AMV Autobiography

This forum is for the general discussion of Anime Music Videos.

Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby mexicanjunior » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:10 pm

1997-1999

This is around the time my anime discovery first really took shape. Back when I was a kid, I was into some anime stuff without realizing it, like Voltron and Battle of the Planets but was more into things like Transformers, GI Joe and Thundercats. In the mid to late 90's though, I worked really early hours and would come home from work around 2-3pm to take care of my son. We would then proceed to watch cartoons together on Cartoon Network. At the time, Toonami started up and we would watch DBZ, Gundam Wing, Sailormoon, Voltron, Tenchi...whatever they were showing. I ended up getting hooked on DBZ and watched every episode that came on. I remember, for the longest time, it was stuck in a circle from the time Raditz showed up to the time Gohan gets his ass kicked by Recoom on Namek. Anyways, when I had a chance, I would go to the library (since I had no PC) and do some reading up on DBZ thru various fan sites. I would also try to find clips of DBZ that hadn't quite aired on CN yet (anything post the Namek saga). This is when...

2000

…I discovered sites like Planet Namek, Ginga Giri Giri, Temple of Trunks and AnonesDBZ. By this time, I had purchased my first PC (the E-Machine seen in the A-kon documentary) and I experienced my first touch with AMV's. The vids were pretty low quality by today's standards but I thought they were extremely cool. The idea of combining music with clips from DBZ totally blew my mind. I also had Morpheus and iMesh at the time, so I immediately started looking around for more vids. I downloaded a ton of stuff, some decent and some pretty bad but I didn't care. I just wanted to have something playing on my PC while I did other stuff (usually hanging with my son or playing X-Box).

After my DBZ thirst was quenched, I started looking for other types of AMV's and that is how I ended up discovering other anime titles like Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Miyazaki movies, Blue Seed, Martian Successor Nadeisco, Slayers, Akira, etc. There was an anime shop about 10 minutes from where I lived (Pop Culture for those that remember me taking them during A-kon), so I was able to rent the VHS tapes and see the shows from beginning to end. This is when I first started to become a full blown anime fan and not just a DBZ fanboy. I think the reason I enjoyed it more than regular cartoons was because it kept a progressive story throughout and each episode tied into the last. Normal “American” cartoons all seemed to be just stand alone episodes and, I guess, I wanted a story I could follow.

2001

In early 2001, I realized I had a program on my E-Machine called Windows Movie Maker, which came with Windows ME, and I started playing around with it. Once I realized it could be used to make AMV's, I started my quest to download as much music and anime clips as possible from iMesh, Kazaa, Morpheus, WinMX...you name it. I had enjoyed watching AMV's but I noticed not many of them had music I actually liked, so I was determined to try to change that. Since I was still on 56K, I would sometimes spend weeks downloading single episodes to use for vids. Luckily for me, most of my P2P stuff had resume features or I would have been really screwed.

When it came to the point of actual editing in WMM, I was a total disaster. My first, I'd say, 18 videos (3 unreleased) were nothing more than 1 clip set to a song. At the time, I thought this was the way to go, pretty much putting my own soundtrack to scenes I really liked from certain shows. When I didn't have whole episodes to take from, I would cannibalize other vids I downloaded to make something out of nothing. Examples of this were Gundam With Butterfly Wings, Escaflowne, Everybody Wants Tenchi and For the Love of the Game (which I even swiped NBA footage for).

These vids ended up making the rounds of Kazaa because, initially, I would leave Kazaa open and share my AMV folder for open uploading. Since they were only about 5MB each, I ended up having allot of them passed around. My most popular of these videos was Asuka’s Last Stand, which was nothing more than Asuka's long battle scene at the end of the EoE movie set to RATM's 'Sleep Now in the Fire'. Up until about 3 years ago, I would get emails about this video on a pretty regular basis. Most of them wanted to know where the footage came from or who sang the song. If you do a search on Youtube for this title, you will see a few versions of this video uploaded by other people. Once I actually got better, this video became kind of a joke amongst the AMV community but I took it (like everything) in good humor. :)

I joined the org in June and quickly listed all the vids I had created in hopes of getting feedback. At this time, I didn’t realize how awful I really was and, as the negative reviews began to pour in, it became very clear I needed work. I took the criticism in stride and was determined to make something decent.

In November of this year, I finally made a video that, despite its poor quality and randomness, people actually enjoyed. It also won my first AMV award (albeit an online one). The video was called Happy Fun Time and used a mixture of downloaded clips of the Dreamcast Sakura Taisen videogame, with a crazy rap song I remembered from my younger days called ‘My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style’ by Dreamwarriors. I think what made it so appealing to viewers were the catgirls dancing around midway through the video. It was one of the vids that kind of put my name out there among the AMV community.

Around this time was when I also joined my first AMV studio, mainly because I had no good way to host my videos. I had talked to a few people on AIM and made good friends with a guy in Lubbock, TX by the name of Jonathan Watson (Adiamante on the org). He told me he was starting an AMV studio called Random Variable Productions and was looking for people to join up. He offered up free hosting to members and it seemed like a cool way to share editing tips and experiences among the group. I joined up with him, Rozard and Redplague. We released vids under that studio name from 2001 to the end of 2004 (The RDS merger). During this time, I also made, what would end up being, a lifelong friend in Carlos Corral (Machine). He really was a catalyst for helping me become a much better AMV editor in both quality and editing technique. Also, he gave me my first copy of Adobe Premiere (in 2002 at Ushicon).

2002

This was kind of a crossroads year for me, as I started to realize (thru some harsh opinions on the org) what I was doing wrong with my videos. I decided to rethink the whole "1 anime clip - 1 song" method and try to start telling stories through my vids and actually attempt to do real editing.

My first attempt to do this was with a video called Liquid Petals. It was a very simple video (still done in WMM) that used the Utena movie with an old song called 'The Rain, The Park, and Other Things' (which I idiotically catalogued ‘The Flower Girl’ on the org). I really just tried to follow the lyrics as closely as possible with appropriate scenes to match them. Since my source footage was a downloaded fansub, I was also handicapped in what I could use since, by this time, I knew subtitles in a video were very much frowned upon. This video ended up being semi-popular on the org, and I received my most positive feedback up to that point. It didn't win any awards but is still one of my favorites because of its simplicity and straight forward editing. In 2005, Tsukin liked the video so much that he actually remade it with DVD quality, which was quite flattering. This video also ended up inspiring a famous quote from one of my good friends Tim Stair, (Fluxmeister on the org) which characterized my editing style perfectly...

"If he says pretty rose in the song, there better be a god damned rose on the fucking screen..."

I followed that video up, at the end of January, with a lackluster effort called Stop Mocking Me!. It was a Perfect Blue video set to a freaky Devo song called 'Peek-A-Boo' and was a very sloppy attempt at lip synching in WMM (still being used). The editing was pretty bad, and it received poor reviews, but I thought the concept was still kinda cool. So cool in fact, I ended up remaking this video with better editing and DVD source in early 2006. I thought the remake came out nicely and is also one of my favorite videos to rewatch.

In March of 2002, I decided to make something that would end up causing quite a bit of controversy in the community. From my time of watching AMV's, I noticed there was not allot of Hentai videos floating around the org. The one I had seen (X in sex) was kind of just generic sex scenes to music with no humor or anything. I decided I wanted to change that, so I took a song that a friend of mine, from my old Ticket radio days, sang called ‘Points For Sex’. I matched it up with a very dumb hentai title called Sailor and the 7 Balls, which was a parody of a bunch of different anime titles like Sailormoon, Dragonballz, Evangelion, Trigun, Nadiesco, etc...This is how my next video, PFS, came to be. I really just tried, once again, to match lyrics to scenes and I thought it came out pretty well. After I completed the video, I went back and added in the "PFS Counter" using Video Wave 4 (since WMM didn't have a feature to add text). This video quickly became my most popular to date and also my most commented on. It sparked controversy by being the first HAMV to have a direct download link on the org, which quickly caused a change in the org rules (which still stands today). Now, Hentai videos must have indirect links on the org catalogue. These days, I don't have a problem with that rule at all but, back then, I thought it was kind of hypocritical to allow violent videos to be direct linked but not sexual ones. Anyways, this video would really go a long way in putting me on the map in the AMV community and, I believe, it was up for an org VCA that year. Little did I know, this video would also be the catalyst for future HAMV's that would brand me as the "Cartoon Porn King"…so to speak.

After PFS, I had about a 5 month period between videos because I decided to try my hand at using Adobe Premiere for the first time. I probably spent about a month just playing with the program and figuring out what everything did before attempting to edit something on it. Once I got comfortable, I set out to make my first video using the new software. I had heard a song during one of those late night "Sounds of the 60's" infomercials called ‘Windy’ by The Association and thought it would go really well with Kiki's Delivery Service. I set out to find a decent fansub of it online but only came up with really low quality WMV versions. Around this same time, as Kionon stated in her Autobiography post, I met Kio since we were both in Dallas. She, out of the goodness of her heart, gave me her old capture card, which was an easy to use old USB Dazzle device. I decided, since there was not a DVD version of the movie out, to buy the VHS and capture it over to my PC in MJPEG format. At the time, I was not all that much of a quality freak but it was still my highest quality video source to date. The editing itself took a few weeks and I released the vid in August under the title Service With A Smile. It quickly became my most well received video and continues to be one of my more popular ones. The concept was, again, nothing fancy...straight cuts and lyric synch, with a slight hint of beat synching. It was my first to win an actual anime convention award and I was also fortunate enough to be in attendance (AnimeFest). I would say that was one of the more enjoyable moments I experienced in AMV making.

Speaking of conventions, 2002 was also the first year I began attending them. I started by going to Ushicon in Austin, where I met the Corral brothers and EK (Big Big Truck) for the first time. That was a great con and we had a blast (as seen on the Ushicon documentary). Later that year, I also went to A-Kon and AWA, where I met tons of AMV editors and made more lifelong friends like the Milo brothers of Hypeodermic Studios (Wonka and Julian) and Tim Stair. AWA 2002 was also where I drunkenly dreamed up the video game project concept.


In November of 2002, I made my 2nd video in Adobe Premiere called Final Memory. It was my first serious attempt at making something dramatic, so I wanted to try and do it right. I had just recently watched the Grave of Fireflies movie and had an idea of the video I wanted to make (something depressing). During a long drive, I heard the song that I thought fit it perfectly lyric wise. It was called 'Seasons in the Sun' by Terry Jacks and was about a man reminiscing about his life before he dies (or at least to me). I thought it fit the main character very well and I tried to make it appear as if he was thinking back to the people who he had lost in his life. I made an effort to edit more to the music and beats of the song, possibly to the detriment of the video. One of it’s main criticisms was it seemed jumpy during certain parts. Also, to my surprise, some thought it was making a mockery of the movie by being too "happy". I never really understood that view but I took it in stride and the video was mildly successful, wining a few awards. I think what allot of people really remember about this video is the absolutely SHAMELESS lyric synch, especially the "starfish on the beach" moment. Some viewers thought actually going thru the trouble of finding an actual starfish on the beach to match the lyrics was totally overboard. In my eyes, it just made sense to give that visual.

At the end of the year, I also won an org VCA Award for “Most Improved Creator”, which is a nice way of saying “You don’t suck as much as you used too…”. I was very proud of that moment and the feeling that I had made some genuine improvement after so much negative feedback early on.

2003

In early 2003, I decided to go back and redo a video I made in 2001. Slayers was one of the first anime's I really got into, so I wanted to make a tribute to it in the right way. My original attempt was Cherrybomb, which was a multitude of Slayers footage (movie, series and OVA's) soundtracked with 'Cherrybomb' by The Runaways. The first version was just a mishmash of downloaded footage but the remake was done with almost all DVD footage (my first time ripping). Also, it was my first time encoding in Xvid, as opposed to my normal MPEG1 or WMV versions. This video took a little longer than normal, since I was doing avisynth editing in Premiere, but I enjoyed the experience and thought it came out well. It didn't win any awards but I like rewatching it every once in awhile.

AMV wise, March through May of '03 was a very busy time for me. I was working on 2 vids at once, and then had a 3rd kind of spring up out of some personal things happening in my life. Early March, I was working on a "kill 2 birds with 1 stone" video called Idol-ology. It was my way of entering both my friend Hitori’s fan service video contest and Tommyrude’s 80's contest. It didn't win either but, at the time, I thought it was my best editing job to date. IMO, the lyrics were matched well and I did a good job of keeping up with the pace of the song. It was also my most extensive lip synch work. The one big criticism was the song was too long and it caused the video to drag, which I could see if someone was not a fan of the music. It did win a few accolades though, including a guest award from Vicbond007 at AWA 2003.

Around the time I released Idol-ology, I had been talking online with a female AMV creator named Kat (Leanan) and we had kind of grown fond of each other. Eventhough she was seeing someone, I thought it would be nice to make a video and dedicate it to her (in hopes of winning her over). This is how Sweet Empathy came to be. It was a very simple video, just cuts and fades trying to stay in synch with the music. Also, more of my patented shameless lyric synch could be found. I made the video in about a week (believe me, it shows) and it wasn't a huge success awards wise. In fact, I don't recall even entering it into any contests. However, it did serve its purpose of just being a window to what I was feeling at the time. The relationship didn't work out (she stayed with who she was with) but I was happy with what I made.

After my little week-long hiatus into drama editing, I started back to work on the 2nd video I was making for Tommyrude's 80's contest, this one specifically made for his Hentai category. It would also serve as my entry to A-Kon's (2003) HAMV contest and wherever else I could find a home for it. It ended up being my most successful video to date and probably the one I will be most remembered for. I called it Moneyshot, for obvious reasons, and decided to use Bible Black footage set to Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 'Relax'. I made the video in about a month and really tried to do the best editing job I could. Again, with a song like this, shameless lyric synch was going to be a must and I thought I delivered on that. It ended up being my most successful video awards wise, as it won at AWA, A-kon, Numa Rei-No Con, and AFO. Its nickname, "NEW2.AVI", came from fellow studio member Koopiskeva's RVP MEP segment (which was never completed). It entailed Bible Black with a section of the Benny Hill theme song. His filename for it was "New.avi", so this video was considered a follow up to that. Of all the videos I've made, this one is pretty much my favorite. The song, the anime, the concept, the editing...I thought it all clicked very well. If you ever go to a late night Hentai AMV block at a convention, this video will usually come up on the playlist...which is something I am kind of proud of.

After completing Moneyshot in May, I took a little hiatus from AMV's before deciding to go back to work on my NES Project segment. During the hiatus, I met another female AMV creator online (see a pattern here) named Brandy (Tutterbutter) and again became enamored with her. This one was a little more serious though and she was kind of my support while I got over what happened with me and Kat. Thinking she was going to be “the one” (I proposed to her at AWA for god's sakes), I made another dedication video and Siempre Juntos was born. It was, like most of my videos, a simple work of lyric synch and flowing to the music. I did try and do a little more transparency work and mix things up with my editing. Eventhough (again!), the relationship did not work out, I was content with how the video turned out. It combined one of my favorite songs (Never Tear Us Apart - INXS) with one of my favorite anime's (Video Girl AI), so I was going to enjoy the video regardless of what happened with her. It also won Best Romance at AnimeUSA, which was cool.

Around the middle of July is when I started working on the NES Project, which was a concept I had drunkenly come up with at AWA 2002. While I watched the DDR Projects there, all I could think was "Why can't there be videos like this to game music I actually enjoy?". After the DDR showings...me, Flux, the Hypeo boys and Carlos came up with the logistics to actually pull the project off over lots of booze. It was going to be a tribute to the original NES system using OCR remixes (or any good ones we could find) for games from that era spliced together with anime. The following year, Flux really took the managing reigns and made the whole thing work. Honestly, eventhough I was the listed as one of the coordinators for the first 3 projects, I didn't do a whole lot outside of help select tracks, check on the video status of other members and give my thoughts on betas and track order. Flux did pretty much everything else during the first project, including making 4 videos for it. I really didn't pull my share of the weight by only making 1 but I think my vid came out pretty well.

The inspiration for my NES track came from my love of sports video games. From the time I had an Atari, to my current X-Box, I have always loved passing the time playing things like Madden or NBA Live. One of my favorite games, back when I had the original NES, was Mike Tyson's Punch Out. I knew this was a game I wanted to pay tribute to, so I was praying I could find a decent remix of the original Punch Out music. Luckily, I found Scott Peoples remix, 'Dream Fighter', and proceeded to make my segment. I called it Little Ippo because I wanted to show the parallels between Ippo (from the anime) and Little Mac (from the game). Eventhough the video itself is not that effects heavy, I think viewers enjoyed it because the way the fight scenes flowed to the music. I also believe people found the way the game footage was intermixed comical, which is what I was going for. During the NES Project showing at AWA, my segment (and the project as a whole) seemed to get a good crowd reaction.

2004

2004 is, what I consider, the “year of the MEP” for me. I worked on Tornado Vasectomy (Angel Cop segment), Animix (my segment had the pole dancers), Project Þ (Breakin - La Blue Girl segment), the RVG Project (2 vids) and the RDS Compilation video. I even think my segment of Project Genius was squeezed somewhere into 2004...although it is so secretive that I can't even remember when it was made. It was like I couldn't say no to an MEP that year, which meant less vids of my own. However, I was still able to find the time to push out a couple.

The first of these 2 was Embrace Your Fate, which was a rush job I did for a convention in Florida called Jacon. It was just a simple concept video using Pet Shop of Horrors and a particular Bone Thugz song I had enjoyed from my high school days. I knew I was going to the con a few weeks ahead of time and didn't want to show up empty handed, so I threw it together in about a week and shipped it off before the deadline. It didn't win any awards, or get the greatest of reviews, but I still enjoy rewatching it for mainly the song.

Shortly after Embrace Your Fate, I started work on my 2nd non-project video, which I was making for another contest. The video was called a girl with pretty eyes...The Animation and was my entry to the 2004 A-kon HAMV contest. After Moneyshot had won the year before, I really wanted to see if I could defend my title, so I was driven to make the video in the span of about a week. I recall finishing it up right around convention time...as the Corrals, Hypeo, Jonathan and BCP were already over visiting (and partying). The video itself was a tribute to Night Shift Nurses, which is just a bunch of porn and potty training, set to a very fitting 2 Live crew song called 'Doo Doo Brown'. I purposely used the grossest scenes I could find and tried to edit the "crap" out of it...hehehehe. It was also my first real attempt to synch to just about every beat in the song. For as offensive as many thought it was, I was actually kind of proud of how it turned out. During the editing process, I remember calling Julian into my room to show him beta's and I kept telling him, "This will be ground breaking stuff man...no one has seen anything like this.". I guess I was kind of right, it was the first fully scat video I can recall. It ended up winning at A-Kon (by default) and Flux gave it a guest award at AWA (as a joke more than anything).

Of the MEP segments I made in '04, the 2 that stood out to me were the RVG segments. By this time, the project had expanded to include 16 bit systems and Castor Troy had been brought on to help Flux with project coordination. As usual, I was more of a backseat coordinator, handing out feedback about the project but taking care of none of the real responsibility. Flux and Castor did a masterful job of making everything come together and this time, for a change, I made more than one video.

The first segment I made for the project was to a remix I had loved since the NES Project from 2003. It was an Altered Beast mix called 'Resurrection by Breakbeat' by DJ Pretzel. The song was so up tempo and danceable, I knew I wanted to use it if we ever expanded to more than just NES games. That day came when RVG was finalized, so I set out to find some useable footage. After going through a few different anime titles, I settled on Sorcerer Hunters since the main character (SPOILER), turns into a huge monster at certain times of the show. I thought it would make a nice complement to the character in Altered Beast, since he kind of goes through the same transformation. I called the video Rise From Your Grave because of the song’s catchy chorus. At the time, I thought it was one of my better editing jobs and I liked how the masking and intermixing of game footage came out.

Originally, Rise From Your Grave was going to be my only video entry but several editors dropped out and we started to worry that there would not be enough vids for a full hour of programming. I had completed my first segment around the end of July, so I had about another month or so before the completed segments needed to be sent in. I decided to go ahead and try to finish another one and make a tribute to one of my favorite games...Double Dragon. I had played this game tons as a kid, so I set out to find a cool remix for it. I ran across Nintendo Guru's 'Enter the Guru' on OCRemix and fell in love with the track. The main reason I liked it so much was it included the crazy music from the headquarters section of the game, where you try and pass thru the moving wall and spikes. The song originally was about 5 minutes long, so I probably spent a few days just editing it to an acceptable track length (around 2.5 minutes). I then decided on Fatal Fury as my anime source because, I thought, Terry Bogard kind of looked like the guys from the game. Also, Fatal Fury had a ton of action sequences that I thought I could mesh well with the game footage. I, once again, tried to expand what I had been doing with transparency and effects but I don't know if this came out as well as my first segment. Still, since we were so short handed, I did the best I could and the crowd seemed to enjoy both of my segments during the AWA showing. I called it Circus Music, because the section at 1:18 reminded me of something you would hear at a circus. I can still recall working on the video between playing the new version (at the time) of Madden and Flux IM'ing me every couple of minutes to try to keep me on task...good times.

2005

I consider 2005 my last really serious year of AMV making as, by this time, my actual interest in anime had started to wane. Watching the shows just didn't do it for me like it used to so, as the interest in source footage dwindled, so did my motivation to edit. That said, I did have some personal projects I wanted to finish before my editing will completely dried up.

Towards the end of 2004, the AMV Hell stuff really came to the forefront and the coordinators (Zarxrax and SSGWNBTD) were getting together an MEP version for AWA. I had never really thought about making mini segments for the main project but their "O" concept really peaked my interest. It was going to be a Hentai MEP done AMV Hell style and shown during the "After Hours" block of AWA. This project really gave me a chance to edit stuff I knew wouldn't hold up as full videos. I signed up for the project and proceeded to make about 10 segments. After completing them, I decided to use what I made and compile them into 1 video before AMV Hell 0 was released, so I could enter my segments into the upcoming Ushicon and A-Kon HAMV contests. I called the compilation HAMV Hell and I thought it came out pretty well. Some segments were more over the top than others but it got good fan reaction from crowds and won a few awards. 2005 was the last year I submitted to the A-Kon contest, so I was given the lifetime achievement award after winning 3 straight years...a giant dildo. At the AWA "After Hours" showing, I thought my segments received some decent crowd reactions. During the “Perfect Blue - Rape Me” segment, I recall Vlad was sitting behind me and tapped me on the shoulder to say "You are a sick man...", then walked off...good times.

After I finished my AMV Hell 0 segments, I took a little hiatus before working on another project. During this time, I was going through some personal issues and job problems, so I wanted to make an angry video to vent some frustration. While talking in IRC chat, I asked the room for some suggestions on weird and messed anime source to use. AquaSky chimed in and suggested the Ichi the Killer anime OVA. I watched it and thought it would be perfect for a little parody video using one of my favorite Talking Heads songs, 'Psycho Killer'. I worked on the video off and on for about a month before releasing and calling it Manic, mainly because the main character (Ichi) seemed to always be stressing and rushed before his killing sprees. The video was pretty simple, lots of shameless lyric synch and some trippy use of transparencies towards the end. It wasn't my most well reviewed video but it did win a Best Horror award at Archon, which was pretty cool.

About a month after Manic was released, the company I worked for laid off my entire department to outsource to India. We were informed a good 4 months ahead of time though and they gave us great severance packages. So, living off of severance and unemployment, I had allot of time to kill and decided to use it on travel, hanging out with friends and editing my VG3 Project segments.

Now, by this time, Flux and Castor were very well entrenched as the main coordinators and I was really listed for name only. I did decide to try and get more involved with track selections, helping others with getting their concepts together and also wanted to again contribute, at least, 2 tracks. VG3 was a culmination of all systems, from Atari to present, so we had a wide range of sources to choose from.

The first segment I decided to do for VG3 was a homage to another one of my favorite games growing up as a kid, Street Fighter 2. When I was in my teens, I would spend hours at the arcade, pouring in quarters to perfect Ryu's fireball and dragon punch. When the game hit the SNES console, I would have friends over and setup tournaments for hours...good times. I went through a few SF2 remixes before deciding on 'China Street Beat' by McVaffe. Chun-Li was always one of my favorite characters to use, so that made it all the more fun to edit. The sources were a combination of SF2 V, SF2 Alpha and the SF 2 animated movie. I came up with the concept while watching SF2 Alpha and seeing Sakura playing a generic Game Boy in the hospital bed. I thought it would be a cool idea to make the game she is playing coincide with her actually fighting Chun-Li. I spent about a month capturing the game footage and doing the editing, so I was proud of the final result. It was well received by the AWA audience during the VG3 showing. I think people got a kick out of the ending and chicken choking segment, hence the Chicken Choke title.

The 2nd segment was something I had wanted to do for awhile, a tribute to one of my favorite basketball games...NBA Jam. That year, the Slam Dunk anime series came out on DVD in the US, so I knew I would have the perfect source to work with. The problem was, I could not find any remixes of NBA Jam music whatsoever. Nothing on OCRemix, VGmusic or P2P sharing programs came through so I decided to just haul off and make my own. I had always had a soft spot in my heart for the 2 Unlimited song 'Get Ready For this" because it was the song that opened San Antonio Spurs games before tipoff (still does sometimes). I decided to use a combination of the instrumental version with sound clips from the game. It took about a week to get the song the way I wanted it and space the game audio just right but I was happy with how the remix came out. The overall editing process took about a month, so I was glad I had finished the SF2 segment as quickly as I did and given myself ample time to finish this one. The title of the video, Hoop Dreams, came from a basketball documentary I watched in the early 90's and I thought it fit the concept of the segment (alternate reality stuff). The segment received good crowd reaction at the AWA showing and I recall someone in the audience screaming "HE'S ON FIRE!" when he realized what game was being used.

At the end of 2005, I released one more full video, which was a silly thing I made while job searching. I had been watching a show called Magical Play and the main character (Padudu) wore a fish suit the entire time. It reminded me of a song I remembered from the 80's called "Fish Heads", which was basically a tribute song to eating fish and making them your friends. Since Padudu was continually eating her fish suit during the show, I thought it made for a cool combo. I called it Queres Pescado?, which means "Want Fish?" in English but I totally botched the Spanish spelling. At that point though, I thought it would be funnier to keep the typo in, so I didn't bother to change it. I entered the video in several conventions that year and it managed to take awards at Matsuricon and Kawaii-Kon. I think people enjoyed the video because the song can be damn catchy and I though the lip synch work I did was pretty solid.

2006

This is, pretty much, the last year I did any real AMV editing whatsoever. I started with the aforementioned (in the 2002 section) remake of Stop Mocking Me!. As I stated before, I had really liked the song and felt it fit the anime source well, so I didn't want to leave the concept so poorly done. The remake, IMO, was one of my better editing jobs and I did allot more masking than normal. I also felt it captured the spirit of the song with the way the video was edited. For as insane as the song is, I tried to make the images follow it as best I could. The remake didn't win any awards but I was pleased with the result.

The 2nd, and subsequent last, video I made was another remake of a video I started in early 2004 called SoulSeek. When I originally worked on it, I was going along pretty smoothly until, all of a sudden, Premiere decided to stop reading my project files. When I would try to load them up, Premiere would just crash and disappear. All I had to show for it was a beta about a minute and half completed. Years later, after I had done a reinstall of Premiere, I was looking over my old PPJ file folder and tried, for shits and giggles, to reload it. To my major surprise, the file loaded but, since the source had been deleted long ago, nothing but black bars and time markers were left on the timeline. I quickly re-ripped the source (Spirited Away) and imported the song (Christopher Cross's 'Sailing'), then recreated the project folder with all the sources as I had them before. Outside of a few shifts on the timeline, almost everything was restored, so I decided to finish it off. Luckily for me, the video was not all that complicated, just allot of cuts and fades, so no extravagant effects to redo. The concept was a simple one, to retell the story of Sen wandering into the amusement park and her experience while there. I entered it into a few contests and it won an award at Matsuricon, which was nice. Mainly though, I made the video to have something people could mellow out to and relax with some soothing visuals.

Outside of the videos I've mentioned here, I have done some other little editing things like Iron Chef's, incomplete betas, MEP segments that never came to fruition...I think someday I will just release them all in 1 big crappy video package. Eventhough I may not have been the best or most popular AMV editor, I am proud of the work I did and it warms my soul to know people have enjoyed what I made over the years and will continue to after I am gone (hopefully).
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby Castor Troy » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:51 pm

mexicanjunior wrote:*MJ's Autobiography*


Good read :up:

I hope you can still do your VG5 segment..
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Re:

Postby jasper-isis » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:19 am

Bakadeshi wrote:I may have met downwithpants and Jasper-isis for the first time in person at this awa, but it may have been the next, I can't remember exactly. I know Animasia was involved, which makes me think it may have been this one.

That was actually Otakon 2004. I gave you the Full Moon DVDs! And then it took you three years to realize the dancing idea for Let's just be SUPER CUTE GIRLS! :P
Which also reminds me, you never made those Animasia DVDs. :nono: (Nah, don't worry about it.)
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby Koopiskeva » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:14 pm

Good stuff MJ :up:

Also, way to quote the whole thing Castor :down:
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby Corran » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:35 pm

Beware DW, here comes another tl;dr post.

BTW, It's amazing how tiny things in life can have a profound impact on the course your life takes. Ever since high school it seems this has been a common theme in my life.

2001
I was a fairly shy kid, I wasn't always that way but whatever. It was around my junior year in high school that my best friend convinced me to at least check out the anime club so I decided to give it a chance. Prior to this I had been watching some pokemon and Cardcaptors on Saturday morning WB and played the pokemon red cartridge on the gameboy but that was pretty much the extent of my interest. The first anime I got to watch in the anime club setting subbed was Child's Toy, and I enjoyed it. I don't know what episode I started at or how far we got but we stopped abruptly to begin watching Trigun, which I enjoyed even more. Needless to say, I became a regular member of the club. I got a hold of the series Love Hina from another member and it would later become the first anime series that I would watch completely from beginning to end, and I enjoyed it so much that I watched it multiple times.

At the beginning of each club session, they would play about 10-15 minutes of AMVs off of VHS tapes as people filtered in. The vast majority of these were poorly edited DBZ vids so I didn't get hooked on AMVs right away. In fact it was one part of the club I didn't care for at all and I would take my time getting to the club to avoid siting through them.

2002
Several months later the same friend came across a VHS tape with Kevin Caldwell's Phantom of the Opera video on it. He immediately played it at the anime club. I don't remember what the general club consensus was but I enjoyed the video so much that I began searching for other awesome videos to play for the club and he went way out of way to acquire a VHS copy of Memories as well. The org existed at this point and I think it was one of the first sites I found, but the site layout confused me and I did not realize there were links for videos until way later so it fell off my radar for a few months. Instead I found the sites www.simperson.com, www.kusoyaro.com, and www.aluminumstudios.com to name a few. I only had a 56k while my step father had a cable connection upstairs so late at night I would sneak around and get on my step-father's pc and download videos en masse then cover my tracks by deleting the sites I visited from the browser's history and even move the mouse back to the same point on the screen. (We eventually got a router and shared the connection)

Needless to say I was addicted. I tried making a video using just virtualdub with Eva and In the End by Linkin Park and failed miserably when I couldn't figure how to add clips from multiple episodes. Maybe that was a good thing? :P At some point I came across a digital encode of Princess Mononoke and decided that I would try making a video to it. I used Ulead Movie Maker for that video and completed it in about three days. It was around this time that I (re)discovered the org as well. This time, I figured out how the site worked and joined the forums. Back then I Read ErMaC & AbsoluteDestiny's Friendly AMV Guides and began posting a lot in the help forums and also posted in the old Off topic boards. I don't remember how much time I spent in these forums... but it was a lot. On a side note, I remember a bunch of the older "well-known" editors complaining how the community isn't what it used to be anymore. I didn't have hosting for my video at this point and the org didn't host videos back then so I was out of luck few a few months.

2003
A lot of stuff happened this year, most of it in Feburary and March. I began to feel comfortable with avisynth and the instructions in the guide so I figured I would try making a new video. I spent the majority of my christmas and birthday money on a dvd drive and the Love Hina DVDs and began ripping them. Shinobu was a character that I felt I identified well with in terms of personality/shyness so I decided I would make a character profile using Collective Soul's song The World I Know. I guess the real inspiration was actually this video, which seemed popular but I felt left a lot to be desired. Hellblazer was also awesome enough to host my previous video for me so I finally made my first amv announcement post. Despite being an active forum member for about five months, my post garnered very little attention. At this point my anime addiction was starting to peak. Here is an outdated list I found from around that time. (my current listing is in my sig)

So I had my dvd's ripped and the majority of my video completed, but unfortunately I was unable to finish it before I went to Basic Training in the military. I burned my project files and editing software to a CD and kept it with my Love Hina DVDs in my closet. It wasn't until August before I could finally work on it again. I bought a laptop from a guy at the military school I was attending in Mississippi and also an 80GB external harddrive from the store. I then had my mother find the CD and DVDs and mail them to me. Dedicated? :roll: I finally finished my video at that school. I was very proud of it. Altogether it took me about a month of total editing. While visiting my family en route to my first duty station in September, I announced the video. Once again there was little reaction from the community. Understandable considering how long I was away, but honestly I didn't really care all that much as I was personally satisfied. Since I was in town, I managed to show it to the friend that got me into this hobby in the first place and he enjoyed it. I submitted the video to AnimeUSA and made the finalist category but didn't win anything overall.

2004
2004 was a crazy year and the peak of my interest in the AMV community. It's stupid, but one day I edited my signature to make it look like I was an invisimod that had edited my own post. Rozard noticed it and sent me an PM saying I should be more careful and we became friends shortly afterwords. That friendship rapidly generated many other friendships, including the one I have with Daniel Chang, which in turn also generated many more friendships. :) Like I said at the beginning, "tiny things in life" have had major impacts, and this little seemingly silly one has been one of the more major examples of that.

I also met Voices of Ryan whom I did not know was already a known character on the org under a different name and was evading a ban. He introduced me to snhKnives and we all became members of a little known studio called Destination Skyline Studios. Then came the viewer choice awards. My Love Hina video managed to make it into the character profile category after I spread the word about my video in the promotion forums. I probably would have lost that year if AD didn't pull IWIWAL from the category since labeling it as a character profile was primarily a joke. I got involved with AtomX's Online Iron chef and made it to the third round. For the video I edited in the first round, I later went back and finished it for a total editing time of three hours. Despite the speed at which I edited, and the difficultly of matching a spring themed anime to a song about winter, I am still proud of the results. Every Iron Chef I've participated in since I've tried making my track more and more complicated and ultimately I suck at Iron Chefs as a result now. :P

I was living in Florida at this point and found out that JACON in Orlando was going to be attended by many people in the community so I decided to go to finally meet everyone. I ended up rooming with Rozard, Jbone, and RedWolf. Decided Snackpants wasn't worth getting to know after he blew me off when Rozard introduced us both. Finally meeting everyone else though was a blast. I met Andy (Paizuri) one of those nights and expressed my interest in helping out the org. I also submitted my first Iron Chef video and watched it play on the big screen. That was definitely worth going for in itself. Immeadiately after the convention I drove to Destin, Florida and spent a few days with snhknives.

Sometime before JACON the truth came out about Voices of Ryan. I typically tried to avoid drama, but suddenly found myself in the middle of it. VoR and I had became fairly good friends up to that point and suddenly I couldn't tell if I really knew anything about him after all that time. I didn't know much about his old account or that he had previously been banned and if he had told me the truth from the beginning I probably wouldn't have cared about those details. I felt pretty betrayed and our friendship soured quickly. It was really awkward to see him at AWA as a result. IDK, I still consider us friends to an extent, but no where nearly as close and I haven't talked to him in years either... For a very short time after that, I left DSS as a result but later rejoined after I hanging out with Lee (snhkinves) in Destin.

In the few months leading up to AWA I began working on a Last Exile video after seeing Fluxmiester's video Images. The footage was absolutely beautiful and I just had to make a video to it. To this day though, I don't really consider the video I made to be the video I wanted to make to that series. I had been dragging my feet to make a video so I eventually decided to make something that I figured would be quick to edit rather than something epic. I managed to make my video in three weeks of dedicated editing. I was also contacted by Kusoyaro a couple weeks before AWA to edit a track in the final DDR project because he had people dropping at the last minute. I'm proud by what I created in the short amount of time that I had, but I feel the track could have been much better had I been able to dedicate more time to editing.

In the end, I submitted three videos that year. My Love Hina video to Expo, my Last exile video into Pro, and the ddr track. My pro video was nominated for four categories, I was indirectly accused of using AE even though it was all Premiere work, and I ended up not winning any of the official categories. I think this is a result or either votes being spread thin across the 4 categories or the video generally being weak when trying to place it in a single genre. I ended up getting 2 guest awards and later learned that I probably would of had as many as four if those presenting awards didn't get together and discuss who they would be presenting them to, so in the end I was very thrilled by that and also enjoyed seeing Kwasek play my video in his panel for me.

I think it was November of this year when Destination Skyline Studios and Random Variable Productions "merged" into Random Destination Studios.

Hours till midnight on New Years Eve, Paizuri interviewed me and made me an invisimod. That probably marked the beginning of the end of my amv "career". :P

2005 - Present
AWA was an editing high and I really wanted to continue making videos but I found that I'd either get distracted by moderating or video games. I still downloaded AMVs by the thousand but I just couldn't bring myself to edit. Many times I have ripped and prepared everything to start a video only to do something else after laying the first few clips on the timeline. I began listening to music almost 24/7 and not having a playlist going while editing also did not help. I made several small tracks for multieditor projects and participated in an online Iron editor match or two in an effort to revitalize my interest. I've since gone to more conventions than I can tally off the top of my head. I've had tens if not hundreds of detailed video ideas. Each time a small flame has developed, but I've never been able to really kindle it into a full video.

It doesn't help that I've since taken on more and more responsibilities. I'm now an admin, as well as the sysadmin of RDS. I don't know when I will edit again, or if I ever will. The desire is still there though. Recently I moved to Chicago and regularly hang out with some of the friends I've made through the community.

So, to bring this somewhat full circle I bring up the posts about the old editors complaining the community isn't what it isn't used to be again. This time I'm more or less in their position, but I don't feel bitter at all. People come and go from this hobby just as anything else in life. I've had several friends that no longer edit, some that left the hobby, and some that I never see log in to AIM any more. I honestly feel like a stranger these days despite being one of the top posters and lately have been more and more of a lurker. There are so many of you guys that I've met, but still don't really know since I rarely visit the chat room and some of you don't use LJ much or at all... This past year, I've drastically downloaded less amvs than I ever had. I don't know how much longer this hobby will last for me, but I intend to hang around until I feel like I have nothing to contribute to the community. Who knows, perhaps one day I will make a new video. The desire is still there. Sorry if there are a ton of typos in this.
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby Koopiskeva » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:06 pm

Corran wrote:I don't know how much longer this hobby will last for me, but I intend to hang around until I feel like I have nothing to contribute to the community. Who knows, perhaps one day I will make a new video. The desire is still there. Sorry if there are a ton of typos in this.


You'll make something..

I can see the future.

:amv:
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby Unlimited Rice » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:09 pm

Corran wrote:2004

I was living in Florida at this point and found out that JACON in Orlando was going to be attended by many people in the community so I decided to go to finally meet everyone. I ended up rooming with Rozard, Jbone, and RedWolf. Decided Snackpants wasn't worth getting to know after he blew me off when Rozard introduced us both. Finally meeting everyone else though was a blast. I met Andy (Paizuri) one of those nights and expressed my interest in helping out the org. I also submitted my first Iron Chef video and watched it play on the big screen. That was definitely worth going for in itself. Immeadiately after the convention I drove to Destin, Florida and spent a few days with snhknives.

You guys were at Jacon '04, too? 2004 was the only year I went to Jacon. To think you guys were there, too. Niiiice.

I'd say 2004 was also my peak AMV involvement, but then everything went downhill after that. :p
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby mexicanjunior » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:26 pm

Unlimited Rice wrote:
Corran wrote:2004

I was living in Florida at this point and found out that JACON in Orlando was going to be attended by many people in the community so I decided to go to finally meet everyone. I ended up rooming with Rozard, Jbone, and RedWolf. Decided Snackpants wasn't worth getting to know after he blew me off when Rozard introduced us both. Finally meeting everyone else though was a blast. I met Andy (Paizuri) one of those nights and expressed my interest in helping out the org. I also submitted my first Iron Chef video and watched it play on the big screen. That was definitely worth going for in itself. Immeadiately after the convention I drove to Destin, Florida and spent a few days with snhknives.

You guys were at Jacon '04, too? 2004 was the only year I went to Jacon. To think you guys were there, too. Niiiice.

I'd say 2004 was also my peak AMV involvement, but then everything went downhill after that. :p


I went to Jacon that year also...it wasn't as good a time as I would have liked... :roll:
Carlos and Wonka also have bad memories of that con but because they all got sick off of Fazzoli's... :lol:
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby Corran » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:30 pm

Unlimited Rice wrote:You guys were at Jacon '04, too? 2004 was the only year I went to Jacon. To think you guys were there, too. Niiiice.

I'd say 2004 was also my peak AMV involvement, but then everything went downhill after that. :p

To bad we didn't really know each other back then... it would have been fun to hang out.

mexicanjunior wrote:I went to Jacon that year also...it wasn't as good a time as I would have liked... :roll:
Carlos and Wonka also have bad memories of that con but because they all got sick off of Fazzoli's... :lol:

Heh, I remember Brian telling me about the trip you guys made. I've made the drive from the Florida panhandle to San Antonio, TX once over the course of two days. Roughly that plus the distance from the mid-panhandle to Orlando non-stop and I can easily understand that if only because of the length of the drive you guys made. :P
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby Unlimited Rice » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:33 pm

mexicanjunior wrote:
Unlimited Rice wrote:I'd say 2004 was also my peak AMV involvement, but then everything went downhill after that. :p

I went to Jacon that year also...it wasn't as good a time as I would have liked... :roll:
Carlos and Wonka also have bad memories of that con but because they all got sick off of Fazzoli's... :lol:
Could you be talking about the Fazzoli's that was a couple blocks away from UCF campus? If so, that place got closed down earlier this year, lol.
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby JudgeHolden » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:36 pm

I did stuff ...

Panties?
:rofl: :ying:
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby dwchang » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:50 pm

Corran wrote:Beware DW, here comes another tl;dr post.


tl;dr

...maybe >_>

YOU FORGOT THE BEST PART. WHEN WE ATE BURRITOS AT HABANERO'S GRILL IN SAN ANTONIO.

That was the pinnacle of our friendship and it's been downhill ever since :P.

I KID
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby Corran » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:17 pm

dwchang wrote:YOU FORGOT THE BEST PART. WHEN WE ATE BURRITOS AT HABANERO'S GRILL IN SAN ANTONIO.

That was the pinnacle of our friendship and it's been downhill ever since :P.

I KID


:O How could I ever forget that.
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby dwchang » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:26 pm

Corran wrote:
dwchang wrote:YOU FORGOT THE BEST PART. WHEN WE ATE BURRITOS AT HABANERO'S GRILL IN SAN ANTONIO.

That was the pinnacle of our friendship and it's been downhill ever since :P.

I KID


:O How could I ever forget that.


-_-

That's kinda creepy given that you met me maybe 10 minutes prior to this photo...

...STALKER :nono:

I counter with this picture.
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Re: AMV Autobiography

Postby Kai Stromler » Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:24 am

2000
--
I end up watching AMVs while collecting other metal videos in late September. I watch this video for about an hour solid and end up getting into anime. This is a non-sequitur, but revealing the connections would be just stupidly self-indulgent.

2001
--
I get a capture system and start working on videos. Most of them suck. This does not stop them from being pretentious, and eventually, I do too many videos for a span of about six months. (23)
I join the .org for the first time and list one video, which is now semi-lost.

2002
--
I get even more overreaching, graduate college, and almost figure out what I'm supposed to be doing in this hobby. In amid school, work, and prepping for grad school, I apparently waste too much time working on videos. (41)
I join the .org again and it sticks. Somehow, one video allegedly wins an award.

2003
--
I stun and revulse people at the inaugural AniBo, confuse Otakon pre-screeners with weird politics, and dabble in misogyny and racism to try to counteract any positive impressions. I produce about 24 minutes of self-indulgent crap, go to grad school, and detour into gags. (21)

2004
--
I finish my first year at Michigan and produce videos that are weird, illegal, and deliberately antinormative. I quit school in November to work as an international tech gunslinger, and finally build a system that allows for DVD rips. (7)

2005
--
I go on a spree and produce a relative ton of videos despite work, much of which is in another country. I do the first version of this biography, which will hold. (12)
I also contribute to Hell 0 with some of the more reprehensible non-sexual bits.

2006
--
I finish the most time-consuming project of my career and some random junk around extensive international assignments. I contribute to the Graveyard project and end up with my audio stripped. (4)

2007
--
I buck up and contribute to Conet, probably the only part of my record that doesn't suck. I go to Korea, which is not important until later. I get laid off and start a new job. (0)

2008
--
peloton. It is not worth the wait. I am still mostly retired. (1)

--K
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IT'S TIME!
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