Disclaimer: These interviews are not associated with a-m-v.org, and do not reflect the opinions of its administration.
EDIT: If you are unaware, Magnus passed away on February 21, 2012, one day after this interview was published. We will deeply miss him, and wish all of the best to his friends and family.
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"
It's romance month here at "The Lip Flapper"! For the month of February, we're hitting up romance editors (new and old), as well as romance-related panels!
This week, we sit down with Magnus (the artist formerly known as Zetzu), and get his opinion on romance videos, as well as delve a little into his personal battle against cancer.
Q: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. To start us off, why don't you introduce yourself to everyone, and tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks for having me, Code.
My name is Magnus, I have previously been known under the username "ZetZu". I've been a member of the a-m-v.org community since 2006 but became as most active in the community around 2007. I'm a rather outgoing person, and love socializing and part-take in good discussions. I'm a soon to be 18 year-old, and work as a Graphical Designer for a social media company. On the side of that I freelance as a professional video-designer, mostly in the fields of post-production and art-directing area. I was studying Film & Visual Design for 2 years before needing to drop out due to health complications. Now I mainly spend my days either working or carrying on with various creative hobbies; AMV's, Writing, Photography, Filming, Music, etc. Or just simply hang out with friends or surf on the computer... (Video games included )
Q: Well thank you very much for joining me today Magnus, it's a real pleasure. Allow me to start off by asking how you got involved in editing AMVs?
A: I first stumbled across AMV's in 2002-2003 after my older brother had returned home from a local LAN-Party. He had exchanged some anime, films and now (new for us) so called "Anime Music Videos". Among them were:
aluminumstudios' "Get up 'N Move"
OmniStrata's "Fire of Man's Desire"
Unknown's "Evangelion Gladiator trailer" (http://youtu.be/S1-lw-RHhnk)
So for a few years, me and my brother spent watching some other videos as we were directed to the a-m-v.org. But it was first in the middle to the end of 2005 that I decided to try it for myself. I enjoyed watching AMV's, and I thought "why not make one myself?". So I was an 11 year-old kid making Naruto videos to mainstream music for a good 2-3 years. Heh.
I spent most of my time from 06-07 on youtube, uploading my videos on there, and at that time I was "youtube-famous" among the amv:ers.
On there I also met Joey (PennyRoyalty - at that time known as Vegeta119) and he encouraged me to go on a-m-v.org more and I joined his studio.
Q: What's your process for editing? How do you get started/finished? Perhaps any editing theories that you like to follow?
I always start out by writing down mental notes in a script-like form. I then start to collect and search for the scenes I have in mind.
Most of the time, the song I use is merely a soundtrack to my video - as in I don't, most of the time, focus on the songs meaning but instead the idea and concept of which is in my head. Of course I follow the song-lyrics occasionally for the video to gain more relevance.
How I start the editing process is completely random, actually.
I always start at the end of the video first however. To then be able to go from the beginning and build up the video to that point. I'm not sure if I'm being clear enough on that one... But basically I edit and cut the parts that I am most excited about first - and then fill in the gaps.
After that I start adding on effects, color-blending/correcting, masking, roto, blurs, camera-movements, etc.
When it comes to editing theories I like following a lot of the ones I've learned from my education of film. Especially the more traditional ones.
You could say that I am editing in a "cinematic-viewpoint" but slightly modernized, if you will. However, I always like to put that little "AMV"-style touch to what I am making, to distinguish my hobby-editing with my professional ones.
But I like the idea of making my video look slightly "professional", following guidelines which most professional music videos and films does.
From time to time, that is.
Q: As you might know it's "Romance" month for "The Lip Flapper", and this month is all about romance! As an consistently great editor in the field, how about you tell us (in your opinion) what a "good" romance AMV should have in it?
First, I will thank you on the compliment. :hatlift:
A good romance AMV should capture the viewer into a state where they can relate to what they are watching. And when I say "relate" I do not at all necessarily mean to the characters, or even the events of the video, but to the feelings involved within it.
No matter if it's feelings of sadness or just pure lovestruck happiness. It doesn't have to be on a sentimental level either, the viewer should just be able to understand what feelings the video is trying to portray.
In my personal opinion a romance video should reflect upon the phenomenon of what is romance and love, realistic or "fictionally perfect", and in that sense make the viewer simply "feel".
To sum it up I think it should include:
- A good concept/idea.
- Fitting mood for said idea, as well as for the sources involved.
- Good scene selection and structure to build up the atmosphere.
Q: On the flip-side, how about you explain to us (in your opinion) what a "bad" romance AMV has in it?
To me, a "bad romance AMV" is a video that fails to portray and capture the romance atmosphere.
Editing don't matter in this sense - as your editing can be bad but you can still with your visuals and scenes portray romance, love, drama, etc - through out how you select and paste your scenes.
Of course I can still think an AMV is "bad" even if it follows a lot of what's mentioned in the above question if I don't find it interesting.
But that may also be a sign that the creator has failed to reach the atmosphere I look for in romance/drama AMV's. I'm not sure.
Q: What would you say would be your "favorite" Romance AMV? Feel free to link/describe more than one if necessary.
"Reflections" by ukms[z]
It is really more to the drama-side than romance - but in reality, how often does romance not include drama?
The video has been one of my all time favorite AMV's ever since the first time I came across it around 2007 or so.
It was also the first AMV to ever make me shed a tear. It has a beautiful concept and idea, and the execution is just amazing. It really raises emotions and captures the viewer - at least me - into a state of empathy.
Q: You've done dramatic romance AMVs well. (Loveless, Lovestruck Melody, etc) How do you go about capturing this drama in the editing?
Most of my romance video's include drama, because I believe that you never can have one without the other - if you think of it realistically.
Of course you shouldn't think like that, since this is the AMV-hobby we're talking about - it's supposed to be fictional, an escape from reality in many cases.
The reason I include drama in my romance videos, is because I base them a lot out of personal experiences.
I've never gone through a romantic relationship with someone without there being drama involved - I can therefore relate to a lot of the songs I use for my videos - making the audio-picking for those video very easy.
In many cases I use those personal experiences to try and merge those emotions into my videos - of course not to it's full extent.
Q: I hope you don't mind me getting a tad more personal. As several of our viewers might know from the General Discussion forums, you were diagnosed with cancer. Care to tell us a little bit about how it's like living with this, or perhaps how you cope through it all?
Not at all, since we've already gone into my personals' a bit with that last question.
In the year of 2010, while visiting a fellow AuN Studio-member and a-m-v.org member, Niwa - together with Victor (Neverend) - I suddenly had a horrific pain-attack in my stomach and was taken to the hospital. They, after 2 visits, did a CT-scan and found that there was a unidentified mass (tumor), surounded by 1 litre of an internal bleeding, in my left kidney-area.
My parents were contacted and drew to the hospital right away. At the hospital we got the scan-results explained to us, and was told I were to be flown to a different hospital for surgery and further medication.
After the surgery I lived 7,5 months symptom-free until I suddenly relapsed with a new tumor in my right hip.
I underwent chemotherapy for about 7 months and then I got to rest a bit on medical leave before the next step of the treatment.
However, during the short (2 month) medical-leave I once again had a relapse, pretty close to where the second tumor had appeared. But this time it was 2 tumors. That had shown that I can't be treated - I can't be cured.
I am currently getting medication to slow the illness down, and have already gone through 10 radiation treatments of my hip and I feel pretty alright.
But I will not be able to survive this illness as it is very agressive.
No time has been set, we can only wait and see how it progresses and how well the meds work.
I'm being pretty optimistic about it though - and I believe this is the first time I openly write about this on the org.
Even if the members of the site who're close to me already knew, I'm sorry to bring these unfortunate news.
But don't worry - I will treasure my time and live the rest of it out to the fullest!
Q: I'll admit that my personal knowledge of cancer treatment is limited. Care to explain how the treatments affect you, both physically and mentally?
The treatment was really harsh on me. The first doses of chemo had me sent to the ICU where I was asleep for 2 days - almost dying from blood poisoning and the high fever.
I went down to the weight of 45kg (99lbs), and had no abillity to walk or even bearly stand on my own as my muscles had almost completely disapeared.
I also of course lost my hair, which was a big deal for me. As a big part of the community may know, I love to style my long hair and such.
Mentally it affected me in the sense that I constantly felt like there was no meaning to still be breathing, when all I did was laying in a hospital bed, hurting, not being able to do the things I enjoy, and constantly need to rely on others.
However, with the great support of my family and my friends - I made it through, and even with my current situation - I feel happy.
Q: Anything about the disease that you'd just like to say in general?
Cancer f#cking s@cks. But what is worse than the illness itself is what it takes to treat it.
Q: Well thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Any last minute advice you'd like to give to newer editors just starting out?
Once again, thanks for having me - it was a pleasure!
For the newbies getting into the hobby: Have fun! Don't care about what people say - don't let them get you down.
However, if you want to improve and need advice and help, you need to be able to take critique from others.
But don't lose yourself, remember this is a hobby - go have fun with it and make things you like!
After speaking with Magnus on several different occasions in the course of this interview, I've come to find that he's a really great guy who's gotten dealt a really rotten hand. However, he really does serve as a great inspiration about never giving up and continuing to do the things that we love to do. As an editor, he's top notch in creating alluring colors, great dramatic elements and just an overall "complete" presentation.
Go check out his work. It's really something quite special.
February 27: Convention/Contest Panel
Youtube Panel + Bonus BakaViking Interview
Youtube Panel Pt 2
Next Time on "The Lip Flapper"
Join me this coming Friday as I sit down and review one of my FAVORITE "fun" videos of all time, made circa 2006.
Join me next week as we have a 4-part series (Monday-Thursday) on AMV Conventions/Contests! We'll speak with congoers, contest judges and many more! Naturally, we also have a small amount of controversy, as we see what convention runners feel about the "Trolling" of AMVs in contests. Next Friday will also bring another AMV Review, as I sit down with an Action AMV that doesn't suck quite so badly as most action videos I watch. Stay tuned!