What do you get? AMV!
So what’s AMV? It stands for Anime Music Video. People who have watched anime long enough, and hung around on YouTube long enough, would have seen a number of AMVs for all kinds of anime and all kinds of songs. AMVs are basically fan-made videos combining anime video footage, either from one or multiple anime, and usually a song. It can be a Japanese song or an English one, or one of any other language.
Now I originally intended to link a video of a good AMV for you. I saw one back about 2 years ago and it was so good it really impressed and enraptured me. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the link and can’t remember enough of the video to show it to you again. I tried searching on YouTube but none of the videos I saw even came close to that perfect one, and so I’ve decided to give nothing but the best, and if I cannot give you the best, I give you nothing.
But you’re free to look up AMVs on YouTube on your own. As with all artistic forms, the quality you find can vary drastically. The best ones can be staggering, though. Most comments go something like “you can’t tell it was made from bits and pieces; it looks so much like the original, a seamless whole”. And really, AMVs are to anime what fanfiction is to novels. Fans who love the original work hard at creating a product that can do it justice and show off all its glorious elements. Some AMVs are so good that I feel drawn to the anime after just watching them.
I used to think about making an AMV of my own, but never got around to it. I do, however, have a copy of Adobe Premiere Pro in my laptop, the tool for all video makers. If you guys happen to have Premiere Pro as well, the Adobe website has free tutorial videos (10 parts in total I believe) to guide you step by step in using the software. It isn’t any harder than Photoshop, really, once you get used to how it works.
There is a website out there that specialises in forging a community of AMV makers. It’s called animemusicvideos.org and if you register, you get to ask the pros for guidance, watch some good AMV products never released to the outside world, and take part in and win some video contests. Animemusicvideos.org, in fact, has something known as an annual Viewers Choice Award.
Making AMVs can require quite some skill too. Most importantly, you’ve got to choose scenes that fit with each other, and most of all fit with the beat of the song. It’s immediately obvious when AMVs are amateur, because motion graphics are working independently of the music. Only when there is harmony between the visual and the audio that an AMV is good. And videos are really getting increasingly essential in the business world. Marketing videos and corporate videos now look extremely flashy and professional to lure customers, clients and employees, and making an AMV gets you on the first step to learning video effects and other components of making a good video in general. This can make for a great portfolio piece if you ever think of working in media too!