How you got into AMVs:
When FF8 came out, I was infatuated with that game even though I had no means to play it. For a long time my "fix" was watching and rewatching (26 times a day, at one count) an "AMV" using the FMV cutscenes. I didn't know what the term AMV was and I had no clue how the creator made it, where these things lived on the Internet (Napster FTW) or anything else, but I WANTED IT. I've always been a very creative person seeking all kinds of outlets for my ideas and stories, and holy stromboli, this was IT
. I didn't have to be good at drawing - I was using someone else's artwork - and I didn't have to be good at music, because I was using someone else's song! All I
had to do was pony up with the concept, which I had in spades (ahahaha, that's funny, looking back on it).
I honestly don't remember how I got from that FF8 video to AMVs, but I can say that I didn't get heavily into editing successfully (this is a crucial point) until after I attended Anime Boston in 2006 and was blown away by landmark videos like Hold Me Now
and true fiction
. I saw those in person, when they were just making their entrance onto the AMV stage, and it's only now that I realize how lucky I was to get that experience. Despite years of editing failure of epic proportions, during which I estimate to have wracked up around 1,000 hours of unproductive editing work (meaning no AMV was ever completed, nor got close to completion), I got REALLY determined to be up there on that same stage.
Then I got into a heated argument with dokool (this is my favorite part) about whether I'd ever make a decent AMV, and he inadvertently riled me up so much that one could
say I finally made an AMV just to spite him. This isn't true, but it does make for a good story and that determination kept me going more than a few times when I was ready to throw in the towel. ^_^
How you came up with your screen name:
Ah! Driftroots do exist and they are exceptionally neat things when you can find a good one. I dubbed my first driftroot a "driftroot" when I found it washed up on a beach and hauled it home with me. Think driftwood, only it's a root that's been baked by salt, sand and sun. My sister's parakeet pecked away at it over the years so it's now in a pretty sorry state, but I still have it.
Over the years this nickname has been mistaken for "Driftwood" and converted to punnish labels more times than I can count, however the most persistent issue has been being mistaken for a guy. Not too bothersome, but amusing.How you discovered the Org:
I very clearly remember searching for "Anime Music Videos" and having this site pop up as the top search results. This was back in 1999 or so, and it wasn't like there were a lot of better options out there.Tell me about your studio, like how you joined/created it, etc...
I'm not in a studio and didn't realize I had to have a reason why, or justify the lack thereof. This sounds more like "tell me about your friends, like how you met them." I have received one studio invitation to date, which was rather flattering, but I turned it down because a) I just don't make enough AMVs to justify that and b) I don't really see the point. Back in the day, yes, it had big perks with hosting and whatnot, but now? I don't need hosting, I have a few really great beta testers and can usually beg/borrow/steal help from other people if necessary, and...um...marketing myself as part of a studio isn't really my style.Favorite genre to edit and why:
COMEDY b/c I have a good sense of humor, albeit a quirky one, and loathe this hobby enough that anything I can do to make it a little more fun goes a long way in getting through the AMV editing process. Seriously, though, I was just saying the other day that I find it very taxing to make dramatic AMVs because they tend to depress me. I have some great dramatic concepts, but I just can't put myself through that.Favorite newbie mistake you've made:
Favorite? Newbie mistakes as in ha ha that's funny
are too numerous to count, but you can go read my journal from about six to 10 years ago and it's all there. The main one that sticks out was my first AMV, when I slightly screwed up the aspect ratio because I couldn't wrap my head around that stuff (I still have a hard time). Dokidoki was the ONLY one who took the time to kindly explain what I did wrong, and I felt like such a moron. Worse, the AMV got nominated for best first video, but I suspect it crashed and burned in the semifinals because people took one look at "squishy Cloud" (this was an actual QC I got - "ew, squishy Cloud") and dumped it. Grrrrr...First contest experience:
Hrm, first contest viewing would be 2006 Anime Boston. A great, great year and definitely the reason I became a "real" AMV editor (by which I mean I actually made a complete AMV). First contest I was IN was Sakura-Con 2008, which I still remember vividly because I thought the contest organizer was joking when he said my video was in the finals. I was like, what? No, that can't be right, I think you put it in the wrong category. I can't possibly COMPETE with my video! I'd just be super grateful if it got shown in the AMV room or something!Worst experience with the community:
This would be the horror show of getting one's words taken out of context and crucified as only the .Org knows how. Pretty much spelled The End of the hobby for me (or so I felt at the time) and absolutely destroyed everything I had ever wanted to stand for and achieve as an editor. I was really...well...a newbie to all of it and wasn't as wise as I should have been, plus I was kind of out of whack from a faulty prescription. It was stupid of me, and so was my reaction at the time, and I am still paranoid that people hold it against me. It's the newbie mistake that just keeps on giving.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, hooray!! If you do, but are kind of vaguely mystified that I'd bring it up, hey - I'm not the one that asked for a worst experience to be shared! It's in the past, it still pains me a bit when I think about it, but the most I can hope for is that it isn't what defines me to the .Org community.Best experience you've had thus far with the community:
I swapped the order of these best/worst questions for a reason. The best experience I had was about six months after the aforementioned incident, when I released another AMV. I was honestly deeply concerned about it, and considered making no announcement thread at all, just sweeping it under the carpet so as not to draw anymore attention to myself. But I worked very hard on that video, and I wanted to prove I had it in me to make more than one decent AMV. So off it went, and people liked, laughed and congratulated me on it. Holy shit. Not all AMV.orgers are cutthroat grudge-holders with a penchant for underhanded cruelty!? Is, is my AMV "career" not cold ashes? I don't think I've ever had a happier 24 AMV hours in my life associated with this site. Redemption? No, but being able to move past the worst? Great.Why you edit:
WHY I edit is up there in how I got into editing. Why I don't edit anymore? Well, as I pointed out to machina21 recently, maybe I'm just taking another really long break, you know?
The main reason I don't edit anymore is that the positives do not outweigh the negatives. I need extremely high motivation, inspiration and sense of value to make an AMV. If I don't have all of that, it crashes and burns EVERY TIME (I have spent more time attempting to make AMVs than actually MAKING them for this very reason). I hate
not being able to make what I want to make, I hate
not being able to to bend anime to my will, I hate
my lack of technical skills and artistic vision, my inability to sit and work at my computer for more than two hours without migraines, a stiff neck and back pain. I hate it all. When things go right, I'm a bit happier, but I still dread editing and will do almost anything (Washing the kitchen floor? Yes. Clean the garage? Yes. Reorganize my Tupperware? Yes.) to get out of it. The only time I've enjoyed editing is when there is something I want to make that I am actually able to make. Otherwise, it's an exercise in futility.
It's not that I don't WANT to edit, it's just that - as an exercise in futility most of the time - can you blame me for hating it? AMV editing is a very unnatural thing for me, and it's soooo frustrating to have a hobby you wish you could enjoy, but can't. It really is. There's nothing in my life I have worked harder at and wished I could be good at, but it doesn't make a difference, you can't force that sort of thing. I've always been ragingly jealous of all you people who actually enjoy this hobby. You have no idea how lucky you are.
I wish I had a hobby like that.Future goals: (Editing, non-editing, whatevers)
Der future? AMV, not much. I used to want to make more AMVs, now it's not very important. I guess the main goal would be to find another AMV that inspires, motivates and helps my grow my skills as some of my past ones have. Barring that, finding another hobby or project with an equal level of challenge and reward is something I'm always looking for. Just haven't found it, yet.
Non-editing, let's see: I want to be able to run a 5k without my ankle giving out on me. Stupid AMV hobby screwed me over royally with that one. Four years and counting, and one wrong step heading out to an AMV contest still haunts me.