As a fan of Rooster Teeth’s animated series, RWBY; I was ecstatic to learn that Digi Kolobong and I were going to interview: Miles Anthony Luna (Head-writer/Co-Director/ V.O.A: Jaune) and Barbara Julie Dunkelman (V.O.A: Yang) at New York Comic Con.
Digi and I dressed to our absolute best for this interview. Digi cosplayed as RWBY’s very own, Weiss Schnee; and yes, she built that fantastic sword! I cosplayed as the female version of Takashi Shirogane(Shiro) from Netflix’s animated series, Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016). I crafted the top and the cyborg arm. (In case you’re curious, Digi is pregnant with her second child. It’s a girl!)
I won’t drop spoilers; except this one. During the interview, it was nice to learn that the spirit of RWBY’s creator, the late great Monty Oum lives on within the series.
Edited by: Sara Barton
SBR Correspondent: Anita C. Wang
Guest Correspondent: Digi Kolobong
Team RWBY: Barbara Julie Dunkelman (VOA: Yang) and Miles Anthony Luna (Head- writer/Co-Director/ VOA: Jaune)
Director-DP: Sara Barton
Producers: Sara Barton & Anita C. Wang
Editors: Sarah Beim (Vellichor Productions) & Sara Barton
Special Thanks: Vellichor Productions, Sal Petrosino, Mike Delvecchio and SVA
It’s Sunday, the last day of New York Comic Con 2016. SBR correspondents Sara Barton and Anita C. Wang venture to the final frontier; going boldly where no journalist has gone before- The Star Trek Beyond Booth.
We were greeted by the lovely Star Trek Ambassador, Jordan Kessel. Anita and I co-interviewed Jordan. Among this stellar interview, we discussed the eternal burning question; the original Star Trek series v the new films? Jordan happens to be a big fan of the original Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner.
We had the chance to see Jordan at work and to try out the booth ourselves. There were a photo and video station. NYCC attendees relished the opportunity to pose with Star Trek film props, including, the famous ray gun. In case you’re wondering, that’s actual Captain’s seat from the Star Trek Beyond movie set.
It was an experience that was truly out of this world.
This weekend The Japan Society, hosted J-cation Sakura. This year’s theme, Sakura,[Japanese for cherry blossoms], was in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to Washington, DC and New York City’s Upper West Side. Visitors were transported to a cherry blossom-filled haven, including hana-mi a cherry blossom viewing lounge.
Before the concert, I sat down with the band as they conducted their first all English interview. There were lots of laughs; afterward, Rie, pianist, said she loved the “I ♥ Rice” Sticker located on my messenger bag.
photo: Megumi Sato-Shelly
When The Suzan hit the stage, it was dynamite. They played their hit song, Come, Come; and the audience got a sneak peak of their newest songs.
photo: Megumi Sato-Shelly
The Suzan knew how to entertain the crowd, as they tossed giant colorful balloons into the theater. The mood was electrical as the balloons passed from person to person; while the audience danced in their seats. Enjoying the reaction, the band encouraged them to keep dancing. It was non-stop action, as the theater was transformed into a nightclub.
When the concert was over, the audience begged for an encore. The Suzan played one more song, but that was it. Alas, all good things must come to an end. The Suzan had left the stage, but the memories of this concert will last forever.
The Dreams of Jinsha made its East Coast Premiere at The New York International Film Festival (NYICFF) 2011. Five years in the making, it’s mainland China’s first hand-drawn animated film. It was one of the 15 films to qualify for the Best Animated Feature at this year’s Oscar’s. The film is a blend of Chinese history/mythology in a time travel fantasy adventure- as Xiao Long, a young boy from Bejing, is hurled back in time to 3,000 year’s to the Jinsha Kingdom and finds himself at the center of an ancient prophecy. Xiao must make the difficult choice of risking his life to save the Kingdom of Jinsha. It’s an epic masterpiece; a visually breath-taking film inspired by the works of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. Thanks to the wonderful people at NYICFF, Samurai Beat Radio was given the opportunity to an exclusive with the director Chem Deming.
Sara Barton: How does it feel to have your film premiere at the (New York International Children’s Film Festival)
It gave us a lot of encouragement that American children who watched The Dreams of Jinsha at the NYICFF enjoyed the film. They liked Xingxing, the dog in the story, very much, and asked several questions about him, such as what breed he was, and if they looked after a dog would they then be able to go back in time to ancient civilization. And this also gave us a lot of new
creative inspiration. So in our future works, we hope to make use of children’s
innocent thoughts and hope that our works will continue to be enjoyed by
Sara Barton: What was your inspiration for this film?
The inspiration for The Dreams of Jinsha came during a visit to the Jinsha Museum. Viewing cultural relics dating back 3,500 years ago, exquisite beyond comparison, I could sense the high-level civilization of that age. Humans, animals, and nature growing together, gradually becoming glorious through a beautiful process. I felt struck by lightning with this
feeling, which moved me immensely, and in that instant, I “passed through time”, like Xiao Long in the film.
Sara Barton: What drove you to become an animator?
I’ve liked drawing ever since I was young, and after many years, I finally had the
opportunity to use the art of animation to realize the dream within me. The Dreams of Jinsha was my first film, so it was this film that turned me into an animator.
Sara Barton: Over the years studios have preferred to create 3D animated films; recently 2D animated films are making a comeback. What are your thoughts on this? Which method do you prefer? & Why?
2D and 3D are just different forms of showing film images, and as different artistic
techniques, they can exist together, and both have their advantages. Just like
photography and paintings, during the early stages of photography, there were
people who predicted that paintings would be replaced. However, it remains that
paintings still have their own space to exist. I have always believed that,
whatever display style one chooses, the key is to see what style most suitably
fits the film’s content. Personally, I prefer 2D, because of its brushwork and
Sara Barton: In one of the scenes Xiao Long notices a piece of paper on his desk is floating in the air. 3D animation is usually used for this type of effect. How were you able to do it in 2D animation? What was the process?
This scene depicts Xiao Long’s fond memories of Jinsha City. First of all, we observed the motions of a piece of paper floating through the air to figure out the movements and directions. Only through deciphering the directions of the changes of perspectives, could we create a
Sara Barton: Several critics have noticed that your film has many similarities to Miyazaki’s work; would you say he’s been an artistic influence? Also are there any other artists who’ve influenced your
I think that the standard of “beauty” is the same around the world. I like Miyazaki’s works,
they’re very beautiful. Spielberg’s films I like even more – he puts more thinking into the dimensions of human nature.
We are already working on a series of follow-ups to The Dreams of Jinsha – a second
film entitled 《天鹿回家》Tianlu Huijia (English title yet to be decided), and a television series version of The Dreams of Jinsha. In the meantime, we also have a plan to bring
out film-related memorabilia and books bearing the film’s name. For example,
the first book of the film’s book series is already out.
Sara Barton: Will the film be released in the US?
Regarding the screening of The Dreams of Jinsha in the US, we are currently in talks with a US distribution company, so watch this space!
Thank you, Mr. Deming, it has been a pleasure. We look forward to seeing The Dreams of Jinsha released in the US.
Megumi Sato & I interviewed legendary Japanese duo Puffy AmiYumi.It’s been years since they toured the US, and their first stop was the New York Anime Festival. Puffy AmiYumi have an incredible career, spanning from music, television shows (including a cartoon show), video games and much more. They’re icons; one of the few Japanese’s bands to be successful in both Japan and the US. We sat down at The Kitano Hotel on Park Ave, we talked about: their career, Teen Titans, what they like to do in there downtime, and their favorite manga. I remember watching Teen Titans, and hearing Puffy Ami Yumi’s theme song, and now having the opportunity to interview them; priceless.
The walls of the SBR studio are littered with the signatures of famous musicians and celebrities. This is a sacred moment in SBR history, as Tomm Moore signs SBR’s wall. Aisling and Pangur Ban brought magic into the SBR studio.
This Wednesday, I had the rare pleasure of interviewing Tomm Moore, the director of the Oscar-nominated film, The Secret of Kells, live at the Samurai Beat Radio studio.
Tomm and I sat down for a once in a lifetime interview, we talked about his experience at the Oscar’s, The Secret of Kells, and more; words can’t describe it, you’ll have to listen to it for yourself.
The Secret of Kells, is a beautiful hand-drawn film, with a rich tapestry of Irish history and culture. It’s a must-see film, featuring a cast of memorable characters.
It’s the story of a young boy named Brendan, a remote medieval outpost, under siege from barbarian raids. Brendan life is about to change when a celebrated master illuminator arrives from foreign lands carrying an ancient but unfinished, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. In order to help complete this magical book, Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest that takes him into the enchanted forest where mythical creatures hide. It is here that he meets the fairy Aisling, a mysterious young wolf-girl, who helps him along the way. But with the barbarians closing in, will Brendan’s determination and artistic vision illuminate the darkness and show that enlightenment is the best fortification against evil? (Gkids)
This is the first time an Oscar nominee has graced Samurai Beat Radio’s studio. As Tomm would say it was “a surreal” experience. The staff and I were in awe. I will treasure this moment for the rest of my life, not only as a reporter for SBR but as an artist and animation lover. We’re honored to have had the privilege to interview Tomm. We would like to congratulate him again on his nomination and wish all the best for the future.
Live from the New York Anime Festival! Samurai Beat Radio is proud to present: Sara Barton’s interview with, the legendary anime creator/director, song lyricists, Yoshiyuki Tomino.
Yoshiyuki Tomino was the main guest speaker at the New York Anime Festival; in honor of the 30th Anniversary celebration of Mobile Suit Gundam.
He is best known for the creation of the series Mobile Suit Gundam. The series revolutionized the robot/mecha genre into what it is today; and also lead to several movies, spin-offs and many alternative Gundam universes. His most recent works include Brain Powerd (1998), Turn A Gundam (1999), Overman King Gainer(2002) and The Wings of Rean (2005).
As a change of pace, we discussed his career as a song lyricists and his thoughts about why he created his work. Afterward, he even gave a few tips on how to be a better reporter. There’s no such thing as too much good advice.
Samurai Beat Radio would like to thank Tomino-san for giving us the opportunity to interview him. It was an honor and a humbling experience.
I hope you enjoy the interview and Happy Birthday Gundam!
This SBR corespondent Sara Barton, reporting in with a special treat for all Pokemon fans; an exclusive interview with famous Voice Over-Actress Veronica Taylor. I had a chance to sit down and interview Veronica at Kinokuniya on Sunday, July 12, 2009.
Veronica Taylor is best known as the voice of Ash Ketchum on Pokemon, as well as Ash’s mom, Delia Ketchum, and May (season 8). Her other voice-acting credits include TV series: Slayers, One Piece, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), Cubix and Sonic X, and much more.
We discussed her experiences in the Voice-Over-Acting business, her work on the TV series Pokemon, S.O.V.A ( Save Our Voice Actors) campaign [more information on it can be found below], the on-going violence in the media debate, and lots more. She even sent a special message to her fans.
I would like to thank Veronica for giving in us the time to interview her. I had a great time, it was an amazing experience that I will remember for years to come. I hope that you all enjoy the interview.
*UPDATE* In 2009, SOVA disbanded and formed the Save Ash Ketchum campaign or “Save Ash” for short. Their mission is to bring back Veronica Taylor, the original voice of Ash. Save Ash Ketchum circulating an online petition, if you’re interested in signing.