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Tsu

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FMV Reviews/Feelings
« on: June 02, 2010, 04:16:02 PM »

I just wanted to post what I thought about the FMV Finalist showings this year.  Anyone else feel free to join me.

I think this year was a huge step up from last year. As a finalist, I was greeted kindly by the coordinator, who was both polite and friendly and made sure that all of the editors were taken care of.  In prior years, it's been difficult to find anyone who knows anything about editor priority seating.  I've had to convince random staff members that I'm an editor, or even just gotten lumped in line with everyone else.  It doesn't seem like much, but this was an important aspect to me.

The viewing itself was pretty good.  The sound quality initially was poor, with the bass cranked up way too high, but it was corrected around the 3rd video, which helped a lot.  I was able to make out lyrics this year (for most videos) which is also a plus.  Nothing sucks as badly as not being able to understand the words that us editors usually base our videos off of in the first place.  One big negative I have to point out is that no time was given for us to vote.  In prior years, we've either been allowed to vote at the end of each category, or a short snippet of each video is shown at the very end with the names of the vid so we can go "Oh yeah, I liked that one" and scribble down its name.  That was kind of harsh for the viewer's choice, as I'm sure there were at least some people who didn't remember which video they wanted to vote for.  I hope this is amended next year.  Also, I noticed during the awards ceremony that the judges' winner for Experimental wasn't even shown during the finals. What happened?  It was a pretty rad video, too.  Technical difficulties happen, though, so it's understandable.

One thing I think is really important is to list the name of the anime and the song used in the videos.  A lot of industry people feel that AMVs are stealing money from them, but I often watch a video and think, "Wow, that show looks great!" and then look for it. I'm of the opinion that it's important to list the anime, especially if it could result in a viewer walking straight to the dealer's room and hunting down a DVD of it.  The anime industry needs all the help it can get, after all.

Obviously the prizes this year are a great new addition.  A lot of money went into them and I'm sure the winning editors all appreciate it.

I personally feel that the categories could have been equalized a bit (in terms of number of finalists) but obviously that's partially due to what is entered into each category and is actually of quality to make the finals.  I was glad to see that the video quality itself was handled well.  In 2008 everything was interlaced and looked dreadful, shaky and all.  No such problems this year. 

My only other concern is the choice of judges this year.  Does anyone know if the judges had any prior knowledge of anime?  It's nice to have a video judged mostly upon its artistic and technical qualities, but I do feel that if they didn't have knowledge of at least some anime, some of what the editors were doing might have been lost on them.  For example, if a video follows a linear story matching that of the original anime, or if they invent a new story on their own that matches the music.  These kinds of things stand out to people familiar with the shows, but might not mean anything to art students.  Just wondering.  Overall, though, I think this year was a great job.  Thank you!
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Marin Jei El

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Re: FMV Reviews/Feelings
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 03:42:46 PM »

Hi,
Thanks for such awesome feedback!

I would like to directly address some of your thoughts with my own. You bring up many valid points.

I'm really glad that your overall feeling is that the FMV Contest is improving. I'm glad that getting the editors priority seating was well received. I will make sure continue that next year, hopefully with signs and better information about it prior to the show. I know that this was an important aspect to other editors as well and something that I would be more than happy to make happen.

The viewing had some set backs as the Civic had just received major upgrades to its equipment and the few problems we experienced hadn't been faced with the new equipment so troubleshooting was trial and error versus having a ready manual for it. I have spoken with the lead tech for the Civic about this issue and have let him know that many people were upset by this. They understand and we have reached an agreement that we will be doing dry runs on days prior to the show to allow plenty of time for any problems that may arise.

As for the sound, I will do more on my end to adjust volumes prior to the show (the entire show is edited and put together prior to FanimeCon)
 and we will use the mentioned dry run prior to the show to catch any further adjustments needed. I will also make sure to include larger amounts of time in between each video and in between each category. We will definitely be providing a quick recap and a list of the videos for the audience to refer to when voting. We left that time short so that we could include more videos, but we will look for a balance on that in next year's show.

Our delay in starting also attributed to the sudden "everyone get out" scenario that we had to endure as the Civic's schedule is VERY strict. Because of this, the audience had little to no time to vote after the show and a couple of AMV's, bumpers, and sneak peak videos got cut off at the end. Again, this was attributed largely to the late start. I agree with you that many AMV's do inspire us to seek out new anime. We will make sure that everyone has plenty of time to vote and knows exactly what they are watching.

I'm glad that the prizes were such a big hit as well. We do plan on keeping some sort of prize system implemented.  ;D

As far as the categories being equalized, I also agree, but as you stated, it is largely due to the amount of entries that are received. If we had more comedy or more experimental, those sections would be longer. This year submissions were heavily dominated by drama and action.

Lastly, to address your concern about the judges, we had a great mix of judges this year and hope to in the coming years. While every submission was watched and discussed, different points of view were also brought up about everything from the technical ability to the AMV in context of the anime. We had a diverse mix of not only artists, but all of them have had some sort of experience in editing, animation (all types), audio production, and anime. For the most part, all of them were actually in the animation departments that dealt with all the criteria of the judging. I understand what you mean about being concerned about the judging the AMV's, and while I agree with you, I also know that an great AMV can also be judged without bias regardless of the level of anime knowledge. Many animes are discovered by all when you watch AMV's, as you stated before. We had a great mix of anime experience ranging from casual to very, very knowledgeable, but again that is only one factor out of many that go into judging the FMV Contest.

I really do appreciate feedback, especially feedback this specific. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm in making the FMV Contest better every year. I would still like to hear ANY and ALL questions, comments, concerns, and suggestions. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

"We can do our best to make a better show, but without our fans, we cannot make a show at all!" - Jose Marin
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 03:58:34 PM by Marin Jei El »
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Jebus

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Re: FMV Reviews/Feelings
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 02:27:39 AM »

well. long as were doing feedback. some things that would be appreciated. faster emailing and notification. now i understand there is a certain amount of time that it takes to get things ready, have all bases covered, everything judged correctly, double checked, etc, but it seemed to me that we were told things were going to be posted "this evening" and it became after midnight tomorrow. things happen, i know, but if things are going to delay information, at the very least a heads up is in order. this really irked me after the amv contest because i had to leave early on monday and only caught one amv. then it took till thursday to find out i had lost. which wasnt even that dissappointing except for that i felt like id been strung along an extra three days for not making it through all the ceremony.

an idea, for the sound issues. maybe you guys could play a calibration amv before the entries, just so if theres anything to be adjusted its minor and if anyone gets shorted out theyre probably not in the contest. maybe not even a full amv, but something you can jack with a bit to get the levels straight.

scheduling. less for the amv contest as i understand thats kind of futile with the need to get all the votes tallied and everything, but for the gathering, afternoon, next time, please? i wanted to go but the night before i had a horrid time getting to sleep and i was not in a position to wake up at 9:30 speed through a shower and jump over to....wherever it was. if it was more like around dinner time, or saturday instead of sunday, there might be some space to work with. maybe it isnt all that much of an issue for everyone else and i can respect that but at the same time id still like the time to get up, take a shower and not feel like tar.

another suggestion that might help some of the lesser known animes in amvs, and i can understand how this might not work with some people but id like it out there, if an amv is early enough, and the creator wants to make sure that someone in one of the judges seats can at least explain why it fits with the story instead of just the usual judging guesswork, you could have some judges that will watch at least some of it. not all if its some massive show, but at least have it so that if theres a good chance the amv is going to make it into the finals that someone will have seen it and might be able to advocate for it. there are some animes where its obviously not that necessary or it would be too troublesome for people to make the time i understand, but i feel theres amvs, like mine, where the series just isnt that mainstream and it can slip through the cracks. and were talking 13 episodes here. thats a weekend someone might be willing to put in to understand the story of an amv. because i mean, i know its stupid to tell someone to watch something the day before theyre going to judge an amv or something, but at the same time, i met the soft deadline, i knew the anime i was going to use ahead of time, someone probably had a free weekend and could have just watched it, probably enjoyed it, and then could have leveled the playing field a bit. i like making amvs and i like competing and all but at the same time im not going to use a mainstream anime just to win and it feels like every time the audience is going to pick something else just because theyre more familiar with it and the judges are the only chance i got, only because they might be into the more different series than most people. if i lose by skill then i lose by skill but if i lose by obscurity then skill doesnt even come to play
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Tsu

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Re: FMV Reviews/Feelings
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2010, 11:52:40 PM »

I know you were the second in command in prior years, but considering this is your first year in the captain's chair, I think you did a VERY good job, Jose.  Don't mind my criticisms, they're there to help give advice for improvements, but all things considered, this year was very good.  And frankly, audio errors aren't anything new- they even happened back in the days of Scott- and technical difficulties can't be avoided, especially since we weren't allowed to get into the space when you wanted to be because of whatever was going on before us.

Quote
well. long as were doing feedback. some things that would be appreciated. faster emailing and notification. now i understand there is a certain amount of time that it takes to get things ready, have all bases covered, everything judged correctly, double checked, etc, but it seemed to me that we were told things were going to be posted "this evening" and it became after midnight tomorrow. things happen, i know, but if things are going to delay information, at the very least a heads up is in order. this really irked me after the amv contest because i had to leave early on monday and only caught one amv. then it took till thursday to find out i had lost. which wasnt even that dissappointing except for that i felt like id been strung along an extra three days for not making it through all the ceremony.

I understand your frustration, but honestly, this year was better than prior years in those regards.  Back in the olden days, sometimes a week would roll by after the convention before the winners were posted.  I was freaking out about the delay to let us know who the finalists were too (more nervousness than anything else) but things were really on a tight schedule this year.  I definitely would also prefer if the AMV winners were shown earlier than they were- but ultimately the FMVs have to play along with everything else that wants control of Stage Zero.  As for it taking 3 days... I don't know where any of the coodinators live, but even if they were in the San Jose area, they probably didn't get home until Monday or Tuesday night just because of having to finish up everything at the con, pack up, and so forth.  I'm sure they were exhausted having to get everything viewed, judged and set up for viewing by the audience in a 2 week span and then having to go through all the audience votes with less than 24 hours to get them counted and print out certificates.  I'm willing to wait an extra couple of days for the results for the sake of their wellbeing, LOL.  But maybe in future years we could get a twitter feed or something added to the regular fanime feed so someone could just report it on-site as they're being announced.

By the way, what was your video?  At the same time I understand the feeling of submitting a video with an old or unknown anime, I think we're pretty lucky just to have high caliber judges.  And since at least one set of them were students, I imagine most of them didn't have time to sit down with the anime involved in the finalist videos.  Your video was a finalist; just that alone probably shows that they were able to enjoy it with or without knowledge of the anime.
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Jebus

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Re: FMV Reviews/Feelings
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 01:12:41 AM »

By the way, what was your video?  At the same time I understand the feeling of submitting a video with an old or unknown anime, I think we're pretty lucky just to have high caliber judges.  And since at least one set of them were students, I imagine most of them didn't have time to sit down with the anime involved in the finalist videos.  Your video was a finalist; just that alone probably shows that they were able to enjoy it with or without knowledge of the anime.

the ga rei zero one in the action category. used lycanthrope by +44. its not so much that i doubt that the amv is good, like you said it made it into the finals so its obviously got SOMETHING going for it but at the same time theres this feeling that the nuance is probably lost. like i may use a scene that on its own doesnt look like anything but its used because its a turning point because of something wasnt shown. and i dont mean every amv necessarily needs this or that it should be done regardless of how many eps the anime is or when its turned in. im talking about for people that made the soft deadline, or earlier, maybe not even finished but want to give a heads up since they know its going to be done. obviously this isnt for shows that have 75 episodes or massive fanbases or what have you, but those kinds of silent but maybe more adult or story based ones that really dont get on the radar all that often.. even if its still like "okay, tell me what eight episodes are important. what is there to skip, where is the filler?" those episodes that are watched could very well bring a lot of perspective that you just cant get in a five second clip. and thats just 3-4 hours, which could make a whole lot more of the story make sense. and thus more of the action makes sense. i mean, i got a amv on the back burner that ill probably finish for next year that uses ef a tale of memories. which is artsy and nice and all, but theres a lot of clips that could be very confusing if you havent watched it. so it could be very appealing visually, but still get sold short because its true artistic merit is lost. were talking a year heads up for someone to watch 13, maybe 26 if i use the second seasons episodes. its not REALLY necessary, but at the same time say one of the judges wants to watch something dramatic and doesnt really find anything on his own. this could also give the judges some suggestions they may actually enjoy and at the same time help them understand the true intent of the amv. if the judges dont want to then the judges dont want to but if some of them do, then its another thing that might level the playing field
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addniim

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Re: FMV Reviews/Feelings
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 03:33:40 PM »

Thank so much
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