and powerful. That flash of Sheppard smirking smugly behind the green glow of the shield, and him and Woolsey with their cigars and brandy. Rodney's smugness is a gift in this dark take on things, but the way you showed how Teyla and Ronon are compromised by their complicity. Oof.

Date: Aug. 13th, 2012 01:06 am (UTC)
ext_230: a tiny green frog on a very red leaf (never let me go)
From: [identity profile] anatsuno.livejournal.com
*nodnodnodnod*

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com - Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: Aug. 12th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sundancekid.livejournal.com
Oh wow, thanks for this. This is the only vid I've seen that explores these themes, and you do a great job -- it's so damning, when you lay it all out like that.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Thank you very much. Yeah, I hadn't thought of the change in format from meta and fic arguments to vid form quite that way (and you're right, much of the motivation for this project is that I hadn't seen it as a vid before, for whatever reason), but it's really interesting to hear you and a couple of others say that the impact is different when you're watching all the scenes pile on top of one another. It's what I wish the team-on-trial episode had done instead of copping out with a clips show.

Date: Aug. 13th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] secondsilk.livejournal.com
Awesome.

I'm thinking what if a show like Atlantis was told from the point of view of all those other cultures. And woah.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
Pretty much, yeah. Dylan says it all. Thank you!

Date: Aug. 13th, 2012 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sasha-feather.livejournal.com
This is amazing and disturbing. love it.

Date: Aug. 16th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile] bironic.livejournal.com
So glad to hear it. Thank you.
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