July 14, 2014

15 People

RWBY is interesting not the least because it shows how much technology empowers small groups of limited means to do things that not long ago would have been possible only with a major company, considerable capital outlay and then only after persuading the suits to back the project.

Volume two builds on the lessons they learned by doing volume one and boasts a greatly expanded production staff....of 15 people (about a third of whom are also part of the cast). 

Thus, the total cast and crew of this series is now in the vicinity of 20 people. This vastly lowers the hurdles to producing ones vision, and the internet largely solves the distribution issue. This is a game changer, and it's just starting. The production diaries remind me of some of the things I've read about the early years of silent films, before the studio system was established,where things had to be figured out, but there was a lot of creative freedom.

Now, while I've liked RWBY, it is true that there are criticisms of this particular show,...it's a superhero version of a Japanese highschool  show set in a high-tech Hogwarts. Plus there are technical issues and the first volume ended on a bit of a nonsequiter. However, the show's cast and crew are, in a lot of ways, blazing new trails which will become very interesting paths indeed as more and more people get out there and produce stuff. A lot of it will be utter crap of course, Sturgeon's Law will still apply, but a group of people no bigger than a mid-sized doujin circle (or an APA for those that remember that niche of American fandom) and with similar initial capital outlay ( Poser Pro costs $450.00) will be able to do animated shorts and distribute them, free of the gatekeepers who even today presume to tell us what we shall see. 

This is an exciting time. If I had talent, I'd be ecstatic, as it is, I'm merely pleased and hopeful. 

UPDATE: Heavily edited the post.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 10:26 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 343 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Poser Pro plus YouTube = eBook conversion software plus Amazon.

The gatekeepers have been circumvented, and those who are committed to impressing the gatekeepers are feeling very threatened.

Posted by: Mauser at Tue Jul 15 04:15:14 2014 (TJ7ih)

2 Sorry, but I do not consider these attempts at second-guessing very successful.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tue Jul 15 10:54:24 2014 (RqRa5)

3 As for the "venom" directed at this show, I think there have always been people who "hate" something that they could easily avoid (just ask my dad about any sci-fi).  Before the Internet, they had to actually leave their house and go somewhere else to vent at fans of their "hated" activity.  But now, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, they can find fans to annoy with only a few mouse clicks.

As for me, I found the show uneven, but still enjoyable.  And you can't argue with the price...

Posted by: Siergen at Tue Jul 15 17:00:53 2014 (8/vFI)

4 Actually, the bit about the venomous criticism was supposed to have a hyperlink to a particular article THAT I CANNOT FIND NOW.  It was going on a tear about how this is hust glorified fanfic and they shouldn't be getting all this attention when they're basically nobodies. I only now realized that I didn't include the hyperlink. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Tue Jul 15 19:25:59 2014 (DnAJl)

5 I don't mind RWBY existing in the abstract, but showing it on Crunchy materially impacts my intrerests due to incremental opportunity costs. At least all the K-junk and Live Action stuff they show has own section.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tue Jul 15 21:34:02 2014 (RqRa5)

6 http://brickmuppet.mee.nu/images/RubyAsksWUT

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Wed Jul 16 05:32:23 2014 (DnAJl)

7 The idea being that Crunchy only has X resources and spending those resources on RWBY means that there are other shows that they're not showing? Not sure I buy that, for a few reasons:

-It's unlikely Crunchy is spending significant cash to get the rights in the first place.

-Nor is Crunchy primarily limited by physical factors such as storage space; bandwidth sure, but I doubt that RWBY is a major portion of the bandwidth of a service that streams Naruto and several other shounen offerings. And, to the extent that it is, it's directly proportional to the popularity of the show, so if lots of people are watching, that's an argument by itself that people are interested.

-It's perfectly fair to note that RWBY has some flaws. It's got a disjointed narrative, it's got Teen Titans syndrome (where it's taking a more Western kind of story, but throwing in a lot of anime facial cues and takes for humor, even more jarring here because they're not always suited to the 3D rendered medium), and the acting is, well...

I hate to criticize any voice actors because it's bloody goddamned hard to do well. The average US viewer has been exposed to top-quality Hollywood acting and production values, not that I'm saying that everything Hollywood does is top-quality, but if you've seen some Japanese live-action you can appreciate the gap in general production values. With respect to voice acting, we're partly insulated from bad Japanese voice acting because most of us don't speak the language and even a mediocre performance doesn't necessarily set off the "this is poor quality" alarm when it's in Japanese. In English not so much. I suck at voice acting and people who can give a good performance in the booth, and get a good performance out of actors in the booth, have a rare talent; I prefer subtitles for the obvious reasons but can appreciate a good dub.

Let us just say RWBY's acting falls short even with that in mind.

-And yet... it's still a good thing that RWBY is on Crunchy, because it's got its own charm, I happen to enjoy it despite the above, and above all, giving this kind of project some oxygen is a positive development. If RWBY can do well, other teams can emulate them with their own stories (and Rooster Teeth can follow up with a new offering and take advantage of some hard-won experience.)

Think of it like e-books and self-publishing. Yeah, at the beginning many of the projects were mediocre quality, but a few successes gave a lot of people opportunities they simply wouldn't have had before, and while there's a lot of crap, there are quite a few gems to be found here and there.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Wed Jul 16 13:55:06 2014 (ZeBdf)

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