Gaming Personal Video

Shooting Stars: New Horizons

What happens when you mix the star-struck owl from 2020’s chillest anti-viral videogame with the hottest celestial meme of 2017? Animal Crossing: New Horizons Shooting Stars!

Bag Raiders have always been great, Shooting Stars is an amazing song, and the bizarre light humor of the meme based on the song fits right into my wheelhouse. Lately the world has afforded lots of time for lazy meme-watching and videogame-playing, and after getting a few weeks into my first Animal Crossing game, an idea kind of hit me out of the blue: what better way to celebrate the game I’ve invested so much time into and gotten so much joy out of than devoting a little video project to a cute character obsessed with shooting stars, loosely using the meme format.

But surely someone had done this already…right? How could I be the first one to do this? I searched around online, even tweeted about it a couple months ago, but no bites. What I did find was tons and tons of AC footage on YouTube—mostly tutorials on how to get star fragments from meteor showers and blueprints from Celeste. I was pretty busy at the time so I put it on my backlog to mull over. Once my lockdown stretched into July, the idea still seemed fun, fresh, and worthwhile, especially now as my creative output has mostly dried up.

So I went for it! I downloaded tons of clips of AC footage (mostly of Celeste), I directly captured video from the Switch during meteor showers and run-ins with Celeste in-game, and I shot some IRL footage, including some Amiibos spinning on top of a DJ Hero controller with some makeshift green-screen backdrops. I even used my DJI Mavic Mini to take one really silly shot for the climax section of the video. I charted the song by measures, organized my ideas per section in a Trello board, dropped the clips into Premiere, and after several nights of iteration, reshoots, sleeping on changes, and getting feedback from a few friends, I finally published the above video.

Sinking this much effort into a creative project yields some pretty boilerplate but seldom-discussed questions, like: what’s left to do? When should I post this? Is there a good time of day people expect YouTube videos to be posted? Where should I promote it? Will people like it? Did I waste my time? Why did I choose to spend my time doing this over say, sleeping in or playing more games? How am I going to feel waiting to see if anyone cares?

In the end, there’s always a bit of trepidation putting a creative project out into the wild to be judged, rewarded, or ignored, and it’s just part of the process that has to be overcome. It’s not my favorite part, but it’s just a small part. Imagining your idea coming to life, taking the silly steps to make it happen, getting excited as you see it come together, beaming when someone else laughs at the humor in it, slotting it into its place in your portfolio of work—those more than make up for the tough parts, even if that’s sometimes hard to see in the moment.

It’s a little silly, how intense the creation of such a pointless and lighthearted video can be, but it’s something I’ll have forever now and can share with people all around the world to chuckle at and smile. 🐾