AMV: Mountains of Love

Anime – Heidi, Girl of the Alps
Song – Edison Lighthouse – Love Grows
Completed September 2011
Premiered October 14, 2011 link

This video was specifically made for the Theme category of Another Anime Con 2011, which was “70’s Soul Train.”

Finding a source from the 1970’s on DVD was difficult, since so few of them have enough nostalgia strength to get rereleased, and I was considering tracking down the Original Gundam DVDs before stumbling across Heidi.

The song was a lot simpler, as I had a collection of 70’s hits on CD from a previous project that didn’t see completion, but several of the songs had potential.

When I actually started planning it, I only scanned through the first two DVDs before deciding to make a romance video between Heidi and Peter. Not having read the book, I was completely unaware of Klara’s later appearance or how large her role would become, so editing around her became more difficult as the video went along.

Overall, this was a silly little romance video that came off decently, and ended up winning the category.

AMV: Grounded With a Gundam

Anime – Gundam Wing
Audio – Tangled “Grounded For Life” Web Promo
Completed March 2011
Premiered April 22, 2011 link

This was made specifically to troll a prescreener at the Anime Boston contest, who loves Gundam but hates Gundam Wing with a passion, and has been known to rant on the subject at length. I made my regular two submissions, and the coordinator allowed me to submit this as a third under a fake name to hide my participation.

Finding the audio was a little bit difficult, but once I saw Tangled in the theater and then checked out some of the web advertisements for the movie, this one jumped out at me as something that could be quite funny.

When I was planning it out, I’d have sworn there was at least one shot of Relena actually brushing her hair that I wanted to use for the repeating line, but my memory was apparently faulty, so I had to use the very silly hair toss shot, just multi-flipped in a minor homage to dwchang’s I Just Can’t Wait To Be King.

It got the desired rant, and enough of a laugh that it got included in the contest showing as a non-competing video.

AMV: Fraternization

Anime – You’re Under Arrest
Song – Tracey Ullman – They Don’t Know
Completed March 2011
Premiered April 3, 2011 link

This was a fun little experiment with bringing a show’s subtext into full text, in this case, taking the friendship between Natsuki and Miyuki into a full lesbian relationship.

I’ve wanted to use the song for a while, ever since I heard it on the radio several years ago, but always pictured it as a “girl loves bad boy” song, like the original music video showed. When I went looking for a song to do the video to, it suddenly struck me that the gender of the singer’s significant other is never specified, so it could also be interpreted as a girl taking pride in a lesbian partnership over other people’s objections.

I’d also been looking for an excuse to make myself sit down and watch YUA for a while, since I owned all four box sets of season 1, but had only watched the first one before getting distracted with some other show. Now I need to watch the other two seasons (which I also own), which I didn’t include here because of the major art shift.

This video was entered at Tekkoshocon IX and Anime Boston 2011, but didn’t make the finals at either.

AMV: Raiyuki (10th Anniversary Project)

Anime – Magic Knight Rayearth
Song – Tokuyama Hidenori – FOR REAL
Completed March 2011
Premiered March 8, 2011 link

Ten years ago, I started making AMVs. At the time, I figured I’d make one just to try it out, and that’d be it. Imagine my surprise that I’m still here, more than 50 videos later.

I’ve been meaning to remake my first video, a parody opening, for a while now, and doing it for my 10-year anniversary seemed appropriate.

And, as an additional personal bonus, I used this project to learn something new: some of the more in-depth features of After Effects. I’ve used some of the basic motion functions in the past, but this is the first time I’ve used any of the tracking, masking, or animation features.

Ten years have gone by in a blur; here’s to another ten!

Comparison with 2001 version and original Saiyuki opening:

AMV: Naptime

Anime – Sleeping With Hinako
Song – Joe Raposo – Everybody Sleeps
Completed June 2010
Premiered September 16, 2010 link

This one popped out of a silly conversation in #AMV. Kitsuner and inthesto were talking about how bad a source Sleeping With Hinako was, and how everyone should make a SWH video for AWA Pro. I was about to toss out “Isn’t there an old rock ballad that goes something like ‘Everybody Sleeps’ or something like that?” but decided to look it up first to avoid looking silly.

Then I found the old Sesame Street song by the same title (and never did find the rock ballad, so I must have misremembered). I immediately started tossing the video together, and planned to send it to Expo, since I was working on two other ideas for Pro. Unfortunately, some of my Pro ideas fell through in the editing stage, so this one ended up going to Pro as well. I think it was pretty badly hurt by being the last of four SWH videos in Pro, but someone had to be.

All in all, silly and without a real point, but fun to do.

This video won Best Fun/Upbeat/Other at Bakuretsucon 2010.

AMV: Silhouettes

Anime – Revolutionary Girl Utena
Song – The Birthday Massacre – Kill the Lights
Completed March 2010
Premiered April 2, 2010 link

The idea of Utena as a broken fairy tale was one that I kicked around in my head for a long time while I was planning this video. Unfortunately, the execution here (especially some of the mask edges) was kind of flawed, given how badly I rushed actually making this video before the Anime Boston deadline. In all, I spent about 19 hours straight on it, finishing about two hours before the deadline.

I still like the silhouette effect I used here, and may use it again if I find the right place for it.

AMV: The Outer Sky

Anime – Wings of Honneamise
Song – John Rubinstein – Corner of the Sky
Completed February 2010
Premiered April 2, 2010 link

When Anime Boston announced that the 2010 contest would be in HD, I only owned three anime Blu-Ray disks, so my selection of sources was a bit limited. I had just watched Wings of Honneamise the week before, so I settled on that very quickly.

The song was a bit harder, but dumb luck in picking up a secondhand copy of the soundtrack to Pippen and hearing “Corner of the Sky” got me thinking about flying and the hurdles that Shitotsugh and his Space Navy compatriots overcame to get into space.

I deliberately focused on the flying and his relationship with Requinni and cut out as much of the actual combat of the last act as I could, preferring to keep up the hopeful tone of the song.

Finalist at Anime Boston 2010
Winner, Best Character Profile – AWA Expo 2010

AMV: Bright Journeys

Anime – Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou ~Quiet Country Cafe~
Song – Stockwell Brothers – Before I Go
Completed September 2009
Premiered October 3, 2009 link

The best part of my job is filming local bands in concert. I heard this song and immediately thought of making a “travelling” story video using it. I picked up the original artist’s performance of the song, and absolutely hated his vocals. So I went back to my tape, which had a direct line from the band’s sound board and used that version instead. I shortened the song by one verse and chorus, though.

For the video, it really ended up going in a different direction from how I first envisioned it. I originally thought of Alpha on her Vespa. Unfortunately, I forgot that most of her long trip in the second OVA series was done on foot. So slowly the video shifted into a light yuri romance between Alpha and Kotone. It’s a little slow, but it fits the folksy mood of both the song and the OVAs.

Convention History:
Kurokiiro 2009 – Finalist
Bakuretsucon 2009 – Finalist
Youmacon 2009 – Finalist
Another Anime Con 2009 – Entrant

AMV: 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

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

AMV: Ragnarok

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