- Member: LantisEscudo
- Studio: Honou Productions
- Title: A Life Well Lived
- Premiered: 2012-04-06
- John Powell Forbidden Friendship
- Anime Boston 2012, Anime Boston 2012 Music Video Contest (2012-04-06)
- Another Anime Con 2012, AAC 2012 AMV contest (2012-10-19)
- Bakuretsucon 2012, Bakurtesucon Music Video Contest (2012-11-09)
This is a video that's been lurking in the back of my mind ever since I listened to the soundtrack for How to Train Your Dragon. The song moves through such a clear narrative arc that it started suggesting stories to me even before I saw the movie.
I've wanted to do a story of making a composite character from many different series for a while, and this song lent itself very well to that idea. I settled on using mostly Ghibli and Satoshi Kon movies because of the consistency and similarity of the character designs between them.
The age breakdowns were mostly picked for what age the characters appeared to be, though the selection of 76 as the final age was a very deliberate, personal choice for me. In the summer of 2009, one of my grandfathers passed away at the age of 76, so I picked that age a subtle personal nod.
The pacing is also fairly deliberate, since as I remember it, when I was younger, days seemed to pass very slowly, with little change. Now that I'm in my thirties, there are times where it feels like I blink and miss a week. So I chose to make the younger time periods longer, and the older ones shorter, until the final section where the ending of the story needed to be told.
When I submitted this to Anime Boston, it didn't make the finals, which depressed me quite a bit, given how personal this video was to me. Speaking to a couple prescreeners a few months later, they told me that they had liked the video, but were a bit confused by the age indicators until the end of the video, which were just the numbers in the version I had sent. I took that feedback and added the "Age" segment to each indicator before sending it to AWA Expo, which apparently helped clear up the confusion, since it won "Best Storytelling" there, and later "Best Drama" at AAC.