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ANNCast - In the Doghouse (ENG + JPN)


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Errinundra
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:05 am Reply with quote
Hiroaki Yura is an impressive person. I saw him some years ago as the concertmaster and violinist (and founder) with the Eminence Symphony Orchestra at the Melbourne Town Hall playing music from Studio Ghibli and the Final Fantasy franchise. I've still got the poster from the concert - it was 2 July 2006. As I recall they showed excerpts from the films and games on screen as the orchestra played. They also had Youmi Kimura singing her songs from Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle.

For someone who lived in Australia from ages 6 to 28 he sure doesn't have an Aussie accent. He sounds more American to my ear.

I fear Under the Dog won't meet its goal of $580,000, which is a shame because of the three Kickstarter projects for new material (the others being Kick Heart and Little Witch Academia 2) this is the closest to my taste. Here's hoping it gets there.
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Kadmos1



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:17 am Reply with quote
Any explanation as to the title's name.
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:20 am Reply with quote
Kadmos1 wrote:
Any explanation as to the title's name.


From the Kickstarter page:

Quote:
un•der the dog

ˈəndər T͟Hə dôg

phrase

1. when one is in a situation so disagreeable that they would wish to rather be "under the dog," a place of dishonor, misery, and filth, in order to escape their current state of affairs

noun

1. (underdog) a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest

2. one born under the sign of the dog (Canis Major - Sirius) embodying loyalty, speed, the hunt, and watchfulness

From Ishii-san:

“If your parents, family, or classmates are taken hostage and if you die, your family will die too. If you fail, your family will die. If you run away, your family will die. In such a situation where you are driven into a corner [...] and must kill [your] fellow compatriots.” What would you do? How would you live out your life? Your death? “[...] if you have only the choice of dying, how will you die, how can that death help the world that you have left behind?” This is what it is to be “Under the Dog.”
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:12 am Reply with quote
Cptn_Taylor wrote:
I think this is a completely stupid attitude. It's like cutting your nose to spite your face. A "compromised" vision that is seen on tv/dvd/blu-ray is better than a pure vision that remains in the depths of the creative universe for failing to bring in the bucks to materialise said artistic vision.


And I'd hate to be so condescending, but it's not like these guys are Kubrick or anything. They just want to make a cool girlz-n-gunz action anime, I think a little compromise wouldn't have killed them. Will they go back to those investors should this Kickstarter fail, assuming getting it made in some capacity is preferable over not at all? Would interference have so radically changed what they were going for?
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:39 am Reply with quote
I just finally checked this project out: I think Zav mentioned in the last ANNcast that the Kickstarter page for this is way too wordy, and it's quite true. It's so long I can easily imagine people being unwilling to get through it all and make a decision about donating. That trike is cool, but it gives way too much detail about it. This is a pitch, not a detailed demonstration of design concepts. Save that stuff for a webpage or book specifically for that purpose.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:48 am Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:

And I'd hate to be so condescending, but it's not like these guys are Kubrick or anything. They just want to make a cool girlz-n-gunz action anime, I think a little compromise wouldn't have killed them. Will they go back to those investors should this Kickstarter fail, assuming getting it made in some capacity is preferable over not at all? Would interference have so radically changed what they were going for?


This is one of those cases where being skeptical and basically saying "eh why doesn't he just suck it up? Surely they won't have to compromise that much" isn't particularly fair. While I'm sure - and it was even said in the podcast itself by Jiro Ishii - that it's possible to have a good experience working with a production committee, most of the time it is, according to nearly every creative I've talked to in the 15 years or so I've been interviewing Japanese creatives, a stifling atmosphere. Working under a production committee takes away your editorial control over the story you wrote and have a vision for. Nobody's saying it's the end of the world and yes, most people have to compromise to get their project off the ground, but all he said is that they have a shot at doing it this way instead and they're going to take it.

I mean, it's not like you've ever worked under a production committee before; who are you to tell these guys "it doesn't seem so bad to me, just do it that way!"? How would you have any idea at all what that environment is like? You don't. It's just gut feeling "it can't be that bad!" which is based on nothing. Not particularly fair.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:00 pm Reply with quote
Full disclosure, I support "Under the Dog" and hope its gets produced, it looks like an interesting anime and I'd love to see something like kickstarter as a viable platform for funding anime. (I also REALLy respect/appreciate their transparency with the process) That said...
Zac wrote:
I mean, it's not like you've ever worked under a production committee before; who are you to tell these guys "it doesn't seem so bad to me, just do it that way!"? How would you have any idea at all what that environment is like? You don't. It's just gut feeling "it can't be that bad!" which is based on nothing. Not particularly fair.

I'm sorry, but this is horse-crap. OK, I haven't worked in the ANIME industry, but I've worked in the games industry and doing that taught me one thing. People (in ANY entertainment industry and really in ANY industry period) do not pay you to create YOUR vision, they pay you to create THEIRS. I hate salesmen like the plague, especially after needing to implement whatever fool idea they agreed to from a customer, but I RESPECT the job they have and the work that they do and fully appreciate that I don't want to do that job.

By launching this kickstarter, these creative guys are going into SALES. Maybe they convince enough people to buy their vision, maybe they don't. But at the end of the day, that's what a production committee (in ANY industry, they just have another name in other industries) does FOR the people that don't want to do it. The production company tells them ways to make it more marketable, I've had a LITANY of bosses that do the same thing. Yeah, getting those dictates sucks, but that's how you get paid. If you can afford to do it on your own, then by all means do it, but if you can't then you're stuck with dealing with the people that pay you. And frankly, compared to entry level "asst. Directors" or "Key Animators", at least at the top you get SOME say in the process rather than just "this is what we're making, go build it".

(Heck, thousands of emails to ANN should prove that plenty of idiots think they have a great idea, and many are naive enough to think there's some magical money fountain just waiting for these brilliant projects)
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Arsenette



Joined: 02 Jun 2011
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:20 pm Reply with quote
I commend you on the interview (and the option to hear the whole thing with the Japanese/English back and forth). Having done a few of these myself for my own blog and knowing when the translation begins and when to restart questioning, etc. I know it's difficult to strike the right balance. Finding the right questions that can fit in half the time you normally have for interviews (since half of it usually is lost in the translation process) is an art in and of itself. You did great and I enjoyed seeing the process. It's also really nice that the director was also the interpreter (that's a difficult job.. my brain goes bonkers when I do Spanish/English for that long). I tip my hat to him.

I hope that somehow this project can work for them. It doesn't look that way so far with half the money with 9 days to go. Maybe they can do the first season and then work on the 2nd/3rd once the first one is done? All of this in Japan is such a learning process and the idea of fundraising for anything in Japan has been difficult to work consistently.
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danilo07



Joined: 25 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:22 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
And frankly, compared to entry level "asst. Directors" or "Key Animators", at least at the top you get SOME say in the process rather than just "this is what we're making, go build it".

Ahh, that is not what happens in a lot of cases actually. There are times when key animators are given such a freedom that they include which weren't present in storyboards.
Quote:
I mean, it's not like you've ever worked under a production committee before; who are you to tell these guys "it doesn't seem so bad to me, just do it that way!"? How would you have any idea at all what that environment is like? You don't. It's just gut feeling "it can't be that bad!" which is based on nothing. Not particularly fair.
I I still find their position to be a bit arrogant. Like how many people in the same industry tried to pitch their ideas to producers but were flat out ignored? They had an option to fund this via traditional methods and it would have probably turned out to be fine but they chose riskier version that can effectively kill the entire project.
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walw6pK4Alo



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:21 pm Reply with quote
danilo07 wrote:
They had an option to fund this via traditional methods and it would have probably turned out to be fine but they chose riskier version that can effectively kill the entire project.


Yeah, now potential investors can use a hard number against them, citing that a project which should have been popular and resonated with Western demos didn't do so well. Sure, you can commend the creators for sticking to their guns and not wanting to compromise one ounce of control away, but perhaps at the cost that now the entire project is belly-up? I feel like if they were just aiming for an OVA series, then the Kickstarter allows them all the freedom, but if they had the chance for a full television series, would it would have been so much more demanding and painful than any other creator who's had to deal with production committees? I'm sure it's a bitch of a process, but they're not special little snowflakes with a special snowflake of a concept for an anime, hundreds before them have gone for the ordeal and come out just fine with their shows. Then again, maybe the production committee was planning on giving animation to GONZO or DEEN, so maybe that's why they bailed, I would have too.

Guess we'll find out in 9 days.
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samuelp



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
It is important to point out that he said several times they had many offers for a TV version of this script, but they turned all traditional funding down in order to have complete creative control.


Offers for a TV version of a script are still many steps from a project obtaining full funding for a series. That's just the step where you're given the opportunity and budget to do some prelim development while the nascent production committee attempts to gather enough investors to cover the budget. That can take years for something like this, especially when there's no original work that it is based on.

They were well aware that the chances of getting an original script funded for a full TV series are very small these days... Some of the few recent examples are Gargantia (Urobuchi got that made...), Space Dandy, Kill la Kill... but without that kind of pedigree you'll be hard pressed to do something like that.

I don't buy the BS about creative freedom. Remember, this is just 1 episode, and their goal is then to get funding for a full series after that from traditional means. So in the end even if it's a success they'll be under a traditional production committee situation...
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EyeOfPain



Joined: 14 May 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:56 pm Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:
I don't buy the BS about creative freedom. Remember, this is just 1 episode, and their goal is then to get funding for a full series after that from traditional means. So in the end even if it's a success they'll be under a traditional production committee situation...

It sounds like their current goal, beyond the single episode, is a series of three direct-to-video feature length films, which would mean no television stations, or companies that own movie theaters, would need to be involved in the production.

The people running the project seem to believe that, once they can prove an audience exists for this type of feature, they can entice some venture capital that is willing to be very hands-off on the feature films. Whether this is true or not, I'm not sure, but I'd like to see it get a chance using this method of funding.
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Kadmos1



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:27 pm Reply with quote
I think that this is the 1st time I've read or heard in an interview where Japanese creators themselves said something to the effect of, "While there is a Japanese audience here, our intent is for the project to be more aimed at the West".

HeeroTX, while you are mostly right about how people in any industry do tend to pay you to create their vision, I don't thinks that's always the case. I don't know any spec. situations but I think maybe there are some people who pay you to create your vision but don't know how it would work.

Like other anime/manga projects people are trying to get accomplished on that site, I hope that they meet their goal(s) because this certainly would be the fruits of their figurative labor that of something that's been trying to be made since '97.

Yura-san is recognizing how the Japanese should do some shifting away from the moe (and LN) titles which even have a select audience.


Last edited by Kadmos1 on Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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David.Seth



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:47 pm Reply with quote
Wonderful episode, it was interesting to hear from people directly related to a work (in progress). While the visuals of Under the Dog look great, I am not that interested in it, but I pledged anyway. I really want to see an ova/movie where the creative team had total control. I want to be blown away. But even if I'm not I wont regret supporting them. I hope they reach their goal.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:31 pm Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:

Offers for a TV version of a script are still many steps from a project obtaining full funding for a series. That's just the step where you're given the opportunity and budget to do some prelim development while the nascent production committee attempts to gather enough investors to cover the budget. That can take years for something like this, especially when there's no original work that it is based on.

They were well aware that the chances of getting an original script funded for a full TV series are very small these days... Some of the few recent examples are Gargantia (Urobuchi got that made...), Space Dandy, Kill la Kill... but without that kind of pedigree you'll be hard pressed to do something like that.

I don't buy the BS about creative freedom. Remember, this is just 1 episode, and their goal is then to get funding for a full series after that from traditional means. So in the end even if it's a success they'll be under a traditional production committee situation...


So basically they took the chance to get it made sooner rather than later, instead of being stuck in development hell for years.


Kadmos1 wrote:

I think that this is the 1st time I've read or heard in an interview where Japanese creators themselves said something to the effect of, "While there is a Japanese audience here, our intent is for the project to be more aimed at the West".


Well, it is an under-served area of the marketplace right now, and capitalism tends to fill in where there's a void. If a business somehow manages to fill that gap right, there's not much competition to control the market.
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