Seven Years at NetNumber (now Titan.ium owned by Lumine)

The tradition continues as the year passes once again. I feel disinclined to break things out into a numbered list so I am just going to talk about the year in general.

I have completed my seventh year of employment at NetNumber (now called Titan.ium). This has been by far my longest term of employment at a company in my life. We pulled the plug on the office late last year so we have gone fully remote as a company. This is my first time being officially remote (with covid being a period of unofficial remoteness). It is not that different from how it used to be (given I used to only go in once a week), but it is still interesting being fully unmoored from an office. I do kind of prefer it, but I would also prefer a mix of office visits, if only to remember what people look like and have lunch with my friend who works nearby. Not much more to say about work. It exists so I can pursue other works.

I continue to have a reawakening regarding my AMV hobby. This year I am on pace for double digit videos (a first) and while I do think this is an aberration I am producing more videos than I have done at any time before. I have moved to a model where I try to do an hour or so of editing a day. That keeps me focused and limits the burnout, but an hour a day really adds up to a lot of editing time hence the increased video production. Interestingly my creativity has outpaced my creation speed. In the past I struggled for ideas, but I am overwhelmed with concepts as of late.

I started attending a formal anime club this year. It has been a real good way to work through my backlog of titles and has given me a more analytical perspective on some of the titles I have been watching. It is a different kind of viewing when you take notes on what you are observing. We have watched some great shows so far with Summer Time Rendering being my favorite so far.

The gun collecting continues apace. This year has seen a number of good acquisitions with minimal purchases requiring me to reload. That said I do still need to find brass for my Bodeo and sort that out. I have also found a good local gunsmith (finally) so a number of my pieces will be visiting him this year.

Overall, a pretty standard year. I feel pretty locked in on my hobbies, jobs, and extracurriculars. Not much to change or improve on, just sit back and enjoy as it all rolls by.


Man vs Dog: My Rules For Contests

On May 27, 2022 I published “I got fired so I watched anime, fell asleep, and woke in a new world”. This is the same day it was shown at Anime Boston 2022 in the Other category. In that same category was another video, Contemporary Dog by Hikikomori, which was uploaded a little over two months earlier: March 11, 2022. Both videos have had different levels of visibility and I wanted to comment on that a little.

I submitted my video to one contest, Anime Boston 2022, where it won Best of Show. It was also submitted by someone to the Viewer Choice Awards 2023 where it won Best Use of Live Action Source.

I am not sure how many contests Contemporary Dog was submitted too, but it must be many based on its award list:

  • Best Editing Award at Anime Boston 2022
  • Best Comedy Award at Thy Geekdom 2022
  • Editors’ Choice, Judges’ Choice & 1st Place Comedy/Parody at Momocon 2022
  • “Best Trip of my Life Award”, Judges’ 1st Place (Best in Show) & Audience Favourite at Otafest 2022
  • 1st Place Fun at SacAnime Spring 2022
  • TOS Contest 2021: Creativity Category — 1st Place Visual Effects Category — 1st Place Best Video Best Comedy/Fun Best Original Work Best VFX Composition Most Time-Consuming-Work
  • Best Parody Award at AFO 2022
  • Northern Lights – Best in Show Award at Anime North 2022
  • Winner of Fun Category at AnimeFest 2022
  • Audience Favourite at Animethon 2022
  • Best Conceptual at Abunai! 2022
  • Best Originality & People’s Choice at Otakuthon 2022
  • Winner of Category X, Best In Show (Editors Choice), Best in Show
  • (Audience Choice) at Nan Desu Kan 2022
  • Best in Show at Saboten Con 2022
  • 1st Place at Anime Messe Babelsberg 2022 (Open Category)
  • 1st Place at Connichi 2022 (Expo Category)
  • Best Comedy at PMX 2022
  • Best Technical at Anime Weekend Atlanta EXPO (AWA)
  • Best in Show at Nekocon 2022
  • Best Fan Fiction & Best in Show at Kumoricon 2022
  • Best in Show at Anime NYC 2022

There should also be a few VCA 2023 awards in there.

Therefore, I think it is a not a great leap to assume that if my video won high praise competing with Contemporary Dog then had I submitted this video to more conventions or contests it would have also won a number of awards.

So the question is then: why did I not submit to other contests?

That question has a few answers.

  1. I only like submitting to the conventions I go to. A lot of the value I get out of making videos is seeing it at the convention, judging the audience reaction, and seeing how it complements or fits with the other videos in the contest. Obviously I cannot do this submitting it to a contest I will not be at. It is the proverbial tree falling in the forest. If I am not there to see the contest, why submit?
  2. If the video I submit makes the finals, then I do not submit it to other conventions. I do not like the idea of having a popular video making the rounds and scooping up awards. I accept that contests have to draw from a limited pool, but I want to do my part to avoid having contests become mirrors of each other and allow for the most possible variety in entries.
  3. I am concerned about the “contentification” of art online so I intentionally limit the audience (see above). Mr. Willems does a good job covering this, but a lot of platforms have moved to pushing people to just make “content” to fill time. I never want to be in the mindset of grinding videos just for maximum audience or contest engagement. Therefore, by limiting the number of contests I submit to I can stay out of that trap since it will limit the focus of my videos to specific contests and specific times.
  4. Somewhat riffing on the last point, I am concerned about a video being devalued as it is shown again and again. I would like my videos to be almost like a live event. Experienced once at a specific time and place and rarely again. I even briefly considered never uploading my videos, but cooler heads prevailed. Still, I do think a video seen on repeat at convention to convention loses something, even if it is shown to new audiences.
  5. Likes, views, comments, and awards are a popularity trap. You will never be able to get enough of them. We should be very cautious around doing things designed solely to maximize these metrics. There lies the path to madness.

I present these answers, not as guidelines for others to follow, but merely as an explanation for my peculiarities. I do not expect everyone to follow them, but for me they are helpful guidelines for maintaining a healthy relationship to my art.


AMV: The First and Last Men

This AMV was submitted to ConnectiCon’s 2023 FMV Contest and PopCult’s 2023 AMV Contest. It made the finalists in neither. This AMV primarily concerns the Charge of the Light Brigade, based on the famous poem. It helps to have an understanding of the events, so I would recommend Hell Riders, by Terry Brighton. That said a brief perusal of Wikipedia should be sufficient.

I have been of late really interested in the Crimean War so it is no surprise I would make an AMV about it. This of course is really just an evolution of my last historical AMV. A poem makes a bit more sense for an AMV given its brevity and it is already predisposed to musical accompaniment. I searched around YouTube and went with Lawrence Harvey’s reading as it had the least flourish to it. I wanted just the poem without a lot of unnecessary additions. I then ran the audio through Adobe’s audio cleanup tool just to clean up some of the cracks and hisses.

Given the subject matter of the poem it paired very nicely with Legend of the Galactic heroes, which heavily features a lot of the themes the poem is getting at.

It is no surprise then I liked how it turned out. I especially like how the poem comes in and out in respect to the song and the sounds effects I put in at the start.

Director’s Commentary

00:00 – 00:22: I really liked how the sound effects set the stage here. I think it is a pretty cool intro. These are recordings of the Saturn V launching.

00:34: There is a real time crunch from the start to about this point. We have to establish the setting and the basic plot before we get to these vocals. The vocals will overpower the poem reading so that has to stop before, but we need to get enough of a teaser if you will so that the viewer knows what is going on.

00:34 – 01:06: This is from LOGH: Gaiden (stories adjacent to the main LOGH story). I needed some clips showing some students and Gaiden has a series set in a school (Dreams of the Morning, Songs of the Night), so that worked nicely. I wanted to humanize the spaceships you see and show where the operators had come from and what better way to do that than show a school.

01:06: Right as the vocals end I wanted to get back into the poem. The poem in a sense represents current time or that actual charge unfolding.

01:33: I wanted to include some scenes of the destruction inside the ships to show it is people operating these things. A lot of war films just concentrate on the equipment and it kind of sterilizes the event. There are a couple of clips like this throughout the piece.

03:07 – 03:27: The end of the poem is fairly jingoistic, so I wanted to contrast that with a bit of destruction. Eager readers should contrast the Tennyson work with Kipling’s follow up.

03:44 – : I am not in love with the end. When the poem is finished the whole piece kind of feels done, so it is overstaying its welcome a bit here, but I do like how it wraps up visually with a funeral.


AMV: Many Faces, One Story: The Japanese Siege of Port Arthur

You can watch the piece here. This was submitted to Rice 2023, where it was a finalist in the storytelling category, Anime Boston 2023, were it was not a finalist, and ConnectiCon 2023, were it was not a finalist.

Of all the pieces I have done, this one is probably the most unique. It took a lot of work to realize and I am very happy with how it turned out. It is heavily inspired by this AMV. I have always been pretty interested in making different kinds of AMVs and making a very historical AMV with voice acting hits a number of unique checkboxes.

If you would like to know more about the background of this war, the best one volume work would be “Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear: Russia’s War with Japan” (0304366579). It is fairly short and hits all the high points. Notably it covers the Battle of Mukden, the largest land battle before WW1 with 165,856 casualties. If you are interested in the naval aspect of the war (which includes the Battle of Tsushima, probably the most significant naval battle of the 20th century) I would recommend “The Tsar’s Last Armada” (0465057918).

If you are a visual learner The Great War channel has a good documentary on the subject, although it is pretty brief.  If you want something more cinematic check out: The Battle of Port Arthur.

Overall Commentary:

All the quotes in my AMV come from “Human Bullets: A Soldier’s Story of the Russo-Japanese War” (080329266X), you can read the full text here. Everything came from chapter 26, “The Forlorn Hope” and chapter 27, “Life Out Of Death”. The chapters I referenced are worth reading, but I would not recommend his memoir on the whole. It is fairly jingoistic interspersed with casual racism against the Chinese.

The voice work was provided by Yoshi-8301 through the service Voquent. Overall, I would have preferred the dialog be a bit quicker (and I did speed it up in a number of places), but I really do like a lot of his reads and I think it complements the visuals quite a bit. Part of my problem was I should have been more explicit about my needs upfront. I figured I would have more direct access to the voice actor prior to recording and that was not the case. Not a big deal, but I should have asked more questions. I also had him record a number of lines which I had to pare down drastically to fit the length of the video.

Finally, here is an early draft when I was trying to get the timing right, complete with occasional line flubbing.

Director’s Commentary:

00:00: Originally I started with an intro basically describing the coming battle (and you can see that in the early draft), but I dropped it so we could get right into things.

00:00 – 00:09: I wanted to be very explicit about what is going on as I knew the audience is not really going to be familiar with the setting so I added all this descriptive text here. If you have seen Golden Kamuy you may be aware of this campaign, but the Siege of Port Arthur and the Russo-Japanese war on a whole is fairly obscure. I tried a bunch of different fonts until I found this one. I like how it fills the screen.

00:09: This is one of the hills surrounding the port and it mirrors a famous photo from the time.

00:25: This scene is from a later episode covering the battle of Mukden. I was so short of clips I had to use it. Golden Kamuy does not have a ton of applicable footage for this AMV so I had to cheat when I could. An eagle eyed viewer may notice the lack of snow, but it is close enough.

00:27 – 00:40: One of the key concepts I tried to convey here was this AMV would use many faces to tell a single story. This is also why I went with such a verbose title. I had to do this since there was not enough footage to use one character to tell the story I wanted to. This is why these clips feature many different faces.

00:29 – 00:31: I color corrected the soldier here to have a more gray and washed out look to match the earlier and later scenes.

00:57: I tried to add a cannon sound here, but I never liked the various options I tried. It still feels a little empty with no sound though.

01:34 -01:37: “Great confusion and infernal butchery followed” is such a captivating line and really captures the austere style some war memoirs from this and earlier eras take.

01:49 – 01:51: I was pretty lucky to find this eye fade to black. It is one of my favorite clips.

01:54: I faded quickly into and out of a solid red here to convey a bit more violence with the bayonet stab.

01:59 – 02:01: I really like these three clips in quick succession. I went back and forth on making them black and white. Ultimately I wanted to tone down the violence just a tad here which removing the color helps achieve.

02:19 – 02:21: I flipped this scene so he is holding his right leg.

02:28 – 02:43: These scenes are color corrected to be a bit more red. I wanted to convey a bit more of a hellish atmosphere.

03:05 – 03:14: I was pretty hit up for clips here as the dialog is not literally matching the scene, so I had to be a more imaginative.

03:47 – 03:52: I really like the quietness of this ending.

03:53 – 04:02: I wanted a bit of a wrap at the ending, putting one man’s experiences into context with the larger battle as a whole. I did try adding some distant battle noise here, but it always sounded out of place.


I am very happy with how this turned out. It is pretty unique and covers an area I am very interested in. I hope it sparks people’s interest and gets them doing some reading on the subject. It was also pretty fun to work with a voice over artist, but I probably will not be doing that again given how long it can take and the cost associated with it.


AMV: I apologize to both of my sisters, I am just trying to win trophies

This AMV was shown at Anime Boston 2023 in “Hentai AMV Extravaganza!”. Originally I wanted to submit it to the regular contest under comedy, but it ended up being too risque. That was disappointing, but understandable.

Overall, I really like this one. The concept is pretty wild, but well complemented by the song which was rather hard to find. I remember this song and video doing the rounds a number of years ago, but trying to find it in 2022 when I was making this turned out to be a challenge. I knew from the get go I wanted to use this song, but I was not sure what anime I would use. I like to fully watch the shows that I edit with so I ended up watching a lot of fairly low quality shows (“Recently, My Sister Is Unusual” and “I’m in Love With My Sister”), until I ended up watching both Kiss×sis series (24 episodes total). This show has very little to offer and I would not recommend it. It did have all the footage I needed to work with though.

Director’s Commentary

00:36: I tried a couple different things in this video, like this scene where the character is mirrored across the vertical axis. It looks ok (minus the seam in middle), but was chiefly done so I could cut the other sister out.

00:49: This lighting bolt is from another scene. It was set against a black screen so I just removed the black and superimposed it on this clip.

00:54-00:57: Regarding this turtle I originally toyed with putting a flashing label underneath saying something like: “metaphor alert”. I figured I needed to explicitly make the joke for people to get it. I ended up not doing that and based on the audience reaction they understood what was going on, so it was the correct decision to remove it.

01:45 – 01:47: This is a tricky shot because the character here is talking as the camera pans up. There are a couple shots like this where I had to get a single frame with her lips closed and then match it as the camera angle changes. I like to avoid the lip flaps when I can and the work was worth it as without the flaps this scene flows better.

02:03 – 02:07: This is definitely the weakest part of the piece. I wanted to convey that his mind was elsewhere during this scene, but I never could quite get it looking right. Originally I wanted to drop in a thought bubble, but its only going to be a few seconds long so it took too long to develop. We have to move the main character out the way once we start flashing back so there is enough space to see the other clips. This does give a little awkward shadow of him early on. I lived with it since I think it is better to have than not have, but I bet a better editor could improve on it.

02:08 – 02:11: Definitely my best joke in the piece and so cheaply achieved.

02:30 – 02:31: I generally do not like to layer clips with different opacity layers over each other, but I really do like it here. The firework is also fairly sperm shaped which is an additional joke I wanted to include.

03:03 – 03:04: There is a bit of a zoom at the end here. I wanted this clip to last a second longer, but there was not enough footage to do that. I could stretch it, but I have had inconsistent results with that approach. I chose to freeze the last frame, but add some movement in with the zoom to keep it dynamic.

03:20 – 03:44: I wanted to save all this physical contact until right at the end. A gradual build up through the whole music video that pays off right at the end. A crescendo if you will. I think it hits well. It also does a great job of showing a lot of saliva, which was more frequent than you might expect in this show.

03:44: These hearts are cut out from another part in the show. I wanted them here to close things out. They look a little jagged on the edges, but it was a quick scene and its good enough for government work.

Postscript: I did want to actually end this on me looking embarrassed and being beat up with pillows, but that idea never came to fruition.


Six Years at NetNumber (or Titan.ium or Lumene)

The tradition continues as the year passes once again. I feel disinclined to break things out into a numbered list so I am just going to talk about the year in general.

On the positive side of things, I have had a number of interesting projects this year. The work to convert hard subs to soft subs and resync the anime Ketsudan has been far more work than I thought, but it will be nice to at least have a partial translation of this series. I have sent all my OCR-ed subtitles to a fansubbing group and will work with them to edit their forthcoming releases. Follow @Perevodildo to keep track .

AMV wise, I have never felt more creative. I already have made a bunch this year and I have a dozen or so other ideas slowly coming to the surface. It was also fun to do a hentai AMV this year. Retrospectives for those works will be coming soon-ish once I have completed submitting them to various conventions. I also took part in an online contest this year, where I did not win anything, but had fun.

Panel wise I did three at Connecticon 2022 last year (Guns, Titanic Media, and Star Trek Porn). I am hoping to do all three again at ConnectiCon 2023 and hopefully one or two at Arisia 2024. Doing panels has been fun, but I wish I had some more ideas on panels to do.

Convention wise, we hit all the usual conventions for the first time since 2019. It was nice to get fully back. We also went to GenCon for the first time, which was fun if a little overwhelming. I am hoping we can continue to go to different conventions.

Work wise the company I am employed at was purchased twice over, which has been financially beneficial, but has done little else. Not really much to say about work. I consider myself a mercenary for hire so I am not particularly attached to any one business or job.

On the negative side of things, not really much bad of note this year. My car had another expensive fix and it does seem that much closer to the end. I am hoping it keeps limping along though as I hate car shopping.


How To: Convert Hard Subs to Soft Subs

This is a companion piece to the video I have done here.

This is a brief tutorial on how to convert hard subs to soft subs. Hard subs are subtitles baked into a particular video release and not split out to their own subtitle file. They can be common on older releases, but are mostly unheard of today. That said, these old hard subs may be the only translation available and you may want to convert them to soft subs so they can be used in a higher quality release.

Tools of the Trade

  1. VideoSubFinder:
    • This will be used to extract all the subs from the hard sub source and compile a final subtitle file.
  2. gImageReader:
    • This will take the extracted images and convert them to text files.
  3. Aegisub:
    • This will allow you to edit the subtitle and adjust its timings

Step by Step Process

  1. Load your hard subbed video into VideoSubFinder, File -> Open Video (FFMPEG)
  2. Adjust the bar to capture all the hard subs that will come up in the video
  3. Start the search, this will take a few minutes

4. When the search is done go to the RGBImages folder: “VideoSubFinder\RGBImages”, and remove every image that does not have a subtitle in it. You will get a number of false positives. You may have luck adjusting the settings VideoSubFinder uses to find subs (under the Settings tab at the bottom), but I fiddled with them a lot and got nowhere.

5. Go to the OCR tab and click “Create Cleared TXTImages.” This will convert every image in RGBImages to a cleared image file that is just the subtitle set to a white background. This will take a few minutes.

6. Open up gImageReader and load the TXTImages directory from VideoSubFinder\TXTImages.

7. Under “Recognize all English” do “Batch mode…” to convert all images to text files.

8. You will get a number of text files with the same name of the image file in TXTImages, copy these over to VideoSubFinder\TXTResults (or figure out how to set the output directory in gImageReader).

9. Go back to VideoSubFinder and in the OCR tab click “Create Sub From TXTResults” and save the resulting subtitle file.

10. Edit the sub in NotePadd++ or use Aegisub. If you are lucky your new source will be an exact match to the old source, but if not you will have to adjust the sync in Aegisub (via Timing -> Shift Times).


AMV: Pick 199

You can watch this AMV here.

This AMV was submitted to Anime Boston 2022 (not a finalist), Connecticon 2022 (contest cancelled), and PopCult Anime Con 2022 (not a finalist).

I really like how this one turned out, despite its lack of critical success. Eyeshield 21 is a very memorable anime to me and I have used it briefly several times (see “April 15, 2019” and “I got fired...”), so it was finally time for the limelight. I am a huge Patriots fan (and by extension Tom Brady fan) so it made perfect sense to meld that fandom and Eyeshield 21. This AMV is basically a highlight video except instead of the live action highlights I just swapped them out for anime. If you are curious what it looks like without the anime you can see that here. I like how this AMV provides a good arc of Tom Brady’s career, and there are a ton of famous plays in here for the devoted Patriot fan. I do admit that its appeal is limited to anime fans who are also football fans, which is not exactly a huge pool to draw from, but I hope to please that narrow fandom.

Director’s commentary

00:00 Pretty famously Tom Brady was drafted with pick 199 (out of 254). It is cool that we have the draft video, despite the low quality. Because of contest rules against watermarks I hid the ESPN logo in the bottom right corner along with a bunch of other watermarks throughout.

00:06 I am not particularly happy with the image of Hiruma here, but I could not get a better one.

00:16 This is Robert Kraft (Patriots owner) speaking in The Brady 6 documentary.

00:24 The drum beat when Kraft pauses was entirely unintentionally. I dropped the music track in place and it lined up perfectly.

00:40 This is the score bug from Super Bowl 36. Interestingly FOX had a see through score bug at the time so I had to blacken it in parts to hide the live action footage. I wanted to carry the bug through this whole sequence, but the translucent nature of it made that very difficult so we just have it here once to set the stage.

01:47 This audio is from the Tom vs Time documentary.

01:56 As an aside Troy Brown is my favorite Patriot after Brady. This audio is from his catch in OT to beat the Dolphins in 2003. Watch the play here.

02:10 I had a lot of difficulty conveying Brady’s ACL tear in 2008. The news clippings seem the best solution, but it is awkward.

02:14 The audio switch from game audio to post game interview with Belichick is not great, but I really needed both so I lived with it.

03:08 – 03:28 The ending here is a little odd. It almost seems like two endings. I like both of them so I kept it as is.

03:18 I really like how well mixed the interview and Brady chants are. I went through a lot of chants to get the right one.

03:32 I had to hide the SI logo so I flipped the NFL logo on the right side to the left. It looks odd, but only if you notice it and I suspect most would not.

03:36 I am quite chuffed with how well I was able to integrate Hiruma’s picture into the bar at the bottom.

03:40 A bit of an inside joke at the end for the Eyeshield faithful.


AMV: Cats in Bananas

You can watch it here. Submitted to Connecticon 2022 (contest cancelled), and PopCult Anime Con 2022 (not a finalist).

This was a fun one to do. Cats (the movie) enjoyed some well deserved internet infamy at the time of its release so it was fun to revisit those pre-COVID halcyon days. Trailers are especially fun to edit since they tend to be short and relatively straightforward. It is mostly an exercise in finding clips to sync to the audio. I also used all the title and end cards so my job was made even easier. Despite all that this one languished half done for a year or so. I was only motivated to finish it after I came back from Anime Boston 2022. I am glad I did because I am quite happy with how it turned out. That said, I think the Gundam trailer is better.

Director’s Commentary

00:12 – 00:20 I had just watched this video about how one editor used multiple layers to crossfade so I tried that strategy out a few times. I think the effect is good so I will keep this tool in my toolbox going forward.

00:54-00:17 This section is the strongest I feel in the AMV. I love the scream into actor introductions and each banana cat is well suited to their actor. Of the introductions, Ian McKellen is my favorite.

01:17-01:22 This was the hardest section to work with, since it has a character rapping and then getting their hand stuck in a trap. What I have here is fine, but not amazing.

01:25 – 01:46 Things get a little aimless here. I was not sure what should go here so this area feels indistinct and unmemorable.

02:15 As you can see, graphic design is my passion. It took me an hour or two to get just this and I felt that was enough time spent.


AMV: I got fired so I watched anime, fell asleep, and woke in a new world

You can watch the video here. This was one of two submissions to Anime Boston 2022 in the other category. It was accepted as a finalist and won Best of Show. I will discuss the video here in text, but if you do not like reading you can watch a retrospective here. Credits to long time friend of the show Patrick Skehill (of Quixotic United) for his technical advice and beta testing and Chuck for holding the camera for one shot.

Ultimately, this video is the logical progression from my last live-action-AMV mix up: April 15, 2019. If you make one video with live action shots and then you cut in anime, the inverse would be to take anime and cut in live action shots.

The first thing I needed to do for this project was get a camera. I thought I would get something cheap, and while that may have worked, I figured it was good opportunity to get something decent as there may be future live action projects. This turned out to be a good call as I ended up needing some of the advanced camera features to get the green screening just right. I went with a Canon EOS M50 with a EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens. Once I got that there was a lot of work involved getting the green screen to work. I initially only had some photography lights. These were wholly insufficient. I had to get three new LED lamps. Once I got the lights, along with fiddling with the camera settings (iso:640, shutter speed: 80, and aperture 3.2) things started to look good. This took me about a month. What I found especially helpful was this video. There are a bunch of minor issues you will not notice on a close viewing, like me having the green screen light spill onto me or the LED lights reflecting in my glasses, but overall it is good enough for government work. Once I had that all sorted I could go into full production.

I pretty early on wanted to start the video with me being fired and then drowning my sorrows by watching anime. As an aside, I was not actually fired in real life as some people have asked. I had actually hoped for a much longer intro referencing the previous video, but I only had so much time I could dedicate to just live action so I had to trim it down to the bones. I was allowed a maximum of five minutes or 300 seconds. Since 75% has to be anime that leaves only 75 seconds worth of live action. Initially I thought I would get transported into just one anime (tentatively Bubblegum Crisis), but in doing some initial poking around I figured this would be very difficult. It can be easy to find a few scenes that work in any anime, but I was going to have an uphill battle to find four minutes worth of scenes that worked in one anime. Especially in a short OVA series like Bubblegum Crisis. It is also a rather niche series at the moment. I suppose it is my MO to use old anime, but I did want to have a wide selection of anime so that there was something for everyone to enjoy. Likely though that is still just going to be people who like anime from before the 2000s. This ultimately is why I went with the current framework of jumping from anime to anime.

Production wise I would split my work up over days. I knew I had plenty of time (since I started in April 2021) so I never killed myself working like I did with April 15th. Ultimately this project was much less demanding man-hour wise. One day I would spend an hour or two finding anime clips and building up my live action shot list. Then the next day I would record and bring the clips into my editor (Adobe Premiere) to arrange them and then into After Effects to key the green screen out. This took a couple months on and off, but progress was pretty steady. There were a couple action shots that were hard to get the angle right on and some shots I had difficulty keeping myself in frame, but for the most part it was pretty smooth sailing. I would say overall the shooting took a few months to complete, but again I was never working on it every waking day like I did with April 15th.

Interestingly I did most of the video before I had the music picked out. I would just put completed shots in a rough order. It was only when I brought the music in that I could hit the beats by trimming or lengthening certain scenes. For the music I wanted something retro-like. Something like it sounded from the 80s. I first thought I wanted an exactly four minute song: one minute of live action (or so) and four minutes of anime set to music. It was a late revelation that I could cut the song early. I am not particularly musically inclined, but Gloria by The Midnight fits the bill nicely.

A quick note on the title, I had wanted: “I got fired so I watched anime, fell asleep, and woke up in a new world”, but Anime Boston has a 70 character limit on titles, so I had to go with the current title which is not perfect, but comes in at 68 characters.

Overall, I am very happy on how things turned out. This project lacks the emotional connection April 15 does, and it is not the most logically consistent, but it is fun and unique. I do hope it inspires others to create live action and anime mixups. That said, I think this is the end of the live-action-AMVs for me. I am not sure what more can be done. I do have other AMV ideas though.