Month: October 2009

Focal Perspective

Anime - Various
Song - Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot Chapter 1: You Are Here (excerpt) & Dana Cunningham - The Color of Light
Completed July 2009
Premiered September 18, 2009 Link
YouTube Link

I really can't say much about the content for this one, since I'm not sure I have the words to say it right. Mr. Sagan will just have to speak for me.

On a technical level, my goal was to not use any series more than once, but time pressure (this was actually finished during the two-day FTP upload window) forced me to use a few twice (I think there's four or five that are repeated).

I'm really proud of this one, and I'm glad that people have said they liked it. Thanks for watching.

Contest History:
Anime Weekend Atlanta 2009: Pro Contest - Finalist, Best Artistic Endeavor category
Kurokiiro 2009 - Finalist
Another Anime Con 2009 - Entrant
Bakuretsucon 2009 - Finalist
Youmacon 2009 - Winner, Best of Show


Anime - Ah! My Goddess (TV & Movie)
Song - Immediate Music - Blasphemy
Completed April 2009
Premiered May 8, 2009 Link
YouTube Link

This one was created especially for Anime Central's 2009 Theme contest of "Trailer." I decided to go the "original trailer" route rather than a parody trailer, taking a romantic comedy series and turning it into an action/drama/epic movie for its "new" theatrical installment.

When the theme was announced, I had just finished a book on myths from many cultures, and that in turn led me to think of the events of Ragnarok paired Ah! My Goddess. The video took about three weeks from first inspiration to completion, which was a surprise to me, since I normally work much more slowly.

The subtitles were deliberately styled to look like Pioneer/Geneon DVD subtitles, to further the "real trailer" idea (P/G were the ones who released the real AMG movie in the US).

The voice of Kami-sama is actually my own, since I couldn't find any closely corresponding lines spoken by the real Voice. It was run through a number of filters to get the resonant quality my real voice lacks as well as the needed "long-distance telephone" effect, and to disguise my atrocious accent.

Each of the text overlays was written in English first, then translated as best I could manage into Japanese (apologies to anyone who can actually read my clumsy translations) for the red kanji versions, and each is also one of the events leading up to Ragnarok in the original myths.

The release date (Sept. 9, 2009) was both too great an idea to pass up (a flipped 666) and a nod to the upcoming movie "9" which shares that release date.

Convention History:
Anime Central 2009 - Finalist
Anime Boston 2009 - Finalist

Petals of Glass

Anime - Tokyo Babylon
Song - Luca Turrili - Throne of Ice
Completed January 2009
Premiered January 30, 2009 Link
YouTube Link

The idea for this one was inspired by the call for entries to the Gothik II MEP. The list of suggested anime included Tokyo Babylon, which I've wanted to use for something for quite a while, so I went looking for an interesting song that might fit. I didn't have time to make it for the MEP, but put this together about a month later.

The title was inspired by the scene of the shattered glass falling in front of Seishirou, which, for a second, looked like flower petals the first time I saw it.

Overall, a pretty simple video that I enjoyed making.

Contest Participation:
Ohayocon 2009 - Finalist
Tekkoshocon VII - Entrant

Fugue of Fists and Feet

Anime - Angelic Layer
Song - Naota Shibata PROJECT - Theme of Simon
Completed December 2008
Premiered January 30, 2009 Link
YouTube Link

Listening to the Castlevania: Dracula Battle soundtracks always makes me think of action videos, so I decided to try one out. The goal was to make the various fights in the series flow together into what seems like one long mostly-seamless fight.

I think it came out pretty well; there's a few spots that feel off, but I like the transition points, especially the Mao/Blanche one.

Convention Participation:
Ohayocon 2009 - Finalist
I-Con 28 - Finalist
Tekkoshocon VII - Entrant

Another Anime Con 2008 EXTREME Iron Editor

Anime - Various
Song - Yoko Kanno - Take Off
Completed October 2008
Premiered October 18, 2008 Link
YouTube Link

This contest was EXTREEEEEEEEEEME!!!

After arriving with our lists of ten songs each, they were whittled down to one song from our original lists and two from our opponent's original list.

Only then were we shown our primary video source: Detroit Metal City.

Over the course of the editing, there were several challenges thrown in. The ones I remember, in semi-order:

5 minutes with "beer goggles" on (Vaseline-smeared lab goggles)
Roll a d12, your opponent must use at least that many lens flares during the video (11 for Lantis, 12 for Kiarrens)
DDR for one song (Tsugaru, victory by Kiarrens), added source: BECK episode 21 (maybe a bit later?)
Do a cheesy transition NOW
5 minutes with no headphones
Added source: Bleach Live-Action Rock Musical
FAILed challenge: Guitar Hero (GH3 on 360 doesn't like Rock Band guitars, so this one didn't come off)
Run an errand for dokool: Go get the trophy from the green room (Lantis got back first)

In the end, Kiarrens won a well-deserved crushing victory.

58,500 Heartbeats

Anime - ef ~a tale of memories~
Song - Johannes Brahms - Waltz in A Flat, Op. 39/15
Completed August 2008
Premiered October 18, 2008 Link
YouTube Link

Since ef had such an interesting and unusual artistic look to it, I wanted to do something a little different with this video. Classical music really doesn't get much use in AMVs, so that's where I started looking, and found this very nice piano piece by Brahms.

In the end, it's a simple Renji/Chihiro romance video that I'm pretty happy with.

Convention History:
Another Anime Con 2008 - Finalist
Bakuretsucon 2008 - Finalist
Youmacon 2008 - Finalist

Live at Budokan

Anime - Various
Song - Def Leppard - Rock of Ages
Completed June 2008
Premiered August 22, 2008 Link
YouTube Link

As far back as my first full-length video, Big in Japan, I've wanted to do something like this, with as much concert footage as possible jammed into a single video. The idea went through at least ten different songs paired with it, and I actually started working on something using Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover" to all guitar footage before realizing how boringly repetitive and low-energy what I was creating was (plus the need to sync so much guitar movement was a serious pain for the tiny benefit it gained). I scrapped the idea, but for some reason kept all of the ripped DVDs on my hard drive for a couple months.

Meanwhile, I picked up Def Leppard's "Vault" album after hearing a couple of their songs on the radio and liking them. The song "Rock of Ages" just jumped out at me, and I started gathering even more footage to work with, since so much of what I had already pulled together was guitar-focused. During this time, I was helped immensely by Val and Kim, who lent me several DVDs that I ended up using, as well as recommendations for series to look in from Meteor Dragon (thanks especially for the BECK recommendation), GloryQuestor, ngsilver, Kionon, and Kitsuner.

I also have to extend immense thanks to ZephyrStar for allowing me to use (and providing lossless copies of) the scenes of Yotsuba playing the guitar from his incredible Daydream video.

There were also quite a few series I had that didn't end up in the final video, for whatever reasons, especially Idol Defense Force Hummingbird and Perfect Blue.

Probably the most problematic footage of what I actually ended up using was from the Zillion: Burning Night OVA, which came from a VHS tape, as no DVD of the show exists, even in Japan. I ended up playing the tape in an SVHS deck, recording it onto a MiniDV deck, then importing from the MiniDV tape to the computer, and finally running it through a metric ton of AviSynth filters to clean it up (the final script ran at about 0.7 fps).

The rest of the footage was pretty easy to work with by comparison, though several of the DVDs I was working with exhibited ugly frame blending, which I was successfully able to fix in some cases, not so well in others, but the result still looks fairly good.

Other than a little bit of lip and instrument sync, the most complex effect in the video is an additive dissolve, so the goal of a simpler-looking old-school video was achieved.

Contest Participation:
AnimeEvolution 2008 - Entered
Anime Weekend Atlanta 2008: Pro Competition - Finalist for "Best Various"
Another Anime Con 2008 - Finalist
Bakuretsucon 2008 - Finalist
Youmacon 2008 - Winner, Staff Pick