Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Anxiety of Influence

Well what do you know, the new video is doing amazingly well. Wow, it's actually doing much better then I ever could have thought. I was very happy with what I had put together, but I really doubted if audiences would also embrace it. Turns out, I was wrong and people seem to enjoy the new approach. Imagine that heh. I've got a slew of ideas swimming around in my head on what I want to do for future episodes (monolouges, certain camera angles and shots I want to try, etc), but as of right now I can't say when the next episode will see release.

Right now, we're just about ready for finals at school, so I may have to put youtube on hold for a week or two to concentrate on that, but perhaps making a review video for next week won't be too difficult. We'll see.

Woody Allen indeed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Deconstructing Swan 1: A Fire in the Forest

(first episode of new series)

so here's the new series that I promised. I had some free time these past few days to get everything done. Overall, I'm very pleased with the results. I wanted to take things beyond the tokyo swan mold and really try and branch out a bit (while retaining some of the charm that made tokyo swan a fun series). In the end, I'm really satisfied with this first new video and the various directoral and editing techniques employed in it. You'll notice that the show is not called 'michigan swan' as again, I wanted to distance myself from the past and not just coast on the success that I've already made.

So hopefully, audiences will embrace this new work, and if that's the case then expect some more videos in this series (not weekly). If not, then I'll scrap it and focus on other things haha. So hope that everyone enjoys watching the new work as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Deconstructing Swan

I've spent the last hour working on the first 15 seconds of the new series. I think I've finally come up with something that should be interesting for viewers as well as for myself. So far, it is shaping up to be quite the departure from tokyo swan.. and yet in a way it feels like a more mature version of it. Not sure when the first part of this new series will drop... the original plan was friday, but I can see this taking me quite some time. I've no idea how audiences will react to the new series, but we shall see. Yes, I will try.... rodger

Friday, November 14, 2008

Swan's Japanese Horror Reviews 42: MPD Psycho

(review of MPD Psycho)

Hey gang, up today is the new review that was selected by YOU from the poll on this very site. So, hope everyone enjoys the new video.

Some quick things:
1. Got a new camera finally! After using the same sony cybershot for the past 4 years, I now have a new Canon powershot! I'm really liking it, and the best part is the study abroad department at school got it for me. I'm writing blogs for them about my time in Japan and reposting my old tokyo swan episodes, so this was how they opted to pay me.... nice!

2. Got a new haircut today! I'm looking more like the image you see at the top of the page, went for the fake mohawk look again. It's really a cool look for me, and I'm really happy with it.

3. Hoping to debut a new video series a week from now, probably will start with a new apartment tour either in episode 1 or 2, not sure yet. At any rate, that's something to look forward to (what in the world am I going to call it? Surely not michigan swan....)

4. Think I'm gonna go see the new james bond movie tonight with a friend of mine. I've heard mixed reviews on the latest one, but I really enjoyed the last one so we'll see.

Ok, that's all I've got for now. Oh yeah! I've finished my JET application and am mailing everything out tomorrow morning. Hurray! Now the waiting game begins. Have a good one everyone and see you next time!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Fire in the Forest

(a fire in the forest: david sylvian)

Short post tonight. Just wanted to post a song from one of my favorite artists. It's 'a fire in the forest' from David Sylvian. It is one of my most played tracks this fall after returning home from Japan, and captures some of my inner thoughts pretty well. Other then that, new review is finished and will go up friday. Until then, see you next time, and enjoy the music...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

5 Centimeters Per Second

Wow. I just had the pleasure of watching the best animated film I’ve seen in a very long time. Makoto Shinkai’s “5 Centimeters Per Second” was a beautiful masterpiece of longing, melancholy, and love. This 65 minute anime is split up into 3 different parts, and it follows the lives of three main characters searching for true love.

(5 Centimeters Per Second Trailer)

I really can’t begin to do this anime justice. It has to be seen to be believed! And well, getting an official copy might be difficult. It was released earlier in the year by ADV films here in the states. However, shortly after its release, a lot of behind the scenes business moves were being made by ADV and its distributor which caused ADV losing the license to this title. While many of ADV’s licenses were picked up by Funimation, this was not the case with this film. So, basically only so many of these DVDS were made here and what’s left in the stores is all there is. There are a few online shops that probably still have copies, but snatch it up while you still can because this is sure to be a collector’s item. Thankfully, the Best Buy in town had one lone copy, and I was overjoyed to finally pick up this film.

I knew ever since I saw the trailer that this would be something I would really enjoy. All of the ingredients of young love and trying to do the impossible just really appeals to me. It’s the kind of story that I would like to write (and if any of my short stories are any indication, the kind of story I often find myself trying to write). Sure enough, by the end of the film, I was crying and just in awe at how utterly beautiful this film is.

Today, we also got a new Sony high definition TV with all the hook ups to make the picture just perfect. I’ve never seen such beautiful animation in my life! The colors were so vibrant and the picture quality was just out of this world for me. All HD TVS should have this dvd playing because it really showcases the power of great imagery.

Ok, well that’s all from me for today. I’m kind of in a nostalgic mood after watching that film. I urge anyone with even the tiniest interest in anime to please search out a copy of this DVD (you could watch it online I’m sure, but I’m all for supporting the anime industry and buying the official products). Gorgeous film, emotional yet subdued story, and just wonderful insight into how fast people fall in love... 5 cm per second.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tokyo Swan: Unseen Swan 7 (FINAL)

(Tokyo Swan: Unseen Swan 7 (FINAL))
So here is the final tokyo swan: unseen swan episode. What an amazing run the series has had over the past year, and now it's time to say goodbye and move on to new projects. I'm hoping I can get back to Japan for a potential second season, but right now it's just too soon to call. One can hope though!

This episode has a lot of fun clips, and a rather lengthy introduction by me at the start of the video. Took me forever to get that just right, I ended up recording like at least 5 different versions of the opening monolouge, but I couldn't get the vibe right until the one that appears in the video. Anyways, that's it for Tokyo Swan... and we'll see you next time!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weekend Update 2

Hey there gang, another weekend has come and gone and it's time to start into week 10 of the semester here at school. It's hard to believe it's already Novemeber! Finals will be here before I know it (and I can't wait, next semester is going to be so much lighter). Let's kick off the weekend updates!

(Shinya Tsukamoto's 'A Snake of June')

1. This week's japanese film addition is Shinya Tsukamoto's 'A Snake of June.' Viewers of reviews will know I'm a big Tsukamoto fan, so when I saw this one at a Barnes and Noble store for only 15 bucks, I snatched it up as quick as possible and threw down my money! I can't wait to watch this one, looks very perverse and moody. Of course, I'll have to rewatch M.P.D Pyscho first as that is the next review, but I imagine A snake of June will follow shortly afterwards...

2. This week will see the release of the final Tokyo Swan: Unseen Swan. I've been working on this last one for a while, and it ends on two pretty nice clips I think. The amount of views each Unseen Swan has gotten has steadily decreased, so it's the right time to say good bye to the series and look forward to something new. A youtube user gave me a cool idea to do an apartment tour of my new place much like an old episode of Tokyo Swan. While that episode remains one of my least favorite (and it got featured! why oh why...), it's an easy type of video to do so I can see myself repeating the process and doing another tour of where I live.

3. Today has been a fairly busy day. I was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor's society, so that was pretty cool. Figure that will look nice on my JET application, which if all goes well I'll be finished with at the end of the week. Also bought a new ipod today as my old one (the old ipod photo) died last night (though it was putting up a good fight for a few months...). It's the classic ipod style, none of the fancy touch stuff. Figure that would be far too distracting, I'm on the internet enough as is heh.

Time to start working on some papers for school, and then later tonight hanging out with the guys to watch my new guilty pleasure 'the pick up artist.' Yes, it's an incredibly silly show, and that's exactly why I enjoy it. See you next time!