What Is Outrun?

Made by jdortiz

A remix of the Outrun aesthetic style, boiled down to it's cinematic core elements.

Created: October 11th, 2016

What Is Outrun? (HD) (Carpenter Brut - Turbokiller)
J Ortiz - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXZUUtRs_8s


The intention behind this piece was to share a short smorgasboard of the outrun aesthetic, down to the retro synthwave music, 80's camp, cars, martial arts and lo-fi ultraviolence, and neon / red-blue color theming.



My work specifically showcases the work of the artists of the aesthetic itself: Carpenter Brut, Perturbator, Lazerhawk, Miami Nights, etc. are all thematically represented, as the visuals come from various classic (and a couple modern that are influential) action movies, music videos, trailers, fan videos, games and cartoons. A full list of resourced work can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEhl853NgDp31rMLiwHclsVXgQnoFOB48 



Outrun is expansive, that much became apparent as I searched for good reference material. The first task at hand was to compile a massive list of potential source images/videos. From there, I boiled down the genre's tropes to its essentials, which I determined to be:

1. The 80s - The visual motifs that lend Outrun it's charm: retro, cartoony violence and special effects, arcade machines, cars that look like hot wheels and the idea that nothing is more serious consequence-wise than a Saturday Morning cartoon.

2. The Damsel - The person, object, or scenario that the protagonist is attempting to protect, rescue, or woo. Note: The damsel is not necessarily a person, or even female, but represents something beyond the protagonist that has value worth risking your life over.

3. The Danger - The force that threatens ultraviolence upon the damsel or the protagonist. Sometimes, the protagonist IS the Danger.

4. Retro Ultraviolence - Outrun, in contrast to the larger encompassing genre "Retrowave" has an intrinsic link with wanton ultraviolence, as it is the manifestation of the violence seen on cartoons, video games, and movies, contextualized in Outrun's version of reality. A distinguishing feature of Outrun's ultraviolence is that it focuses on a macabre, over-the-top sense of spectacle in its violence, and style in its action.

5. Catharsis - The period of somber, almost sobering silence following the ultraviolence, used to contrast the mood of the ridiculous violence showcased prior. "Catharsis" is where the realities of the violence that occurred become "real," or where the audience is returned to normalcy.



Adobe Premiere was both the success and the major opposing force in creating this piece, in that it forced me to literally disassemble my project to figure out why it wasn't performing adequately on my desktop. This work is a work of mostly research and steady timing, as the high-intensity nature of the genre and it's reference material don't translate well to smooth video transition effects, so most of the nuance is handled in timing: timing moments of action to moments in the background track, adding titles (and cutting off titles) and coloring elements into a more neon, high contrast style.



The critic inside me thinks this will personally never be a complete work. The problem is: Outrun is a vast genre, and music wise there isn't much room to briefly touch on things like how Outrun is represented in popular culture, other small optional themes, and things that take influence directly from Outrun in popular media.



1. Premiere is so hardware intensive that it basically requires you fresh start any non-ultra specced PC to avoid issues with allocating memory to it. Not cool.

2. I would not revisit this until I had the skills to remix and make some of this music myself, as aligning clips to existing songs only allows for a very specific mood to be explored.



All sources were directly found from Youtube and are available to peruse on this playlist I assembled: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEhl853NgDp31rMLiwHclsVXgQnoFOB48

The background track in the project is Carpenter Brut's Turbokiller, which is an amazing music video in and of itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er416Ad3R1g

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62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

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New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers a...more


A remix of the Outrun aesthetic style, boiled down to it's cinematic core elements.