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AMKestrel

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Panel writeups for Fanime 2008
« on: May 29, 2008, 02:30:21 PM »

Since I was reporting on several of the panels for the FanimeCon Reporter (the newsletters that you see out at each of the info desks each day at the con, and which are available online at
http://www.fanime.com/about/downloadable-flyers
I thought it might be helpful for people who weren't able to attend the panels I was reporting to be able to read my notes.  I apologize in advance for any errors that exist; I was trying to type as quickly as possible to keep up with the flow of the speakers, and did not always have a chance to verify proper spelling of names, etc.  But hopefully it will at least give you somewhat of an idea of what transpired in these panels.  ^_^;
« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 03:25:06 PM by AMKestrel »
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AMKestrel

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Fanime 2008 opening ceremonies
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 02:32:03 PM »

Here's my notes from the FanimeCon 2008 opening ceremonies.



2008.05.23 Fanime Opening Ceremonies

Welcome to FanimeCon 2008, and thanks to [...name...] Taiko for performing for us!

Will and the other co-chairs come up on stage and welcome everyone to the con.

Thanks to everyone for coming and helping make this con a huge success!

Thanks to Julia, head of extravaganzas, who heads up opening ceremonies, cosplay, musicfest, tonight is local bands, tomorrow is cosplay, An Cafe will be here on Sunday!  Maid Cafe will start tommorrow, we have tons of stuff planned for you this weekend!

Khaos comes up to talk about Con Safety; how to stay alive and safe.
Milton is in charge of marketing for the convention.
Anyone else want to come up?  Ebner comes up on stage and rallies the crowd a bit.

Thanks again to Matt for procuring the facility for us, stay safe, and read the weapons policy!

Scott comes up and stalls for a while until the guests can come up on stage.

Ric brings assistants this time around, one for each side.  :D

Maika Netsu, new mangaka is introduced.

Jonathan Osborne is back for his 8th year and looking to have lots of fun with everyone this year!  He'll be hosting the voice acting  panel, the "whose line is it anyway" panel, the "How to Blame Ebner" panel.  This is his 8th year,  and it sure is good to be back!

Gilles Poitras is back doing Japanese culture panel, and tomorrow anime for parents! Also will be doing "older titles for newer fans!"

Dan Southworth, this is his first time, it looks  to be a lot of fun!

Richard Waugh, also his first time at a convention.

GAINAX is here again with us this year! Hiroyuki Yamaga, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Masahiko Otsuka
Sadamoto-san , five years since he was last here, it's much bigger and much more fun!

Otsuka-san, first time attending FanimeCon, hopes to have lots and lots of fun!!

Hiroyuki Yamaga-san, he's back again to highlight the release of Gurren Lagann with his fans!
Last year he showed one episode of Gurenn Lagann, wished he could have had them here to see the welcome it got, so he's brought them with him this year--please welcome the entire staff of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann!

They're only here in the evenings, meet them in Ballroom B, the GAINAX room for their panels; We also have Friday 6-8pm Meet the Guest  and Sunday night 6-8 with Gainax. Both sessions are in the Gold room in the Fairmont Hotel.

Some important reminders for all attendees:
Read the code of conduct!
Bathe!
All weapons need to be peace bonded!
Don't sleep in the viewing rooms!

Next we have the presentation of the Yamaga-san award  as a long-time friend of Fanime!

Enjoy the con, and we'll see you again at the closing ceremonies, which will be Monday 4-5 in the Main Video room.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 03:27:50 PM by AMKestrel »
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AMKestrel

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2008.05.23 Day in the Life of GAINAX panel notes
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 03:01:45 PM »

Here's my notes from the "Day in the Life of GAINAX" panel.


2008.05.23 Day in the Life of Gainax

Introductions--they go down the table  and introduce the panel members; the only names I caught were:
Otsuka-san, Takahata-san, Akai-san, Yamaga-san

Will start with a video; made it during the company's 20th anniversary; it shows  the history of Gainax, through each of the productions they have been a part of.

Showed some works, but couldn't show the new stuff like Gurenn Lagann; showed some of the stuff Gainax did before becoming an official company.

What is Gainax?  Gainax is an animation company!

Well, they do animation as well as some live action.
Describing a day in the life of the company is a bit challenging.  A typical day will involve doing anime production, certainly, but they are also involved in other projects.  A new TV animation coming out in fall, and they're working on a theatrical Gurren Lagann release.

If you have questions about what a typical day in the life of Gainax is like, please feel free to ask them.

Q. What is the typical timespan between a series first being worked on to first live date?
Usually 3 or 4 projects in progress; usually takes about 5 years from first conception to release.  If they waited to finish one project before starting the next, they'd have five years between releases; by having three or four in the works, they stay constantly busy.

Those who know Gainax from a long time ago, know that now they're putting out more anime; the simultaneous planning of multiple projects allows them to put out more, and keeps the different teams more consistently busy.

Yamaga-san was just in England before Fanime,  working on a new project, with no idea on when that may be coming out.

Q: Is a series completed before it goes to air?  There are rumours that Gurren Lagann changed directors partway through, and changed styles.

For TV series, before it airs, try to make as many episodes as possible to buy time.  With Gurren Lagann, had seven episodes in stock, after that was a game of catch up for the animators to try to keep ahead of the airing schedule.

Midway through, the story changes completely, it was planned that way originally, not due simply to any staff change.

Q: Do you ever play practical jokes on each other in the office, and if so, what kind?

They're all so buddy buddy, nothing like that *ever* happens.  :D  Takeda-san likes that type of environment, but everyone's so serious!    Yamaga-san asks what types of jokes Takeda-san would play?  Maybe, run around the office naked?

Q: How do they go about deciding if they're going to do a sequel, given the 5-10 year turnaround schedule for a typical release?

Some sequels are planned partway through the original series; others, like Gunbuster, come about much, much later.

For some series, the plan for a sequel is already in place as the first series is being worked on, and the new series can be worked on by same crew.

For other sequels that are planned after the first series has finished, it can be almost like starting a whole new project, though parts of the process are much shorter.

With a sequel, you already know the framework for the series, you know the characters, the plot, genre, etc. which trims a year or two off the cycle.

Q: When you create a new series, what comes first? characters, the setting/world, plot, genre, or something else?

It depends; if it's a series based on their original work, vs a series on a work that already exists as a manga for example.  For their own original series, they come up with a  theme first.

Usually when they come up with a theme, they'll  start brainstorming on the theme first; like *why* do they want to go into space?  What's the issue, what are the characters dealing with, and who are the characters?

The most important point when brainstorming is to pinpoint something interesting, so they don't spend all day brainstorming.  That's where the big thought process starts from.

Q: there is a lot of fan speculation about the Gurren Lagann movie; will it be a retelling of the story, will it be new material/footage?  What is the nature of the movie?

Some of the footage will retell the story a bit.  There will be two movies, actually!  26 episodes is pretty ridiculous to try to fit into one movie, will split into two movies.  In all the original footage, will be some new material!

He likes to drink rum, definitely; if you want to know more, buying him a good round of rum is an excellent way to start.  ;)

Q: Where did Yamaga-san buy the shirt?  Oh, the Kuma-san! shirt.  The animal is a bear, he bought it in Hokkaido, where they are known for their bears, from a street vendor there.

Q: couldn't hear the question.  something about internet furor.  Ah, seems to be about Sadamoto-san leaving.

He left many times; which leaving incident? The most recent one, actually.

Seven or 8 years ago, maybe ten, right before Evangelion; was working as producer for planning and everything; once they decided to do it, he figured his work was done, and bailed out.  After that, he made his own company, but it failed, so he came back.

Most recent time he left, during Gurren Lagann; online a lot of people started badmouthing him, so he resigned as producer and as board member.  What changed after that, was that you stopped seeing his name on the opening credits, but his job was largely the same.  Resigning as a  producer really doesn't mean anything.  :)

Q: what is the personal favorite project they have worked on?

Yamaga-san gets that question a lot; he doesn't know about the others, but while he's working on it, it's his most favorite series; he doesn't care as much about Gurren Lagann anymore.  Hey, that's still a problem, because they're still working on it!  Oh, he's working on a new secret project now.

Yamaga-san said he loves it while he's working on it; next down, when he's done, he doesn't even want to look at it anymore; that's more because he's embarrassed about the series and the errors in it; watching the DVD at the opening was like torture for him.

Gurren Lagann, newest series, he still likes it a lot now, so please everyone watch it!

Next one has so many favorites, it's hard to pick; in the past, he was able to pick just one.  As Yamaga-san mentioned about the new project, they've been working on it for a while, and that's his favorite now.  Also working on theatrical Gurren Lagann, and that's important too.  But in my mind, 2/3 of his day is about the new project they're working on.

Like Akai, the bad stuff comes in torturous waves; he just gets it when it's done.  He has a lot of fun, it's like climbing a mountain; huge amount of work in the process, but fun once you get to the top.

Last one; a project he worked on in the past he still watches a lot.  While working on a project, he can't watch it as a customer; he has to go back years later to see it, at which point he's usually very impressed.  This wan't the greatest biggest hit, but Puchi Purie Yucie was his favorite!

Q: Huge Evangelion fan; when they were doing the rebuild movies, he bought them all; when did they decide to re-do them?  Was it recent, or a long time ago?

It was pretty much when Ano was still making the original series.  It was after that, Ano made his own movies and live action movies, and gained more experience as a director.  About three years ago, heard that Ano-san wanted to revist Evangelion, and create a new work from it.  That was when Ano-san was able to finally make an Evangelion that fit his vision of it.

Q: How does Gainax decide on what their new projects will be--is it Yamaga-san picking the projects himself, or does the whole team get together to make the decision?

He would never say "we're doing this project!" well, other than on Wings of Honneamise; isn't saying he won't ever do it, but will
be rare. maybe once every 20 years or so.

Sometimes he'll do it, for little things, he'll  take the lead, and just crank them through.  He only does that as president when necessary.  That's not really the GAINAX style.  At GAINAX, someone will suggest an idea, and then others will decide to get on board and join in the project.

Q: Wings of Honneamise stands out among Gainax works; are there any plans to return to a  work in that style again?

When they create an anime, there's many different people who work on it; among those, they tend to pull out the best style from the team members.  He's not sure of what style he likes; it was a style he took 20 years ago, when he worked on the project; he might end up going back to it in the future, but it isn't something he specifically plans for.

Q: In the past 20 years of his working with the fans, is there a time that stands out when fans were very netagive about something he had done?

In his house, at the door, right after Evangelion was done, someone wrote DIE on his door; that was pretty negative.

Akai remembers when there's a lot of people bashing Gainax, a lot of it comes from the internet, of course.  He remembers one that someone wrote that Anno-san stole Evangelion from a story he wrote on his high-school desk.  They always get bashed over *something* so it can be hard to pinpoint.

There's a lot of cases to remember; they get upset at the time, but then they tend to forget it afterwards; badmouthing is OK, it's better than people not saying anything at all about their work.

Yamaga-san never heard any badmouthing about Gainax.  He was wondering why he felt this way; after he finishes a project, he stops worrying or caring about it, so badmouthing doesn't really affect him on series he's done.  He gets lots of personal badmouthing, but not so much about Gainax itself.

Q: What is his view on fansubbing?

Yamaga-san answers this every year, it seems.  It's common sense; there are companies in the US who pay money to release the series, so he can't say it's a good thing to not pay for their work.  But personally, looking at it objectively; fansubs are a driving force why japanese animation is so popular here; getting  japanese animation on TV here is a challenge.  But as a company president
it really is something he can't support.
Please don't ask any more.  ^_^;
Especially since Bandai Entertainment is here; they worked very hard to get Gurren Lagann on TV here, so don't mention what we talked about here.

Q: How is animation industry in Japan different from how it was five years ago, and what do you see as the likely changes in the future?

Biggest difference from 5 and 10 years ago is the number of titles being released every year.  For example, 10 years, in one year, there were maybe 100 new titles.  The numbers will probably decrease over time; but there's probably 80 new ones that will come out.  How much more lively animation studios are now is another change he has seen.  Years ago, if you wanted to make a tile into
an anime, there weren't as many companies that could do that as there are now.  Back in the day, it was a lot more...well, animation companies would be hired by large companies as outsourcing. Now, production companies are taking the initiative to produce their own anime.  Now, smaller companies can have an idea and grow it themselves.   That's how the animation industry was created from that groundwork.  Because of that, other problems can occur from the newer style.  With more titles, anime DVD sales have dropped.
Years ago, if you could sell 20,000 to 30,000, that was a hit; big hits sold more, of course.  Before, you could get a hit from selling just 10,000 copies. Now, titles are selling from 8,000 to 1,000;  The lowest sales figure was only 200.

If you only sell 200, would be cheaper to just burn it yourself and sell it at comiket.

This is a big problem, and they do think about it a lot.

Animation in weaker companies will die, the number of products will decrease, and that's the current direction things are moving in.

Q: But why are there so many more titles  now than 10 years ago?  Are there more channels, or is anime taking up more time slots?

Because animation became profitable.  It was profitable in the past; but because it's become more and more profitable, more people rushed in to make and sell the product.  Because there's so many titles, fans are being picky, they can't afford them all. A typical fan will buy the title they really like, the other ones they'll get off the internet, download to their hard drive and watch them later.

Q: There are several new series beyond the original manga now being released; how much is Gainax still involved in those other spin off series; does Sadamoto-san still read the character info, etc.?

Up until just the planning stages, they're involved, but once it comes to the real work, they aren't as involved.  With other cases, they'll come up at different points in the project, did he have a particular case?
Yes, Evangelion girlfriend, and Evangelion gakuen, is Gainax involved with those?
Cold-steel girlfriend, worked with them on the computer game, then the game became the manga.
The gakuen, is that the SD characters?
No, that was something Kadokawa came up with on their own.  Kadokawa came up with it, brought it to them to get confirmation on it, that was the extent of their involvement with it.

Q: when brainstorming on what projects to enter into, how much does the foreign market enter into the decision process?

Currently, there's no foreign influence at all on their decisions, at least at Gainax, other companies may be different.

Q: have they been approached by foreigners and asked to put stories into anime before?

Not only are there foreigners who bring in projects, but they haven't done any yet; most projects start from inside the
company.  There are other companies who have foreigners who bring in projects, but many of them don't do well.

From planning stage to coming out, takes 3-5 years, so when people bring in proposals, people have unrealistic expectations on when it can air.

Q: What was the favorite series that they didn't work on that wasn't a Gainax series.

From far left side: He's only been at Gainax since Eva, but he really like Wings of Honneamise. He also loves Ghibli material!

Next, can't think of anything outside of Gainax other than Ghibli, and he doesn't really like their work. He cosplay'd as Porco Rosso and as Catbus, though.

Next to Yamaga-san, he likes wanpaku ooji? Toei animation film, 1963, 8 headed dragon fighting a boy. [ah, it's Wanpaku Ooji no
Orochi Taiji]

Yamaga-san, he likes a much newer animation, "Road to Munich", about a volleyball team who works hard to go to the Olympics.
He has another one (the other is a documentary made into an anime).  Ketsudan, (Judgement?), also a documentary made
into an anime, about the Pacific war, released in a box set recently.  A different story every time; main character makes a decision about the war, but Japan still loses the war.  Many decisions made by the character, but the final outcome doesn't  change.  He thinks the Japanese like stories  about weaker armies for some reason.

Q: Introductory scene to Gurren Lagann didn't seem to fit with the rest of the story; can you explain about that?

The very beginning of the first episode; they get asked about that a lot.  It was supposed to happen like that in the original story, actually.  Just think of it as a scene that predicts what happens, rather than what actually happens.

Scene was to show what to expect of a boy who eventually makes it into space, in essence.

Q: About the road to Munich, documentary, that's about the 1972 Olympics?   Yes, it was about the 72 Olympics.

Q: The English project...?

A: Actually, the new project that Takeda san and Yamga-san is working on is unrelated to the English project.  The England project isn't set in England or anything like that.  There will be a character who is a rock musician from  England, so they went to figure out where and what his home town would be like.

Staff was saying it woudl be nice if they could go to England, and get a clear picture of what England  is like; they didn't think they could go, but then Yamaga-san said sure, why not.

So the new project is unrelated, so for research they went to Egypt, so maybe they'll include something about Egypt it it.  a sporting event in new project, it just happened to have an event in Egypt.

Which sport is a secret still, though!

Q: is going to other countries for reserach common?  If so, what other countries have they done research in?

When they were kids, Miyazaki, and Takahata, big shots today when they were in their 30s, they went to foreign countries to research.  When they started in the anime business, they dreamed of being able to do things like that.  But when they first started, they had no money, so they couldn't just go to foreign countries.  Working on anime is working at your desk drawing; but to make it realistic, you need to visit other countries, and see the world to really make it come  to life.

So recently, even if they are short on money, they would cut back on other areas, because they realizedhow important it is to see the atmosphere and how people think, and what the different foods are like; to go outside and get that view of the world.

In the English-related project; there are fields in England that came up in the script; it's part of one of the character's cherished childhood memories, so they decided to go.  Since it'll come up in the anime as a childhood memory, they wouldn't really be able to depict nostalgia and the feelings without actually seeing it for real.

when he was in England, watching in the countryside, he could feel the character come alive, it was like he was alive and there with him.

Going with the director and character designer, they were able to decide whether the character would like  or not like various scenery.

Went to somewhere for Honneamise, they actually went to see that.  The most straightforward example, and Yamaga-san couldn't remember it.  :D  Went to see a shuttle launch.

In that research, art director wasn't decided on yet, so he couldn't learn from the visit; next time around, they'd try to capture the mood as a whole, whether the art director is decided or not; you get technical, but not the atmosphere.

Q: was the research trip ever completely opposite what they expected going in?

Abenobashi, though set in Osaka, not really a foreign place; went to check out the town; but the old town atmosphere was being crushed, so they saw a different Osaka from what they wanted to see; they ended up  depicting that in the story.

Q: Do they attend similar conventions in Japan, as they are one of the pre-eminent studios in Japan?

There's nothing like Fanime in Japan.  The only things close to it are Comiket, and the Tokyo International Animation Fair.  Because he [Yamaga-san] feels Fanime is so unique and special, he brought his whole team with him this year to experience it with him.



« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 03:54:01 PM by AMKestrel »
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AMKestrel

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2008.05.23 Twilight Knights Weapons panel notes
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 03:24:10 PM »


Here's my writeup of the Twilight Knights weapons panel from Friday.


2008.05.23 Twilight Knights Weapons panel

They'll cover good advice on how to approach choosing the right weapon; but first, some introductions of their group:

Elise: long sword, archery,
Gareth: new member, southern chapter in San Diego; Long sword specialist
Kyle: new long sword specialist
Mike: cutlass, long sword, monkey katana, just not a bow
Grahm: Sargent, saber, rapier, archery,
John: assistant director of San Diego, war style katana, paired swords, rapier
JP: personal squire, sword and shield specialist
Karl: oldest, sneakiest, sword, shield, archery, and spear and short sword
Otter: one weapon, 5 foot, 15 foot pike/axe, halberd specialist
Tom: new member, long sword,

Tomorrow, 1pm, will be on stage zero with real weapons.  There will be a variety of weapons engaging with fighting quality steel.
An actual 300 fold katana, a pole axe, halbard, 15 lb broadsword, 50 pound bow, etc.

There will be two katana workshops and one dagger workshop.  You will need to sign up ahead of time, with lots of waivers, and two tai chi sessions in demo area in exhibit hall 1, artists alley, that's 10am.  This you do not need to sign up for; join in any time.

Graham, sargent has panel rating slips.  They fought long and heard to get in to the convention.  Wanted to get knowledge out about real weapon handling, vs what you see in movies and on TV.

Please take a ratings slip. let them know what you like what you don't like.  Can also sign up, come to some practices, check them out, etc.  The main goal of the group is to educate.

Anyone seen Braveheart?  Yeah.  Not too bad, but still, it's a movie.  In the movies, you can make any weapon out of whatever material you want.  In "the name of the king", they were waving spun sugar swords that weighed 0.4 lbs.  You can do amazing things with unreal materials.

Real materials are heavy, bulky, and awkward.

Not a lot of anime have axes in them; even the european anime don't show axes much.

If you go past the pretend portion, how do you find what's right for you?  What's right for your character, vs what's right for you?

How do you find what style is right for you?  Be honest with yourself.  5', 100lbs, a two handed claymore is probably not the right weapon.

Winning makes you look cool, not the size or type of your weapon.

Three katanas isn't three times as good as one in battle.

Find weapon that's right for your body type and your age.

It's not about looking cool or tough, it's about being competent.  Too many people want to look cool rather than be right.  Their goal is to be right, not cool.

Winning is what looks cool, not weapon or style.

Thirdly, choose right weapon for what you want to do.  What period, what type of combat, etc.

1-2 live stage show, 2-3 demo area for full-on QA session.

Questions please?
Can chain flails with blade be used for real?
Yes, that's the japanese version of a whip with a ball or spike.  They're usable, they take a lot of practice, and you want to practice with a helmet!  You can wrap it around opponent's weapon or shield.

What type of metal does he prefer? 
300-fold steel katana.
What about inexpensive? 
If you're really going to use it, black annodized steel, 180 fold, $150. Rapier, same thing, 2 lbs.  War-hammer, don't care, he'll just bash it, just simple wrought steel.  Bow is oak and rosewood.  You buy what you can afford and what you're going to use.

When you're learning, don't go with expensive gear, you're likely to break it.

How much would various armour weigh?
Carl, SCA, padded leather, chain mail, to full plate armour, which was 75-80lbs.  The challenge there is stamina, and getting the armour sized to fit your body, you want the weight distributed and you don't want it chafing the wrong places.

You want the armour sized to you; if it's set up properly, it's flexible for you; you can touch your toes and jog in it.

Also choose the right armour for your setting;

Twilight Knights started 10 years ago, he was out of the military, a bunch of kids wanted to learn more.  They started to go to Ren Faires, fought other guilds, and kept winning.  Why does that style of teaching work better, when other guilds die out after a year or two; LARB, AMPGARD, other organizations fade in and out.  Twilight Knights focus on education more than reenactment.

He's combining eastern though with european fighting; let people know it's fun, it's authentic, it's fun, it's doable, and the girls have an easier time, they don't have to be unmachoed first.

The time and place for the dagger and the katana workshops isn't easy to find.  Saturday/Sunday, demo area, 10-11, doing Tai Chi.  Sat, from 1-2 is live steel demo on stage zero.  From 2-4, demo area is QA session.  From 5-7 is Saturday katana workshop in demo area

Sunday, 10-11, Tai Chi again 12-3, dagger workshop, demo area 4-6, last katana workshop, also in the demo area will use boffer practice weapons, will sell them off on Monday from 11-2.

Demo area is exhibit hall 1, artists alley demo area.

Go into artists alley, first booth to the left, sign up there tomorrow morning, 11am.

This is a new program for Fanime, we'll see how well it works out.  If it works, we'll add new workshops and programs.

For Tai Chi, wear loose pants you can move in, comfortable shoes, or bare foot.  Wear a supportive top for females.

What is involved in the training?  There are rules, regulations, and code of conduct.  The code of conduct is the toughest part.

You start with long sword, you learn the basic moves, the blocks, some attacks; you will learn tai chi, katana, these are done with live steel, you also learn close order drills, for discipline, teamwork, to make it clear you are team.  They will sometimes have boffer battles with 30 on 30 battles, so close combat is necessary.

Will do at least 3 Ren Faires a year, and are the hand-to-hand combat teachers for San Jose Musical Theatre.  San Jose and San Diego currently.

Do they work with archery as well?  Not at conventions, but usually Sunday 12-3, black mountain bowman's range at Santa Teresa park.  Will test eyesight, pull, and will make some recommendations.  Archery is an expensive sport to get into.  Can do compound, recurve, or longbow; only longbow is right for Ren Faire.

Costs you nothing to come to classes, you pay for your lessons by working at conventions.

Nobody in the class is currently ready for jousting.  It's expensive, painful, and hard to find a good horse that will work with you.

To go through American Jousting Alliance, it'll be 3,000 dollars to start.

For an actual Ren Faire, the lance is about 8-12 lbs.  For competition, and to do competition bouts, will use about 25 pound lances.  If you're doing chivalry games, you can use different lances; the lancer lances are overlong spears, about 15 lbs.

Holding a 15 lb lance on a charging horse has more force than throwing a 25 pound javelin.

No experience with katars and other more unusual weapons; most of them are really hard to get authentic ones here in the US.

Why were throwing stars vetoed?  Too dangerous.

What about cross-weapon training, do they do it?  Yes, every practice; it keeps you sharp.

Scythes are weighted very badly for wielding, would not make a very effective weapon in actual combat.

Is it very difficult to use dual weapons?  The short, sharp learning curve where you hit yourself repeatedly is the toughest part to get over; but once you get past that, it's not that much different from a single weapon.

Anything and a shield is still considered dual weapon, and it is *not* easy to do!

There will be various different shapes and styles of shields, depending on how big you are, and whether you're mounted, or infantry, or doing close combat; like anything else, it should be chosen for the style of combat you'll be engaging.

On average, how long does it take for new members to get proficient with a new weapon?  Basic proficiency,  practicing on your own, 4 months to get to first level.

What about monkey style katana; worked out really well.

Can long swords be dual-wielded?  Yes, John wins many tournaments doing that.  Depends on the person and the situation.

How viable is a swallow--a staff with blades on each end?  It can be used as both a staff and a spear, and a lance if you're really desperate.

They use chennai for testing and tournaments, they use live steel for classes, demos, etc.  For katanas, they use live steel, have to get used to the weapon.

Three seconds for death shot in average tournament; not for points, just who can get first fatal blood.  If it takes more than a minute it's too long, one will wear out.

Have you fought with sickles?  Yes, hated them.  They were used because peasants had them; they're very limited, thinner, not made of good steel, so not a very good weapon.

Weak wrists work well with a poleax, that's the hips doing most of the work.  Spear, pike, javelin, poleax, or battleax don't use much wrist.

Fastest bouts can be over in half a second; many duels are to first touch, so rapier touch to the toe would count.

What is a good fighting style for a 5' 100lb person?  much of it depends on strength. your best weapon is your head; belief, force of will, force of personality; those make the biggest difference

blocking arrow with shield works well; blocking with a sword, not very practical, and very risky.

Fill out review sheets, there are sign up sheets,

If you email him, put "twilight knights" in the subject line!

That was Benjamin, thanks for coming!

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2008.05.24 Broccoli Industry Panel notes
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008, 04:20:09 PM »

Here's my notes for the 2008.05.24 Broccoli panel.

2008.05.24 Broccoli Panel with Jonathan Kung, Marketing Coordinator

Will cover new releases; no new announcements
Koi Cupid
Disgaea
CosMode USA
Niu!
Sola

Koi Cupid will be released this week; well, except binding had issue, will hit bookstores in two weeks.  Starts as short stories, but turns out to be about cupids in training; each one starts out in kindergarten, then they select a focus, and go into more specialized training; very young shojou series; same artist as Tokyo Mew Mew.  Good series, first book has a bit of development, most of it is about the characters.  Serialized in ComiDigiPlus, still ongoing, three volumes so far, don't know when it'll stop.

Second week of June, Disgaea volume 2, took forever to get translation approved by NIS, even though Disgaea 3 is coming out end of this year.

Shizuki, director of operations, normally does these panels; she was supposed to come up, but working on CosMode USA, supposed to be released; based off CosMode Japan, full pictures, words don't fit well.  About 20% american content, with profiles of photographers as well as fans.  Hardcover book, about 200 pages, also $19.99.  Also translated how-to pages; don't be rude, use appropriate lighting, etc.  It'll be a series, but not a regular, it'll be done every few months; CosMode 34 in Japan is where they're starting.

Also in AX, July 1, Sola, vol 1, will release the manga; 2 volumes, based off the Solar project, it's hard to explain.  Matsuri, she can't walk into sunlight; she eats like a normal person, but she doesn't drink blood.  He meets Matsuri who can't see the daytime sky.  The manga has a lot more etchiness compared to anime, but still a good story.

Nui!, same artist as "plus anima"; girl who loves stuffed animals, love them some much they come to life like velveteen rabbit.  She can animate her stuffed animals, they walk and talk; if she loves them enough, if she's in  a pinch, they turn into teenaged bishounen, and
help protect her.  Kids oriented, no kinky stuff, only 3 volumes long.  Aiming for first week of August.
Female, about games, a mix of everything, 3 volumes, it's good.

That's it for new titles.

Devil Princess volume 3 coming out in August.

Galaxy Angel volume 4 in November, just got the book.

NIS takes extra time on their double-checking

Can't talk  about any other projects in the works.

When will work start on Pandora Hearts?  They're working on it.

Boys Love line?  No web updates.  Cigarette Kisses is actually Kuchibiru no Yukue, not quite a translation to "Cigarette Kisses"

Sex Friend should be coming out soon.  Unlike igarette Kisses, that really is the english on the original manga, so that's what they stuck, even though they were originally told it was just S.F. which they figured would be fine.

Galaxy Angel party 3, conversations about it, it's on indefinite hiatus.  They have the material for #3, but haven't moved ahead on it; there isn't enough audience for it to do a full-sized print run.  Would be good to finish out the cycle.

Same for leave it to Piyoko.  Dennis Portugal did layout designs, he feels awful for doing all the work, and not have it come out.  He manually cleaned out the SFX to put in the English, he really wants to see it come out if at all possible.

Bandai Visual becoming Bandai Entertainment; not sure who can do .anime; hopefully can keep Brocoli books on it, otherwise, a new online store for shipping it out.

AnimeGamers, the retail store, closed; the website should have gone away, they stopped paying for it; it should have gone away, but they won't take it down.  It's like a dead memorial now, stuck in limbo.

What about fansubbing?  Is it something that people still do?  Yes, though it seems to depend on how well the companies are about getting the shows out.

but what about announcing licenses; announce it as soon as possible, even if won't be out for years, to stop fansubs.

SynchPoint is pretty much dead; FLCL ultimate edition was the last of the DVD releases.

Either do it quick, like Gurren Lagann, or like MediaBlaster, with subs only.

RightStuf owns--they are very good about following up on licenses.

Wish they could finish up Tenshi ni Narumon, for example.

Do we prefer box sets or individuals?  Most do individual, with art box at end,

Do online trailers, etc.  A lot of people watch fansubs.

2 disc bundle model, or half season works out well.
Half season is more affordable in the long run, but it's a bit more of a hit up front.

Bandai is getting better pricing, at least.

Manga; quick licenses would be good. But double-checking the text would be really good.
Daigo comes out quick, but it's messy.  The scanlators can get a chapter up online in decent format quickly; but getting printing
right is challenge.
They have preview PDFs on the website. Most people would really like to see the final version be *correct*, rather than fast!
Would like to create really good quality books, and it's very expensive.
Some people like the computer formats a bit more because space is at a premium now.  (no more bookshelf space!)

When you spend money on the product, you want it to be something you keep, unlike in Japan, where manga is almost disposable.

Anime fans tend to be time sensitive about releases; manga, not so much, because even in Japan, it takes a while for the next book to come out.

Asks about Japanese Manga; he does have some favorites; what do we think should be done?  They do make bids, but they'll take a careful look at the bidding process.

Daigo is licensed by Viz, already over; did one printing of it, hard to find it. 
Toshokkan Sensho (Lala), and (Dengeki Daioh) ShinaDark?  In Dengeki Daioh.
Couldn't get Zetsubo Sensei.

Viz got 20th century boys
Angel Densetsu?

Hajime no Ippo...too long, fighting spirit, a publisher isn't likely to pick it up. They're on volume 72.

Viz picked up Oishimbo alacarte.

Tokyopop is letting the Slayers license slide too.

Will Broccoli do more novels?  Disgaea novel planned, but state is unknown.  Cheaper to do novels than manga, no layout work.

Two lucky star novels, for example; could do some cross promotional selling for example on them.

Detroit Metal City (DMC)?  About a rock band that rocks, there's a lot of violence and cussing, it's really popular in Japan; were giving out posters at SakuraCon.

Maika Netsu is here, and is doing autographs today and Monday at 10pm.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 04:32:16 PM by AMKestrel »
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2008.05.24 Dark Horse Panel Notes
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2008, 04:28:09 PM »


2008.05.24 Dark Horse industry panel notes

May 2008 is the 20th anniversary of Dark Horse; Godzilla was first volume.  Also doing longest-running English language manga, Ah Megami Sama, and the Blade of the Immortal, second longest.

Yoshitaka Amano did a special logo for Dark Horse; will be available as a limited edition print on Japanese mulberry paper. they'll use it as their imprint for this year, and the poster at SDCC.

Previews of Manga that will be coming out in coming months, including the re-release of CLAMP's Clover.  Released in Japan in 4 volume series; will do an omnibus edition with all four volumes bound together.

Special forces agent to deliver a girl,  doesn't know why she's been hidden away, but has all the CLAMP trademark emotion and action.

Dark Horse would like to be a real publisher, doing simultaneous release with CLAMP on their new project.  This will be the first time
that a CLAMP work will be available in English in the US at the same time (or even slightly before) it is available in Japanese in Japan, so please buy it when it comes out, and no fair scanning it and translating it into Japanese for the Japanese downloaders!  The only way the creators get compensated and know people like their books is by buying the books.  Dark Horse is fourth in US, only 80 volumes a year, but would definitely like to start taking on a larger role.

Some more previews being passed around: Blood Plus, volume 3, many revelations, and volume 7 of Kurasaki delivery service. Gantz, and Ghosttalkers Daydream.

They generally don't have any new announcements; will do a Mangetsu (monthly manga), 4 20 page weekly chapters.

[at this point Kestrel is summoned out to start  doing emergency print runs of additional schedules, as we have hit the 10,000 attendee point and have run out of the inital 10,000 printed copies of the schedule we made.  No additional notes from this panel were taken, and no additional panels were able to be attended on Saturday, as the print run took six hours to complete.]
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2008.05.25 Hidenoubu Kiuchi fan appreciation panel notes
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2008, 04:41:23 PM »

2008.05.25 Hidenobu Kiuchi Fan Appreciation Panel Notes

Shifts to more informal mode of discussion, with the chairs arranged in a circle around him.  First order of business is to get the Wii signed for the auction today; once that is out of the way, the first fan shrieks out an impassioned "I love you!" to him.

Q: with all the crazy costumes, whose idea was it to dress up like that?
That was his stylist, who came up with it, not so much his, he just went with it.

For the megane section, that was all his idea, though; he did the choreography, saw how well they connected, the clothing, was all his as well.

Q: How much theatre work does he still do?
He did it for ten years, but he doesn't do it anymore.

Q: what character that he voiced does he relate to the most?
None of them are really like him much; maybe a little piece here and there,

Q: If you could voice an animal, what animal would it be?
A: he barks for the crowd, then notes he's done crows, dogs, cats, etc.

Q: Among the meganes, who is the craziest?
Probably me, he says with a laugh.

Q: Has he ever met any of the original creators of the series he's voiced?
Of course--Prince of Tennis, Monster, pretty much all of them.  Especially for the writer of Nana, he'll sometimes go out to dinner or drinking, they're very good friends.  With the writer of Prince of Tennis, they had a private get together, went to dinner, played some tennis,

Q: what was it like to portray a character like He in Darker than Black, to play a darker, more ambivalent character?
A: It was pretty difficult, his character wasn't really fully described until the end; they'd give him little bits of the character in each recording, as you learn a bit more about him, so that as the character progresses, he'd learn more and more about who the character was, so his voicing changed to match.

Q: If you could create a character like He, what would it be like? [couldn't really hear question]
He wants a door that could go anywhere.  He doesn't want to give up anything [don't think I heard the question correctly]

Q: What's the most difficult voice he's done?
A: Zenbu, all of them!

[Pictures are fine, but don't take video, please set them just to camera mode, that would be much appreciated.]

Q: do you get to select your roles, or are you assigned?
A: He's pretty much just assigned roles.

Q: If you could voice any existing anime character or role, who would it be?
He's not really particular, he'll do anyone.  [room bursts into giggles of laughter]

Q: Has he found that he's gotten typecast into a single role?
A: He gets secondhand guys, either a pain, or dark, or something like that.  It's actually hard, they're often similar, so it's hard to differentiate between them.

Q: What kinds of characters does he prefer to portray?
A: wants to do a role that's more naturally more like him; most roles require a shift to get into the character; would like to do one that's more naturally like him.

Q: for the audience--which character does audience think is more like him?
Ryun?  No chance!  Momo-sempai, maybe closer.

Cast of prince of tennis, each voice actor is very much like the character they portray; same with Ribon, the cast member fits the character the portray really well (well, except for him!)

Q: Does he enjoy working on live action?
A:  With dubbing types, there are seiyu that do dubbing, and seiyu that do animation; very different professions. The anime people do anime, the dubbing people do just dubbing; hard to cross over and do both.  Anime episodes are 25 minutes, but foreign films are a lot longer, so it's more gruelling, takes different skills.

Q: so, how did he get into dubbing, if it's hard to cross over?
A: It just happens there is a middle ground, albeit very small; he just managed to make it into that middle ground in the line of his work; with something like corpse bride, there's auditions, and his name in that middle ground  helped. With corpse bride, he wasn't told what it was, he just had to do the voices for a few minutes, and then the videos are collectively taken to the states, the committee gets to listen to the voices, and pick the one that matches it.
He was like the 24 Otaku; the director who was taking Naruto and 24 are the same; and then there's the main voice actor for Naruto is Jun-ko, he was really good friends, they used to do theatre together, so he asked for an introduction.  Director is a women, knew him for his work in Monster.  He wanted a small role, but he did the audition, and ended up with a big part.

Q: In darker than black, did he have to approach Lee and He differently, with a different mindset?
A: It wasn't too hard to differentiate between them, because he feels everyone has a bit of a double personality; like when you ask for money for your parents vs when you pay your parents.

[Kestrel has to duck out at this point to cover the pubs room; questions and answers seem to be following similar mode as he leaves]

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2008.05.25 Ric Meyers Breaking Into Everything Panel Notes
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008, 05:01:59 PM »


2008.05.25 Ric Meyers Breaking Into Everything panel notes

Ric Meyers, consultant on Kung Fu Panda, contributed to 42 DVD notes and commentaries, he's contributed to many sites on the web as well, and he did theatre in school, but then shifted into writing; didn't follow up on acting again for several decades.  Now he's Santa.  He's done private parties, videos, etc; it's now between 1/3 and 1/2 of his annual income in just two months,  and has an agent handling just that. Has consulted on Murder she Wrote, and on many other projects.

As his friend Donald Westlake once said, he doesn't like doing one thing more than once; he's creatively ADD.

Breaking in today will be different from breaking in when he started; back then, you could sell a series of books with  just a lunch.   That's not really the case anymore.  If you went to the "how to write good" panel, you'll recognize some of format.

He goes around the room asking what people are interested in.

Comic writing?  Writers are the lowest on the totem pole, unfortunately.  As a writer, you kinda sorta don't matter; as a comic writer, you pretty much have to know an artist, or you're stuck.  You have to get a *great* artist; an artist who is just realizing their work won't get you in.

Ric is working with Mike Ohming(?), artist on Thor, Powers, and other projects; he wouldn't consider doing it with anyone else.  The artist is the director; without a good artist, you'll find nobody pays attention to the story.

How did he break into kung fu?  Was a contributing editor at Marvel Comics; he'd been on the set of Superman, and was complaining they had to put in something campy.

He was taken downtown by a sempai, and shown "Baby Kart in the land of Demons", and then "Drunken Monkey in a Tiger's Eye"; opened his eyes to a new style.  He went to publisher, and said he wanted to do a book on martial arts movies; at that time, his publisher said to go ahead and do it.

He was flown to Hong Kong to get a better inside view of the film production; in Hong Kong films, the action is based on a specific style, and without that, the film has almost no meaning.

He's been doing Tai Chi for four years, studying under one of the best heavyweight champions.

Non-bearded Santas get $50 base rate, vs $70 for bearded Santas.  Having a beard really helped him break into kung fu as well.

For breaking into non-fiction, do you approach publishers, or agents?  Very few publishers work in a pirate mode; most are captured by marketers,  so you need to go after the agents, unfortunately.  You need a good one to market your content, vs trying to market you.  A good agent won't pay to read your material, a bad one will try to nickel and dime you.

New phenomenon is git-lit, the marketing departments are now hitting the late baby boomer period.  Get a client list for an agent to find out how good they are.  It's a matter of researching the business, and realizing that nobody cares about you as much as you do.  You have to be bold and assertive and self-confident.  Don't roll over and let others dictate what you'll do.

Odds are so against you from the slush file perspective.  He has "team rick", with far  Steve and near Steve; he uses his team to  help keep his work safe.  It's your child, but don't be blind to their faults; you want to create a great work, which means being able to face up and fix your work.

Next up would like to break into writing, but would need to figure out how to gain balance.  First, you need to figure out *what* you want to write; novels, short stories, mysteries, etc?  You have to figure out what focus you like, and hone that.  Spend as much time reading your own mind, understand what you like, why you don't like what you don't like, and why you like the pieces you do; until you can hone that down to where you can specify it, and be clear on it, you won't know what it is you're trying to create.  You're really writing for yourself; you have to love what you're going to write about, or hate it; whichever way, it has to be something you're *passionate* about, and that intensity will come through. You'll write differently for different media; Internet is different from a novel, from  comics.   Comics have five different levels.
top voice, outside the border
Narrative voice, intro in first panel
character bubbles,
character voices,
bottom wrap-up/punch line voice

With five different voices, it's hugely difficult to orchestrate how you're communicating with the reader.  Only thing more difficult to write for is soap operas.

You have to have passion--if it's not something you're determined to do, you're probably not going to survive.

What do agents need to see?  50 pages of finished work, and an outline.
Can you write?
Can you finish?
50 pages show you can write; outline will show if you can finish your story or not.

How many authors write full time, how many are part time?  Most free lance writers strive for a time when they can be full time; but in general, you sign a contract, you write a book, you don't know it'll be successful or not; so you pretty much have to have a fallback to keep you going.

Only 10-20% of the WGA members make a living doing writing; most of them are doing essentially piecework.

If you're going to be a writer, do it as a love, not as a be-all/end-all; if you diversify, you can cover yourself regardless of how things shift.

Next person wants to break into publishing, and start her own publishing company.  It's not hard to get into, others have shown how it can be done with original comics, manga comics, web comics, doujinshi;  There's a two-fold challenge; you have to get tremendous artists; go to art schools, etc, find people who will do tremendous work.  Then, find some good writers.

You have to entertain, by the way; don't spew out more pretentious mental masturbation.  Don't take yourself more seriously than the world does. Being cool is fake; being able to charm is much more effective at entertaining.

Once you have material, that's the first hurdle; next huge hurdle is the distribution side.
If you can get popular enough, you can get advertising, and that's where real money can come in.

Everything else is shrinking; Barnes and Noble, consolidation in the industry; and magazine stands are controlled by the mafia.

newspapers and magazines are dying; they aren't going to vanish, but it'll be more like radio, where they hit a target market.

Looking for an agent; is going to a writing conference useful?  They tend to be run by one or two agents, more useful to try to meet with them one on one.

If you're charming, how can you harness it?  Your talent alone might get you ahead 25-40% of the time; the rest is based on your contacts.  It may be people you've met 10 years earlier; don't lose track of them, they can be a foothold in later on in life.  Each thing you do is a step along the path; his books provided a stepping stone to getting into movies, etc.  The charm comes in by making  friends. And the more popular you are, the more freebies you get; but those come in a tit for tat fashion; they give a free DVD, he'll look at reviewing it in his column.
As long as you're legitimately charming, and not a stroker, you'll find people willing to help you capitalize on it.

In Hollywood, 80% are backstabbers, 20% are brilliant; try to hang with the 20%, and don't pay attention to the 80% stabbing you in the back.

"Hollywood is not about money, it's about Ego"  --Orson Welles

You want to hang with good people.  It's never win or lose, it's learn or not learn; always try to learn.

When you find someone who knows what they're talking about, and is willing to criticize you, shut up and listen.

If you ask Ric for his opinion, do recognize that he's known as The Anvil for a reason.  If it's good, it'll stand for itself; if you start defending it, it means it wasn't able to stand on its own.

Stephen King doesn't like competition; he's pretty  mean to Nora Roberts, and Mary Higgens Clark.  If you see a Stephen King review on a book, it's not going to be a good book, because he doesn't like to encourage competition.

If your book does become successful enough that it gains media attention, are there organizations out there that won't rip your work apart to make them into a movie? Yes, but they're individuals.  They exist, but you have to seek them out.

BBC, smartest man in america.  Bill Clark?
In some cases, it may be enough to simply take the check, and let them run with it.

Whenever you get ahead of yourself, imagine your agent coming in through the window, and slapping you in the face and saying "first things first!"

Life can be enormously fun, life can be amazing.

Every book in the library of congress ends the same way with the same ending... "The End"

What you're selling is the stuff in the middle; make *your* life interesting!
Don't waste time drinking, doing drugs, etc.; the most intestesting things can be found in your head and in the world around you.

He focuses more on content than style; now, the media he uses tends to force the style.

His editor tends to throw out his first paragraph, as that's him finding his voice, getting into the voice that really speaks out.

You have to have passion for the subject, and you have to want to make the audience feel that passion.

Good people respond to passion in a good way; bad people respond to passion with a desire to crush it.

The internet is basically your comedy club; your chance to test out your writing to see if people will read it, and get feedback from the audience.  Write for yourself first, be your best critic, try to become as objective as possible, and don't approach agents with flawed material, or they'll always see your work as flawed, and you as the writer of flawed material.

Most successful writers do it because they have to, even more than they want to.

How do you find the best agent?  It's trial and error, find one that fits you; but you have to have something that is really good, that they'll enjoy reading.  Agents need to live, and their cut should only be 15%; listen to their feedback, and take it under consideration.

Does he have any background with writing for video games?  Not yet.  But video games are getting more and more detailed, they're doing more and more research now, to the point where they're learning vehicles.  He may go into it, if the opportunity arises.

You need to do what you're doing better than anyone else doing that work for the people you're involved with; that's when you'll be
at your best.  Creative, constructive, selfishness.

Why are we where, why do we live?  We exist for each other, which is why we can't see our own faces.  And yet, the world revolves around us.  Each of us is our own world, make it the best one you can, and find your happiness in that.
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2008.05.25 charity auction notes
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008, 05:08:13 PM »

2008.05.25 charity auction notes

Ric Meyers and Reuben Langdon drum up the auction  values on the items being auctioned off.  Reuben signed a practice bokken which ended up reaching $26.

Just when the audience was crying "enough Gundam", and calling for no more Gundam figures, Ric  and Reuben managed to pull up bidding on a perfect collection Gundam to $200.

A folded-steel katana  goes for $100 signed by both Dante and Vergil, with the bidding rising in fast and furious back-and-forth bidding
between two members of the audience, until one of the two graciously conceeded to the other, and offset the increased price by contributing twenty dollars to the other bidder.

Manga that were rejected on the first round of bidding were suddenly bid up to $30 once Reuben and Dan agreed to sign them.

A string of Gundam figures that were rejected in the first rounds of bidding got drummed up into the $20 to $30 range one Ric unleashed his magic touch upon them.

Unfortunately, the part that everyone was waiting for never materialized; the Wii that was being projected onto the screen behind Ric with all the signatures on it was not auctioned off; the last items to be auctioned were a pair of "Devil Princess" manga which went for $38.  Jason Ebner then came on stage to explain that the Wii was currently in use as all the members of An Cafe were in the midst of creating Miis on it, after which all 42 members of the Gainax staff that came to Fanime were going to sign it; the actual auction will take place tomorrow on Stage Zero at 3:30pm; so save up your money for the big auction tomorrow, this is going to be one hot item; members of the crowd were already offering up $500+ dollar bids on it even before the announcement of the final time for the auction on it was made!
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2008.05.25 GAINAX Gurren Lagann Panel Notes
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2008, 05:34:21 PM »

2008.05.25 Gainax Gurren Lagann Panel notes

We'll start right into the panel.  This is a Gurren Lagann only panel, so all questions should focus on that.

On the panel are (apologies for misspellings)
Yoshinari-san, mecha designer
Manabe-san (Hige), marketing manager
Takeda-san, CEO of Gainax, producer of Gurren Lagann
Yamaga-san, President of Gainax
Ohtsuka-san, assistant Director of Gurren Lagann

Q: What are major inspirations for the main characters?  They have interesting character traits.

A: Nisi Gori-san, the director, created most of the character personality design; came up with a set of delinquents, for the most part.

Q: About the movies; will the first movie be a retelling, with the second being new material?
Uh...call that a rumour, can't really talk about it.
Gurren Lagann was 26 episodes, plus one review episode, so you can think of the theatrical releases in a similar manner.
"Part Gurren" is the first movie title, so many people in Japan are already assuming there will be a Part Lagann

Q: What is the favorite character for each?
Ohtsuka == Niea
Yamaga == Yoko (the ones that cause the most trouble are the cutest--but he likes Yoko, who didn't trouble  him.  "Trouble" as in seiyu.  He did work passionately on the Simon character, but now he thinks maybe there were things he could have done differently.  Maria Innoue, newbie, but she did perfectly, didn't cause him any trouble at all. 
Takeda == man from the Old Dude planet, Yojinu, even though he was a bad father to start with, in the end he showed a good father side, which impressed him.
Manabe == Hard for him to say who he really liked; but the animation staff was very rowdy like the crew of Gurren Lagann.  During the course of production, they were asked to draw marketting material, and the animators wouldn't do it, he'd get the feeling of anguish like Roshu.  He doesn't like taking the easy route;
Takeda-san says it's all about taking the easy route.
Yoshinai, he sympathizes with Roshu 100%, was going to say pretty much the same thing.

Q: will there be an art book with the eye catches for the production?
A: Currently there are no plans for a book like that;  you can get a book like it from Amazon, with the eye catches in it in smaller format.

Q: At one point in the series, Buta evolves; you don't  see much else happen after that; was it intended to signify something, or was it a one-time event?
A: It might be spoilers, but if you really want, he'll tell us.  Buta has a lot of...spiral power; he never really grows up, he's always a kid, but he's always packed full of spiral power.  Buta becoming human form, showed his spiral power was coming out, taking on full form; also a hallucination by enemy showing Buta what it would be like to take on human form and live in the human world; which is why Buta choses to return to normal form later in the series.

Q: how did they chose the cast for the seiyu, and what kind of trouble did Yamaga-san have with the seiyu for Simon?
A: to decide on seiyu, they first listen to the CD from the agency, and try to narrow it down to a few voices. The director, script writer, sound director, etc. all listen to CDs, pick 5 or so, then have audition, pick some lines, find one that fits their image of the character's voice and style.  Simon, as trouble, he's like a planner, a director, so...technically he doesn't need to be there at the
recording.  Animators sometimes have trouble following the director's guidance; so sometimes with Simon, that was a challenge.

Q: Why drills?
A: that's not mecha design, come back later.

Q: DaiGanzan was an interesting design for a mecha; how did you come up with the design for it?
A: When he was growing up, he had model robots which were very clunky, and he wanted to bring that feeling back.

Q: Which mecha design is he most proud of?
A: Pretty much everything.  :D

Q: How did he come up with each additional attack
A: Like Russian Dolls...but in reverse!

Q: Why two faces, and was it challenging to design a whole series of robots with two faces?
A: Easier to draw a face with arms and legs, it just kinda came out while they were doing the design work.

Now, replaced with the person in charge of CG and  composite graphics.
Yamada, composite CG director.

They came up with the word "composite director" from when they would put background cel behind action cel and call it one cell. Now, they use computers, so composite isn't really true, instead he's pretty much the person doing all the real animation work.  First line in charge of the full animation process!  He added a lot of effects into the show as he went along.

Q: the soundtrack fits very well; did you have prerecorded sounds, or was it played live to the animation sequence?
A: In a normal animation process, the animation is almost never done when music is composed, so in many cases, the animation is paced to the music, rather than the other way around.  The director of the series said he wanted to use Iwasaki-san for the music, but Iwasaki-san hates anime, and mecha anime even more, so it was hard to get him to work; they had to beg and beg to get him to work on it; when they got it, the animation group slapped their foreheads and said "now what are we going to do", and worked
hard to try to fit the music; when they heard the one track that had rap lyrics, they pretty much shrieked.  In the end of June, on the offical movie site, will be GuriPara, will be done by the animation staff the way *they* wanted to do it.

Q: will they be expanding on the Gurren Lagann galaxy the way they did with Evangelion and the End of Evangelion?
A: They *are* making a movie, you know.

Q: There are some minor characters that look like other Gainax characters Yomako-sensei looks like some non-Gainax characters; is there a story behind that?
A: I think it's what you think it is, yes.  Owari?

Q: Who are the characters in the first 2 minutes of the series?
A: Simon, Ori?  The begining and the ending don't really match; what happened, in the beginning they had this idea, but when they started making the series, it went beyond their initial imagination.  The series evolved beyond what the staff could initially control.  Gainax specialty is not being able to control their own creations.

Q: Yoko's song "Trust", was featured in DDR Supernova as well as in the US release; did they plan that?
A: Konami is a sponsor of the series, and also puts out DDR, and owns the game copyrights for any Gurren Lagann games; Simon and Kamina's songs will be in Poppin' Music as well.

Q: Is there a concensus on which episode was the hardest to complete, among the staff?
A: episode 15 for majority of the staff was the toughest.  A regular episode has maybe 300 cuts; episode 15 had 430 cuts they had to put together.  Extra cuts mean a lot more extra work, but the deadlines don't change, so it's a week of extra work in the same one month time; and then they had to dive right into episode 16.  On the Gainax website, they have a production blog, if you have a chance to have it translated, please do read it.

Q: Each episode title is taken from a line from a character; is there a method to it; some are handwritten, etc.  How did they come up with that style?
A: handwritten style was from mind of the director; it was split into 4 parts (the 26 episodes).  each part, the style represents the characters, what they were going through in that arc.  director decided the first was written by hand, and then so on through each part.  Some of it was the director just having fun too.  Gainax has a big box full of storyboards; each storyboard, depending on the part is written in that style, the director having fun for the most part.

Q: Why drills?
A: Director wanted drills, and he wanted the hands to be drills.  He told script writer he wanted drills, and the scriptwriter, Nakashima-san basically responsed with "huh"?  Nakashima-san interpreted drill as something you keep  turning to keep moving forward.  Drill represents a big spiral, which is essentially human DNA, and that's largely what the universe is based on; that's why the enemy is called the anti-spirals.  As you know, drills don't look like those triangles; but when they were kids, in kids shows, that's how they were depicted, so they were intrigued by it.  Maybe that represents a robot as a genre for them?  Director took it not as  science fiction but as a robot anime.
In Japan, they had submarines with drills on the front, and Thunderbids, the JetMolar, goes into flying mode with a drill on it; that's somewhat where the idea came from; for boys, it's a natural association.  Blame it on the spiral power.  ;-)

Q: How much of the animation didn't make it into the final product?
A: in anime, not many scenes are cut; since it takes so much effort, cutting it out is a huge waste.  For the most part, there's none.

Q: Will there be a Gurren Lagann game?
A: Yes, Konami owns the rights to it.

Q: When was the universe first conceived?  From when it was first conceived to when it was completed, how long did that take?
A: if you think about it from the way beginning, it takes about five years.

Q: did someone pitch an idea that was eventually turned into a real project?
A: about 2002.  Nobody pitched the ideak

Q: in end of the series, Simon tells the little kid "I'm nobody" -- why does he say that?
A: Until he says that, he's wondering who he is.  He tries to say that at the beginning of that scene.  He stops, and then says he's nobody.  In that scene, the boy he's talking to doesn't really care who Simon is; the meaning of Simon talking to a _boy_ .  Gurren is Simon's story; that stops there, but then continues on with the boy.  Since the story will move on to the next generation, it no longer matters who Simon is at that point.  That's one interpretation of one staff member; but it's up to each person to interpret as they will.

Q: in terms of computer animation, what is the hardest part to animate--explosions, fights, character movement?
A: on Gurren Lagann, it was *all* hard.  One thing to remember was that...

Q: By the series finale, fans have seen how time affects all the characters; why does Xeron still look the same?
A: Xeron's an interesting fellow, isn't he, there's many theories; a clone, or a beast man, he's probably just not a human, you know.  Last theory is maybe gay people don't age.  :P

What they wanted to do with Gurren Lagann was to show how humans age; so humans, our figures get deformed, we get wrinkles, but it's not always a bad thing.  That's human, that's part of our happiness.  When you're young, you have your fun as a youth, who do you think I am?  When you get older, you still have your fun, but it no longer matters who you are.  That's also part of happiness.  To have someone who doesn't age, gives emphasis to the others who *do* age.  For those of you who are young, watch it again later twenty years later, you'll see things you probably didn't see the first time around.

They've been taking videos of the con, and have been taking questions back to the staff still back in Japan; before the panel, they did some interviews; they will be posted in animation magazines; if you can read those websites, you may find answers to questions not asked here as well.  In the US version of the DVD, released by Bandai, there is bonus footage, interviews, please watch those!
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AMKestrel

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2008.05.26 What You Missed Panel with Rick, Jason, and Dan
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2008, 05:44:18 PM »


2008.05.26 What we missed panel, with Richard Waugh, Jason Ebner, and Dan Southworth

Reuben is with a company that is at crucial point in its existance, he's at a make or break point in its existance.

How do you become a stunt man?  You need to be a pretty high level athlete to start with, and have a skill set you're an expert at to start with.

He was a martial artist, had 5 or 6 years of training, and was a martial artist, taekwando fighter before that.

US doesn't real have stunt schools; the Japanese do, and they make sure you're trained.

There's lots of little cliques, and factions in the stunt world.

If you want to start, get some martial arts training, body awareness, most of what you need to learn is control of your body, and get used to falling; you're basically being thrust into a lot of out-of-control situations; being able to stay in control in those out of control situations.

When actors want to do some stunts themselves, they're basically putting a stunt person out of work.

Apparently The Rock was a great person to work with, very physically aware.

What do you think of Harrison Ford doing his own stunts at 60?  Scary, but great; hope his career is successful enough he won't have to do stunts when he hits 60.

Dan got dissed when he was a power ranger, it was fun, he took it in a spirit of good heartedness, and didn't get stressed out about being dissed by the soap opera actors.

Dan notes it can be fun playing a different character, though he did miss some of the stunt work.

He actually did get in a quantum ranger suit and do signings, so it's probably the one that Michael got signed years ago at WalMart.

Goofiest thing they've each seen;  the people teaching each other how to break dance in front of exhibit hall 1.

Some discussion of spontaneous arousal challenges in spandex suits rounds out the conversation for the panel, and then they move across the hall for autographs.

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AMKestrel

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2008.05.26 Anime Fans Over 30 Panel Notes
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2008, 06:02:00 PM »

2005.05.26 Anime fans over 30 panel notes

This is the 4th annual installment of it.  Goal is to have a conversation, with the moderators doing 20% talking.

Jonathan Osborne, Gilles Poitras sitting in.  Maison Ikkoku is 40% off on RightStuf right now, btw...

Are there any questions?
Do people find American TV to be a waste now?
Not all of it, no--the new BSG is amazing!

American TV is handicapped compared to other countries because it is not serially presented.

Rules in England around violence; Babylon 5 episode couldn't be shown in England due to violence, but the opposite is true; we'll never see Torchwood due to the sex.

Take a chance on Pushing Daisies; it's wonderfully off-kilter, was done by the same person who did the series "wonderful" (which had 3 episodes shown out of order)

Guy watches Nodame Cantible unsubbed on NHK, after reading the manga, it's clear enough what is happening.

Some discussion of dubs vs subs.  Host started at FanimeCon in 1997.  midway through, started going by himself to watch videos and go to the dealer's room.

greencine.com, younger than netflix, have incredible set of imports.

Anyhow, after midnight, 2004, fullmetalalchemist, watched 17 episodes in a row.  He cosplayed as Ed next year, and fell in love with cosplaying.  Whatever activity you want to participate in at a con, you have to focus on what you enjoy; if it's something you have fun with and enjoy, then do it!  He enjoys meeting people, and started at JTAF 2004; now, he only goes if he can cosplay.

Was Robotech first great epic?  No, Battle of the Planets was the first.  :D  Then starblazers, with the 134 days left to save earth.

Gilles was walking past the Mikado window in1977, watching yamato in the window, caught his eye with the cinematic effects being used in animation, something he'd never seen before.

American animation didn't hit its stride until the 80s; after that, with the exception of fox animated batman series, it went downhill.  Originally a warner brothers series, was going to be a late-night adult oriented show.  Breaking glass was an act of violence, now that you know that, watch mask of the phantasm; every thing they weren't allowed to do, they went ahead and did in that movie as a jab back at fox for putting them in the kid's morning slot.

KTEH helped get a lot of anime in front of people in the 90s, which helped spread the word in the Bay Area.

Cosplayers have no sense of age boundries, it doesn't matter who you are, or how old you are.

Sailor Moon helped get the younger set into the series, but it helped get the parents involved as well.

If you haven't yet, buy Otaku no Video and watch it; you'll see some of the guests of honor from this past weekend from Gainax, and you'll probably recognize yourself in it.

Gilles is still searching for the second Wild 7 tape subtitled, speaking of VHS.

Gilles talks about recognizing not only the material in the room in Genshiken, but also the shelving organization and shelves themselves are the same as what Gilles has.

Goku midnight eye?  An exercise in bad taste, but a wonderful example of it.

City Hunter the motion picture, has a great opening sequence in it.  And Bay City Wars, remade into Jackie Chan live action City Hunter.  Good humour, slapstick, his sidekick is a jealous female who pulls random items out of thin air (10 foot pole with "Lust Suppression Device" printed on it.)

Angel Heart anime is his daughter taking on her father's role.

For video games, a bunch of people play video games; not many want to pay to play online, though.
MUDs, Robert Woodhead, founder of Animeigo ran a MUD on an HP box.  Early precursor to MMORPGS, but without charging monthly fees.

Avalon, really good movie, in polish, because it was cheaper to rent the polish army than to ship Japanese actors over.  Main character is a professional gamer.

Silent anime, with benshi readers, no region coding, now subtitled.  Early folk tales, really short, Early Anime, Digital Meme, a non-profit based on transmitting cultural info.  Some of it is pretty nationalistic though.  Miyazaki's Anne of Green Gables, for example is another great one.

Cat's Eye, prelude to City Hunter.  Plain fun show, couple of sisters stealing back his art collection in the hopes of getting a clue to what happened to him.

Orguss, Cobra, would be cool to get the original.  Matthew Sweet, girlfriend video, him and cobra,  also used urusei yatsura.

Prefectural defense force was early 80s, just went out of print, it's a funny, funny title.  Has a similar plot to Excel Saga.  Downsized their goal of world domination.  3 episode OVA, early 80's humour.

The magnetic rose was storyboarded by Kon Satoshi.  Cannon Fodder; a single piece of animation with no cuts.

Dirty Pair TV series vs Dirty Pair Flash.  You can get the dirty pair books still.

A Wind Called Amnesia, novel comes out next month in English.

Gunbuster is now on DVD, it's got a nice booklet in it.

Green Legend Ran was one of the first DVDs out, so the menus don't really work.

First episode of Maison Ikkoku, Megumi's first role was one of the kids saying "what an ugly dog!", and they're the kids who grow up to be the key characters in Urusai Yatsura!

Maison Ikkoku and KOR were contemporary works, and shared a similar theme; so many love triangles in anime because there are so many of them in real life!
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AMKestrel

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2008.05.26 FanimeCon 2008 Closing Ceremony and Feedback Session Notes
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2008, 06:36:29 PM »

2008.05.26 Closing Ceremonies and Feedback Session Notes

Closing ceremonies start around 1640 hours Pacific Time.

Thanks to everyone for coming to Fanime 2008!  We have a lot of events, the game rooms, the dance, the BW ball, videos, panels, live events, etc [Eugene lists a whole bunch of the events from Fanime out]

We'd like to thank our guests of honor, including the four who were able to make it all the way  through to the ending ceremonies to be with us today:  Jonathan Osborne, Gilles Poitras, Ric Meyers, Carl Horn,

14 years ago, who would have imagined that we could have brought 50 members of Gainax to Fanime?  Fanime has really come a long, long way since its early beginnings.

Next, the presentation of the Yamaga-san award; originally the Friend of Fanime award; now it's called the Yamaga-san award.
For his long attendance at Fanime, and the support he has provided, this year the award is being given to Jonathan Osborne!
For those of you who have seen it, I think it's pretty clear we represented a good recreation of some of the scenes from  "Otaku no Video" here at Fanime this year.  It was of course made by the early members of GAINAX, and seeing them with us this year, we could see the members of Otaku no Video live, and in a setting similar to what was portrayed in the video; in many ways, that's what Fanime is becoming.

Jonathan Osborne goes on to note he is catching up to Yamaga-san in terms of the number of years he's been coming to Fanime; when he started, it was his one year to Yamaga-san's 4 years.  Four years later, the gap closed to 50% when he had 4 years to Yamaga-san's 8 years.  Now, he has 8 to Yamaga-san's 12 years coming here, so he's up to 66.67%, which means the longer he keeps coming back, the closer he'll get to catching up!

He's made so many friends here at fanime, including Jason Ebner, and he's the proud owner of the first Blame Ebner shirt.  It arose from a single comment at opening ceremonies last year, was picked up by an artist in Artists Alley who made a shirt and gave it to Jonathan, and once that happened and the staff members saw it, they wanted them too, so a  whole batch was made, and next thing you know, Jonathan's sitting with Yamaga-san at last year's closing ceremonies, and even *he* was wearing a Blame Ebner shirt!

Jonathan Osborne finishes by saying he's stupefied and dumbfounded, and will thus stop babbling and sit down for a bit.  ^_^

Next up, Milton Le presents the charity auction award checks to the APA and the Springstone school; matching donations from the board of ARG allow identical checks for $2825 to be given to each organization.  A good chunk of the money came from the Wii auction, which finally ended up going for $825; the two winners then did a very special thing, and donated the Wii back to Fanime, where it can continue to accumulate signatures, become even more valuable, and be available for a future charitable fundraising event.

For the past few years, Will has been doing a great job as con chair.  Now, he's at his three year term limit as con chair, and he's handing the signed con chair hat over to Tony as next year's con chair.  (many thanks to James for getting Will sucked in all those years ago!)

There's a bit of swag left over, which Eugene tosses into the audience.  Fortunately no eyes are put out in the process.

Former con chairs are called to the front for the fan feedback/constructive criticism section.

We do welcome your comments on how we can improve.

If you're staying for the constructive criticism, form a line up front, and we'll make a note of your feedback.


========= begin fan feedback panel notes =============

Q: First up: last year, there were lots of easy places to sit down and do things; there's a lot more food, which was good, but all the tables were taken up by food stuffs; no easy place to sit down and just plan schedules and stuff.

Q: The games could be cheaper for the amount of time you have for the games in the arcade.

Q: Are we planning to put the black and white ball into a bigger room next year?  Or a faster way to get people in and out.
A:We'll make it bigger and longer next year, yes.

Q: Would like to see a better improvement in the schedule; wanted to go to panels but had to go to masquerade practice instead. 
A: We try to make things work for everyone; there's always going to be counter-programming; there's so much to do here, it does require making some tough decisions.

Q: Can we get an improvement on training for volunteer and some staff, there's some staff that go on power trips when it comes to weapons and the like.
A: It's tough, we're a volunteer organization, we'll do our best to train them, but it's hard to force people who are just volunteering their time; it's not an easy task.  Making mistakes is part of learning; let the staff know when they've made a mistake, help them learn as well.

Q: Whose line is it anime was great, but would have been nice to rotate through more people.
A: Jonathan was looking for more actors at the same time; Dan and Reuben were supposed to be a part of it, which would have also helped.  We'll see what he can do about it next year.

Q: The arcade games need to be cheaper! 
A: (from the line: "they're standard arcade prices.")

Q: We have a huge area, could we get more machines to help fill the area?
A: We went out on a limb with the number of machines,  and were suprised at how they were full.

Q: Can we put a permanent schedule at the info desks that can't be stolen easily out of the pockets?

Q: ld we have a public microwave for people who bring ramen?
A: Someone must have requested a microwave, it showed up in Casey's room.  Those are controlled by the hotels, so it's not something we can easily do.

Q: One complaint about the starbucks here not taking starbucks cards; not something we have  control over, unfortunately, so the person will address their complaint to starbucks directly.

Q: Is there a way to show who the winners of the FMVs are?  Maybe at Stage Zero?
A: We'll hit Sean Barber up about that.

Q: At Fanime2005, we showed the winning AMVs at the closing ceremony, that was a good way to end the con; can we bring that back?

Q: This year's e-gaming, sad there were no PC games.  Can we get PC games back?
A: Consoles are relatively cheap; but to get a beefy PC to run games, and asking people to donate it for a time, is tough.  So we're limited on how much we can do for PC gaming.

Q: What was up with the lack of group registration? 
A: It's a wonderful thing for the members when it works.  we ran into a lot of problems with it; it took more work than it was worth for the staff, but we can look into it again in the future to see if there's a way we can do it that will be less labour intensive on the staff side to make it happen.

Q: People are on a budget for food; could we maybe get a breakfast buffet for early morning, 7-10 or 7-11 for cheaper (as a buffet?)

Q: Jesus suggests we get a bit tougher set of badge holders; his badge holder broke while he was at dance; can we have more on hand and have replacements, if it's going to be considered a mandatory item for being considered a paid member?

Q: The no-camera policy at MusicFest was a problem with people who waited in line and then were rejected at the door and had to go put it away and then get back in line.

A: The city got freaked when they saw the an cafe videos from Europe, with mobs and near-riots at  concerts; so when Sony said no videos, the city enforced it *very* strongly.

Random hater comes up in line...we can't really figure out what he's upset about.

Q: Neil had a pretty good con, thanks for the good work.  There was a bit of confusion on the badge holder policy; needed better communication about the need for cheap plastic badge holder and the lanyard.  And the AMV winner announcements could have been handled better.
A: We'll work on better badging in the future.

Q: 3 questions from next person.  Why do we need an ID to rent the gamecube controllers in the arcade hall? 
A: That way they know how to contact you if you don't return it.
Q: Can we get a freezer and/or microwave in public?
A: The hotel reserves fridges for those who need to keep their insulin cool, as medical needs trump fan snack cooling.

Jason has to duck out; if you have additional complaints/feedback for him, send email to jason@fanime.com

Q: Could they get more space around the people playing brawl so it's not so tight around the area?

Q: Game room, checking out consoles, he had to wait for the previous person to return it before he could check it out.
He liked the speed runs at Stage Zero, bring that back for 2009.

Q: We need to be able to figure out how to control drugs and alcohol coming into the con--what can we do to control the substances going into the official dance (rave).
A: We had over 13,000 people, it's definitely a challenge; right now, we're short on staff for covering issues like that.  With SJPD on site, if you see stuff that's illegal, definitely get word to the Safety on Site staff members, and they will make sure it is passed along to the authorities for enforcement.

Q: Is there a way we can get the online signups a bit more streamlined (for staff and volunteers?)
A: We had too many people drop out when we made it too easy, but yes, staff and volunteer recruitment is very high on our list of priorities.

Q: No synopis about the anime being shown?  The live action ones have synopsis?  It was in the program guide; some panels didn't have entries in the program guide; look to the newsletters for late updates.

Q: Web site was much more confusing this year; had to go to the forums to get info.
A: We've started using twitter for real-time updates on scheduling, which helps!

There are also other websites that do updates, you can email marketing@fanime.com for more info on changes you'd like to see implemented.

Q: First, on the website, it said you weren't allowed to sleep at the con, but there would be a dedicated sleeping area? 
A: Uh, no, there's no loitering allowed by law, so that wouldn't be true.

Q: A few times when he was at the end of line, staff people were harrassing him about having a weapon, even though it was just part of his costume, and not actually a weapon at all.
A: We can look into options, but we do have to be strict about our weapons policy and peace bonding.

Q: Next up, asks about the online hotel registration, it looked good having it on the website but it seemed  to have failed a month before, and never seemed to come back.  It provided a phone number to call, so you weren't totally out of luck, but would be nice to have a way to report issues more easily.
A: We weren't aware of the webite having issues, as we still had hotel registrations coming through; if you see issues, feel free to report them, don't just assume we know when there's an issue on our own.

Q: He worked for nvidia, apparently there was supposedly some type of cross marketing arrangement with nvidia and that we had the name on the lanyards and bags; concerns that there were rumours that nVidia dropped the ball in a joint marketing effort?
A: They sponsored the books, bags, and lanyards to market the nvision conference, and that joint effort was carried out successfully, and was limited to the sponsorship of the lanyards, bags, and program guide as noted.

Q: Good job with the water, and good job having a photo booth there this year!

Q: Only people who brought their own controllers seemed to be playing in gaming area; could that be clarified better ahead of time so people would know to bring their own controllers?

Q: At con reg for 2009, she went to go reg at around 12:00, wasn't sure what happened, but she wasn't able to finish checking out of her hotel room at noon and still make it down to prereg in time for 2009 prereg; can we have longer hours for that on Monday next year that extend past room checkout time?

Q: Sean was running the speedrun panels at stage zero in the wee hours, sounds like it went well, and he'd like to come back next year and do it again.
A: Yes, definitely!

Q: they liked the layout of the printed schedule sheets this year, easy to read, panels on one side, video on the other, split by day, easy to print at home, thanks!

Q: tabletop gaming, tournaments kept having people move their games out of the way; could we get tables that would be non-tournament only to keep people from having to move?
 
Q: If we can make it clearer online how to volunteer and how to staff, that would be cool.

Q: The video schedules were very clear, very easy to read, thanks!

Q: The numbering of the video rooms was pretty arbitrary; video main was also video 5; could we put more of a sequence to the numbering? Try to keep them more orderly next time, rather than having video 1, video 5, etc.

Q: Thanks the asian film crew for not showing battle royale!  Feels that fanime is becoming a younger convention; with the programming in place, it's good for where we are now, but as we get to a younger audience, we're running out of things to show these tweeners at night even though they should be sleeping.

Q: Food is too expensive, make it cheaper!
A: All the food vendors were non-fanime; some were convention center, others were outside, but the convention center gateways all the food items coming in.

Q: But the food is really expensive in the con!
A: Matt notes the Hilton food was cheaper than the convention food, and an update was put in the newsletter pointing people to the Hilton food line on the first floor if you wanted more filling fare for a more reasonable price.

Q: Could next year we put the same name in the program guide as in the schedule?
A: We'll see what we can do within the space limitations of the printed schedule.

Q: Also, could we mark which rooms have age appropriate material at different times; possibly a symbol on the video sheets for age of material, or a 14-and-under safe room?
A: Good idea, we'll see if we can get that information included.

Q: Could we maybe have video rooms in the hotels again like we did a few years ago?

Q: Kudos on splitting the schedule from the program guide; easier to get the updated version when we get here.

Q: Could we have a back sheet to show new items that weren't in the program guide?

Q: This place is very wheelchair friendly; could we get a free or half-price entry for the mandatory attendant she has with her?
Q: Also, could there be more tables for her to set her computer on to do work in the concourse area?

Q: Splitting video on one side, programs on the other was cool.  Running out of schedules at the info desk was rough.  If we can list what's going on at the info desks, that would help too.

Q: Could we get more dub showings?  He doesn't feel like reading the screen all the time.
A: He can email video@fanime.com to let them know his preference for dubs.

Q: It's really loud at the Hilton panel rooms when people are using the elevators; can we just keep the  doors closed, and mark them as 'come on in' so the panels can still be heard inside?

Thanks everyone for coming!  See you next year!

Feedback session wraps up at 1754 hours Pacific Time.
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Robo-tech

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Random hater comes up in line...we can't really figure out what he's upset about.
He was not necessarily upset at anything.  He was paraphrasing a line from Goldmember, where Scott Evil was talking about how much he hated the various other characters.  I think he was trying to be funny.  I think if it wasn't for his mention in these excellent notes (thanks again, Alaric!), and my analysis in this post, his stunt would have just died quietly.
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-Robo-Tech
E-Gaming Second, PC Gaming Co-Head, Fanimecon 2011

lyricaldanichan

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Re: 2008.05.23 Day in the Life of GAINAX panel notes
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2008, 10:43:05 AM »

Here's my notes from the "Day in the Life of GAINAX" panel.


2008.05.23 Day in the Life of Gainax

Introductions--they go down the table  and introduce the panel members; the only names I caught were:
Otsuka-san, Takahata-san, Akai-san, Yamaga-san

Will start with a video; made it during the company's 20th anniversary; it shows  the history of Gainax, through each of the productions they have been a part of.

Showed some works, but couldn't show the new stuff like Gurenn Lagann; showed some of the stuff Gainax did before becoming an official company.

What is Gainax?  Gainax is an animation company!

Well, they do animation as well as some live action.
Describing a day in the life of the company is a bit challenging.  A typical day will involve doing anime production, certainly, but they are also involved in other projects.  A new TV animation coming out in fall, and they're working on a theatrical Gurren Lagann release.

If you have questions about what a typical day in the life of Gainax is like, please feel free to ask them.

Q. What is the typical timespan between a series first being worked on to first live date?
Usually 3 or 4 projects in progress; usually takes about 5 years from first conception to release.  If they waited to finish one project before starting the next, they'd have five years between releases; by having three or four in the works, they stay constantly busy.

Those who know Gainax from a long time ago, know that now they're putting out more anime; the simultaneous planning of multiple projects allows them to put out more, and keeps the different teams more consistently busy.

Yamaga-san was just in England before Fanime,  working on a new project, with no idea on when that may be coming out.

Q: Is a series completed before it goes to air?  There are rumours that Gurren Lagann changed directors partway through, and changed styles.

For TV series, before it airs, try to make as many episodes as possible to buy time.  With Gurren Lagann, had seven episodes in stock, after that was a game of catch up for the animators to try to keep ahead of the airing schedule.

Midway through, the story changes completely, it was planned that way originally, not due simply to any staff change.

Q: Do you ever play practical jokes on each other in the office, and if so, what kind?

They're all so buddy buddy, nothing like that *ever* happens.  :D  Takeda-san likes that type of environment, but everyone's so serious!    Yamaga-san asks what types of jokes Takeda-san would play?  Maybe, run around the office naked?

Q: How do they go about deciding if they're going to do a sequel, given the 5-10 year turnaround schedule for a typical release?

Some sequels are planned partway through the original series; others, like Gunbuster, come about much, much later.

For some series, the plan for a sequel is already in place as the first series is being worked on, and the new series can be worked on by same crew.

For other sequels that are planned after the first series has finished, it can be almost like starting a whole new project, though parts of the process are much shorter.

With a sequel, you already know the framework for the series, you know the characters, the plot, genre, etc. which trims a year or two off the cycle.

Q: When you create a new series, what comes first? characters, the setting/world, plot, genre, or something else?

It depends; if it's a series based on their original work, vs a series on a work that already exists as a manga for example.  For their own original series, they come up with a  theme first.

Usually when they come up with a theme, they'll  start brainstorming on the theme first; like *why* do they want to go into space?  What's the issue, what are the characters dealing with, and who are the characters?

The most important point when brainstorming is to pinpoint something interesting, so they don't spend all day brainstorming.  That's where the big thought process starts from.

Q: there is a lot of fan speculation about the Gurren Lagann movie; will it be a retelling of the story, will it be new material/footage?  What is the nature of the movie?

Some of the footage will retell the story a bit.  There will be two movies, actually!  26 episodes is pretty ridiculous to try to fit into one movie, will split into two movies.  In all the original footage, will be some new material!

He likes to drink rum, definitely; if you want to know more, buying him a good round of rum is an excellent way to start.  ;)

Q: Where did Yamaga-san buy the shirt?  Oh, the Kuma-san! shirt.  The animal is a bear, he bought it in Hokkaido, where they are known for their bears, from a street vendor there.

Q: couldn't hear the question.  something about internet furor.  Ah, seems to be about Sadamoto-san leaving.

He left many times; which leaving incident? The most recent one, actually.

Seven or 8 years ago, maybe ten, right before Evangelion; was working as producer for planning and everything; once they decided to do it, he figured his work was done, and bailed out.  After that, he made his own company, but it failed, so he came back.

Most recent time he left, during Gurren Lagann; online a lot of people started badmouthing him, so he resigned as producer and as board member.  What changed after that, was that you stopped seeing his name on the opening credits, but his job was largely the same.  Resigning as a  producer really doesn't mean anything.  :)


FYI This is not Sadamoto who left, it was Mr. Akai... heh we don't need dreadful rumors to start up from this :P....

Basically what happen was people were bashing episode 4 of Gurren-Laggan on 2ch, there was a comment that was made on 2ch defending the episode came from Mr. Akai and so on and so forth. There is more information about this on Gurren-Laggan article on wikipedia.

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unclemilo

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Re: Panel writeups for Fanime 2008
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2008, 08:30:03 PM »

Just a quick correction from what you wrote in the Anime Over 30 Panel...

The creator of "Pushing Daisies" had also created a great series called "Wonderfalls" (not "Wonderful")

"Wonderfalls" is available on DVD BTW. (Box set has all eps that were filmed)

-Jonathan
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Robo-tech

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Re: Panel writeups for Fanime 2008
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2008, 03:35:00 PM »

Just a quick correction from what you wrote in the Anime Over 30 Panel...

The creator of "Pushing Daisies" had also created a great series called "Wonderfalls" (not "Wonderful")

"Wonderfalls" is available on DVD BTW. (Box set has all eps that were filmed)

-Jonathan
He also created Dead Like Me.
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-Robo-Tech
E-Gaming Second, PC Gaming Co-Head, Fanimecon 2011
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