SUTORAIKUanime Exclusive: Interview with Shin

As promised last week, SUTORAIKUanime had a chance to sit down with AMV artist Shin, otherwise known as tehninjarox on Youtube and tehninjaness on, to discuss his AMV artist career, how it all began, his experiences, helpful tips, and what not. Read more for the full interview.

The first question I always ask AMV artists is, how and when did the love for anime all start?

I ended up watching Dragonball Z when it was showing on Cartoon Network's Toonami sometime
when I was 13. I thought it was awesome at the time. I started watching subbed shows from fansub
groups around the time I hit 18 and I've just kept watching anime ever since, catching the newest
shows as they air.

What made you decide to start creating AMVs? Was it a particular scene from an anime, a song, or just outright curiosity?

When I started watching anime in high school I stumbled upon AMVs and liked watching them and thought I had good ideas to make an AMV, the major drawback at the time was I never really had a decent computer, a video editing program or a lot of time to actually sit down and make one. It wasn't until March 2010 that I decided to start making them as kind of a cool thing to have to show at my wedding and for my fiance as a kind of an extra way to commemorate it all. I started off with Rob Thomas' Little Wonders and used a lot of Owl City songs for my first batch of AMVs.

In the first entry of your journal, you mention being an amateur when starting, but in
the little time since you've started creating AMVs, how did you manage to make such a drastic improvement? Watching your AMVs now, it seems like it took years and years to master!

I spend a lot of time just messing around in different editing programs to see what kind of things I can do and what looks good.

I also watch a lot of AMVs, and not just good ones but a lot of bad ones too. Good ones help give a sense of what works and what can be used as a measuring stick on what to strive for in an AMV. I also try to figure out how editors accomplish different effects and try to recreate similar things just for practice. But also the bad ones have moments or concepts that are actually really awesome but just need better execution or polish, so those help to kind of give me new ideas or things to try to see if I can make work.

When did you decide that entering an AMV contest might be a good idea?

I just decided on a whim one day to do it and thought it would be a good way to just get more people to watch my AMVs. It seems to have worked well so far and now I've sort of become a contest addict and make it a point to try to enter something into all contests I can.

What was the first contest you entered? And which AMV did you use?

The first contest I entered was Bakuretsu-Con and was surprised that I won Best in Show. The AMV was Hot K-pop 2010.

Do you keep track of the awards you've won? Judging by your YouTube Profile, it seems your list is very lengthy!

I keep track of all the awards I've won from contests held at conventions and try to keep my YouTube profile updated with them. I don't include the various YouTube contests though, but it would probably double the length of the list if I did.

Having experimented several years ago with creating AMVs, I know from experience that it takes several hours of hard work and unwavering dedication plus patience in regards to the creation process. How do you manage? Any special tactics? Coffee? Self-determination?

It's mostly just self-determination and because I think its really fun to make AMVs, although at times it can be extremely frustrating if one thing isn't turning out right. I think knowing the dates for contest deadlines really helps to motivate me to finish an AMV in a specific time frame, but since I like to mess around with different projects I can end up procrastinating and then I need to break out some coffee and Redbull in the final days to get it finished and submitted on time.

What inspirations do you draw from?

There are a lot of other AMV editors I like and watch for inspiration. I also like to watch real music videos and think about which parts of it could just be made similarly with anime scenes. I've also had some ideas come out from random TV show openings. Pretty much anything, anywhere if it looks appealing and could match up with a beat might give me an idea to play with.

Are there any particular reasons why you choose the songs and series you do?

Generally, I try to find an anime series that can be portrayed with the same emotional vibe as the song. The actual stories don't necessarily have to match with the song, but the scenes I choose from the anime need to match the rhythm or the emotion of the song.

Is video editing a career path you are on? Or is it more along the lines of a part-time hobby?

I've considered a path into a video editing career, but currently its more along the lines of a part time hobby. Currently though, I'm a co-founder of a game development start-up and I've been able to put some of my skills that I've developed from creating AMVs to use.

I've often heard that having a strong computer setup helps make the AMV creation process much smoother, since it is a form of video editing. Care to provide us with some specs of your rig?

A more powerful computer definitely helps and cuts down time on a lot of things. My current rig is:

Intel Core i7 950 overclocked and water-cooled
2x GTX 460

Dual (or triple) monitor setup?

I have a triple monitor setup. Two 24 inch screens and a 12 inch Wacom Cintiq for my third display.

How long does the average AMV take you to create?

I would estimate that it takes around at least 40 hours of work on each AMV from start to finish. However, some effect heavy ones may be closer to 60.

Do you often take the comments and feedback of the viewers into account? How does it affect the AMVs you create, if it does at all?

I'm always looking for feedback, positive or negative. I try to create AMVs that would not just entertain me, but would be entertaining for others so helps to know if I missed the mark or not.

While not every opinion is going to give me an idea on how to improve I think I've gotten some really good feedback that has helped me tremendously.

What are some tips you can provide to those who are unsure of whether or not to venture into AMV creation?

I would say to definitely go for it and don't worry if you're not going to be able to do a lot of crazy effects or not. Some of the best AMVs created have used nothing but good scene selection with hard cuts and crossfades. Overtime if you stick with it you'll learn more and just pick up on the other things to get better.

Milk and cookies or Pocky and green tea?

I'd go for Milk and Pocky

And the last question of the day: tehninjarox, tehninjaness, or Shin? Choose one already!

Lol. Officially its Shin. My 'tehninja' user names were created long before I started AMVs as a hobby or when I finally decided to enter contests. I had already just uploaded a lot of my stuff onto YouTube and so I just kept using those accounts, but for contest entries and in general I'm known as Shin.

This concludes our interview with Shin. A big thanks to Shin himself for taking the time to sit down with us and go through these questions, and to DuoMatrix our admin for assisting in the question making. For a list of Shin's work, visit his YouTube Channel, or visit his profile.