Thursday, July 31, 2008

San Diego Comic Con Voice Acting Workshop - Too Many People!?

Hm. First blog. Feel tingly all over. Maybe that's just because it's after 2 AM and I need to sleep. Still very excited about SDCC. We had our very first workshop there this past weekend, Sat 7/26. The turn out was much bigger than expected - the line was around the block. At first we thought it was for multiple events, but then found out it was all for the BZ Voice Acting Workshop. Unfortunately many people could not get in - several hundred in fact, and we felt really bad about that.

Forgetting about all the technical problems - we could not show all the video clips we wanted to - we had some incredible guests: Hynden Walch (Starfire from TEEN TITANS) and Lance Henriksen (Bishop from Aliens) and a surprise visit from one of the top voice directors in the world, Andrea Romano, who was nice enough to come up on stage and give some advice to aspiring voice actors. Tony Oliver ran the workshop and he is just so engaging and interesting. You'd never know that he barely made it there on time, sweating and out of breath!! Poor Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) who was supposed to join us got food poisoning and canceled all of his engagements at Comic Con that day.

Tony taught many of the basics that he teaches in great detail at the studio such as breathing techniques, getting into character, and some of his own secrets of success. Then he called members of the audience up to the mic, and directed them in scenes from "Gurren Lagann", a series that Tony is directing at BZ that just started airing on the Sci Fi Channel Monday.

The participants seemed to enjoy the event, and our crew had a great time there. Can't wait for next year.

This concludes my first blog. I hope that I will be motivated to come back and write more. We'll see!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Anime Expo 2008

This is the first time that Bang Zoom had our own booth in the Exhibitor's Hall. It was terribly exciting, and also terribly exhausting! Being able to sell our first DVD ever was a thrill, and so was being able to interact with the fans.

We also held voice acting workshops each day and I noticed that some attendees came to each and every workshop! By the end of the con, we figured there were a few hundred new voice actors out there!

And it all culminated with Kaeko being awarded Best Casting Director by the SPJA for the casting of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya!!

A toast to the Best Casting Director! - (Kaeko Sakamoto - bottom right)
The Bang Zoom! Team @ the Industry Party

Can't wait for next year!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Manga Minutes - Now on

We've been working on MANGA MINUTES in complete secrecy since the beginning of this year. And now, finally, the webcast has launched on and iTunes. (Currently #5 in "Arts & Entertainment" and "New & Notable" on iTunes.)

We first pitched it to STARZ MEDIA in Fall of '07. They loved it but contracts took a while to finalize. Meanwhile we designed the characters and look and feel of the show.

Currently we're producing 24 episodes - one will be uploaded every two weeks.

This is a clip of some early test footage.

We write the script, record the dialogue with two actors in the booth, working together. Then animate the characters to the dialogue, just like all original animation is done in the US.

After that, the show has a lot of editing and motion graphics put in place and then it's handed over to the audio dept. There we add SFX and music - trying to put in as many "audio gags" as we can. Each episode ends up between 2 to 3 minutes long.

The Characters

Rogue - Somewhat of a geek, but at the same time, pretty fly... for an "anime guy." He's got his opinions, and plays the tough guy sometimes, but in the end, he's a loveable goof that is known to ham it up for his co-host, Yoko. Rumor is he has a crush on her. But she's pretty irritated with him most of the time!

Yoko - Street-smarts, cute and sexy all in one package. She's got an opinion about everything, and is not afraid to say it. Stay out of her way. A little hot-tempered, Yoko is constantly trying to keep Rogue focused on the reviews at hand. And tries hard not just smack him in the head sometimes. She's not one to reveal her true feelings, so who knows? Maybe she has feelings for Rogue as well. We'll see!

Watch the show here!