JOURNAL: Darkseid (Darius Washington)

  • Finally uploaded 2007-01-17 10:15:18 Finally got to put many of the AMVs I've done to date on the org. All older material though. Wonder how people will react...? 
  • Small reflection on the AMV scene. 2003-09-13 07:40:16 The following is taken from my LJ, and I thought it might make for interesting reading for people on this site:

    In my preparations for AWA, I visited the page, and saw a request for my top 10 AMVs of all time. However, I can't fill it out because 5 of them are done by Japanese professionally and I can't register them. So here's a listing of 15 AMV's I always enjoy looking at (Cause I didn't feel like stopping at 10. Heh.) in no particular order.

    Macross Flashback 2012 - An Angel's Paint
    Performed by: Mari Iijima Editor: Shoji Kawamori
    Notes: The first AMV I ever saw at the end of the the the 30 minute video collection. Also coincided with the irst anime club meeting i ever attended and a very pretty girl I liked seeing there and some great friends I made there. So yeah, fond firsts and memories from St. Louis, and that's not even counting that one of my all time favorite animators and singers collaborated on an exquisite piece for Macross and music fans all around.

    On Your Mark
    Created by: Studio Ghibli

    Daicon III, IV, and Dry Run
    Created by: Gainax
    Note: Truly inspirational to think these guys were merely fans at the time they made this video.

    Borgman: Madnight Gigs - Don't Look Back
    Performed by: Earthshaker
    Note: This is actually a combination of the two opening sequences of the the series Sonic Soldier Borgman done to the full version of the first sequences opening song. Pretty kickass combination I think.

    Molly Star Racer

    Failed Experiments in Video Editing
    Anime: Cowboy Bebop, (with extra artwork by editor)
    Music: Various Editor: EK
    Note: This one remains a favorite because it reminds me what it takes to complete any video project and the lady behind this took an anime that had become very popular among AMV makers and showed creativity and humor in spades, I'm not sure she's totally aware how great her talent is, but then again, humility can only help greatness I think.

    Christmas At Ground Zero
    Performed by: Weird Al Jankovic
    Anime: Various Edited by: Corn Pone Flicks
    Note: This was the first ever fan-made AMV I got to see and it cracked me up to no end. Wasn't sure if it was Jeff or Matt or possibly both behind it though, but it's still got a special place in my little black heart.

    Shameless Rock Video
    Song: Speed King Performed by: Deep Purple
    Anime: FLCL Edited by: Ian Roberts
    Note: This AMV represents a level of technical excellence I've only dreamed of. I learn a lot just from watching it and plan to (hopefully) gain the incredible skill level this man has.

    Shining Collection
    Performed by: Ice Man
    Anime: Ah My Goddess The Movie Editor: Vic Bond 007 Productions

    Performed by: Run Lola Run
    Anime: Battle Athletes Victory Edited by: Kevin Caldwell

    Tenth Man Down
    Performed by: Nightwish
    Anime: Gundam 08th MS Team Edited by: Rubyeye

    Performed by: Evanessence
    Anime: Shamanic Princess Edited by: Cracked Hoe Productions

    Performed by: Rammstein
    Anime: Trigun Edited by: Nathan Bezner
    Note: I thought this vid captured the emotional conflict of Vash, Knives and Rem very well, and showed it better than the TV series did, honestly. Also, got to learn pieces of a foreign language to boot.

    It's The End of the World As We Know It
    Performed by: REM
    Anime: Too F**king many to count Edited by: Matt Wagner and Hil Hughes
    Note: Fellow students I hope to become as good as one day. Also, I've yet to see a single AMV incorporate as many anime as this one did to this day.

    Stop The Rock
    Performed by: Apollo 440
    Anime: various Edited by: Indifferent Productions

    There are a couple others I would want to list. One is a Giant Robo video done by Matt Murray, but I don't know who the artist is or the name of the song. Also, I still have to catch up to Matt and get a copy of this AMV one day. The other is one I cannot discuss until after AWA but it's so unbelievably funny and will have people talking for quite some time.

  • A Fucked up day for music fans... 2002-10-31 07:06:22 Jam Master Jay of the group Run DMC was murdered inside a recording studio last night. He was 37.

    Have some great memories of Run DMC's performances. Will talk more about that later.

    Hearing a rumor about another music great that I'm hoping isn't true. Won't comment on it until I hear more...
  • A revision on my AMVs 2002-10-08 18:23:00 I decided to explain more of what I was thinking when I did my Cobra vid so I added more info to the entry for those who might be interested. Peace. 
  • AWA: lessons learned... 2002-10-08 14:36:08 Well, it’s been about a week since Anime Weekend Atlanta, and it’s taken me this long to gather all my thoughts and such. Been busy with other elements of my life, which sort of factored into everything.

    It just so happened that the week of the convention, I was into final exams and class registration. So I kinda had a lot to deal with on the Thursday con set-up. Finally made it to the hotel at about 8pm to help set up the vid-rooms. Had a TON of gear to get from my car (4 VCRS, 2 DVD players, 2 boxes full of DVDs and tapes, and 8 huge boxes full of Bandai bags), but a set of people I know refused to help me get any of it, even as I was literally begging for help, because they were too busy talking (and they expect me to hook them up with free DVDs. Yeah right…) Irritated, I scrounged up some other staffers (Casey, Cheryl, and a few others whom, sadly, I still do not know to this day…) and managed to get in, and help set up the vid rooms, with Cordon and Chris leading the tech crew all the way. Bugged Patrick M. to loan me one of his DVD players because we were coming up short on such things for the first time ever in con history. LOL. Finally left about 2 am so I could take a final exam on Friday.

    Got through with that and came to the hotel at 2pm, stopping on the way to see about a group of AWA attendees who were having car trouble. (The only way I could tell this was because one of them had a costume on.) A HERO tuck had come to make certain the travelers were okay, so I took one the people to the hotel with me, where fellow staffer Mike Richardson was running the vid rooms in my absence (must make that man assistant director. He worked entirely too hard not to have that position at the least.) The rooms were running semi-smoothly so far, except for a couple vids that hadn’t arrived yet in the mail. Made usual substitutions and kept going.

    In the midst of this, Carl Horn asked me if I could secure a couple easels to display thigns, which was no biggie. We talk for a minute and I learn Viz has put their release of Golgo 13 on hiatus for a while. (NOOOOOO!) Neither of us were happy about that one, especially since he’d talked to Tim Bradstreet (one of my favorite hardcore artists) about doing covers for it. (* SOB* And Viz continues to do nothing but churn out Takahashi, Touryama, and Pokemon dreck. * sigh *) Ah well, back to work…

    Watched over things and trouble shot where I could until about 7pm when I went and changed into a suit for the Let’s Classy party. Been hearing about this event for years, but this was the only time I’d really had an opportunity to attend. Must compliment EK, Bruce, Mundee, and Laura for hosting an excellent event. Nice atmosphere, good drinks, relatively friendly people, and attractive ladies to look at (unfortunately, all of whom were taken. ARRGH! Well, story of my life… L ) Only could stay for about 30 minutes before I went back to see how the rooms were going and keep things running smoothly… which of course, they weren’t. ^_^

    Got to run around downstairs where many of the people had been gathering and watching vids. Missed the dinner meet and was too busy working to get to really talk to most of them. Seemed like a close-knit group, anyways. Maybe next year, I’ll get to meet more of them and pick their brains and such.

    Had more trouble shooting to deal with (thus missing a really cool pajama party with even more attractive ladies. * SOB * ) which included a couple titles not functioning in the DVD player (which would turn out to be a major problem on Saturday), and the fact the GICC was closing two of my vid rooms at 110 and 12 despite the fact that ALL F’ING YEAR (!), I’d specifically scheduled and worked to have them open until 2am. This resulted in one of my major crowd getting films being shut down with 5 minutes left.

    What, me angry? Nah…

    Also, was working to make certain I could get the main video room changed back in relatively decent time to allow the general audience Shonnen-ai/Yaoi festival to start up. It was during this I learned of A) the unexpectedly large crowd the FF8 Ball had gathered, and B) someone’s insistence on shutting down a piece of the already-full AMV room to expand the main vid room for the dance. (Mental note: when they’re in the midst of mental breakdown due to convention fatigue, never tick off large Germans or chemistry proficient Tech students). I help to modify the rooms and such while noticing Stan isn’t at the PJ party like he normally would be cause he’s dealing with this dance thing too. Poor guy…

    I spend the rest of the night in crisis management mode, only once did I break out of it when I saw this chesty redhead in a swimsuit heading to the pool (and she had a boyfriend too. ARRGH, the world is unkind!). Helped get the rooms ready so the yaoi fans could sit take over and enjoy their shows (Side note: massive thanks to Kat Andrews and Michelle Poust for arranging the yaoi sections of the the vid schedule. These two ladies really did a great job!) Sat down for a break at around 2am when MCWagner and I had one of the funnier moments of the con…

    MCW: So what’re we showing, some tennis anime or something?
    Me: Matt, this is the yaoi room…
    MCW: O_O …. I must be drunker than I thought…

    Went outside on the Patio for a bit where I ran into Mike, Andy, and Nathan on one of several occasions. Wound up talking to the lovely EK who was telling me how she used to enjoy listening to Monie Love when she was younger. (MY GOD! Someone remembers Monie Love’s existence? Major brownie points! I honestly couldn’t stand her music, but she was a pivotal point in early 90’s hip-hop.) Must remember to have more conversations with this lady in the future!!!

    I set up some things to show on Saturday, but couldn’t get into one of the rooms due to the GICC people (-_-) and headed home so I could sleep, check mail for missing vids and clean up my home to be shown by realtors on Saturday.

    Saturday, I drove up to the hotel and spent an hour looking for a parking spot (should’ve been my first clue about how things might go) and ran into one of the rooms where I scheduled myself to work. There I’d learned people couldn’t find some of the titles to be shown (even though I set them out for that purpose!!!!!!!) and so began my 15-16 hour crisis management day. One of the problems was that I couldn’t find a rep who had some titles to show, so I had to reschedule around that. Then I had to deal with the GICC people and find out why the vid rooms were being shut down early. Turns out, somehow, they manage to schedule 11pm as the closing time even though I specifically was told by higher ups I’d have the rooms til 2am. We negotiated and I was told I could have one of the rooms til 2am so the cleaning crew could work on the other. Guess that was cool seeing as how I had one room for a decently sized film screening.

    Had to deal with another crisis in that a bunch of the VCDs of newer shows we burned and tested at various club meetings and Dragon Con weren’t playing, neither were the backups.(ARRRGH!) (Side Rant: for those unaware, Dragon Con is a local Atlanta sci-fi/fantasy convention where some of us run anime even though the organizers of this convention always see fit to stick us in either the smallest, stuffiest, most non-air conditioned rooms they can find or the most out of the way rooms they can find, despite the fact we get rooms filled up beyond capacity each year, thus convincing me that DC’s organizers absolutely hate anime, vid room workers and anime fans! If it weren’t for some of my own selfish reasons, I’d have quit a couple years ago.)

    My apologies. I’ve digressed. VCD burns, and the machine that no longer likes them, which forced us to kill bigger bits of the schedule, and redo it. (Didn’t like the backup discs we’d made, either. Joy!) Between this and the missing stuff from other sources, it was becoming more and more the most stressful vid room I’d ever run. Found some other sources later that worked though, but we still had schedule times to fill. Oh, and there was the fact that our showing of Chobits in the main video room drew WAY more people than anticipated (‘bout like the dance…. hmm… Final Fantasy Chobit…), so we scheduled another showing for later that evening due to the overflow. (Everybody and their mother wanted to see that damn show, I swear… maybe I’ll look at it myself sometime…. Saw some cute cosplayers for it too. :) )

    In the midst of this, I got one of a few bright spots of the con. I ran into dear Debra (or as I like to call her, Lady Quu) and she told me someone had used my Careless Cobra AMV during a panel and said they really liked it. I stood there rather shocked as I figured no one liked that vid. After all, it didn’t get nominated during the Pro contest and no one from NDK (a con a week before where I first sent it) had mentioned reacting to it at all. I went and sat down briefly in the AMV room where Patrick and Casey introduced me to William Milberry of Aluminum Studios. I was ecstatic as I was a huge fan of his work and amazed he’d noticed my vid. We talked for a few minutes about Cobra and other works directed by Osamu Dezaki. Turned out we were both fans of the anime Blackjack as well. (Wiiliam, if you read this, I don’t have the capacity to do hosting (and honestly don’t know about such things yet), but I have the AMV archived digitally in Patrick systems, and will get it to you somehow, as well as a copy of the movie itself. Promise.)

    A little happier, I went back to crisis management, where I learned my Medricks, my live action room director had two things to tell me. First, I had two panels I was supposed to do (only one of which I knew about. Arrgh!). Had to skip the first one, which was about , the site for which I review anime occasionally, because I had too much going on at the time. The other was the Opening/Closings panel which Dave Merrill and Mike Toole had signed me up for, where we show and talk about our favorites from various anime. Tell ya more about that in a sec.

    Medricks also wanted to switch out the rooms between HK and the main room, given we’d placed Shaolin Soccer, Battle Royale, and Versus back to back and there was a huge buzz generated about it. Definitely a smart move as it turned out half the con seemed to be looking forward to watching it. After Versus (which ran longer than Med had scheduled it for. -_-), we rearranged the room to begin accommodating the extensive line of people (mostly ladies) looking to get into the Adult Yaoi festival. Never seen so much repressed estrogen in my life, but it sounded like all the attendees enjoyed themselves.

    That was a fun bit compared to the other where someone above me decided to have the GICC close down the dance in the main events room early and shut down any other activities still running at 1 am, which meant…. You guessed it…, the OTHER room filling movie I had showing in one of the rooms got turned off in mid-show. At this point, I was reduced to not even speaking anymore, just grunts, and one-syllable words. Ran into poor Amanda and I just growled at her when she asked how things were going. I remember people telling me to go to bed, but I still had things to do and set up for the next day…

    Oh yeah, the OP/ED panel. That was a fun bit as well, sitting next to Dave, Mike, Neil Nadelman and Daryl Surat. I was a bit nervous that my part of the presentation wouldn’t stand up because, as a fellow 80s anime fanatic, most of these guys were likely to have the same ones I did. As it turned out, mine was the last set, and most of the ones I’d chosen hadn’t been used. A nice bonus of that panel, was that I got to admire a lady called Sapphire from , who couldn’t believe that three of us had chosen one opening as a fave: the Fist of the North Star 2 sequence (the song of which is was used for the Dragon Bebop Z amv). I just told her it was one of my long-time faves and that FotNS is actually a kick ass show, despite the bashing it takes from many modern anime fans. Another fun thing from this panel was that I finally got to see the opening from a show called Overman King Gainer, which had me crying laughing. It truly is a must-see sequence.

    Talked to Sapphire and David Williams for a bit after that panel before going back to crisis management mode. The asked me to come back for a party they were throwing after I’d finished, but by the time that occurred, it was 4am…-_-

    Found a group of people chilling at the art tables. Asked them how they were enjoying the con and they seemed pretty happy. One had a bottle of Mountain Dew (well, that’s what the bottle said, anyway) and offered me some. I took a sip…. Then a big chug! Best damn Mountain Dew I ever had. Very relaxing after the day I’d had… (If you’re out there, thank you VERY much my brother. ^_^)

    Well, eventually, I did make it to bed on the one night I stayed at the hotel (Thanks to Mike and Chris for hooking me up with crash space for a night. Literally saved my life.)

    Sunday, I woke up and got to work on things. Rooms seemed to be running smoothly, and I stopped by the dealers’ room for a couple items (the only ones I had time to get. ;_;) Got an art book called Mad About Madhouse, which detailed every anime they’d ever worked on. Wish I could read Japanese well cause it has interviews with some of my absolute favorite anime directors (Rintaro, Dezaki, Dachi, and Kawajiri to name some). Something to work? Definitely. J Also grabbed the Project A-ko Collector’s Edition ,which is an excellent disc. Has all the extras I used to see on the Japanese LDs and came with the soundtrack. Plus, it’s a damn sight better than the one Image Entertainment made. With all the revamps they’re doing with the 80s anime licenses, CPM’s become one of my favorite importers, alongside Bandai and ADV. Looking forward to their upcoming Gall Force set.

    Sorry, digressing again. Well, Sunday was less stressful, just the hustle and bustle of con takedown. Oh, apologized to Amanda. (She and Nigel are so cute together) and ran around taking down the vid rooms one by one under Gordon and Chris’s supervision, and Patrick M.’s organization. (Can learn a lot from watching these guys at work.) Not sure who I ran into, but one conversation near the end of the con stopped me dead in my tracks. Think it was Matt…

    Matt: oh yeah, got something to tell you…
    Me: hmm?
    Matt: you won an award.
    Me: o_O
    Matt: yeah, EK gave your Cobra video an award. Said it was one of the best of the con and really inspired her about anime and amv’s.
    Me: @_@ …. My vid?
    Matt: Yep… you really underestimate yourself. Wiiliam of Aluminum Studios and Dokidoki said yours was good too. Got an ovation from it.
    Me: @_@…. My vid?

    I remained in shock for a minute. I mean compared to the award winning Expo and Pro entries, I was absolute dirt. I honestly didn’t feel my AMV should’ve been in the show and was ready to pack it in and never make another AMV again. I tried to get Quu to pull my vid out of Pro, as well as my Random Acts of Violence AMV out of the Expo contest, but he was adamant that I stay in the contests, and Debra’s paralyzing holds on me kinda sealed the deal. Upon hearing this, I was deeply honored and thankful. I’d only meant to help promote anime in the vid rooms and in my on-line reviews. I guess I’ve found another way as well... :)

    Soon, closing ceremonies took place, which meant that while some people go to dinner and relax, others get to pack remaining ear in the truck and take it to the storage facility. Guess which category I fell into? Fortunately, that ran more quickly than previous years. Got finished approximately 7:30-8:00pm. (which is a damn sight better than the 11-pm-12am of previous years). Still, they need to hold the dead dog party food until EVERYTHING about this aspect is finished. It’d be a nice pipe dream anyway…

    Came back to the hotel and saw some things developing. One was that our staffing director: Carol Ann Rhoads, was resigning to pursue other things. She’s a nice kid. I’ll miss the mini-goddess.

    Also sat for a conversation between Quu, Debra, Vlad, Dave Peterson (?) and Ken Nabbe, whom I’ve always heard about but never met. Gave me a bit of insight into how some people think. Then I went upstairs to hang with Medricks, Marlon (the Video Game room director), Jamal (my 2nd in charge), and Muriel, a former staffer and friend who’d come from Houston to check out the con. We sat around, chilled out, laughed, and watched Randy “I Brake For No Traffic Cop” Moss drop 3 touchdown passes, ensuring another Minnesota Viking loss. Guess he didn’t wanna play that night… looked at some cosplay pics too, including ones of Karen in her “induce heart attacks in men” outfits, and some others which were flat out amazing. The cast of the FF8 Ball looked pretty good (mental note: must stop staring at those Shiva pics…) and the group doing Appleseed looked awesome.

    Well, real life has set in, and I’ve got other things to do, like watch the fun MLB playoffs as I root for my all-time favorite St. Louis Cardinals, while the Minnesota Twins prove Bud Selig is an absolute ass. Glad the Giants eliminated the Braves last night. (Yes, I do live in Atlanta. Your point?) Maybe home run king Barry Bonds can get some positive press that the media and endorsers reserve for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

    Looking back, I consider this year’s AWA a big learning experience about technology. Gonna be relying a lot on tape again for newer, unreleased shows. Good old Ann A. Logue, she’s rarely let me down at conventions before and should continue to serve me well next year. What, all-digital from a server? Hell no! I want widescreen, not blue screen! Next year, everything works, damn it!

    Hmm... was there anything else I liked? Well, met a couple other reps I’d been speaking to on-line like Keith Burgess of Manga Ent. (Nice guy. Gotta show him some really cool clubs to go to when he comes back.) and Anita from AnimEigo (It was a pleasure to finally meet you. :) ) My only regret is that I didn’t get to spend time with anyone for mor than a few minutes. Even with a lot of crew people (all of whom worked very hard, BTW), I didn’t get to meet too many people, attend functions I wanted, or speak to my friends very much. Maybe I got spoiled when I went to Anime Central this year in Chicago, which is the first con in over a decade that I went to without working. Found it to be a refreshing experience, and got to meet some new people along the way. Might be fun to do that again…
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