Category: Original Work

Projects From Quarantine

This was a silly semi-troll video I made in the last day before AWA Pro 2022’s deadline.

I was inspired by a combination of the projector music box in the ending sequence from Sailor Moon R and the music box version of the theme from the PlayStation version of Chrono Trigger.

I bought a generic lift-top box from a craft store and created a wood-texture image of the Chrono Trigger logo in PhotoShop to print out and place in the box lid to serve as the “music box.”

The winding of the "box" was mimed, with the sound effect recorded from an actual music box I own.

Because the lid opened flat, I had to hide something behind the box to hold the lid about vertical after setting it on the table, so the reason my hands went out of frame after setting the box down was to hide the cut bit of video showing me place that brace behind the box before pulling my hands out of frame again. One the box was open, I left it open long enough for the song to play before closing it again.

Then I placed a deliberately low-quality pico projector on the table in place of the box and recorded it showing the animated loop of images from the game from the same camera position.

Once I had both sequences, it was a fairly simple task to mask the two pieces together. I did discover that at one point, I had accidentally leaned too far forward and my head had gotten in frame, but thankfully a second mask was able to hide that.

Since Pro is supposed to be blind, I even went so far as to take off my watch and wedding ring to hide my identity a bit better.

People in Pro were curious if the box was actually a projector or not, so this served its purpose. Probably not something I'll try again very soon, though.

Video - Original Short, Chrono Trigger PS1
Audio - Yasunori Mitsuda - Chrono and Marle (Arranged Version 1) (from Chrono Trigger)
Completed September 2021

YouTube Link

Anime Boston 2018 AMV Contest Opening

The theme for Anime Boston 2018 was To The Stars… but I couldn’t come up with any good ideas for an opening that were doable in the time we had before the convention, so I ended up falling back to the structure of the 2015 opening, and pulled out a bunch of images of iconic anime spaceships to pair with the instructions and warnings.

This wasn’t my best effort, but still was pretty nice.

YouTube Link

Anime Boston 2017 AMV Contest Opening

2017 marked the 15th edition of Anime Boston, so I wanted to play with that history theme, and looked back at earlier years of openings for this one. The opening for 2006 in particular was ripe for a parody, which is what ended up happening.

Unlike previous years of parodies, I ended up shooting the “modern-day” segments as a solo effort, with the “past” segments taken directly from the 2006 opening. The hockey player segment in particular was an interesting bit to shoot, as I had to be careful not to cross the center line from either position.

YouTube Link

Anime Boston 2016 AMV Contest Opening

Adam decided to hand off being the AMV Contest Coordinator to me after Anime Boston 2015, and suggested this Star Wars parody for 2016 as a nod to the change.

With more time to plan and put together this opening, it came off a lot better than our 2014 effort. We originally planned a lot more digital effects (full lightsaber animation), but ran out of time before the convention to actually do it. It got a lot of laughs at the actual showing, which was our real goal, so we’re pretty happy with it.

YouTube Link

Anime Boston 2015 AMV Contest Opening

After the issues we had with 2014, I decided on a much simpler plan for Anime Boston 2015’s Mecha and Monsters theme.

I found a huge gigapixel photograph of the Boston skyline at night, and a bunch of high resolution pictures of sci-fi and monster movie toys to pop out from behind the buildings with the instructions and warnings.

The opening worked well, and I’ve used a similar format in other years when time was running short without a better plan.

YouTube Link

Anime Boston 2014 AMV Contest Opening

For Anime Boston 2015, the theme was Magic & Mischief, so a parody of The Princess Bride seemed appropriate. Unfortunately, lots of scheduling conflicts pushed the only chance we had to shoot this until just a couple weeks before the convention. So Adam, the AMV Contest Coordinator, and I shot this in his kitchen in about three takes with no chance to rehearse or reshoot. And both of us are terrible actors, so the rush job shows.

YouTube Link

Maintenance

In 2013, the local public access station I worked at held its first annual independent horror film festival, and I decided to participate. I didn’t have the time or opportunity to gather a crew, so I ended up doing it as a solo effort.

I was going for an Alien sort of feel, and despite how rushed this was, I still enjoyed making it, and it got a good reaction at the showing.

I shot this in the storage/HVAC space of the building, which lent itself well enough to looking a bit like a space station.

While I had an outline for the plot as I was shooting, I wasn’t sure of the exact dialogue. Also, the HVAC system was incredibly loud, which made recording actual dialogue impossible. So I decided to use a full-face helmet as part of the costume to hide my mouth and recorded all of the audio in post.

For the monster, I decided to never show it, pulling largely from the example of Jaws - the less you see of the monster, the more the audience will fill in with their imagination (which is usually scarier than anything you can create), and it simplifies production immensely. I was inspired by several sci-fi movies and shows for the monster’s perspective shots, most immediately the Autons vision from the first episode of the reboot of Doctor Who.

YouTube Link

Anime Boston 2013 AMV Contest Opening

I joined the staff for Anime Boston in 2013, and took on handling a lot of things surrounding the AMV Contest, including the opening, which had been dormant for several years at that point. The contest opening traditionally had been a parody of a movie scene that includes the various instructions about the rules and warnings for the showing, so for the year’s theme of Tales of Yōkai (Ghosts or Spirits), I decided to do a knockoff of the classic Tales From the Crypt opening.

I shot this at my grandparents' house, which is filled with interesting knicknacks and has a very nice vertical layout that mimicked the path the original opening took. I decided to go up the stairs instead of down because ending in the attic worked better than stopping at the front door. The neat bobbing figures were part of the year’s themed art, and there were exactly the right number to pair one with each instruction.

It took a few tries to time the movement right, so I was pretty exhausted by the time I was done shooting (stairs are great cardio, if you weren’t aware).

YouTube Link

What Would You Do For a Box of Pocky?

In 2012, Another Anime Con held a contest for original videos on the theme “What Would You Do For a Box of Pocky?” with the prize of 50 boxes of Pocky. I had a silly idea for a Metal Gear parody, so I spent the next few weeks gathering the props and costumes and shot everything over two late nights at the public access TV station I was working at, with the editing and effects taking another few days.

It won the contest, but sadly pretty much by default, as there were only two entries, and the other was a no-effort joke.

I’m still pretty happy with how it came out, even if I cringe at my horrible cheesy acting, and it taught me a lot about making original shorts.

YouTube Link

Project OrgEditor Round 1: Org Ad

Anime - Various Song - Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha OST - Drive Ignition Completed June 2011 Premiered June 7, 2011 Animemusicvideos.org Link YouTube Link This was my video for the first round of the 2011 edition of Project Editor. The theme for the round was "Home Sweet Home" and we were to create an ad for the site we considered "home." As the Org is most certainly my AMV home, I decided to go with a fairly standard 30-second advertisement focusing on things the Org had to offer. I deliberately chose previous Project Editor-related pages on the Org as illustrations, including the coordinator - Code's user page, the page for Ileia's Finals-winning video RAH HEY!, and the stream of one of my favorite videos from the previous competition, Kitsuner's Deadlines. It was kind of dry and boring, and finished 11th in a round of 24 videos.