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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1676
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:12 am Reply with quote
Jih2 wrote:
I think it would be better if you just took 4 or 5 cameras and shot the interview from 4 or 5 different viewpoints so that instead of jumping to different viewpoints almost constantly you would just shift the point of view occasionally and to fewer points of view..


4 or 5 CAMERAS?! That's insane. Multi-camera shoots are very expensive and time-consuming to set up. Even the big television networks draw the line at 2 or 3.

You know, at some point it would be nice if people commented on, you know, the CONTENT of these videos rather than offer all this unsolicited production advice... It is a craft, and if someone doesn't REALLY know what they're talking about, most of the suggestions they're going to come up with aren't going to be very useful.

Due to various factors this was difficult to edit, but given the overall pace of the interview I'm fairly happy with how it turned out. It could be a little better, but that's to be expected as we get our processes in order. (This was shot before I became involved with such things.) I agree in retrospect it might have been a good idea to put in a slate with the questions, but I didn't want to slow things down any more in this case.

The problem with actually having the interviewer on-camera, though, is that they have to be on-camera talent AND a decent journalist. We might have one or two staffers who could pull this off, but they need a bit more practice for that, and none of them were on the trip this was shot during anyway. There's myriad technical concerns too (it REQUIRES a two-camera shoot), so that probably won't be an option for our interviews for the foreseeable future.
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jqsilver
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Joined: 27 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:49 am Reply with quote
I just think it would have been a little easier to digest if we didn't have constant zooming and shaking. Maybe it's because I grew up on PBS and not MTV.
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hentai4me



Joined: 25 Oct 2005
Posts: 1313
Location: England. Robin is so Cute!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:36 am Reply with quote
How do I comment on the content of an interview?

Most of the talking is done by the interviewee, and they'll say what they want in response to what is asked. As for the questions that are asked...well personally I have no interest in Mr Arias' work anyway so I've no idea if the questions were the ones that people really wanted answered.

When the interview was put together where did the questions come from? Were the anime viewing public canvassed or did you garner them from your own interests or through reading through/speaking to comment from the fans themselves?

As a personal preference; I know the majority seem to disagree; I wouldn't bother with interviews anyway, I don't really care what the directors/etc motivations behind any given scene/music/story/etc were only what the final product is like and how I feel about it after watching/reading/hearing it. He an wax lyrical all he wants about how he used symbolism in that scene, represented X through Y and how he was promoting agenda Z through character ∂ if I don't get it from his work then I don't really care that it was there at all.

Instead; again if possible; reviews and the like of shows could be done using actual footage to support the points raised, audio clips of songs and the like. The recent article on the best and worst of '07 could have been well supported with clips (if you could access them and get rights to screen them).

Basically I care about the work in question, not who made it; how or why. It's not like it's politics, science or history were talking here.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1676
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:56 am Reply with quote
hentai4me wrote:
As a personal preference; I know the majority seem to disagree; I wouldn't bother with interviews anyway, I don't really care what the directors/etc motivations behind any given scene/music/story/etc were only what the final product is like and how I feel about it after watching/reading/hearing it.


Forgive me for asking an obvious question, then, but why in the world are you watching and now commenting on a creator interview if you clearly don't care about creator interviews?
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 7856
Location: Anime News Network Technodrome
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:38 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:

You know, at some point it would be nice if people commented on, you know, the CONTENT of these videos rather than offer all this unsolicited production advice


We may have to make some kind of rule about this for future talkback response threads about videos, because every single time we post one, it's like 10 pages of people offering "production advice" and commenting solely on that rather than on the content, which is what the talkback thread is - believe it or not, folks - actually for.

As much as we appreciate feedback, there seem to be a lot of users who believe that this is somehow a collaborative project and that we're directly asking all of you for advice on how to "improve" everything we do.

Hentai4Me, I have to say, I respect you but what you just said was incredible nonsense - if you don't care about interviews, don't watch them, and please don't then come into the forums to tell us that you don't care about interviews and suggest that we shouldn't offer them in the first place because you personally don't like them. What were you thinking when you wrote that up? How in the world is that useful advice for anyone? And you honestly, sincerely don't know how to comment on the content of an interview? Please then read any of the myriad talkback threads we've had about any of the text-only interviews we've had here in the past. Funny how none of those focus completely on offering technical "advice" regarding execution and instead people talk about what the person actually said in the interview.

If it had just been one or two people doing this I wouldn't have said anything, but every time we post a video it's like a giant chorus of people who focus entirely on assuming they know best and then telling us how to do our jobs properly rather than people actually commenting on the content. It is immensely tiresome. I'm sure one of you will bust out with a giant 2000-word post about how "unprofessional" I am for saying this and how grateful we should be to get such valuable and important and wise production advice from so many experts - do me a solid and just skip it, OK? If you don't like the video tell us why, but please, unless you really do know what you're talking about in terms of video production - and if you're suggesting we use five cameras for an interview, here's a tip, you don't - then try, please try, to focus your comments on the content of the video. Not too difficult, right?
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Jih2



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
Posts: 403
Location: East coast
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:07 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
You know, at some point it would be nice if people commented on, you know, the CONTENT of these videos rather than offer all this unsolicited production advice... It is a craft, and if someone doesn't REALLY know what they're talking about, most of the suggestions they're going to come up with aren't going to be very useful.


I did and I really liked Mike talking about what kind of an effect he wanted Treasure Town to have on the viewer, his opinion of the story overall, etc. I also liked how he talked about the crew he worked with and some of the struggles they had while working on the production. I would have liked a question regarding his future plans for works but the interview was pretty well done.

Regarding camera work: Would it have been so hard to put 2 or 3 cameras in different places around the room? It's not like you need high quality cameras to shoot this either (at least I don't think you do). But come on, you don't have anything to say about the production? You didn't find the camera shifting odd in any way? Lastly, regarding how you said it was hard to edit this. That's nice, the average viewer isn't going to care how hard it was to edit, they're going to care how it came out. While this was well done and I'm really glad that I was able to watch this FOR FREE, we can still give our opinion of the video right? I'm not trying to fight with you, you're one of the entity's in charge here so it's you guys who make the decisions. We just comment.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:47 pm Reply with quote
Jih2 wrote:

Regarding camera work: Would it have been so hard to put 2 or 3 cameras in different places around the room?


Do you know how much cameras cost at all, or do you just have this gut feeling that it "wouldn't be difficult" to shoot a simple interview with 3 cameras?

Quote:
But come on, you don't have anything to say about the production?


Not really, no. This was shot before we had really established our video production staff. Justin basically cobbled together footage he didn't shoot himself and had been around for a while. It's just an interview - nitpicking the production on this exact video seems like a waste of time because we likely will never produce a video in the manner we produced this one in again, especially since in between the time this was shot and the time it was posted, we hired an all-new video production staff and they would've done it differently.

I assume the point of you offering us advice on the best way to produce videos is to help us improve for the future, right? Which is why especially in this case I don't see the point, the reasons for which I outlined above.

Quote:
Lastly, regarding how you said it was hard to edit this. That's nice, the average viewer isn't going to care how hard it was to edit, they're going to care how it came out.


I'm fully aware that the reader does not care at all how much effort was put into producing something. That has been very clear to me throughout my entire career.

Quote:

While this was well done and I'm really glad that I was able to watch this FOR FREE, we can still give our opinion of the video right?


Of course you can, and we want to hear your opinions, but go back and look at most of the discussion threads about the videos we've posted. It is a giant mountain of unsolicited production advice, with very few people actually commenting on the content itself. Armchair video production. Endless, excessive amounts of it. Surely you could understand how that would wear on the staff after a while, right?
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hentai4me



Joined: 25 Oct 2005
Posts: 1313
Location: England. Robin is so Cute!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:57 pm Reply with quote
I actually didn't watch it; because it was an interview; but you asked for feedback on the content so I shared what I felt about the content. Namely that I don't like this type of content and would prefer for there to be different content.

As long as interviews are paraded I will continue not watching ANNtv; but am I not allowed to express why I consider that kind of content poor and what kind of content I would prefer?

Anyway, again I ask, where did the questions asked come from?

Questions asked by industry pundits are often less interesting than; some not all; questions asked by the general public. If the interview is about 'insider' stuff like business practices, fiascoes and corporate machinations then by all means let the experts ask, they should understand better and be able to ask more pertinent questions in that field. If it is instead on the material released and something that the general public can fully or to a large part understand then allow them to ask what they want. But regardless my opinions on this are irrelevant as I wont be watching interviews anyway.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1079
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:59 pm Reply with quote
Justin, I'm curious about your reaction to this interview. Considering the disconnect for you between the manga and the movie back when you reviewed it, did this interview do anything to make you like it more, or at least appreciate what Arias was trying to do more, or did it leave your view essentially unchanged?
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:39 pm Reply with quote
sunflower wrote:
Justin, I'm curious about your reaction to this interview. Considering the disconnect for you between the manga and the movie back when you reviewed it, did this interview do anything to make you like it more, or at least appreciate what Arias was trying to do more, or did it leave your view essentially unchanged?


It made me have a little more respect for the adaptation, but not substantially so. I can see now how deep his respect for the original work truly is, and how much thought he put into the look of things. I still think the pacing and the writing really sabotage any success those things may have had. What's missing is a feel for the actual drama; the staging, the human nuances. Without those, the piece will always just lay there for me.

Oh well.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14462
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:27 am Reply with quote
jsevakis: Yeah, the manga keeps it simple, so I don't see why Mike had to turn it into some existential metaphor.
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:33 pm Reply with quote
hentai4me wrote:

Anyway, again I ask, where did the questions asked come from?

Questions asked by industry pundits are often less interesting than; some not all; questions asked by the general public.


I wrote the questions,with the help of other ANN staff. Although from many aspects, ANN's staff are becoming "industry pundits," we're also anime fans and we ask questions that we think would interest other fans like us.

Unfortunately I had only seen Tekkon in Japanese (which I do not speak), in fact I still haven't seen the movie in English. So I wasn't able to ask specifics about the plot like "what did he mean when he said this" and "why did so and so do that..." But to be honest, I've never really liked those kinds of questions. Ninety percent I find it incredibly annoying listening to people ask those questions, because most of the time the questions only interest the person asking them, and a few other people who also noticed that "issue."

Obviously you and I have different tastes in the kinds of questions we want answered by creators.

I suspect some of the other ANN editors might hate this idea, but in the future, when we have interviews lined up along time in advance, perhaps we'll start asking forum members to submit questions. Of course, it will be the interviewer's prerogative to chose the questions he or she thinks are worth asking.

We're probably going to avoid long-form video interviews in the future though, and keep those mostly text based.

As for the shakiness of the video, I apologize for that, it wasn't the camera-man's fault. Mr Arias spends a lot of time thinking when he talk, frequently changing what he's saying as he says it, and other times mumbling a bit as he speaks. He's a very interesting individual to interview, but too much editing, mostly the removal of pauses and abandoned sentences, was required to make the long-form interview less tedious to listen to.

We have two to Three other long-form interviews from Japan that we'll be posting shortly, I hope you enjoy them.

-t
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Ghiblix2



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 42
Location: San Diego
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:33 pm Reply with quote
Nice job ANN. I'm glad you gave Michael a chance to elaborate on this otherwise misunderstood story of Black and White in Tekkon Kinkreet.

I personally was watching the movie and found myself to be so distracted by thoughts that were brought up by the movie that I am sure I missed a good number of frames and details so I'll probably give it a 2nd watch sometime. Michael is being quite honest even if I doubt he really got all that he wants and needs to say about the story and the film out there. Nevertheless, he did a good job imo.


It'd be a shame if you won't allow long interviews in the future just because people can't appreciate the content. Stop watching if it's too long? If the camera in this interview was enough to make people dizzy or annoyed then they won't like the movie to begin with--the camera angles there are pretty shakey as well. Stop whining...

GATSU wrote:
jsevakis: Yeah, the manga keeps it simple, so I don't see why Mike had to turn it into some existential metaphor.


You make me lose faith in mankind's ability to comprehend things beyond the face value. Their names are BLACK AND WHITE. As in Yin and Yang, perhaps one of the most basic existential metaphors there are in human existence so yeah, I think he does have to a make the film focus on that LOL. This isn't Disney.

jsevakis wrote:


It made me have a little more respect for the adaptation, but not substantially so. I can see now how deep his respect for the original work truly is, and how much thought he put into the look of things. I still think the pacing and the writing really sabotage any success those things may have had. What's missing is a feel for the actual drama; the staging, the human nuances. Without those, the piece will always just lay there for me.

Oh well.


I agree, the pacing felt rather slow, the movie for a few fleeting moments felt like it wouldn't end, but it isn't enough for me to consider it a fatal flaw--but I can already imagine many people would call it a boring film from that alone.

The interview showing who the director really is reaffirms (for me)that he has very good ideas and he is very aware of the most important concepts that the story deals with. But indeed the characters could all have been described as depressive and expressionless. Still, I believe that's part of what it is like to be a citizen of Treasure Town. Who they all are is implied and simplified down to their most basic functions for the story.
The conflicted black, the perpetually optimistic white, the figures of wisdom and regret in both old men and the old yakuza work very well for me. I can fill in the rest, but I certainly understand the reason why people don't think it's enough.
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