DriftRoot (Lauren C.)
Interesting marketing dynamic noted today. You know those boxes of supermarket chocolates one can buy? Choose your poison: Whitman's Sampler, Russel Stover, etc? Well, I noticed a very interesting (to me, duh) psychological ploy going on tonight that sucked me in before I could build up a defense against it:
If they put six chocolates in a bag by the register (near the candy), tell you there's only two servings and wrap each chocolate up individually, you're much more likely to buy them because it's not like you're buying a BOX of chocolates, right? You're not being gluttonous and ridiculous by just buying a little bag of wrapped treats, RIGHT? Plus, it's not like you're buying a candy bar, which you never do, because these are little special chocolates, RIGHT?
NOT. Yes, I'm a Generation Xer and I'm proud of it! I use "NOT" to express sarcasm and wit! At one point in time this was the cool thing to do!
Needless to say, I bought and devoured the chocolates I never would have touched had they been in a box several aisles away from the register. :(
I am so weak. I don't even like chocolate that much.
Getting paid to for professional video work is ... gratifying.
So it's been quite a while since I've examined my AMVing history, probably because I haven't been as active editing as I was a couple years ago. Since a new landmark has been reached in this journey, it seems like a good time to recap.
tl;dr: AMV hobby helped get me where I am today professionally, and it can help you, too!
1999 Saw my first AMV (rather GMV, though at the time I didn't know either term), one that I still remember with crystal clear accuracy. FF8 to Metallica's Sandman. Given that I was infatuated with that game, the fact that it was a video set to music was kind of secondary. Still, this was the back in the day - when the Internet was still relatively young, cutting-edge file sharing was underground via Napster and I watched my first Cowboy Bebop on a DVD mailed for $1 from someone in California.
2000 First attempt at AMVing was via a multi-editor project. FAIL. I couldn't figure it out to save my life and had to throw in the towel. Still, I now had CS2 installed on my computer, and happily rediscovered my love of digital image editing fostered even back in elementary with many hours spent playing in PaintShop Pro.
Meanwhile, at work, I was in a position to do a teensy tiny bit of what was then known as desktop publishing and enjoyed myself immensely.
2000-2007 Racked up somewhere around 500+ hours of failed AMV editing. I ripped footage, I examined songs, I plotted and planned, and yet I couldn't do it to save my life. Something wasn't clicking. I did, however, get a lot of firsthand experience with every type of software/hardware failure associated with this hobby. The AMV Gods were against me big time. The only success I had was related to the graphic design elements I wanted to incorporate into my AMVs, and I racked up a lot of time on them.
Wanting to give something back to the AMVing community and show my support for the hobby, even if I couldn't make an AMV, I wrote the Pen Tool Guide.
Meanwhile, I'd decided I should pursue graphic design as a career. I enjoyed doing it, I'd always been into "art" and good at it. So I went back to school and got a piece of paper making it official and shortly thereafter got a good graphic design job.
2008 SUCCESS! I made my first AMV, shortly followed by a second, third and fourth. Wahooo! Now I'm a "real" AMV editor!? Hours racked up editing: probably well over 1,500.
2010 Got laid off during the recession, but miraculously landed another job - really my ideal job - that also just happened to be in the very area I'd been trying to get back to for the past 14 years. My resume listed video editing as one of my skills.
2012 Inspiration/motivation struck again, and I made a fifth AMV, this one the most intensive graphic design effort I'd put forth yet. I had a blast.
At work, we started to focus on developing video marketing materials. I "got" to work with a design agency on a promo video and went through unbelievable grief getting the video production crew to make the graphic elements of the video properly and give me properly compressed, formatted videos. Stupid stuff, like not using consistent fonts, screwing up corrections and giving me videos with horrific interlacing. My employer wasn't pleased with them and was doubly glad I'm around. We started making official plans for me to do future video work.
2013 (a.k.a. now) Promoted to manager (think something like a creative director/project manager/graphic designer/copywriter/branding specialist and you start to scratch the surface of what I do) and provided with a new PC for video editing endeavors.
A surprise project (most of my projects are like this) came up two weeks ago involving a 16-minute training video that needed to be filmed and produced in three days. I get the video one day into the three, then drop everything to get it into shape...but first I spend three hours getting the PC properly set up for editing and realize at some point (cue slightly maniacal laughter - door to my office was thankfully closed) that HEY, I'm not doing this at home on my own, I HAVE TECH SUPPORT NOW! :D
Tech support that knows little about video stuff, but still, I don't have to take responsibility for editing the registry keys, THEY CAN! Woohooo!! The downside to this, unfortunately, is that they've locked down my PC so tight I can't install any programs or support files myself, which makes everything a tad bit challenging. ZarxGUI (current build) doesn't work well on my work PC. It crashes on startup randomly or gets to 97% on an encode and then crashes. My IT department considers it a very unstable program. :|
Regardless, after about 14 hours of work, I produced the training video and it was very well received. My first professional video work, which would have been a flat-out impossibility were it not for my decade-plus AMV hobby. My penchant for delivering a quality product, being a stickler for crossing all the t's and dotting the i's, incorporating complex graphic elements and - of course - troubleshooting a variety of problems has paid off enormously. I am very, very happy to have put all of my hours of AMVing to good use, and it is certainly a big reason why I am where I am today, doing what I do.
So for anyone wondering about turning their AMV hobby into a career: as many others have said, it's probably not what you think and takes a lot of other skills. Can what you learn by making AMVs help with a career choice, enhance your resume and open doors? Absolutely, just like many other hobbies can. Hard work is a big part of it, too.
@Bashar NP and Hey
Glad to be part of IE, I'm definitely not contestant fodder, so judge I will be! I didn't mean to sneak off...I threw my trash out, then turned around and you and drew were leaving the restaurant and I yelled (apparently not loudly enough) that I had a good time and would see you guys around. I should have gone back - the cosplayer current was pretty strong so I kind of got swept away. :(
NEXT YEAR I plan to be back at AB full-time, for sure. I have noticed a trend that I fail to hang out for any decent amount of time with folks, despite making the effort to attend various AMV events and whatnot. At least this year I wasn't sick or contracted food poisoning or anything. That really screwed me over last year.
Anime Boston there I went
Well, that was the shortest AB for me ever. I totally missed the entire AMV contest because I overslept and got into Boston about two hours later than I originally intended. Good times were had at Bashar's Iron Editor (pardon me, EXTREEEME Iron Editor) in which drewaconclusion and Shin demonstrated their lack of dancing flair, yet still impressed with some creative Glowstick costuming. Pics here: http://goo.gl/iTlmB. Good to see people again and hang out for a bit, though there wasn't much time for it. Maybe next year I'll be there for the whole thing again.
Attendance seemed down at the con this year, and while I don't know this for a fact, it's pretty easy to speculate that the weather, the Memorial Day weekend, the recent Boston bombings and the cancellation of the informal dance played a part in this. Things also seemed more subdued, perhaps also for these reasons (bag checks, too - definitely seemed to be cutting down on the amount of back and forth traffic between the convention center and the mall).
Big AMV rumor* at the con was that they are considering dropping the comedy category due to lack of entries. Comedy videos would go head-to-head with "Fun" videos, which includes dance videos. This would be an unfortunate turn of events all around. We need more funny people from further afield submitting comedy videos to AB!!! They can be up to two years old, there's no limit on awards won and as much as there are videos everyone's seen 50 million times (ok, I exaggerate) I'd rather see a quality field of comedy AMVs than a lackluster or - worse - absent one.
Yeah, I didn't submit a video this year so I'm not exactly helping the situation. If I don't got nuthin', though, I don't got nuthin'. I am more than happy to tell OTHER people to make my video ideas, however. :D
*Heard second or possibly third-hand, however the comedy category has struggled for years, so I don't doubt too much that drastic measures are being considered.
Anime Boston here I don't really come
Just don't have the time/money this year to make a full run at AB. Also don't have a video at stake, which really puts a damper on my enthusiasm. 40+ people going to the editor's dinner, but not me (drat - I'd love to see the restaurant filled halfway to capacity with just one huge group of editors) and who knows if I'll get to see the AMV contest at all. Hopefully they schedule things such that I have time to get my badge Saturday morning and still watch the contest and track down folks before...
EXTREEEME Iron Editor! *huzza*
Which I get to sort of be a part of again. Can't wait to see what Bashar has planned, hopefully nothing that involves torture of the judges. I had some horrible ideas for what one could do to people. I'm creative like that.
Speaking of which, I just concluded my second week as a newly-minted manager. Things went ok, I guess. There is not much change from what I was doing before, except that now I have official authority to do certain things and get to share the blame if projects go badly in my department. There's been some downs and a few less ups, but that's kind of normal. Fortunately we've hired someone to take on a big chunk of my past e-marketing responsibilities, so that I theoretically have time to concentrate on other things. It's made me realize that it probably wasn't my fault that certain projects on my plate just could never get done. I still spent eight hours last weekend working on one of those certain projects to try and move it forward, though.
Hence no AMV progress! I knew I could work that in, somehow...
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