Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Dieses ist schwierig und gibt mir Koepfschmerzen

Well, at least my kopef won't be hurting any longer: I finally finished timing up the extras for my legit-boss at about 4am today, so that thumping migraine from listening to multiple German guys trying to figure out who fucked up the shot all at once will no longer haunt my dreams. Now I can go back to my usual fare of Alejandeo Jodorowsky at age 90 paddling my shins with a salami and my recurring dream of Kuriyama Chiaki hollowing me out from my belly button upwards and then riding me like a fleshy mecha.

I got word that a film I translated and timed more than a years ago is coming out this June. Frickin' awesome, considering the first film in the series literally came out over a year ago I wasn't convinced all that hard work (and guts) was going to pay off. Between more German Z-movies, an upcoming Russian masterpiece, the remainder of a certain Japanese genre directors' output, and possibly some UK films that have such obscure dialects in them that they'll require "American English" subtitles just like TRAINSPOTTING, my legitimate career appears to be back from the dead and hungrier for brains than ever before!

In celebration, have some of my personal fap material:

Don't lie. You get it.

I almost kept good on my word to not play with Vampire Hunter D anymore: while I'm not touching the colors this time, I did some research all the same, since I couldn't for the life of me figure out why the hell my comb filter was creating such extreme ghosting. I then found that virtually every script that used SDDeRainbow() - the plugin I found worked best for the material at hand - has been IVTCed before that filter, which as I've established isn't happening on VHD ever. So, I found another useful command:


The first line turns the original video into a 720x240 video file running 60 frames per second, so the comb filtering, noise reduction and sharpening run on a per-field basis rather than a per-frame one. The second line converts those 60 half-resolution "frames" into 30 full-resolution NTSC frames, so I put everything I want to do in between them, and long story short, it makes them work without smearing or any other nasty surprises. It probably shouldn't work, and I bet if I were more clever I'd spot some horrific artifact that cannot be undone by this evil process, but you don't hear me not complaining about my own ignorance.

It's still too dark, but I simply have to come to terms with this. Now I just need to compress it, figure out what audio files are going on the 4:3 version, and spread all the special features across 2 discs. A 3 DVD set which only contains 2 cuts of the film and no feature-length making of or anything of the sort seems a bit extravagant, but hell, it wouldn't be the worst idea I ever cocked up. I need to try recompressing the extras first, see how low I can get away with before they just look like pixelated ass. I also can't decide if I should take the making-of from the German DVD or the Urban Vision R1: the former is a PAL conversion, the latter has hard-subs, so they're both shit as far as I'm concerned. I really wouldn't mind getting the Japanese LD which also had the making-of, but that would just eat time and money, and I lack at least one of these.

In not-me related news SHIGURUI episodes 11 and 12 have officially been fansubbed. Do yourself a solid and download the whole show. Thank Anime Empire and Saizen for their hard work, too. That dialog is the kind of obscure period stuff that would lead a lesser fansub groups to seppuku.

ADV Films seems to be in bigger trouble than I think anyone realized. Not only has the entire UK division (and likely the German branch as well) been dissolved after ADV started hacking off limbs like Hydra heads - NewType magazine, Anime ADVocates club services, the linear Anime Network station, all of these canned in the course of about a week - but shortly thereafter every one of their anime licenses from mid-2006 onwards, incidentally all titles that were aquired by their Japanese backer SOJITZ, have been deleted from their website. I have it on good authority that retailers are being informed that ADV is not shipping any new stock, nor are they pressing new copies of their back catalog either. While an anonymous ADV employee said publically that there were "short term challenges" to work through, I think not having any product to release is a pretty big goddamn problem. To be fair discs that are supposed to be released next week are starting to filter into retailers' hands, but these were all logically ordered some time ago, and there's no guarantee that anything after that will surface.

As if to quell any rumors or bad tidings ADV Films announced - after 2 days of ugly silence - that they're going to start releasing all of their shows on Blu-Ray! Yeah, because when you have no DVDs to sell, you release on a currently expensive and niche format that only appeals to techno geeks. Dur, makes sense to me! Seriously, it's an almost clever ploy since, if their titles are delayed for a few weeks (or... even months?) they can write the whole thing off as "we need to negotiate with the Japanese rights holders" with the implication that it's all for Blu-Ray. When, clearly, it isn't. You don't take down the websites for your titles - especially not upcoming "big'uns" like (my beloved) Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Devil May Cry without something catastrophic happening to you.

Of course most of the internet is either assuming:

A) Just because there's smoke there can't be any fire.

B) ADV is out of money, and this will lead to Geneon Part 2.

I don't think it'll be quite Geneon bad... more like CPM Redux, if anything. Geneon is still around, technically speaking, they were just cut off at the knees by Dentsu for bleeding money left and right and aren't currently allowed to release anything. Nobody on the outside knows exactly what ADVs current situation is, but if they literally have none of the titles they've licensed in the past year and a half, the situation ain't good, whatever it is. The statement notes that "they plan on continuing to distribute", but so does Geneon. So, yeah. Good luck with that, because of Sojitz feels that ADV isn't a money maker and has told them to screw... well, we can say goodbye to one of the oldest and most influential R1 anime studios out there.

All this nonsense just makes me want to hug something.

Why, yes, I do know I'm awful. Thanks for asking.

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