Category: AMV


This video was inspired by Aimoaio’s excellent video Enchanted, which introduced me to both Kimi ni Tokoke and Owl City.

The idea with this video started in the name. I wanted to show both how Sawako adapted to her changing circumstances, and how those circumstances were portrayed in the manga, anime, and live-action movie adaptations of the story.

Conveniently, the first season of the anime and the live-action movie ended at about the same narrative point, so which events got shown were dictated by the movie (as it had the shortest running time and fewest events).

The manga portions of this one are the weakest in my opinion, and I found a new respect for manga music video editors while working on those sections. It’s a lot of really hard work to make an engaging video out of still images.

This video got nominated as a finalist in the Romance category at AWA 2014 and won Best Romance at Another Anime Con 2014.

Anime - Kimi ni Todoke
Audio - Owl City - Meteor Shower
Completed August 2014 Link
YouTube Link

Choose Your Own AMV

This is an idea that lurked in my head for more than eight years before I finally managed to put it together. I was learning about DVD authoring for my job, and got interested in how menus and branching worked. That led to thinking about taking advantage of that for a video.

It went through many, many iterations and source combinations in my head before I settled on the 80’s-retro feel (Full Metal Panic, Macross Plus, Evangelion, and many other sources were considered at various points).

For the audio, I settled on mostly using tracks from a set of royalty-free collections I had recently picked up, since it had options for 60-second versions of most of the tracks. That felt like a good length for each segment, as that would yield about a 3-minute run each time through the video. I also decided to use the same musical clip for each Bad End segment for continuity. For that, I used the Game Over clip from a video game I loved playing in high school, Renegade: Battle for Jacob’s Star, which I heard many, many times while playing.

I always intended this video for the Anime Weekend Atlanta Masters contest, since the format made it pretty much impossible to play anywhere else. It didn’t win, but did generate a decent amount of positive commentary. I did also send it to Anime Expo 2014 as a challenge, but it was disqualified under the “extreme difficulty of playback” rule. Link

Dare Mighty Things (CDVV Iron Chef)

This was my entry for Otohiko's group in the CDVV Iron Chef competition. After hearing the various songs, this was the one that stuck in my head, and I was thinking of Space as a possible theme. 

Thinking about the idea for a while, I remembered the Saturn V launch from Battle Athletes and came up with the idea of incorporating NASA archive footage as a contrast, paired up with scenes from anime that were inspired by the shot, and I was actually surprised at how well it worked. Finding the lunar surface shots from Rocket Girls was a lucky thing, I'll admit, as I hadn't watched the series yet. 

I'm not entirely happy with the "future" segment, since that was the last one I did and was running out of time to submit, but it still works fairly well.

Anime - Banner Of The Stars, Battle Athletes, Bubblegum Crisis 2032, Crest Of The Stars, Gunbuster, Millennium Actress, Moonlight Mile, Project A-Ko, Rocket Girls, Starship Operators, Voices Of A Distant Star, NASA Footage
Music - Explosions in the Sky - So Long, Lonesome
Completed February 2013 Link
YouTube Link

Bakuretsu Con 2012 Analog Iron Editor

At Bakuretsu Con 2012, I participated in a three-way Iron Chef competition, with the additional complication that all of us had to edit our videos using analog equipment - no computers. We were provided several large tubs of commercial VHS tapes as our source material, and three hours to do our work in.

I borrowed most of my equipment from the public access TV station I was working at and got lucky that I didn’t have major technical issues pop up during the editing (one of the others had a very hard time getting his Macrovision breaker to work correctly, and fought with that for almost half the editing time).

My rig included:

Panasonic AG-DS545 SVHS Player
Panasonic AG-DS555 SVHS Recorder (with a scratch on the record head that left a line in everything it recorded)
Panasonic AG-A850 Editing Controller
Panasonic WJ-MX50 Video Mixer

The tapes in the tubs were a mix of subtitled and dubbed releases, and included movies, short OVAs, and a few tapes of a series - usually the first few but not always, so I decided on using Moldiver, which was one of the few complete unsubtitled series available. At six episodes long, it also offered a decent amount of footage without being too long to conveniently scrub and cue.

My final video ended up winning the vote, and it was a fun experience, but I’m very glad we don’t have to edit AMVs like that any more.

Anime - Moldiver
Music - Motoaki F. - Burning Heat! (3 Option Mix)
Completed October 2012 Link
YouTube Link

Inflantes, Magicae Draconem

This was a silly, quick video done for AAC's 2012 theme contest, "Year of the Dragon." I wanted a completely silly video, to an obvious song. 

Drawing inspiration from SailorDeath's Camelot video, I picked the SD segments from the Record of Lodoss War TV series as about the silliest possibility for video source, and the far too obvious song of Peter, Paul, & Mary's "Puff the Magic Dragon." 

I kind of hamstrung myself, though, since I remembered far more shots of the tiny Shooting Star than there actually being when I started working through the footage. Still, it was a cute video that got a decent reaction from the audience. 

The title is a silly Latin joke (a direct translation of the song title), and comes from the working title "Draco, Draconis, Draconem," which is itself a silly reference to the first Enchanted Forest Chronicles book, where the main character notes at one point that "she'd always been good at declining nouns."

Anime - Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight
Music - Peter, Paul, & Mary - Puff, the Magic Dragon
Completed October 2012 Link
YouTube Link

The Beautiful Game

This video was my second video to create a composite character out of multiple series, though not quite as successfully as my first. 

I'm a big fan of soccer and played it recreationally for a few years (usually as goalkeeper because nobody else wanted to), so I wanted to do a video celebrating the love of the game, from the young kids that get inspired by watching the pros, through the junior and senior leagues, up through becoming the pros they once watched. With Euro 2012 happening that summer, I felt it was a perfect time to finally put it together. 

This one rattled around in my brain with several different songs (and far more sources) for quite a while before I actually sat down to edit it. It was an "almost in desperation" edit before the Connecticon deadline as two other ideas I was working on fell apart in the two weeks before the deadline, so this one is a bit of a rush job, but it holds together pretty well, I think.

Anime - Hungry Heart Wild Striker, Gold Kids, Knight in the Area, Giant Killing
Music - Jerry Goldsmith - Take Us Out (from "Rudy")
Completed July 2012 Link
YouTube Link

A Life Well Lived

This is a video that lurked in the back of my mind ever since I listened to the soundtrack for How to Train Your Dragon. The song moves through such a clear narrative arc that it started suggesting stories to me even before I saw the movie. 

I've wanted to do a story of making a composite character from many different series for a while, and this song lent itself very well to that idea. I settled on using mostly Ghibli and Satoshi Kon movies because of the consistency and similarity of the character designs between them. 

The age breakdowns were mostly picked for what age the characters appeared to be, though the selection of 76 as the final age was a very deliberate, personal choice for me. In the summer of 2007, one of my grandfathers passed away at the age of 76, so I picked that age as a subtle personal nod. 

The pacing is also fairly deliberate, since as I remember it, when I was younger, days seemed to pass very slowly, with little change. Now that I'm in my thirties, there are times where it feels like I blink and miss a week. So I chose to make the younger time periods longer, and the older ones shorter, until the final section where the ending of the story needed to be told. 

When I submitted this to Anime Boston, it didn't make the finals, which depressed me quite a bit, given how personal this video was to me. Speaking to a couple prescreeners a few months later, they told me that they had liked the video, but were a bit confused by the age indicators until the end of the video, which were just the numbers in the version I had sent. I took that feedback and added the word "Age" to each indicator before sending it to AWA Expo, which apparently helped clear up the confusion, since it won "Best Storytelling" there, and later "Best Drama" at AAC.

Anime - Tokyo Godfathers, My Neighbor Totoro, Whisper of the Heart, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Kiki's Delivery Service, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Ponyo, The Cat Returns, Millennium Actress
Music - John Powell - Forbidden Friendship
Completed March 2012 Link
YouTube Link

Another Anime Con 2011 EXTREME Iron Editor

Anime - Various Song - the HIATUS - Betelgeuse no Akari Completed October 2011 Premiered October 15, 2011 Link YouTube Link This was the runner-up video in the AAC '11 Extreme Iron Editor contest. I can't remember all of the challenges that were thrown at us; the one that sticks out was having to roll a d20 and add that many lens flares to the video. We rolled a 15, and there are 17 in the video.

Demo Workshop Speedrun

Anime - Various Song - Two Steps From Hell - Dragon Rider Completed October 2011 Premiered October 14, 2011 Link YouTube Link At Another Anime Convention 2011, OtakuForLife ran a workshop on AMVs and asked for people to bring betas for critique. Having nothing in progress at the time, and fearing that no one would be bringing anything, I spent about an hour and 45 minutes throwing together a short video with the sources I had on my hard drive for an Iron Chef match the next week. There's a lot of problems with it, given the short period it was put together in, but I kind of like it. It got a decent reaction at the workshop, too. I like the idea, and may revisit it as a whole video someday, using the rest of the series that I didn't have available at the time.