Disclaimer: These interviews are not associated with a-m-v.org, and do not reflect the opinions of its administration.
Welcome to the Lip Flapper! Each week, we delve deep into the community and get a good look into both individual members as well as group discussions on various issues that surround our hobby.
This Week in "The Lip Flapper"
This week, I sat down with AimoAio. May is a member of AuN Studios, and is the editor behind the 2011 hits: Enchanted (Winner of Best Romance at Akross Con 2011), Kyrie, Addiction, and Swimmingly Good. AMV critic extraordinaire, and just all around fun editor, AimoAio is a great force in this community and works well with others!
Q: First of all, let me thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! But before we get started, how about you introduce yourself to the readers and let us know a little about yourself? Maybe what your favorite AMV is?
Most people just call me Aimo or May, whatever they prefer really since I don't mind. I'm not a particularly interesting person or have outstanding editing ability but I'm happy to have this hobby since I've met a lot of great people along the way. As for my favorite AMV....I have too many. ;__; Though let's say for just now the favorites on my org profile will always remain favorites.
Q: Well thanks for joining me AimoAio. Let us start off nice and easy and ask how you got involved in editing AMVs?
This will be the part where I write a nice long essay...actually let's not go there. Well basically I started off as a fan of anime... I'd get sad when a show finished because I would get so absorbed into the story that when it finished, I'd feel really empty. So I'd look up AMVs a s a way of clinging to the show so it never really ends in my mind. If that sort of makes sense? XD
I actually started off as a GMV editor, most of if not all of my early videos back in 2008 were all Kingdom Hearts with the occasional Final Fantasy video. One of the main reasons was because I was a fan of games like KH and FF (no surprise) and also because I was part of a site that had the game footage uploaded so it was easy to start with.
Then after a while of watching more anime shows I began to visualize and see scenes in my head when I listened to music and most of them refused to go away until I put said scenes on the timeline. So I started to edit more and more with anime because there were always new anime shows being aired faster than new games being produced. And somehow I turned into an AMV editor somehow along the way. XD
Q: You’re from Scotland! (Excuse me as I put on my writer’s kilt). How is anime, and by extension AMVs, treated there? Is it hard to get, or is there a pretty good market for it? Is there a “popular” anime or trend with editors from this area? How’s the haggis? Any stereotypes you’d like to put to rest?
Where I stay doesn't have an anime store. In fact as far as I know there is no store dedicated to selling solely manga and anime. Manga is slightly easier to obtain because most book stores stock these now, albeit not a lot. Before, the only store that had this was Forbidden Planet which was about 45 minutes travel away, in Glasgow City Centre. As for anime.. I don't know any place for it so online shopping is probably the best way to go. Yes I would say we are a sorely anime deprived country. XD
I'd also say there's an extreme shortage of anime fans here, never mind AMV fans. There's the occasional anime fan or two, who perhaps might also be an AMV fan but editors wise...yeah. It's quite bad. I would say it's a growing community though as a lot more people seem to know what I'm talking about when I talk about anime. I now get "oh those cartoon things!" rather than "HUH? The heck is that? "responses which is a slight improvement. And due to the lack of fans, there isn't really a way for me to find out about trends, if there was any to begin with.
As for haggis....if I were to write my true feelings about this topic I would go off into a rant so I'll just say "no comment". If you want to know what this is, Google is the way to go. Also despite most people's assumptions, NOT every Scot has a Scottish accent. You'd know a true Scottish accent when you hear it. Why? Because that's when a normal Scot doesn't understand what that person is blabbing on about. And rest assured, Scottish guys do not always wear kilts. The only time guys would wear this would be at weddings and other fancy events such as prom. Although you might get the occasional mad highlander who wears it out of leisure. *cough*
Q: When editing, what’s your “process”? How do you get started? How do you finish? How about staying motivated and polishing your video?
It might sound arrogant of me but I get ideas for almost every single song I listen to. The more I like a song, the stronger the idea usually is, to the point that I can visualize what scenes from a source would fit to it. Then it's a matter of sifting through the huge pile of ideas and finding the feasible(time and ability wise) and interesting ones(original or ideas I like the most) that I'd consider editing. Physically starting it is the most difficult part that I usually quit on - namely getting the song cut(if needed) and footage converted and ready for editing - because by the time everything is prepared, I would have already lost the motivation to edit the idea since I'll have had a new better idea I want to execute. If I do manage to get pass this blockade, the idea usually gets finished.
Once I cut a song, I never go back and change it. Because when I watch a music video I do not want the song to sound like crap so I would never leave an AMV on a bad song cut. When I do hit a video block for a certain section, I would either a) replay the section like mad till I get an idea or b)leave it for a while and hope an idea comes along. If that doesn't work then I just tack random scenes onto the timeline and hope it fits.
The best way for me to stay motivated is to edit FAST. I understand spending more time would probably make the AMV BETTER, but for me, if I spend too long on something I'd end up hating it and leaving in the dump pile so it never gets finished. (and deleted when I need the space) I do send almost every single one of my AMV projects to a wide variety of beta-testers though because while my vision for the AMV is almost perfect to me, I like to keep an open mind to see what aspects I could improve on for the audience because clearly, I am not the only one who's going to be watching this. It doesn't hurt to hear what other's think. And also because I am horribly lazy so even if I do see mistakes and icky parts in my video, if nobody mentions it I tend not to go back and change it. Haha. XD
Q: Because I personally didn’t know this until just very recently, can you tell us what AuN stands for as an acronym?
Just as well someone asked me this on Formspring! It stands for Anime Universal Network. More information on how and why found here: LINK: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=70834&start=135&hilit=Aun
Q: While we’re on the topic of AuN, can you tell us a little about your studio and its philosophy as a whole? Is it fun working in a studio? Care to tell us a little about your experiences with AuN?
Enjoy what you create. Well actually I don't really know. My job is just to edit videos Although I suppose the most important thing is to have fun, since this is a hobby after all. But I like my studio Most of them are much more experienced than me so it's really nice to be able to get honest feedback and tips when editing from them. About experiences...can't say I've had that much since we've only done one studio MEP together and I've also only collab'ed with one other member. XD But that number will increase for sure! Just needs a bit of time. Overall, I'm happy and proud to be in AuN.
Q: Speaking from my personal experience, you’ve been a fantastic reviewer and critique expert for several of my videos. So what’s your process when you’re reviewing/critiquing, and what’s something you’d recommend all editors to do before publishing their works?
If I was beta-testing or writing a full review for a video I tend to watch it twice at least before making any comments. The first time, I check mainly for concept/scene selection problems which usually is OK because I believe everyone has their own intrepretation and that's what makes AMVs nice because not everybody sees the same thing. However if someone's video was severely confusing and nonsensical, I'd tell them to fix this first before I go onto technical checks for them. Technical checks are usually just small things like: missing sync, stray flashes, orphan frames...basically small tibits that might affect the video as a whole. Sometimes when doing the technical check, I'd end up suggesting a lot of different ways/methods for them to edit parts - like using hardcuts instead of crossfades here, adding black fades there or I'd start inventing an effect and tell them to use that. XD It's a bad habit of mines but I think it's not a bad thing to give other suggestions that you would change yourself if you were the one editing the video. It's not like they have to implement it, just something to think about.
Recommendationations huh...hmm well I always believe that each video has something that can be improved upon so I would advise sending your works out for beta-testing. It might look perfect to you but it doesn't hurt to hear a 2nd opinion. Afterall you're not the only one who's going to be watching this video.
But you know, if you were in a rush to send it to a convention/contest or uploading it for a birthday and you don't want to be late then there's nothing wrong with publishing something you're happy with.
Q: Why the obsession with Katekyo Hitman Reborn and D.Gray Man? Are these anime THAT good?
Yup. Have YOU watched them?
Anyway its because I'm a big fan of shounen. You know those types of shows where you're just sitting there all excited and eager to watch the next episode because you want to find out what happens next? That kind.
And because they tend to have bishies. I like bishies. But this is a minor reason compared to the one above. XD
Q: Your latest video, Enchanted, was extremely… Ok, I’ll go for the bad pun! Enchanting! Care to explain how this adorable monster of a video got started, and how this cuteness came into your brain?
Haha I was actually in a slump because my original idea for AKROSS wasn't turning out the way I wanted. And then I saw this short 46 second video on Youtube with the same song and anime and the combination really entranced me. I was sad because it was pretty short so it inspired me to create a full length version. Since I already had Kimi ni Todoke converted for my original idea, I just started the editing straight away. It didn't take me long to edit it either as I really had a lot of fun during the process so the ideas just kept flowing naturally. Something that I haven't really had for a long time. And then every so often when I rendered a beta, I would sit there replaying it for ages gushing at the cuteness and that made me want to edit it even more so it was finished pretty quickly.
Q: Kyrie was a really dark and romantic, yet profound, piece that you edited for Project OrgEditor. Care to share how you came up with this fantastic piece in just a week!?
When I first heard the theme, I decided straight away I was going to portray "lust". Namely because I felt it was the easiest out the lot. And I thought something to do with vampires would fit this well but because I didn't want to use Vampire Knight I went for Shiki which I saw a while back and really enjoyed watching. Then it was a matter of choosing between Judas or Monster(both by Lady Gaga) because personally I felt Monster fitted better but I liked Judas more so in the end my friend chose Judas for me and I just went with that. XD The only part I was really stumped on editing(and put off for ages) was the end, right after the bridge of the song and I was running low on time so I decided to just kill her off - nice and easy. XD
Q: You have some of THE nicest fonts and font movements in all the AMV editors I’ve ever been involved with. Care to share with us your secrets?
It would probably scare some people if I say this but I usually only add text because I can't find a scene to fit in the video. LOL. So then I'd hunt for a font(if I didn't already have one) that would fit and try to make it as interesting as possible so it'll distract people from noticing I was too lazy to find a good scene to place in that timeslot. XD Although sometimes I do add font effects because I feel like they look nice and fit well in the video. Anyway the site I normally use is http://www.dafont.com but occasionally I ask around some friends for recommendations.
Q: You’re also coordinating a Lady Gaga MEP? Are you a Gaga fan, or what was the motivation behind this project? Speaking of MEPs, any advice or words of wisdom to offer would-be MEP directors?
I'm a huge Gaga fan. I've always loved her music, not just because I love dance and upbeat songs but also because the songs themselves aren't exactly overcomplicated. Most of their themes are actually really simple when you think carefully and that's what I like about them. And I was kinda sad to see the only thread about a Lady Gaga MEP was being trolled by others so I decided to make my own instead.
As for advice...this is my first time directing a MEP so I can't exactly say I have lots of words to offer. XD I would say um...keep to deadlines, remember to check member's progress, update often and uh...have fun? 8D
Q: So what do you think of the A-M-V.org community? In that same idea, what do you think could “improve” A-M-V.org?
I think it's a nice community. So it used to surprise me when people mentioned how horrible and elitist the people are because when I first started off, I thought everyone was pretty nice and helpful. Especially Jaddziadax who helped me a lot in the Vegas editing thread considering I know how idiotic my posts were but she still had patience to teach me. And for that I am really grateful.
I don't know about improving the org...but I would like to see more activity in the forums like people particpating more in discussions/events/commenting and not just announcing their video for comments then vanishing.
Q: Anything you’d like to say to the A-M-V.org community itself?
I'd definitely like to thank those who've been around since the start because if it weren't for you to build a solid foundation for this community, there would be no community at all and then I wouldn't have found such a helpful and interesting place to be. ^^
Q: Well, thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions. Do you have any last minute advice you’d like to give editors that might just be starting out? Or just something you’d like to say in general?
For newbies: Don't be too put down if people don't enjoy your first few videos. God knows how awful my first few were. XD Everyone has to start somewhere. Just keep trying and one day you'll be able to amaze people. And always appreciate feedback you get from people because they're the ones using their own time to help you improve.
For those who read this interview: Hope you enjoyed it.
Aimo is a really nice gal who's very polite, offers great advice and has evolved into a editing powerhouse over the last few years. More importantly, however, Aimo is always trying something new with her works. Of the videos I mentioned in this interview and beyond, they're all completely different genres and trying new techniques. Great work, and I'm always looking forward to what she will be working on next.
Aimo's tip for newcomers is also a highly useful one. Don't let your first videos get you down. Learn from your mistakes and move forward with new-found knowledge.
Also, seriously don't google haggis if you don't know what it is. It'll totally make you gagiss! [I've got to seriously stop stealing Kit's shtick.]
Next Time on "The Lip Flapper"
Join me next week as I sit down with another fine group of editors and get their opinions on YouTube, as well as a special "bonus" interview with BakaViking, a newcomer to a-m-v.org as well as the editor of "It's Raining Bleach Men".
COMING IN FEBRUARY:
Happy to confirm that we're going to be speaking with Magnus and xDreww for our two main interviews of the month, and that our lovely fan-service panel will consist of Cross/fade, JudgeHolden and ngsilver.
If you're interesting in being on the "What Makes a Good/Bad" romance AMV panel, please contact me via pm, as I am still looking for a few open slots.
January 9th: Lip Flap Discussion
January 16th: AimoAio Interview
January 23rd: Youtube Discussion + Bonus BakaViking Interview
January 30th: Kosmit Interview