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alabaster

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Everything posted by alabaster

  1. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    It's not Kappei Yamaguchi, though I hear he would like to come back at some point when schedules work out. We were his first. Look like we'll be the first US one for this seiyu too.
  2. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Oh, you guys. So here's the current COMING SOON: Friday Musical Act: Guess the guest ASAP next week. Announcement ASAP after that. US Voice Actors: 3 more. One will surprise you. One will make some people VERY happy. One is mostly known for video game work, but not for long. One contract left to sign and we're good there. Seiyuu: One. But oh my. Mwahahah. (waiting for approved bio and updated photo) Director: 2 more. One is a true veteran who's worked on everything, the other has been really, really prolific for like 10 years now. Very happy with these, now I just need updated bio/photo... ...and like 3 or so more folks.... ...and some premieres and special events... And assuming everything gets in my hands tomorrow, and the web ninjas can pull it off....we'll announce as many as we can next week. ...and then we gotta build the schedule.
  3. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Well, you have Funimation to thank for them, actually. Sorry we had some technical hitches on the announcement front so it went out later than planned.
  4. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    At this point, looks like we are good, provided the itinerary works for the guest.
  5. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    The list evolves over time. We had to work around schedule conflicts and illnesses and such. Typical.
  6. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    So: Still to be announced: Friday Musical Act : Announced tomorrow Sunday Musical Act: very soon Couple more US voice actors Two more directors, probably a few producers (awaiting final confirmation but likely) One big-name seiyu (seriously, been on the wait list for a while here) I think we're at 20-odd guests, counting the musical acts as one each....
  7. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Urobuchi-san is busy, unfortunately. We actually brought Sandy primarily because of her role as Chibi-usa in Sailor Moon.
  8. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    I tend to avoid inviting guests who've been to cons in our region too recently, or who've been to Otakon within the last couple of years. Unless I have a specific reason to do so (such as an industry partner request that they're contributing toward. BTW, I think the other premier we just got may mean another guest or two....
  9. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Brace yourselves for GUEST ANNOUNCE A PALOOZA!!! I'm releasing the hounds starting today. Friday musical act guess the guest launches this week.
  10. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Our guest list is pretty much locked at this point (with a few maybes). But by all means, continue to make requests -- it all goes into the hopper, and it's fun to see who catches your attention. Toshiyuki Toyonaga is indeed the seiyu in question -- one of the leads in Durarara. (If you haven't seen it, it's a pretty good show!) And yeah, we kinda got our wires crossed there, as I thought we were postponing it until Tuesday because we had some announcements related to registration.
  11. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    At this point, I am knee deep in contracts. Friday musical act is awaiting formal signing of the contract, and I need their bio/photo stuff. I have 5 more US voice actors in various stages of completion, but they're pretty much all set. Fair number of new faces this year, or faces we haven't seen in a while. Our seiyu and another big title producer should be announced next week. I have 2-3 more directors and a manga-ka being confirmed now. 2nd musical act contract should go out next week. Looking at a possible cultural guest that needs to be followed up on...cross your fingers! May is going to be REALLY busy for my team. Some cool stuff being planned by industry
  12. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    We will do our best to clearly explain any situations like that in advance -- typically when industry brings a guest to Otakon they have an additional signing at their booth that may have purchase requirements, but the official Otakon one usually won't have those restrictions.
  13. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Guest announcement tomorrow (Thursday)......
  14. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Colleen was on our list last year, but she was busy having a baby last year and he's only a year old or so this year. Amusingly, there is a history of newborns disrupting my guest plans. It's happened with at least four guests in recent memory.
  15. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    In a word, Nope. Not unless it got adapted into an anime or something. The difference between Otakon and our sister events, and events like Awesomecon, NYCC, etc. is that our purpose is clearly defined as educational and cultural, rather than simply to have a fun event where celebrities will sign your stuff. Our guests need to be demonstrably relevant to our Asian pop-culture focus. If he wants to come and check it out on his own, however, you know he's welcome.
  16. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    WELL... looks like next Tuesday and Thursday will see some guest announcements. Tuesday will be a very popular US voice actor. Thursday will be two Japanese guests: the director and producer from a popular current show. Current lineup in various stages of readiness: - 1 seiyu tied to a hot current show. Awaiting bio and photo. - 1 pretty big name seiyu (possibly a limited appearance due to schedule) - 1 manga-ka - 1 anime director - 2 producers - 3 more US voice actors - Friday musical act With luck, these will be in the next 3-4 weeks. Still working on Sunday musical act and another US voice, another seiyu, as well as some other folks...
  17. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Heh. Well, assuming I can get the contract finalized soon, with any luck we'll be announcing that toward the end of the month. Meanwhile.... look for at least one US voice soon...
  18. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    There are two ways that we get guests. There's guests that we get directly, through connections we already have, and guests that are brought to us in collaboration with Aniplex, Funimation, Viz, Sentai, etc. Those guests are often tied to premieres and screenings and other promotional work, so they are often at least partly supported by marketing budgets. For example, you may notice "appears courtesy of ___" or "thanks to ___ for assistance with this guest" when we announce some guests. That usually indicates that our industry partner has contributed toward the cost of bringing the guest, usually in exchange for the guest doing some stuff to promote a specific show. Though sometimes it's just about putting us in contact with the right people. This year we're getting suggestions from quite a few of our industry friends, and in particular on the Japanese side, and we've had to decline a few simply because there isn't budget to support them, or an endless supply of interpreters to help out with them. (In some cases, the company decides to foot the bill and provide the interpreter help themselves.) On the US side, I have to decline direct approaches from big name guests every single year, as well as tons of offers for less well known names. My own contact list includes enough folks to comfortably stock the event for several years with no repeats, and probably a decade if you factor in just our immediate staff. (And then there's Maruyama-san, who seems to know everyone in the industry.) Getting guests isn't hte problem; getting the right mix of guests, and affording them, and not just becoming an autograph-a-palooza, is the goal. We don't have endless resources. Oooh neat, eagerly waiting! Also good question Coco. I also wonder if like whether people potentially getting offended at being snubbed in such a situation is an issue. Nope, I don't see it as snubbing. We deliberately vary the mix every year to have something for everyone, and we rarely have repeats without several years between visits. This is known, and explained every year, to our potential guests. For me, I'm flattered that so many of them want to come back. Oh, one little thing. Should I do a contest to tease the first musical guest?
  19. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Well now, I am just waiting for bio and photo on a couple of japanese guests.... one of whom is a seiyu that I think will make people pretty happy.
  20. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Honestly, Joe, I think the audience for that would be extremely narrow. The attendance at Jaoanese guest panels is all over the map anyway but frequently lower than it should be, and that's for folks whose work is right in our sweet spot. However, we have just come back from Japan, and meetings were pretty productive. I have more guests on offer than I can afford, so the question is down to the usual attempt to build the best mix of folks who cover the spectrum: artists, directors, producers, performers.
  21. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Yeah, that's about right. Nobody wants to be the bad guy, but in reality for many of our artist guests, this is a rare chance to spend 3-4 days NOT hunched over a drawing board for 12 hours a day. In other news, you folk who watch this space? Might wanna check out our website and social media today. You know, just in case you are looking for something to do around lunchtime.... No reason.....
  22. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Manga-ka nearly always come with strings attached -- they are usually accompanied by their editor, whose job it is to protect the guest, and by extension, the jobs and income that derive from a successful creator. That is to some extent true of light novel authors as well. Here are reasons why getting sketches from manga-ka (or other "name" artists) can be tricky. - Some folks have a personal policy that they don't draw for free. - Some worry that quick sketches in less-than-ideal circumstances might diminish their image. - Some may depend more heavily on their team than is commonly known, or have a pretty involved process to get to the art people expect from them. - A weekend "off", for them, means a temporary respite from grueling nonstop drawing that is their daily routine -- and they simply need to rest their hand. (Yoshiki was in similar mode last year, worried about stressing his hand when the concert of a lifetime lay ahead.) - They may simply not want to do it. - There simply isn't time or room in our schedule to accommodate a decent amount of people if they were to do so. (Kouta Hirano decided to sketch, but that meant that only half as many people got to meet him as we'd estimated.) We typically DO ask if the guest wants to or is willing to do do sketches, and if possible we'd accommodate them. Much of this simply depends on the individual guest agreement. Parking Obata in the exhibit hall would generate an endless line from hell, and the folks who run the Art and Exhibitions sections would murder me several times over. One thing we're HOPING to get from the move is a bit more flexibility for autographs. That would open up options for longer sessions and potentially allow earlier lineups -- right now the biggest problem is we simply don't have space for it.
  23. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    First, good news. Our first batch of guest announcements is on the dock for next week. At some point after that, there will be an announcement of a cool industry event. Second, about CLAMP: CLAMP comes with a LOT of restrictions and demands -- and while of course we'd love to see them at some point, not only do all the usual difficulties (brutal production schedules, overprotective editors, the need for motivated US publishers to get involved) apply, but from what I've been told, CLAMP cranks those up a few notches. "Come to Paris" (when half the characters are obsessed with that town) is not a terribly hard sell. "Come and you can visit Disneyland" is similarly attractive. We, sadly, do not have quite the same draw. Things may change in DC. But that said, we know you want manga-ka....
  24. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    At present the plan is to announce our first two guests around the same time as we open pre reg.
  25. alabaster

    Guest Request: 2015

    Time, I guess, to trot out the usual explanation for why it is so difficult for manga-ka to make it to US conventions. First, they tend to have truly brutal production schedules, leaving few opportunities for a week away -- if they come to Otakon, that's effectively 2 days lost to travel, plus 3 days here. Second, many are accurately described as shy and reclusive; not all, of course, but it seems to be a pretty common trait. Third, most manga ka are very tightly controlled by their editors, and they are very protective. It usually takes some effort by the U.S. distributor to help lure them out. We have had Viz, Kodansha, Vertical, and other folks keeping an eye out for us for some time now, and a number of near misses. We are constantly looking for opportunities, but the chances of getting a manga KA for an active, in production series are pretty minuscule, and even when we have a good relationship and a willing party, other factors get in the way. I have hopes, however, and as I said, we have good working relationships with many of the right people, so it is like many things -- a question of timing.
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