I'll give this a go since I can't sleep.
I guess this is where this whole thing started for me. I had been a developing anime fan from a while before even hearing of AMVs. But somewhere in the beginning to middle of 2003, my friend Matt showed me some music videos he found on the internet that used anime footage. I remember seeing videos like Harder, Better, Faster, Smaller
, Bleed the Sky
, The Animix Project and a bunch of others, and had alot of fun watching them. But regardless, I still wasn't infatuated with them. So the only times I'd see any new AMVs would be when I went over to Matt's place and he would sit me down at his computer and show me the new stuff that he had found. As the weeks went on I started to develop enough interest to inquire on where to get these videos and that's how I was introduced the the org. Starting out I downloaded whatever used music I liked and was totally oblivious to video quality as long as it used my favorite music and/or anime. If you want an example of how biased I was before editing, I remember the first time I watched Euphoria and thinking, "what the hell is so great about this?", since I had no affinity toward Raxephon or Frou Frou. Ironically enough, before I started editing I really disliked FX videos since all I was interested in at the time was the anime/music.
So coming to the end of 2004 I'm at Matt's place again hanging out and watching anime when he pulls me aside like he always would and sits me at the computer and starts up a video. The video in question is JCD's Overdrive
and after watching it I was blown away. The music was awesome, I loved Vandread at the time and the editing floored me. From that time on I was hooked enough to want to get in on this editing thing.
So around November of 2004, I got my hands on a copy of Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 and started tinkering with it. I wanted to try my hand at making AMVs and chose my sources quickly as they were the most recent anime I had watched and enjoyed paired with the music I was listening to the most at the time. So thus began my first vid, Neverlasting Happiness
. I had some experience with editing programs thanks to broadcasting courses in high school, but it took me about a month to finish editing the video and deal with the many technical problems I had with the footage and program rendering. But thanks to a mutual friend of Matt's and mine, Valion
, who had a bit of practice in the software side of things, my problems were fixed and the video was finished. I released it at the beginning of 2005 and thought incredibly highly of the vid, as it was amazing for a first video in my mind.
After completing my first AMV and being very satisfied with the efforts, I immediately started my next project. This time I really wanted to capture all of my favorite shows in one vid, and it just so happened that all my faves at the time had some sad stuff in them. So I began editing Tear Stained Hearts
. This video took me almost three months to complete due to the fact I had alot more source footage to use and was starting to play with some of the FX packed into the Premiere program. But upon finishing I was incredibly excited. I had just edited a video with all my favorite characters and showed them in the dramatic way that I remembered feeling when I saw the show. As sappy as that sounds, that was my complete motivation while making my first AMVs.
In April of 2005, I released my new drama vid onto the org and monitored it daily for comments. By this time my first vid had around 50 downloads and I was wicked proud of that, but since I had done 2 videos now, I wanted some real feedback. the new vid didn't get too much attention, so seeking whatever exposure I could, I then explored the Opinion and Contest sections of the forums. I started dropping links in opinion exchanges and got alot of postive feedback about the vid. This got me confident enough to attempt to send my videos to convention contests.
Being new at this whole convention thing, since I had only ever attended one convention prior to editing, I sent my video to as many cons that would accept my vid at it's current res and framerate specs. (Since I had no clue how to change them.) So after picking conventions that I was going to attend and stuff on the other side of the country, the mailed discs went off to Kunicon, Anime Expo, Nan Desu Kan, Nekocon and Ani-magic.
The first con, Kunicon rolled around and my god, this was an awful con. I had been to Nan Desu Kan in denver in 2004 and seeing an AMV contest shown to a couple hundred of the thousands of attendees. And here I was at a Kunicon, with an attendance in the double digits waiting to see if my AMV made it into the contest. Low and behold, I found the AMV contest showing room, which held about 20 people (no joke) and sat down awaiting the contest, The first video starts rolling and it's my TSH vid. I look around and the video room only had 2 other people besides myself in it. Regardless, I'm proud of seeing it on the projection and stick around for the whole contest to find that my 1st vid didn't make it in.
So one con down. I looked forward to the others and my vid getting some good feedback from more than 2 people. The next con, Anime Expo, was another first since I had been invited to go by Valion. This was a total 360 from Kunicon, as AX has an attendance in the tens of thousands and the AMV showing was to over 4000 people. And it so happened that my TSH video had made it in the contest. I was pretty floored at the contest showing at AX and went to the AMV awards ceremony days later expecting nothing since there were some amazing videos in the drama category besides mine. Shockingly my AMV ended up winning the category and I was utterly surprised to actually win something for my videos, albeit some this big as my first win.
After Anime Expo "Tear Stained Hearts" took best drama and judges awards from the other cons that I had sent it too. Needless to say, the video began to take off and I was really proud of it. But I still had little to no interaction with other editors or the hobby in general.
My next AMV, Love's First Glance
, pushed me further into the fold of video FX and after completing that vid I really got into the hobby for the editing beyond the anime. So before releasing the video I sought out other editors to critique my work. I ended up joining Scoobsnet AMVs and finally got a little feedback from fellow editors through their studio forums. And later in the year I released my 4th vid, Vengeful Discord
As the end of the 2005 approached I was a bit deeper in the community here on the org and decided to join the online iron chef tournament v.2 on the forums. I really wanted more reasons to edit, so even though I was still inexperienced I joined. The I ended up beating Metro
in the first couple rounds and losing in the third. But as a noob I was pretty stoked to have actually won a round or two. Later in the year I joined my first MEP, The Unearthed Project
. So I pretty much tried everything there is to do editing AMVs online in my first year.
Another thing that happened around the end of this year was the reason I met alot of my friends on the org nowadays. I got a message from AtomX
to come on some internet radio thing call RDS radio. I agreed to do so and was subjected to alot of friendly grief thanks to my noobness. But regardless, I had made some new friends in the community and began talking with them more and more. It was through these conversations that Brad aka AtomX, totally destroyed my idea of good video quality and gave me the 101 on video quality and filtering.
Fresh off my video quality enlightenment and VCA victory for Rookie of the Year, I was ready to do some serious editing. I broke away from my current studios and started my own AMV studio, VNS, with previous studiomate and friend Krat.
During the first half of the year I was really trying to experiment and improve my technical editing abilities. In my experiments of creating FX I made Lighspeed Rush
and Ephemeral Reality
. As I was making these videos I wanted to do my best to improve so I started sending betas of my videos out to friends and other editors. Thus briefly talking with people like JCD and such.
In the middle of 2006 I was talked into flying 1/3 of the way across the county to attend Anime Central with a bunch of friends I had met on the org. Mainly AtomX and Koop. Despite of the initial awkwardness of meeting people in person for the first time, it was fun stuff. I met even more editors at the con and had a great time.
Nearing the end of 2006 I was finally confident in my editing and decided to start making some really solid videos. By this point I was talking more regularly with Brad and some guy named Koopiskeva
, the latter of the two offering only silly emotes and little editing advice.
But anyway, these conversations lead me to edit a track in Reflections of Style 3
, alongside alot of good editors.
While making the ROS track, I was also working on Bladebeat Graffiti
. This was the first video that the editing completely wore me out, but I was happy to have finally been able to create some of the more complex stuff that I had envisioned. Bladebeat released to good response and grabbed a victory in the AWA Pro contest and other cons. So here I was again with a video that had success with an audience and went on to become my best video in the minds of alot of AMV fans.
Speaking on AWA, this was the first year that I decided to attend yet another out of state convention with only org editors. But good times. I met Decoy and a ton of other editors.
Coming off the success and mental fatigue of Bladebeat Graffiti, I took a few months hiatus to get back into the swing of the hobby. By this point, my interest in editing had grown enough to make me grab all the resources I could get my hands on. Which lead me to After Effects. So from November 06 to January 07 I read a through an AE 6.5 textbook and taught myself the program. I would have taken a college course on it right then and there, but it filled up before I could get in.
So after learning what I could of AE I decided to test my skills on a new video using as much as I could of the new FX. So 3 months in the making and Expendable Innocence
is made. The vid releases to good reception but the popularity doesn't drive up as fast as my previous vid. Prolly due to source, genre, whatever. But I'm still proud of the video and what I learned making it.
A couple months pass and I don't even want to think about editing. AE taxed my brain and I needed time to get some more ideas for a new vid. Come summer, I head out to Acen again and fun times ensue. As the rest of summer passes I try to toy with some ideas but quickly abandon them until I start on a new video of which involved alot of 3d. Again, the 3 month editing cycle that I seem to have developed began. And just before the deadline of AWA, I finish a rough version of Condemned Memoir
. Now this video was a strange case starting out. It won none of the cons I sent it too. But as soon as I got a finished version uploaded, then it really got some attention.
Now begins uber-hiatus.
2008 to current
Coming off another VCA win, I'm totally taxed and the months go by. I really didn't feel like editing for the first chunk of the year, and I wasn't getting any real solid ideas for vids either. So time passes until I get a message from JCD about a Happy Hardcore DJ who wants someone to make a video to one of his new songs. Thinking of this as a way to spark my editing I take the request. The result is Lovestruck Radiance
. My first vid of 08 and here I thought it would get me rolling. But that's obviously not the case.
So currently I'm still a big fan of AMVs and editing. But as my ideas and editing take longer and more effort to complete, my motivation collapses under the fatigue of sitting at a computer all night editing. I don't intend on ever giving up the hobby, but I'll need some time to recharge my batteries. But no matter my feelings towards editing, the friends I've made through the hobby will keep me around for years to come.