My biggest video yet and now for my super important announcement:
I'm finally retiring from Anime Music Videos
Short Reason: I'm finally retiring from amvs to focus full time on my webshow, Battle Geek Plus, and many more video/film related projects.
Of course, here's the LONG explanation
That probably wasn't the news you were expecting or would EVER expect me to say.
But this is real. No tricks. No hidden agendas. No attention whoring publicity stunts. No secret comebacks.
I am finally retiring from amvs.
I know most people's reactions will be:
"What's the point of announcing a retirement? Why not go on a hiatus and just come back when you feel like it?"
It's not that simple, I'm afraid.
The thought of retiring from amvs may be completely unfathomable to most of you, and if you asked me a year and a half ago, I was also saying the same thing: "I'm gonna focus both on my film and amv work! I can do both!!!"
The reality is I can't do both.
Let's start with the entire amv process.
Most of you already know how incredibly time consuming the entire process of amv editing is from the planning, source gathering/converting, editing, distribution, convention showings, and responding to general feedback. Even the most simple edited amvs require ALOT of time and dedication in the planning phase alone. Not to mention that the editing phase is 90% improvisation work since a video will always look different than the one you plan in your head so that also takes up quite a lot of time. All of you who watch my videos should already know the incredible amount of effort and time I put into these things.
Back when I was a poor college student, I had all the time in the world to work on amvs, but now as a poor working adult, my time is far more limited. I know there's editors out there who can still pump out videos even with families and full time jobs, because if you're passionate about something, you'll still try to find the time for it. Even when I was working as a freelance editor and eventually settling for a corporate job when editing opportunities dried out, I still pumped out as many amvs as I could since I was still passionate about it at the time.
I'm not going to lie about the fact that my interest in anime and amvs has died out quite a bit, making it very difficult to make videos. I can only make so many DBZ and Naruto videos before the crowd gets sick of it and *I* get sick of it. The easy solution is to watch new shows and develop new ideas out of watching those shows, but what's the point if I can't get interested in anime anymore? Not to mention the incredible amount of time it takes to watch new shows, get emotionally involved with the plot, characters, etc, and to come up with story ideas.
I was also getting a bit tired of the limitations that I was stuck with regarding amvs.
Even though I can tell original stories with amvs, I was never telling them with my own characters or settings. After developing a passion for writing my own stories and telling them in a narrative fashion from film editing, I long desired to bring those stories to life in a different way than amvs. I'm not saying that amv editing is a bad way to tell stories (considering how much I prefer story videos and amv editing is a fantastic way to tell a story in a short amount of time), but I wanted to move on from telling stories with someone else's characters to telling my own stories with my own characters, settings, and dialogue.
It's actually that my passion is somewhere else now, which was the main catalyst for my retirement.
Ever since I started getting more passionate about filmmaking and using that to make my webshow, it's proven to be a far more time consuming process. Not only do I have to do alot of work behind the camera like writing, producing and editing, I've been doing alot of work in front of the camera, like setting up shots and lighting, directing, and especially acting which is super fun (but also very difficult!). It's an entirely different process that I've been massively enjoying which has taken time away from amvs.
Plus the nature of webshows is a very different beast than amvs. In order to really become successful, you have to produce videos on a consistent (mostly weekly) basis in order to maintain a consistent audience. With amvs, I always did a "whenever I feel like it" schedule since there was no real pressure or financial gain to be had. However, ever since I've been working hard on my webshow, it's starting to make a little money and if I keep it up, I can start making a living off doing it. As an artist, there's no greater joy than making a living off your art.
Because of the time consuming nature of amvs and filmmaking, the hardest realization was that I can't do both. If I'm always worrying about what amv I'm going to make, then I'll NEVER have the time to work on my webshow and eventually films. In order to make room for one, I have to sacrifice the other.
What about my "amv fame" and status in the community? Does it still matter to me anymore?
When you start off as an amv editor, you have a desire to prove yourself, making it on the big screen, winning awards, entertaining the crowd, etc. which helps you become a better editor. If you've experienced the long and varied amv career that I've had complete with ups and downs (far more ups), you tend to mellow out and start feeling more content. Plus that desire to win awards and to prove yourself isn't as important anymore. You can finally say "Why not let someone else have their shot?".
It might be crazy to think why I'm retiring when I've hit the top of my game, but why *not* retire at the top of my game? Rather than making a mediocre video later and leaving without notice, I want people to say "It sucks that Castor Troy left, but that was a fucking awesome video he retired with!".
It's best that I leave at my absolute best rather than neglecting it later on and making excuses on why I don't edit amvs anymore.
I know I can top Naruto Ball Z Shippuden if I wanted to, but all that time and energy is much better spent towards working on my webshow and eventually making a living from it. I know that I *can't* just do simple ideas that don't push my creativity. Every idea I make requires so much time and effort that I don't have anymore. Naruto Ball Z Shippuden took 11 months (July 2010 – June 2011) of my life to complete and in that same time, I remastered my first 50 classic DBZ videos under the Castor Box. Counting the Castor Box, Naruto Ball Z Shippuden, and my AX2011 Iron Chef video, I've done 52 videos from 2010-2011 alone, so you can see why I can't dedicate the time to make amvs anymore.
While it does suck that I have tons of ideas that will never be made, I don't have anymore loose ends or incomplete videos lying around. Maybe one of these days, I'll post all my now discarded ideas (if I remember them all).
I can also go out knowing that I've gotten pretty much everything I've wanted award wise from amvs. While I never won the AWA Masters Jacket, I finally won the coveted AX director's chair I've wanted after a decade which is pretty much the prize I wanted the most.
But the most important thing was entertaining the audience which I was happy to do and accomplish time and time again. That was probably the greatest reward in itself.
Because this is my final video, I'm going to have to "troll" it out to more cons than I usually do (not too many, I promise! Maybe more than the 4-5 big cons) since I want to get everything I can from it before I officially go out. While I'm announcing my retirement now, I'm not *officially* retired until Naruto Ball Z Shippuden makes it's final con appearance by AWA or some con after that.
I really hope Naruto Ball Z Shippuden embodies everything I've tried to express in my whole body of amv work, especially storytelling. I literally pushed out everything I had both story and editing wise and I think it definitely shows. It's the last one I had in me, so I hope you all enjoy it.
But this doesn't mean goodbye.
Now that I'm done *making* amvs, I still plan to hang around the community as a spectator. I still plan on sponsoring prizes for Brad's AMV Iron Chef events and now that I don't have to make amvs or worry about contests anymore, I can start focusing on helping others get *their* amvs shown by running panels and showings myself. The only time I will edit amvs again is if I'm forced to Iron Chef, but at least that's only in the timespan of 2-3 hours.
In 2013, I plan to get the VG Projects shown at cons again for their 10 year anniversaries and I also hope to run a series of amv related panels with all the tips and tricks I learned from all my years of AMV experience (I want to do a panel called "How to make winning amvs and alienate people" at a future AX :P). There's no guarantees yet, but I still plan on hanging out in the community.
Many years ago, I was always wondering what it would finally be like to be "free" of making amvs. Not having to worry about contests, fame, and proving yourself time and time again. It's a HUGE relief to finally let it all go and not have to worry about it anymore. I can take solace with the fact that there are still quite a lot of dedicated and talented editors to step up to the plate and take my place.
After 13 years of amv editing and 81 videos (if you count my remakes and MEP segments, it's probably around 150+) it's finally time for me to close up shop and to start making a living off my art. I know my presence in amv contests will be missed, but this is definitely *NOT* a goodbye as I'll still be active in the community as a spectator, but no longer making videos. I still love amvs and still want to remain part of the community and I'll never forget where my roots come from.
I'm grateful for all the awesome times, and now I leave things to you guys and the next generation of editors. I hope you all enjoyed watching my videos as much as I had making them. 🙂
With all that said, Goku and I have finally won the Super Bowl!
My amv career begins and ends with Goku. Thanks for the awesome 13 years.
Ryan "Castor Troy" Molina
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