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  • #16: One-Sided Stomp - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 21: Thor VS Raiden


    You know, one of the most common criticisms we get with Death Battle is that some matchups are “too one-sided.” But sometimes this seems to be based on the research presented in the episode itself, so doesn’t that mean we did our job well? Convincing you of a winner’s legitimacy is one of Death Battle’s main goals, after all! If a Death Battle convinces you of its winner so thoroughly that you come out of the show thinking the matchup is a one-sided stomp, I’d say that’s a very successful episode!


    Perhaps this opinion is actually meant to be interpreted as another, totally reasonable one; that a particular episode’s outcome was too obvious from the get-go. For the most part, I think our matchups have been compelling enough to stave off this potential issue. But whenever I’m asked if there was ever a Death Battle that was such a complete and horrendous stomp that the episode never needed to exist, only one comes to mind.


    Thor VS Raiden! (Woo!)


    Back then, this was a surprisingly frequent request. That might sound like a surprise, but I think it had a lot to do with how ScrewAttack was still predominantly a video gaming website first and foremost at the time. Today, our most popular Death Battles usually involve superheroes or shonen anime characters, and episodes with video game characters rarely get the same sort of recognition. But back in 2012, the opposite was actually the case.


    Outside of it being a strangely high requested fight, I’m not entirely sure why I went with this match in particular. I believe I chose this one to give myself a bit of leeway going forward. See, the next few episodes had already been planned, and several of them would be humongous undertakings, so it made sense to do something that could be researched and written in a shorter time-frame and then dedicate that newly acquired time to, say, Cloud VS Link or Batman VS Spider-Man.


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    Fortunately, I don’t think many people minded how obvious the victor was, because our new animator Lange really pulled out all the stops for this battle animation! It’s still really fun to watch today! I legitimately don't want to talk about it all that much here, because I'd rather you just go watch it and have a good time. Though I think as far as the character rundowns go, our Thor VS Wonder Woman episode covers Thor's powers waaaaaaaaay better than this one.


    There’s honestly not much else to discuss concerning this episode. Sorry if this blog seemed a little short, though I’m quickly coming up on some matchups which I’ll have a LOT to talk about, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading!


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. What’s an obviously one-sided match-up you’d still like to see a Death Battle of?

  • Programming Patch Notes 07.18 - Video Ads are back for non-FIRST Members, and more

    1 month ago

    ebregman Programming

    Hey, everyone. As some of you may have noticed - and if you’re a FIRST member you probably haven’t - after a very long hiatus, pre-roll ads are back on the site and mobile apps for those viewers who have not yet signed up for FIRST. For those of you interested in these boring business-ey things, how we got to this point isn’t that complicated: on the old site the ads were a bad experience that often broke our player, so we got rid of them. When we launched the new apps our focus was a good viewing experience, and we prioritized that over rushing ads into the system. I think we’ve checked the ‘good viewing experience’ box (and the engineering team is always working to improve it), so it’s time to move onto reintroducing ads.


    We’re still focused on making the experience good. Or as good as watching an advertisement can be. From a tech perspective we want to make sure ads don’t break our player, and over time we’re going to experiment with where ads are placed within a video, to make sure it’s still a great viewing experience. We’re going to work to make sure that the ads served are as relevant as possible to your interests, including ads for Rooster Teeth stuff. Ultimately, ads on the site help our business so we can keep making cool shows for you to watch. I mean you won’t believe how much Geoff wants to make more episodes of Achievement Haunter.


    For you FIRST members, this probably doesn’t matter much to you. But if you’re not a FIRST member and you want to skip those ads, you know what to do.


    More updates!

    • Thanks for making the launch of Sportsball a success! Make sure you SUBSCRIBE to the YouTube channel, or else Tyler will get mad at me.

    • We now have the ability to turn off the S#:E# in video titles for those series where it’s less relevant. Expect those to disappear in certain instances in the near future.

    • Captioning is moving along nicely. We’ve identified a vendor to make the captions and are now scoping out the engineering work to get this up and running. Once we know what work we need to do, we’ll have a timeline to start serving them to you.

    • Our project to reorganize series within the app is starting to bear some fruit, just much slower than we anticipated. If you want to see the type of thing we’re doing, check out the changes to RT Docs (all docs now in 1 season!) and Day 5 (all bonus features now properly categorized!). There are a lot of cases we’re trying to solve for with this project where it’s not as cut-and-dry as to what’s an episode and what’s a “bonus feature,” not the least of which are things like RWBY World of Remnant videos. We’re working with the creatives to get it right.

    • I’m sure you have questions about our move to post Red vs. Blue and Camp Camp on RT only. What I can say now is we are very encouraged by the performance of both of those series and we intend to continue experimenting with release models, some but not all of which will include YouTube. We’re really proud of our new apps and by the looks of it you guys love using them!

    As always, let me know your questions and I’ll answer throughout the day. See you at RTX!!!

  • #15: Peach VS Zelda? - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 20: Zelda VS Peach


    For the life of me I can’t remember why this episode wasn’t called “Peach VS Zelda,” even though that title rolls off the tongue waaaay easier.


    Zelda VS Peach marked a turning point in Death Battle’s history in two different ways. I’ll cover the least exciting one first. If you’ve been watching these episodes I’m covering on this Road to 100, you may have noticed by now that they don’t tend to follow the same sort of analytical rules as modern Death Battles. Throughout Season 1 and much of Season 2, the victor was usually determined by our own interpretations, not by objective analytics like calculated strength, speed, and durability.


    I feel like it’s necessary to point out that in Death Battle’s early days, the show received far more praise from viewers than criticism. I am forever thankful to all those wonderful viewers, as the show probably wouldn’t have grown so large without some very dedicated fans. However, it did come with a side effect of seeing much less critique than I would’ve liked. I distinctly remember how for the longest time I’d look at comments complaining about us getting the wrong victor and wonder “Why? What could have been better? Just saying we’re wrong doesn’t help anything. Give me something to work with, damn it!"


    The reason why this is important is because Death Battle’s original philosophy, and thesis behind the show, was much different back then. When Death Battle started, the show’s elevator pitch was “Wiz and Boomstick do all the boring and annoying research to find out who would win so you don’t have to.” The idea being that this sort of analysis was too ridiculous to take seriously, and so the show wouldn’t be too concerned with that.


    Boy, how that has changed since then!


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    I bring it up because this was the episode where I began questioning that thesis. Specifically, I recall watching through the episode just before it was posted, getting to the analysis at the end, and thinking to myself “What the hell is this calculation I just did?” You know what I’m talking about. Peach’s Mega Strike.


    The calc done for pounds-per-square inch across one soccer ball split into three makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It was just meant to be a dumb joke. There were many other subjects that could easily support a Peach victory, but for some reason this stupid soccer feat was what we focused on. Upon releasing this episode, I was already re-evaluating how best to explain each victor.


    The other big moment with this episode was how this was the first Death Battle I didn’t have to animate myself! Huzzah! I’m sure I’ll talk more about our work with animator Lange across future blogs. Funny enough, the Zelda VS Peach animation Lange made for the episode was also his audition for the position.


    Next up, I’ll chat about how the new hire changed Death Battle’s production, along with the biggest stomp in Death Battle history!


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. If we did a rematch of any of our previous episode matchups, which one would you want to see?

  • Funhaus at RTX 2018!

    1 month ago

    ElyseWillems

    RTX is a almost a week away! 


    Here’s a brief rundown of the major Funhaus-related events, but you can expect to see us at other booths around the show floor, and you can find the whole team and community members hanging around at the Let’s Play Booth! 


    For more information, you can head to RTX.com, and our subreddit.


     elyse heartbeat


    Thursday, August 2nd


    FIRST NIGHT

    5:30 PM - ?

    Paramount Theater

    First come, first serve.

    Funhaus will be premiering our sketch comedy pilot Arizona Circle. Expect a full screening followed by a Q & A.


    LET’S PLAY LIVE

    8:00 - 11:00 PM

    Austin Convention Center - Hall 5

    Tickets are SOLD OUT.

    Come help us kick-off the best RTX weekend ever with games, laughs, and special guests galore! We've got Achievement Hunter, Kinda Funny, Funhaus, Cow Chop, Sugar Pine 7, Game Attack, Sideshow, JT Music and more! Only available to RTX Austin 2018 attendees.


    Friday, August 3rd


    FUNHAUS 30st Andiversary Spooktacular<™>

    1:30 - 2:30 PM

    Austin Grand Ballroom - Hilton Level 6

    Celebrating 25 years of tears and beers. Compaq Computers Inc and the Yugoslavia recorder Recital Committee proudly present a court-ordered panel all dedicated to Joel Roobin. **QUESTION: Is spelling of Roobin on purpose?***


    PUBG VS AH

    5:00 - 6:00 PM

    Center Stage

    Uh oh.


    ANIMATION FESTIVAL PRESENTS: WEREWOLVES

    7:00 - 8:00 PM

    Grand Ballroom ½ - JW Marriott Level 4

    Adam, James and Elyse hunt their prey… and play Werewolves!


    Saturday, August 4th


    ALWAYS OPEN LIVE

    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Ballroom D - ACC Level 4

    Elyse joins Barbara Dunkelman, Mariel Salcedo and Jessica Nigri. Send your questions to alwaysopen@roosterteeth.com with RTX in the subject line.


    FUNHAUS VS HOUSTON OUTLAWS

    2:30 - 3:30 PM

    Center Stage

    Double Uh Oh.


    DUDE SOUP

    5:00 - 6:00 PM

    Ballroom D - ACC Level 4

    You know the drill.


    ON THE SPOT LIVE

    7:00 - 8:00 PM

    Hall 1 - ACC Level 1

    Adam and Bruce are once again duped into appearing on a non-comedy show, under the pretense that James and Elyse would be there (they will not).  


    A KINDA FUNNY COMEDY NIGHT

    8:00 - 10:00 PM

    The North Door 18+

    Hosted by Nick Scarpino, the first ever Kinda Funny Comedy Night will feature stand up sets from some of your favorite talent from Rooster Teeth, Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, Kinda Funny, and more!


    Sunday, August 5th


    ROOSTER TEETH’S EMBARRASSING FIRST FILMS

    10:30 - 11:30 AM

    Congressional - Fairmont Level 3

    James, Bruce and Dan  join other Rooster Teeth auteurs for a never-before-seen screening of their 2002 porno, I mean art film, I mean porno.


    WOMEN OF LET’S PLAY

    12:30 - 1:30 PM

    Ballroom D - ACC Level 4

    Witness a moment in RTX history, as the queens of Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, Cow Chop, Kinda Funny, and Sugar Pine 7 gather for the inaugural Women of Let's Play Panel. Listen, as they regale you with stories of their careers and personal lives. Laugh, as they make the dankest jokes you've ever heard. Watch, as all other and lesser panelists cower in fear at the sight of these strong women. Prepare, to not have your parking validated! We aren't Wonder Woman.

  • #14: Doctor! Doctor! - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 19: Dr. Eggman VS Dr. Wily


    At this point, Death Battle had been running for over a year. With each episode reaching at least one million views, the show could finally be considered a success! Yet for some reason, I was forced to continue Death Battle's production as if nothing had changed. Normally, when a show starts bringing in more money, it uses some of said money to bolster the show's own budget to improve quality. Unfortunately, and frustratingly, that's not how ScrewAttack did things back then. Any time I requested additional funding/manpower to improve the Death Battle, I was denied. I realized that the only thing I could do was make the show better by myself, and showcase how improvements to our production could actually help even more.


    So I decided to do Dr. Eggman VS Dr. Wily.


    I knew it would be damn near impossible for me to pull this off all by myself, but that was the whole point. My only option was to literally show why extra manpower could benefit us. Fortunately, my college semester had come to a close, so I had all the time in the world to push myself to the brink for my most ambitious episode yet.


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    Doctor Eggman versus Doctor Wily is an army battle, pitting the mechanized minions of both mad scientists against one another. Given how both characters have a massive amount of different robotic soldiers to pull from, it was a hefty challenge narrowing it down to those I would be able to show in what little screen time I would have. 


    This is an excellent example of something regarding Death Battle that some viewers understandably have a difficult time processing; we only have a limited amount of time in each video to discuss and showcase different elements of each character, but that doesn’t mean that anything we don’t explicitly mention is never considered at all. In reality, we look at everything, and have to decide what’s worth spending time on and what isn’t. It’s a difficult balancing act that we’ve definitely improved on since the early years. The reason why I say this episode is a good example is because while I could only showcase about a dozen of so named robots for each evil doctor, I still took every single one that ever existed at the time into account. While selecting the robot representatives, my goal was to create a small force that would properly represent the doctors’ armies as a whole.


    As I expected, the animation was extraordinarily time-consuming. It was by far my longest fight to date, and there were so many different characters I had to prepare and animate all at once. It was a monster! One day, Chad walked into the office to find me asleep at my deck, slumped over my keyboard, having spent all night there animating this damn thing.


    It was rough… but it worked out in the end. I was really proud of how the episode turned out. Plus, my gambit worked! Thanks to how well-received this episode was, I was finally able to hired an animator for the next Death Battle episode! Things seemed like smooth-sailing from here, but ooooooh boy, we’re just getting started!


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. If we ever do another army vs army Death Battle, what matchup would you like to see?


  • Official Events at RTX Austin 2018!

    1 month ago

    Chelsea FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RT Community Manager

    HOLY SMOKES! There is a lot that is going on this year at RTX Austin. Starting Thursday night and rolling all the way through Sunday we've got events, meet-ups, misers, and more surrounding that one time of year where all of us bumbling community members (read: idiots) get a chance to hang out, enjoy shared interested and fangirl a bit. 


    If you're looking for more events to do, organized by members of our own fantastic community, head over to @kriss's journal HERE to check out what else is happening during RTX Austin!


    Without any more of my ramblings, here is the current schedule for RTX Austin (subject to change) -


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    *** FIRST Night Screening: Free to all RTX badge holders. NOT open to the public.

    *** Let's Play Live: Tickets only available for RTX badge holders.  tadaSOLD OUT!tada

    *** Blood Fest Screening: FREE for Platinum RTX badge holders, varying price tiers for all other badges.  tadaSOLD OUT! tada

    *** Theater Mode Live: Tickets only available for RTX badge holders.  tadaSOLD OUT!tada

    *** Always Open Mixer: Tickets only available for RTX badge holders.  tadaSOLD OUT! tada

    *** Jeff Williams Concert: Tickets only available for RTX badge holders. Get them here now!

    *** A Kinda Funny Comedy Night: Tickets only available for RTX badge holders.  tadaSOLD OUT! tada

    *** The Rave at RTX: FREE to all RTX badge holders. NOT open to the public. RSVP your ticket now!


    Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns!


    <3

    Chelsea


    *Update at 12:52 p.m. CDT - Always Open Mixer and Blood Fest are now marked as SOLD OUT.

  • #13: Space Marines - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 18: Master Chief VS Doomguy


    After an episode as goofy as Starscream VS Rainbow Dash, I figured the next one should look at the opposite end of the spectrum with two of the most hardcore, badass space marines in gaming history!


    Do you recall how I was annoyed at my previous script for Kratos’ rundown? How it read like a list, or like Wiz and Boomstick were just reading a Wikipedia article? That was very much in my head when I sat down to write the rundowns for Master Chief and Doomguy. Similar to Kratos, they both had a lot of different weapons to cover. It would be difficult to go through the entirety of their arsenals in less than 10 minutes.


    Oh right, I don’t think I’ve mentioned that before. You may have noticed all the early Death Battle episodes are under 10 minutes. That’s because back then we were mandated to make any ScrewAttack videos as quick as possible in an attempt to supposedly keep people’s attention. Yeah, it sounds fishy, but it actually wasn’t a totally stupid idea. Nowadays, YouTube statistics are heavily dependent on something called “Watch Time,” which is basically the accumulated amount of time a viewer spends in total watching your videos. However, this didn’t come into effect until late 2012. Back when Death Battle first started, view count numbers were all that mattered! Clickbait was king, baby! Getting people through one video and onto the next was the top priority to becoming successful on YouTube. I went along with this concept for awhile, but every Death Battle always felt so fast-paced and rushed just by listening to Wiz and Boomstick. There wasn’t a lot of time for jokes to stick, or for information to sink in, and when we had to cover someone like Kratos, things got boring fast.


    So I decided to not give a shit about time limits and just make the script as good as I could.


    Another new strategy I implemented was compartmentalizing the information. Instead of listing all of, say, Master Chief’s weapons one by one, we’d describe them by categories. This flowed so much better, and allowed a lot more room for fun and jokes. We still use this writing strategy today!


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    My only real issue with this one was the animation. I ran into a lot of hurdles putting it together. A lot of people criticized how Doomguy moved so slowly, which I did because my available sprites for him were extremely limited. There were no ‘running’ sprites, and I thought it looked really weird when I made him shuffle along the floor at running speeds. I had actually been lobbying for us to start hiring a professional animator to help me out for some time, now. Death Battle was becoming a consistently successful show, so I figured we should up its budget and manpower up a bit to take it to the next level. Unfortunately, after several months of pitching and debating, I was no closer to getting the money and approval I needed to hire an animator. No matter how much I wanted to push Death Battle to become something bigger and better with every episode, I was always hit by a roadblock.


    That’s why I decided the next episode would be something so challenging, so grueling, that it just might kill me.


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. If Master Chief or Doomguy were to return to Death Battle, who would you have them fight?

  • RTX Community Events!

    1 month ago

    kriss Community Manager

    Hello, my lovely RTX attendees!


    There is a ton going on during RTX weekend, so I wanted to put together a consolidated events list for everything community created/focused, so you can join in on the shenanigans with me! 


    PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL TIMES ARE IN CENTRAL TIME. 


    WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1ST 


    2:00pm - 8:00pm  

    RTX Cookout! 


    Our lovely community leaders from The BUS, RT Austin, and RT World are hosting a Pre RTX Cookout at Zilker park! This even is open to everyone, so please feel free to stop by and hang out with your fellow community members! 


    THURSDAY, AUGUST 2ND

    5pm - 7pm

    Kinda Funny Pre-LPL Dinner @ Coopers BBQ


    7pm - 12am

    Charity Gala hosted by Sidequest


    This is your chance to get fancy af while helping out some of the best charities out there! 

    Bring your bidding face, because you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction, and introducing this year – a live auction, full of one-of-a-kind artwork, rare memorabilia, and other great items donated from throughout the Rooster Teeth community. All proceeds go towards helping SideQuest’s partner charities. Take home something amazing while supporting some fantastic children’s causes!



    FRIDAY, AUGUST 3RD MEET UPS

    7am

    Unofficial 5 mile run (as in jogging) with Josh Flanagan and Tyler Coe! 

    Meet outside the ACC at the corner of Trinity & Caesar Chavez.


    8:30am - ???

    Breakfast with Rooster Buckeyes @ Jo's Coffee Downtown! 


    9am - ???

    Breakfast meet up hosted by RTNY @ Voodoo Donut on 212 E. 6th St! 


    2pm - 4pm
    Kinda Funny Community Lunch @ Frank Hot Dogs


    7pm - ???

    Dinner with The Oxford Comma Cafe @ Frank! 


    SATURDAY, AUGUST 4TH MEET UPS


    3pm-4pm

    RWBY Cookie Party @ Lobby of JW Marriott!


    5pm - 7pm

    Pre-Kinda Funny Standup Dinner @ Easy Tiger Beer Garden


    6pm - 6:30pm

    Villain Cosplay Gathering @ Residence Inn


    8pm - 10pm

    Art Jam hosted by Lambency & Mirzers @ Residence Inn!


    8pm - 11pm: 

    RT LGBT+ community group meet up @ the Hilton!


    10pm - 2am 

    Barlympics hosted by Sidequest


    Sidequest is taking over the upper floor of Buffalo Billiards into a tournament of drinking and gaming!


    SUNDAY, AUGUST 5th MEET UPS

    2pm - 4pm

    Kinda Funny Post Panel Brunch @ Gus's Fried Chicken


    7pm - 11pm

    Rooster Speak Meet Up Party @ Star Bar!

    Come relax and hang out with fellow RT community members in a chill setting. 


    8pm - 12am

    Sidequest RTX Wrap-Up Party

     

    Sidequest is hosting their annual RTX Wrap-Up Party. ANY RTX badge gets you into the bar’s lower level, but this ticket grants admission to the SideQuest Lounge upstairs.


    GOING ALL WEEKEND LONG

    Community Corner can be found at Booth 731 in the ACC! Here you will find some awesome stuff from our creatively talented community members. Please stop by and chat with them! IF YOU ARE USING THE RTX APP WHICH YOU TOTALLY SHOULD BE, you can find details of the Community Corner guests under the CENTER STAGE tab. 


    Community Panels are part of RTX Austin's programming this year, so please download the RTX Austin app (available for iOS and Android), and pencil in these awesome panels into your schedule. You will see a nice "sea foam" colored COMMUNITY label next to the panels that are created and run by your fellow community members. 


    SPECIAL NOTES

    1) This will be a "living document". As I am informed of more community events that are ticketed or open to the public, I will be posting them here, so keep this journal handy and bookmarked! 


    2) If you plan on attending the Sidequest events, community members have been given a discount code! Please use rtsidequest10 to get 10% off ticket prices! While you can purchase tickets to individual events, there is a PREMIUM PASS that serves as an all access ticket to every event! 


    3) We just announced that Mixer is our official streaming partner this year! If you cannot make it to the community panels, they will be streamed AND archived! 


    4) If you want to keep track of all the official RTX Events happening during the weekend, @Chelsea has a list (that will be updated accordingly as well) CLICK HERE!


    See you soon! <3 your faces! 

    Jackie 

  • Panel Prep for RTX 2018 - Broadcast Topics

    2 months ago

    RTcastMichael RT Broadcast guy

    RTX! RTX! RTX!


    We are less than two weeks from RTX and we are getting some ideas for the broadcast panels. What would you like to know or hear from Broadcast? We will also be bringing some specials clips never seen before and BTS angles (maybe some with comms so you can hear what is going on during the production).


    Here are the two panels to submit your questions for

    •  - RT Broadcast: What the Tech just happened (August 3rd @ 12:30pm - ACC Meeting Room 6)
      • General Broadcast Topics
      • Tech and Configurations
      • Daily Routines
      • Crew
      • Storytime of when things went wrong
    • - RT Broadcast: Making Extra Life Extra Special (August 4th @ 10:00am - ACC Meeting Room 6)
      • Planning for Extra Life
      • Stages
      • Moments
      • How to pull off 24 hours of streaming
      • What ever else Nick comes up with

    Let us know what you want to hear from the broadcast team and get excited for RTX! Both panel's are first thing in the morning so great way to start off your days!


    See you all soon!

  • 3 Years!

    2 months ago

    Zac_Fox eCommerce Buyer/Planner

    I was so busy yesterday, that I totally forgot to celebrate my 3 year anniversary with RT!


    It's been a damn awesome 3 years at that!  I've gotten to work with so many amazing people here on a crap ton of cool merch projects that it's a little overwhelming to look back on.  I've been lucky enough to see our department go from just 2 people handling it all, now to a full-on team of 8 people handling it all and 10 times that.  (With a ton of support from our partner teams all around the company)  We've gone from just making jokey, reference and quote laden t-shirts, to full on fashion lines and exclusive brand drops.


    Where have I personally gone through all of this?  I started as an assistant to our one and only merch person at the time, handling a hundred different little pieces that would get lost in the shuffle otherwise.  LOTS of paperwork handling, all the boring stuff that happens in the background when making/selling merchandise.  Took on some small new merch development projects: ScrewAttack's first RT produced items, several other new Let's Play items around that time, Lazer Team 1's shirts and accessories, then the majority of the first wave of Camp Camp merch was put on my plate.  Partnered with Chelsea on the MDB backer fulfillment, rad.  Most of 2016 was a big blur of randomly assembled projects, since at the time we only had a couple of us running them there weren't enough hands on deck to section out certain categories or brands.  Late 2016 we added a couple new people to the team, and I started taking a bigger role in our convention merch.


    In early 2017 I got to work with Barb on her spring line, (the flowers & bones set) which was cool as hell.  Then shortly thereafter I was asked to take on merch development for all of our RT Animation properties.  Getting to partner with everyone on the teams over there was a super cool experience.  (Having been a fan of RvB since nearly the beginning, it was REALLY cool.)  Spring 2017 saw a lot of improvements happen in the department, with new buyers joining our team.  We all worked together to pull together the RTX 2017 booth from scratch, which was massive.  Late 2017 saw a lot of my favorite projects so far come to fruition: Platypus and Caboose talking plush, Camp Camp figure set, the Beacon and Haven Academy lines (which sowed the seeds for a lot of upcoming Animation merch that you've yet to see), and the handful of screenprint posters we've done.


    Now we're up to 2018, and man it's already been a whirlwind.  Got to handle more rad RvB merch (That Arcade tee is one of my all time faves.), Nomad launch merch, the RT15 Anniversary items, a little RWBY Vinyl Record.  In the spring we made more shifts internally, with me handing the RT Animation merch reigns over to another buyer so that I could focus more on our convention offerings, board game items, and some yet-to-be announced special projects.  (HEIST, HEIST, HEIST)  I've managed every convention/live event merch booth so far this year, including Funhaus Live, the Geoff Pop-Up, MegaCon, KF Prom, and Anime Expo.  I'll be seeing you all at Fan Expo Canada, RTX London, and NYCC later this year, but first....


    Next up is RTX Austin and the Coop Pop-Up store, which are two of my biggest lead projects yet.  We've gone way above and beyond for these, pulling out all the stops.  You've surely seen the cool stuff that Robert has been putting together for the Coop, and some of the stuff I've been putting together for RTX, but you're straight up going to lose your minds over what Monica and all of us have been prepping that you haven't been teased with yet.  Honestly, now that I'm thinking about it, just talking about Coop and RTX Austin may need to be it's own journal post.


    Anyway, I've been rambling.  Thanks for an awesome 3 years, and here's hoping that I get to keep doing this for a long time.  :-)

  • Podcast

    2 months ago

    burnie

    We have a special event this week (not sure if that has been announced) so we will have some remote reporting for the RT Podcast this week. Going to try to incorporate some of your ideas.

  • Great feedback

    2 months ago

    burnie

    Thanks everyone for the great ideas about the RT Podcast. Tons of feedback on that post.


    Heading into a super hot weekend here in Texas.  Looks like 108 on Monday. Yikes.

  • #12: My Little What? - Death Battle's Road to 100

    2 months ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

     fPcvg69yN77ajMjdJMvsBv0wUpj3A0-LdBN4e5TL

    Episode - 17: Starscream VS Rainbow Dash


    Many people believe Goku VS Superman is the most polarizing episode we’ve ever done. 


    Those people probably weren’t around when we announced Starscream would be taking on Rainbow Dash.


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    Quick aside, I always knew we would eventually get to a point where some viewers would “lose respect” for Death Battle over petty reasons. The exact same thing happened to Deadliest Warrior, and I frankly didn’t see any good way of avoiding it without severely limiting Death Battle itself.


    Anyway, I’m sure there are plenty of you who weren’t watching back then, and maybe even a few too young to have been very active on the internet six to eight years ago, so let me give you some context. In 2010, a new My Little Pony reboot premiered and garnered an audience of adult fans. Not just via nostalgia of older women, but a male audience, as well. A very, very large one. As far as I know, there’s still no conclusive explanation for why this happened, but we do know that the “brony” audience was extremely controversial simply for existing.


    Let me set the stage; it’s an average day at ScrewAttack, and I’m finishing up the Chun-Li VS Mai Shiranui episode. I take a break from editing to have lunch with some of my co-workers, including Chad and Jared aka ProJared. At some point the topic of bronies comes up. The new MLP show had been out for about a year now, and we had all noticed how massive the fanbase had become. We joked about ways we could tap into this huge audience by putting a pony in a Death Battle. None of us were really serious about it. We couldn’t even come up with a good matchup for something as un-Death-Battle-like as a My Little Pony character. Then Jared, making the Hasbro connection in his head, said aloud...


    “What if they fought a Transformer?”


    Now, I’d like to pause for a minute and address something. When Starscream VS Rainbow Dash was announced, a lot of viewers began theorizing who at ScrewAttack could be a brony. Because naturally, we wouldn’t have done this episode unless someone in the office was a brony who fought for it, right? Well… no. As far as I’m aware, none of us had watched the show before that point. However, I remembered how powerful cartoony characters like Yoshi had been in Death Battle,  so when we got back to the office I suggested we pull up the My Little Pony wiki and see what some of these tiny horse girl toys could do.


    And suddenly, the idea didn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.


    The first possibility we looked into was Megatron VS Twilight Sparkle, but I quickly realized there wasn’t much of a connection there we could play off of. As random as this matchup would seem to the casual viewer, I wanted there to be something holding it together. I eventually reached the page for a flying blue one and learned that her “special trait” was loyalty. Pitting her against the most unloyal Transformer, who conveniently also flies, seemed perfect.


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    By DotWork-Studio


    Even after all that, this episode was pretty intimidating! Transformers was a vast franchise I was only sort of familiar with and I knew basically nothing about My Little Pony. Also, Craig was heavily against the idea, but like my Team Four Star audition for Vegeta VS Shadow, I just did it anyway. In addition, my experience with the Ninja Turtles Battle Royale got me thinking about the presentation. What if the pony lost? Could we get away with a brutal death for a pony? What if the YouTube algorithm put this in front of a child because it had “My Little Pony” all over it, only for them to witness a bloody murder of their favorite pegasus?


    That last thought really stuck with me, and I made some decisions. There would be no swearing in this episode, nor would there be any blood or gore. Also, for the first and only time in Death Battle history, I decided that if a certain character was going to lose, we could not do the episode. If Rainbow Dash died the bronies we’d attract would think we baited them, the non-bronies would question why the episode exists at all, and it might scar some very young children when their parent uses YouTube as a “babysitting tool.” (There actually was a recent scandal about this very thing happening, so I’m happy to say our video wasn’t part of the problem!)


    Basically, if the pony lost, everyone lost in one way or another. Still, I had just recently changed Harry VS Aang because I realized that would be a blow-out, so I figured I could do the same kind of thing here if necessary. Luckily, it was easier than expected to develop a solid argument for the pony victory, and production kept on schedule!


    This quickly became one of our most dynamic productions we had done up to that point. I learned about an upcoming fan game called “Fighting Is Magic,” and I contacted the team behind it, Mane6, to ask if we could borrow their Rainbow Dash sprites. They were really on board with the idea, but unfortunately Rainbow Dash was one of the few characters they hadn’t finished sprites for. Future pony episodes would utilize Mane6’s sprites, but for this one I happened to stumble upon another good set on some pony related forum. I couldn’t find their origin point, but after the episode aired their game artist got in touch with me and provided higher quality versions of the sprites. I found some time to make a remastered variant with the better sprites and some other small improvements I previously didn’t have time for, which is currently only on Rooster Teeth! But I’m getting ahead of myself…


    This episode has voice actors! We held our first ever open casting call for Starscream, announcing him right after Chun-Li VS Mai had aired. However, I specifically kept his opponent a secret until less than a week before the episode’s release. For the voice of Starscream, we got a bunch of awesome auditions in, and amateur actor Zak Wilson got the part. Interestingly enough, Jim Sterling also auditioned for Starscream, and wound up voicing Starscream’s spark.


    Getting an actress for Rainbow was just as interesting. I didn’t want to have an open audition since that would mean we’d have to announce it early. Mane6 didn’t have an actress yet, but they recommended I talk to the guys behind Dream Valley Game (Yes, that’s 3 different MLP fan game teams helping me out now) who recommended voice actress Erica Mendez. She became our Rainbow Dash. Now, if you recognize that name, that probably means you watch dubbed anime. If not, you may still recognize some of her characters, because Erica went on to book some pretty incredible roles!


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    Starscream VS Rainbow Dash aired on September 23, 2011 and somehow… it worked. Yeah, there was some dumb hate flying around the comments, but for the most part it seemed everyone enjoyed it to some extent. Today, it has an 83% positive rating and is getting closer to 10 million views on YouTube. ProJared even did a follow-up later at BotCon, where he proved our episode was “100% correct and factual!” 


    Funny enough, this episode aired right as MLP Season 2 was starting. (We didn't know until after production started, so strange coincidence there.) I was worried some people wouldn't believe Rainbow could destroy anything as big as Starscream, but right after our release an episode aired where she rams into a house at mach speeds creating a mega-sized explosion, mushroom cloud and all, and effortlessly obliterates the whole thing! So yeah, thanks for helping our argument, Hasbro!  wink


    Anyway, I felt really good about its reception. I think this was one of the biggest risks we ever took, and we pulled it off!


    And one last thing. Some time after this episode came out, I started noticing a trend with Transformers and My Little Pony...


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    Now, this isn’t necessarily anything special. Transformers and My Little Pony have shared a lot of crossovers and easter eggs. There’s even a Pinkie Pie doll in the first Michael Bay Transformers, not just the one pictured above. What I think is interesting is that Hasbro itself continues to pair up Rainbow Dash with Starscream. I’m not suggesting that our video somehow influenced someone over at Hasbro, more likely they simply had the same idea of comparing them as I did… but you know, anything’s possible…


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. This is easily one of my favorite episodes we ever did. What’s your favorite Death Battle episode?

  • This Week At ScrewAttack - 7/20/18

    2 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi


    Juri VS Mileena | DBX  - Editor Notes 

     

    • Last night I saw Bo Burnham's EIGHTH GRADE. 
    • It was great. 
    • I love Bo, who doesn't? He's so great and creative and I especially loved his last special, MAKE HAPPY. It was just as poignant as it was hilarious. 
    • So I was very interested to see his feature film debut. 
    • And it was great. Really moving, really raw and visceral. 
    • I will say that visually, it feels like a first time director. He utilizes a lot of similar shots and techniques multiple times throughout the movie with very similar executions. All effective but repetitious. 
    • That being said, the performances were amazing and the story was refreshingly real and powerful. 
    • I thoroughly enjoyed it and you should check it out if you can. 
    • Also check out Bo's show ZACH STONE IS GONNA BE FAMOUS. It's pretty funny but EIGHTH GRADE is much better.

    Trailer


    Oh, and check out this week's DBX and look out for something special coming tomorrow....


    P.S. I wrote a succinct review of Eighth Grade on Letterboxd - where I write a review for every movie I see.

  • #11: Thighs VS Boobs - Death Battle's Road to 100

    2 months ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episodes - 15: Luke Skywalker VS Harry Potter, 16: Chun-Li VS Mai Shiranui


    If you’ve been to a Death Battle convention panel, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the original plan for episode 15… 


    Harry Potter VS Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender.


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    Art by Viria


    That was the idea put down for the Original 26, and I thought it might be a pretty unique type of match-up. Spells versus bending, wand versus staff, broomstick versus Appa… I was all set for this! I had really enjoyed watching Avatar back in the mid-2000s. The only problem was that I hadn’t actually watched season 3. I figured this episode would be a great excuse to finish a series I remembered fondly, and create a special episode out of it.


    I watched season 3. I realized I liked this show a lot more than I thought I did. Then I got to Aang’s final battle with Fire Lord Ozai... and I realized this match-up with a wizard boy was a terrible idea. There was no way Harry would be able to keep up with the crazy antics Aang could pull off by the end of the series. So I went back to the drawing board.


    Fortunately, I knew exactly what match-up to replace it with, because it had been one I remember hearing about back in high school. Who would win in in fight between Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker? Bam, instant classic.


    Then there’s Chun-Li VS Mai Shiranui, the ‘thighs versus boobs’ battle. There are two main things I remember about this episode’s production. The first, and dumbest, thing is that when typing out Mai’s ‘Background’ slate I accidentally labelled her measurements as inches when the numbers pertained to centimeters, so it says her chest is over 7 feet around! Whoops! Though considering the character, I can understand why I and nobody else caught that before release.


    The second thing was that due to time constraints, I had to make this entire fight animation in less than 2 days. Less than 48 hours! It’s pretty short, but after watching it again, I actually think I did a surprisingly good job, all things considered!


    Oh wait, there’s a third thing. I remember how I was really weirded out by how many of Mai’s sprites were so exceedingly sexuallized. So just for the laughs, I made sure to shove in as many of them as I possibly could, even if they didn’t make any sense!


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    Just look at that. SNK knew exactly what they were doing.  laughing


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. Is there a female character you’d like to see in a future Death Battle?

  • Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal and Carlos Lopez Estrada Reveal How Friendship Made BLINDSPOTTING Possible!

    2 months ago

    ericvespe

    Summer movie season is in full swing right now. You can still find at least three superhero movies in theaters as well as a big, dumb action movie staring The Rock and the latest Mission: Impossible film hits screens in a little over a week. But that doesn't mean there aren't smaller, more meaningful movies out there.


    One is coming out this weekend called Blindspotting. I saw this film at Sundance and raved about it back then. Now you have a chance to see what I was talking about. Starring Hamilton's Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar and Jasmine Cephas Jones, this is one of those everything movies. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, it'll make your butthole clench in pure tension. You know, everything.


    Blindspotting is about a man in the final days of his parole who witnesses a policeman shooting an unarmed man. He's traumatized by the incident, but can't speak out for fear of revealing that violated his parole. At the same time his crazy best friend isn't helping matters by constantly acting as the well-intentioned, but bad influence in his life. 


    It's a great film and I was super excited to sit down with the two leads, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, alongside their director Carlos Lopez Estrada to talk about how this film about friendship was actually born out of friendship as well as just how great their supporting cast is and how they struck an authentic balance between real world issues and escapism entertainment.


    It's a good chat. Enjoy!



    2018-Sundance-Film-Festival-Blindspottin



    Eric Vespe: Hey, guys. So, I saw the movie at Sundance and flipped for it. It spoke to me in a way I wasn't quite expecting and I think it's because of the way the humor of the film pushes the narrative. It's a movie with deadly serious content, but first and foremost it's almost a buddy comedy. I cared about the stakes of the movie because I cared about the friendship between you guys. Was that your way into the story?


    Carlos Lopez Estrada: The movie is based on friendship. It sounds like a corny thing to say, but it's true. The movie's a result of the friendship between Rafa and Daveed for... how many years?


    Daveed Diggs: Hella years.


    Rafael Casal: (laughs) Hella years. We're coming up on two decades.


    Carlos Lopez Estrada: Then there was a friendship between Daveed and myself. It started professionally and then...


    Daveed Diggs: It became romantic.


    Carlos Lopez Estrada: It wasn't romantic, it was just physical. (laughs) Then through Daveed I met Rafa. It's oversimplifying the process a little, but a lot of people came to (the movie) because of friendship. (Producers) Keith Calder and Jess Wu have been working with these guys for 9 years as well. A lot of the actors are either friends or friends of friends of people who these guys have worked with. It is a family endeavor and I'm glad to hear that energy translates when you watch the movie. Calling this movie a passion project is a serious understatement. They could probably tell you a little more about the real genesis.


    Daveed Diggs: (to Rafa) You said something great a little while ago about humor and male relationships... about how men interact with each other.


    Rafael Casal: Just say it's my quote, but Daveed will say it.


    Daveed Diggs: Rafa says that one of the ways that men stay friends with each other is by making jokes. That's what we do. We're always sort of covering up...


    Rafael Casal: It's the barrel roll out of tension. We have two main emotions that men are socially accepted to express. It's anger and humor. Those are the two conditioned ways to fluctuate. 


    Really the movie runs the way heterosexual male friendship tends to toggle. It's devoid of too much talk about feelings and it's very much humor-humor-humor until it boils up and because of that I think the characteristic of the film I love the most is just how much they try to keep bringing humor into it until it's completely impossible. Even in the end it's Miles' final barrel roll that gets us to a place of hope between the two of them, by trying to get them to laugh. That's the survival nature of friendship.


    Daveed Diggs: It sets up this thing where you can't trust humor any more. It's not enough. But then the final statement is pretty much if we acknowledge that we both changed we can still make jokes.



    blindspotting_daveed_diggs_and_rafael_ca



    Eric Vespe: I relate to that a lot. It's also important for audiences to know, too. You can tell people Blindspotting has great messages about gentrification and police brutality and the unfairness of the parole system and their eyes might glaze over. It might sound like homework. But if you can tell them it's a funny movie and you're going to connect with the characters that changes the conversation that gets people to give it a shot.


    Daveed Diggs: The buddy comedy in a world that won't let it be one... the reason that we say that sentence so much is because that sentence, and when you see the movie you'll get this, is to me the definition of what “Blindspotting” is. You say “a buddy comedy in a world that won't let it be one” and all people hear is the “buddy comedy” part and the second half is lost. You don't entirely know what it means, so your eyes float to “buddy comedy.”


    The first press we ever got was “Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs are doing a buddy comedy set in Oakland.” Yeah, we gave you the full sentence, but that's where your eye went.


    The in is that it's a buddy comedy, but it doesn't ignore the world that it exists in and it's that world that won't let it be one. The inherent seriousness of the time we're in gives you the buddy comedy, but puts it in the world that we're in.


    The world just unfolds as it is, which is why I never throw out the gun control and violence themes or even really police shootings. We're just now starting to add that because we're being told to. (laughs) We're being told it's helpful.


    Eric Vespe: Speaking of, your character witnesses a police shooting and the guy playing the officer is Ethan Embry. He's so damn good in this thing. He's a deeply flawed character, but not a one-dimensional bad guy. I felt I was empathizing with him and I never in a million years would have thought I'd do that with a person in his position.


    Rafael Casal: The amazing thing about empathy is all you actually have to do is make them human. You'll forgive so many flaws in a character's personality or political position as long as they feel full and human.


    Daveed Diggs: And I don't think we're even asking for forgiveness. It's just that you can sort of understand it. What we don't see is him over there and laughing and high-fiving two weeks after he shot a kid. His life probably sucks. You don't have to let him off the hook for being poorly trained and for shooting somebody because he was scared of a person running away from him. You don't get off the hook for that. You don't get brownie points for that, but also your life is probably pretty shitty.


    From our perspective (Ethan's character) couldn't reconcile with his wife after that. There's no turning back from that. The great thing about Ethan as an actor is that he made that whole movie in his head. He had the whole story of that officer in his head.


    Rafael Casal: The other side of this film.


    Daveed Diggs: And he asked us a ton of questions about it. We didn't write that into the script, so he came to us and asked us questions. Where is this guy from? Does he have other infractions?


    Rafael Casal: Do you think he came from the military? He gave it that much thought. I don't think at any point Ethan was trying to create a character that he thought was morally right. He just wanted a three-dimensional human being who is also a product of his surroundings and biases.


    Daveed Diggs: I don't think Ethan likes him very much!


    Rafael Casal: But I think he got him, which is nearly impossible when you read this script and invest in the main characters. To be able to find a sincere way into that officer...


    Daveed Diggs: It's a thing we asked of everybody involved in this film. So much of the focus is necessarily on us, but it was really important to have all these characters who were fully realized and felt like they had their own lives. So everybody had to do that work, without necessarily the lines to support it. Jasmine (Cephas Jones) came to the Bay a little bit early and just hung out. She's soooo New York.


    Rafael Casal: She's so Brooklyn! She was there for two days. She came to the Warriors parade...

    Daveed Diggs: It happened to be when the Warriors won the title.


    Rafael Casal: She hung out with two of the women who here character is based on and within two hours had the speech pattern down and was just walking around with it. They did her hair and I just kept forgetting that was Jasmine. It was magic.


    Eric Vespe: Janina (Gavankar) is great, too. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when she's doing your hair. It's the most romantic not-romantic scene ever. It's romantic in that these are two people who get each other and care for each other, but they're not at a place where they can become an item again.


    Daveed Diggs: We auditioned here by seeing if she could braid hair. She can't, so that's an incredible acting job. You'll see she focuses on the back of the head. (laughs)



    351b75160a23870cd95b02b02a1dabe2.jpg



    Carlos Lopez Estrada: I think Janina is one of those casting stories that I'll always remember because she came in to read towards the later end of the process. We had seen a lot of actors, some very, very talented people came in to read, and we were having a hard time making a decision. It was an important role. Then she walked into the room and did a handful of things that no one had done and I think understood the depth of the character in ways that we hadn't even fully grasped.


    We had a conversation with her about the script and about how she related to it being an Indian woman and understanding how minorities feel. It's just one of those things I'll never forget. She walked out of the room and we all just looked at each other and said, “Wow. How could we not work with this woman?”


    Daveed Diggs: She taught us things about Val in the audition.


    Rafael Casal: She totally changed the character.


    Daveed Diggs: There's that moment at the end of that scene after their hug she just said “Okay, bye” and walked out. No one else had played it that way. There was always this longing pathos thing, but she did it that way and I was like “... okay.” I was reading with her.


    Rafael Casal: She just cut the scene off!


    Daveed Diggs: All of us were like “That's how that scene was supposed to go! Shit.” It gave her so much more agency than I think even we were giving to that character. The best of our abilities we were still two dudes trying to write women and she came in and was like “This is how I would do it in this moment.”


    Carlos Lopez Estrada: She's not like Val, but in many ways she is. She'd come up to all three of us and we would give her direction and she'd say “Actually, I'm not sure if I agree with that” and we'd have these really interesting conversations.


    Rafael Casal: She really took Val from us.


    Daveed Diggs: Thank goodness.


    Rafael Casal: She'd be like “Val's this person. I know her better than you, so we're going to do it this way.” We were like “Okay!”


    Eric Vespe: It's a tough character because that archetype could come across as naggy.


    Daveed Diggs: It could come across as naggy, I know! It's tricky. There was an edit where we failed her, really. There was an early edit where she came off that way and it wasn't because of her performance, it was because we were choosing the wrong shots. For time we cut a bunch of things out, so we had to go back put more of her in. She gives this wonderfully nuanced performance with so much empathy in it, but for time we cut a lot of those moments and we were watching it going “We have to put that back.”


    Rafael Casal: There's the balance of sweet and stern and she gave us so many different takes of each one in each scene. Compiling that, you have to have just the right amount of Val's sweetness and kindness that you understand why her and Collin were together, but also just enough coldness that you get that this isn't a happily ever after thing.


    Eric Vespe: Absolutely. I love the movie and I think a lot of people are going to love the movie as well. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.



    blindspotting_ver10.jpg



    The movie's out in select theaters this weekend and goes wide on July 27th. If you like good things, go watch it!  

  • French with Benefits

    2 months ago

    Barbara

    Bonjour, my friends!

    In case you happened to miss the news yesterday, we just launched my new collection in the RT Store: French with Benefits! (huehue)


    Barb_Adventure_Desktop_V102.jpg


    I've been very inspired by a lot of "french" style lately, and wanted to make a collection that uses that inspiration, as well as unique, custom-made pieces. For this, we have 2 shirts, a suede cap, a tote bag, and... our first ever DRESS! (photos below). I am so happy with the way everything turned out, and am a big fan of pieces you can dress up or down.


    rEvgRiz.jpg


    Huge shoutout to the design/photography/store teams for making this possible. I am so excited to see these adorable pieces on your bodies. Go grab 'em!


    BISOUS! 

  • #10: WTF Was This? - Death Battle's Road to 100

    2 months ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

    ZsrCrLeJA8mLzf2L67t62Z5bI-mZKq6QpkMI2d3H

    Episode - 14: Justin Bieber VS Rebecca Black


    What a strange, strange episode. Especially when you consider this is what was meant to follow up Mario VS Sonic. I believe this is also the only Death Battle with a disclaimer at the front.


    I’m sure you may be wondering why this episode exists. Well, I can only say the first season was Death Battle’s “experimental phase” so many times, but let me break this down for you. It’s 2011, and Justin Bieber is a polarizing phenomenon. Then this random girl who you've forgotten about until right now makes one of the most popular videos of all time with the worst song ever made, becoming a viral hit much the same way Bieber did. I believe the intention of this episode was to try taking advantage of a recent trend, and see if Death Battle could be used as a sort of “response” to current events. Obviously, it’s difficult, because it takes time to make an episode, so that didn't really work out.


    I do think the Rebecca Black rundown is pretty good, though. Analyzing exactly what was happening in “Friday” was exactly the kind of thing Death Battle is for, and I loved taking the lyrics and visuals way more seriously than anyone was obviously meant to. Though I have to admit I remember feeling a little uncomfortable trash talking and showing the (comically animated) death of a 14 year old girl.


    Anyway, I don’t really have anything else to say, so let’s look at some of the top comments!


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    I am so sorry.


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    Well. At least someone’s found a use for this episode.


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    This guy put more thought into his comment than we did for the entire video.


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    We did it. We saved the world.


    Actually, there is something worth talking about here. Every so often, early Death Battle would be caught having a few spelling errors, particularly on the “slates” that slide in to show additional information about the combatants. We didn’t have any standard review process back then, so lots of little things like that slipped through the cracks, but one of the worst happens in this episode. While poking fun at Black’s issues with grammar... we misspelled grammar as grammer. Whoops.


    Also, I also am mildly disappointed I wasn’t able to time out my Road to 100 blog series so this would land on a Friday.


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. If we were to do another Death Battle with real world people, who should we match up?

  • Wait, how long?

    2 months ago

    Kerry

    Hey hey!


    So, today actually marks a pretty cool milestone for RWBY. Five years ago today we uploaded the first Chapter of RWBY to RoosterTeeth.com.


    That’s… a long time. Wow. Give me a second.

    *takes deep breath*


    We’ve got some cool news and things to show at RTX (you can still buy tickets!) but that’s for then. For now, I’d like to say:


    Thank you.


    Over the past five years I think it would be an understatement to say we’ve had our “ups and downs”... but the constant through it all has been just how incredible each and every one of you are. It’s pretty obvious that none of us knew what we were doing (insert joke about still not knowing) but that didn’t matter to you all. You saw the heart. You saw the potential. You saw a project that was made by friends that just wanted to work together to make something new and cool.


    RWBY would not exist if it wasn’t for you. Because you shared it with a friend. Or drew fanart. Or cosplayed. Or created your own original character. Or wrote fanfiction. Or filmed a reaction video. Or even just watched it.


    So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping us make this show. My promise back to you is that we will keep doing what we’ve done every day since Monty walked in with an image of four girls and four colors in his head: Giving this show our everything.


    Thank you, every single fan out there.

    Thank you, Rooster Teeth, for giving us a shot.

    Thank you, Monty, for being you.


    <3,

    Kerry

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    Pictured: CRWBY for Volume 6!

    Not Pictured: Some of CRWBY who had meetings during this picture + some more people that are still joining the team!

  • Fan Art Friday - Why Don't You Submit?!

    2 months ago

    Chelsea FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RT Community Manager

    Hey all!


    Did you know that we have a Fan Art contest every week, curated by one of our community groups BIGBITE Media? It's where we choose what that week's Fan Art Friday is and promoted here on the site and on social media. 


    Just in case you're unfamiliar with our forums here, or where to go to find this contest, we're urging as many people as possible to enter OR VOTE in this week's contest!


    To enter:
    1. Go check out this week's post here in the Art Forums!

    2. Fill out the question listed in the post and include an image of your piece of work. (Not sure how to upload an image? Ask us!)
    3. Tell your friends to come and vote for you!


    To vote:
    1. ANYONE CAN VOTE!
    2. Go to the thread here in the Art Forums!
    3. +1 any of the pieces you like the most. The artwork with the most positive mods will be considered for the winner. 


    This happens every week, so if you can't participate this week, we want to see you again next week!


    Much love,
    Chelsea

  • #9: Mario VS Sonic - Death Battle's Road to 100

    2 months ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 13: Mario VS Sonic


    Nintendo versus Sega. Hedgehog versus plumber. Mario versus Sonic. It was time for one of the biggest matchups we would ever explore… and I had a mere two weeks to put it all together. I think now would be a good time to really dive into the production process of early Death Battle, especially because it actually got a big change after this match-up!


    Let me show you how the sausage was made, so to speak. For each of the first thirteen episodes, I was given two weeks to materialize a complete video from scratch. Well, I did have some buffer time when the season started… one whole week! Which I quickly used up while learning the basics of animation...


    WEEK 1: Let’s say it’s Monday, and Vegeta VS Shadow was just posted on YouTube that morning. Bryan was promoting it on social media and relevant websites, and thousands of viewers were debating whether a galaxy-busting alien man could kill a hedgehog with PTSD. No time to celebrate or take a nap, I had to get started on the next episode! I would spend my first day planning out my next two weeks. What do I need to do to complete my research on time? What games, cartoons, comics, tv shows, movies, etc do I need to look at before I start writing the script? Where will I find these? What topics should the script cover? What do we need to show in the battle? Etc, etc.


    Once I got my plan in place, it was off to my college campus for class.


    Oh yeah, uh, I was kinda in the middle of getting my film degree during all of this. But I’m sure that won't become an issue… right?


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    The rest of this first week was spent hammering away at research and writing. Remember, I was all on my own for this, so I’d have to dedicate every scrap of time I had to getting this done. Except for Fridays, because that was Clip of the Week day. I had to produce, direct, and edit that show, too. All in one day. What, you thought Death Battle was the only thing I ever did for ScrewAttack?


    Anyway, come Thursday, I would have a finished script. This is where Chad would come in. I’d present the script and my argument for the winner, and he’d play devil’s advocate against my pick. “Sonic should win because _____!” “Are you sure? What if Mario does ____ or _____?” “Well, Sonic has ______ which can counter Mario’s ______!” and so on. Nowadays, this debate process is waaaay more intensive with a lot of people involved across multiple conversations, but back then we needed to be quick and efficient. As soon as we reached a conclusion, I’d wrap up the script and we’d record it all that day. We had to, or else my second week would be a nightmare. And it often was.


    I’d typically use the first weekend as a sort of buffer period. Basically, if there was anything that needed some extra time or care put into it, this was when I would do it. Sometimes there was some more research to do, like watching all of the 2003 Ninja Turtles show. Other times I’d spend it all gathering footage to use in the edit. And there was usually some college project or paper I had to take care of, but no big deal, right? However, there was one thing I always had to finish before Monday; the battle script.


    WEEK 2: This was production week! This whole time period (besides Friday for CotW) was dedicated to editing the episode and animating the battle. So long as class didn’t get in the way, I’d usually finish editing the audio and video in two days, albeit with long hours. My sleep schedule was basically shot, and I relied on Monster energy drinks so much I swear I’m now completely immune to their effects. This left me two days, not including the weekend, to work on the animation. Once the final cut was complete, I’d send it off to Revision3 and get a rare full night’s sleep!


    Of course, this was the ideal schedule I’d planned on when Death Battle first started, but it really didn’t work out that way. More often than not, there would be too much research material and asset gathering to get through that I couldn’t properly finish the script until Week Two, which meant I’d have far less time for the edit and animation. In some cases, I’d only have the weekend available to animate the entire battle, less than 48 hours before the episode was supposed to premiere! The Bomberman VS Dig Dug animation was one of these.


    For Mario VS Sonic, I was getting a little worried, because its first week just so happened to line up with my class finals! How fun. That was one of the most stressful weeks of my life. Luckily, thanks to the fact that I was already very familiar with Mario and Sonic, I didn’t fall behind and had enough time to put together one of the longest and most explosive animations I’d accomplished so far!


    Obviously, early Death Battle was a pretty chaotic affair. Nowadays, research is given several weeks of time, each script gets its own dedicated week at least, and animation gets entire months. And each of these jobs are done by whole teams of different people! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make excuses for some of the early series weirdness. I’m simply stating the facts of what it was like working on Death Battle and for ScrewAttack back in 2011. And the short answer is… it was getting problematic. By the time we got to Mario VS Sonic, the negative effects were showing. I barely ever slept, my voice was constantly fatigued, my social life had imploded, and my grades were gasping for air. However, because I was so hyped up about Death Battle and how well it was doing, I didn’t really notice any of this... until my GPA suddenly dropped from a 3.8 to a 3.4 Clearly, something needed to give.


    And it did! Remember how I said earlier that the production process got a big change after this episode? I got one whole week added to the cycle.


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    Well. I guess I’d take whatever I could get.


    There's so much more to talk about, but I'll wrap this up. Gotta save something for the 60+ blogs I have left on this Road to 100! Tomorrow, I'll take a dive into one of our most bizarre episodes ever... Justin Bieber VS Rebecca Black.


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. Whose side do you stand on; Nintendo and their plumber, or Sega and their blue rat?


  • The Aquaman Poster Is Released And The Internet Is Already Clowning It

    2 months ago

    ericvespe

    My history with the modern DCEU is a little rocky, but I'm by no means a DC hater. Growing up the only good comic book movies were DC films! Superman and Superman II, the two Tim Burton Batman movies. Hell, I even liked Supergirl as cheesy as that was.


    The Dark Knight was my favorite movie the year it came out and I still hold it up as a masterpiece of popcorn entertainment.


    DC is just having some trouble finding its footing in the Marvel era. It's a tough road to hoe for Warner Bros. We've seen so much of Batman and Superman, so how do they both give us what we want and also something new?


    There's no easy answer to that question, but I think the key lies more in their less-familiar characters. Wonder Woman has been all over pop culture, but she never got her moment in the sun quite like she did in her own standalone movie. Patty Jenkins embraced the good-hearted Diana and also made her a badass who will stand up and fight for those that can't. It was more than just "cool moments." 


    Could James Wan work similar magic for Aquaman? I'm optimistic, not because I have any deep love or nostalgia for the character (I don't), but I like Wan as a filmmaker. He's got a great eye and distinctive voice. 


    While I think they blew it pretty hardcore with Batman V Superman and Justice League, I still hold out hope DC rights the ship. 


    So, when I share some images of the internet joshing the new Aquaman poster know it comes from a place of good fun. Here's the official one:



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    The movie could be amazing, but that poster is pretty silly. Even DC fans are making fun of it. Looks like a photoshoot at the local aquarium. People have pointed out that the big mean shark on the right side of the poster is a stock image that you've seen a million times before, but hey, short cuts happen.


    The internet isn't as forgiving as I am, though. Here are a few of my favorite instant photoshop jobs I saw today:



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    Alright, the last one is kinda mean and snarky, but it made me laugh.


    One nice thing I'll say about this poster though is that it shows a lighter, more fun vibe. I've seen a few clips and unfinished effects shots from this movie at various Conventions over the last 12 months or so and Wan isn't shying away from making this weird as hell, which is why I'm still hopeful we'll get something special out of this movie when it premieres this holiday season.


    In the meantime I'm sure we'll be getting a new trailer soon since they're going to be doing their big Hall H presentation at Comic-Con this week. We'll know soon enough exactly what kind of movie we're in for here.

  • RTX Austin 2018 - Security Plan **IMPORTANT INFORMATION**

    2 months ago

    Bethany Head of RT Events

    Hi RTX Austin 2018 Attendees,


    We are very excited to see you at RTX Austin 2018! We know this will be another great year together and we have a lot of fun activities in store.


    The most important part of RTX is always safety. We want to ensure that all of our attendees, guardians, special guests, exhibitors, and staff are safe at all times. We have implemented a new security plan for RTX weekend, so please read everything to ensure you understand what is expected.


    SECURITY CHECKPOINTS

    There are four (4) security checkpoints at RTX and all checkpoints will accept all badge types. There are 2 different lines at each checkpoint; the Fast Pass line is denoted on the attached map with a Pink triangle and the Regular line is denoted on the attached map with a Green triangle. When you arrive at RTX, look for a pink flag at each checkpoint to enter the Fast Pass Line, or look for a green flag at each checkpoint to enter the Regular Line. Guardians will be on hand to assist you with finding the proper line for your badge type.


    erWeCBb.pngFAST PASS LINE - Platinum badge holders


    p0Efowf.png REGULAR LINE - Weekend PLUS / Weekend / Daily badge holders


    *Anyone requiring ADA access can use the erWeCBb.pngFAST PASS LINE, along with their caregiver, no matter what type of badge you have.


    *All Security Checkpoints will be staffed with Licensed Police Officers, walk-through metal detectors, bag checkers, and wanders.


    Please reference the below security map for checkpoint locations and operating hours.  Please note, for evening events (Let’s Play Live, Theater Mode Live, or On The Spot Live panel) there is a specific checkpoint you must use to enter the convention center per the specific evening operating hours (please reference the attached map for evening operating hours).


    DO’S & DON’TS

    • Do wear your badge visibly at all times. You cannot get into RTX without it. Lose your badge? Sorry, but RTX will not replace it. Treat it like cash.

    • Do listen to the Guardians to ensure you are in the correct line. Pink Fast Pass or Green Regular line - it’s that simple!

    • Do prepare your belongings as you approach the walk-through metal detectors so that you can get through security as quickly as possible.

    • Don’t bring any weapons. RTX is an all-weapons-free event. This means both illegal weapons and licensed to carry weapons are prohibited at all times. BUT - If you have a cosplay weapon, you must visit the Weapons Check station across from Registration in the Solar Atrium of the ACC to get it approved.

    • Don’t try to cut the lines as you will be asked to leave.

    • Don’t bring large bags as these will cause longer waits.


    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (revised as of 7/18) 


    1. Where do I pick-up my attendee bag? *Two answers: 1) If you are picking up your bag on Thursday, enter one of the security checkpoints and go to Exhibit Hall 2 to pick-up your bag 9:45 AM - 5:30 PM. 2) If you are picking up your bag on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, enter one of the security checkpoints and go to Registration located in the Solar Atrium to pick-up your bag. 


    2. If I need to pick-up my badge onsite, what do I do? *You will need to go to one of the security checkpoints and show your confirmation email (either printed or electronically) and a valid photo I.D. You must show both the confirmation email AND valid photo I.D to clear the checkpoint.  You can get your badge at Registration located in the Solar Atrium. 


    3. I have a medical disability. Where should I go for my medical sticker? *Please use the Fast Pass (pink) line at any of the 4 security checkpoints and go to Registration in the Solar Atrium to pick-up you sticker. You may have one caregiver accompany you throughout RTX regardless of what badge type they have. 


    4. If I leave the Austin Convention Center for lunch, or to attend a panel at another hotel, will I have to go back through security to enter? Yes, everyone entering the ACC will have to go through the security checkpoint. 


    5. How long will the wait times be each morning? While we cannot give you an exact expected wait time, we highly encourage you to not bring large bags (bigger than 12”x12”) when possible and to be prepared as you get to the front of the security checkpoint. We also recommend you check out the Animation Festival at the JW Marriott for early morning panels and then head to the Austin Convention Center mid-day. 

     

    6. How many metal detectors will there be this year? Across all four checkpoints, there will be 15 total metal detectors. 


    7. Can I bring in food and/or beverages to the Austin Convention Center? **FOOD: While ACC staff reserve the right to refuse entry to any outside food, we do not anticipate issues with small amounts of pre-packaged snacks such as granola bars or protein bars. This should also allow people with strict dietary restrictions to keep a small amount of appropriate food on hand, including those with medical conditions. **WATER: You may bring in an EMPTY water bottle. Water will be available while waiting in the queues each morning at the ACC at all four checkpoints. We encourage you to hydrate while waiting to get into the ACC, however once you get to the front of the security line, you will be asked to either dump out the remaining water or drink it. Once inside, there will be water coolers/bubblers in every panel room and throughout the ACC. 


    8. Are there Mother’s rooms available at the ACC? Yes, there are two (2) Mother’s Rooms in the Austin Convention Center.  One is located on the first floor near Room 1 along Cesar Chavez St.  The other is located on the third floor across from Room 10C.


    9. Will I be able to purchase food and beverage inside the ACC? There will be 4 operating concession stands each day: 1) Built-in coffee stand between Exhibit Hall 4 & 5. 2) Cafe in the Solar Atrium. 3) Large Cafe in the Exhibit Hall. 4) Small Cafe Built-In outside Ballroom A.


    10. What will the security check entail once I get to the front of the line? Once you arrive at the metal detectors, you will be asked to remove your bags/purses/etc. and remove everything from your pockets. A bag checker will inspect your bags and you will be asked to walk through the metal detector. Once you have been cleared, you may retrieve your items. If the metal detector is alarmed, a wander will provide a second search of yourself and belongings. 


    11. What should I expect from the weather while waiting to get through a security checkpoint at the ACC? Looking at past weather averages for Austin in August, we anticipate temperatures to be in the high 70’s/low 80’s between 7:00AM and 10:00AM. Most of the checkpoints are under covered awnings. We also encourage you to wear hats, sunglasses, and wear sunscreen throughout RTX weekend. 


    12.  Why is RTX adding so much security this year? The most important part of RTX is always safety. We want to ensure that all of our attendees, Guardians, special guests, exhibitors, and staff are safe at all times. Please be respectful to all security, Guardians, and RTX Staff as we are here to help you have a fun and safe weekend. 


    13. I am cosplaying and have a weapon as part of my cosplay. Where is Weapons Check located? Weapons Check is located across from Registration in the Solar Atrium. Approved weapons will be tagged for the duration of the event.  If the tag is removed, you must revisit the Weapons Check desk each day for a new tag. 


    14. I will be cosplaying at RTX and do not want to wait outside in my cosplay. What are my options? You must go through a security checkpoint like every attendee, and then you may head to Meeting Room 1 to change into your cosplay. We have designated a cosplay dressing room at the ACC: Meeting Room 1 on level one near Exhibit Hall 1/Palazzo (at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Trinity street). There will be a Guardian on staff to assist. Please note that this dressing room is NOT for storage purposes. We cannot hold onto your belongings throughout the day and you will be responsible for cosplay. 


    15. Can I refuse to be screened by security personnel? Yes, it is your choice to do so, but unfortunately if you refuse to go through a walk through metal detector, you will not be allowed in to RTX.  If you refuse, a Licensed Police Office will ask you to leave. If you cause a disturbance of any sort, Austin Police Department will be called. Anyone requiring ADA access can enter at any of the four checkpoints, as all have ADA entrances.  If expectant mothers do not want to go through the walk through metal detector for screening, you may enter the ADA entrance and be wanded/bag checked.


    16. Will there be a parents lounge/rest area at RTX? There will not be a space within the Austin Convention Center, but we will have a location at the Hilton where parents can sit and wait for their children. 


    17. What types of gifts ARE and ARE NOT allowed to bring to talent and RT staff? This year, we will not allow you to bring any open foods or beverages into the Austin Convention Center, this includes any alcohol. You also cannot bring any weapons, including Licensed to Carry. Additional prohibited items are illegal substances, weapons, firearms, explosives, flammables, knives, sharp objects, pepper spray, or mace. If you bring any items from the prohibited list (including food and beverages) it will be confiscated. 


    Please let us know if you have any questions. 


    Thanks!

    B


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  • #8: The Secret Audition - Death Battle's Road to 100

    2 months ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

    LX72_-gYn0noteOKGn60-tDzRZuou73HYQX1XLHB

    Episode - 12: Vegeta VS Shadow


    “Wow. What a rip-off.”


    That was all it took to cement voice actors as a recurring thing for Death Battle from then on.


    Vegeta VS Shadow was an episode with a lot of “firsts.” It was the first to feature a Dragon Ball character, the first to feature a Sonic character, and the first to feature voice actors... but not just any actors! This was also our first collaboration episode, as we teamed up with the amazingly talented folks of Team Four Star!


    This was sort of new territory for me. Of course, I’d hired and worked with actors plenty of times for my own film projects, but I’d never actually worked with voice actors, let alone voice actors who would have to record remotely. I vividly remember as I went through the script with Takahata101 and Lanipator, I was thinking “I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m gonna pretend I do, anyway!”


    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the secret to how you achieve your dreams. Or something like that.


    We had met a few of the Team Four Star guys a couple times, but I believe this was the first time we worked together on a project. If you don’t know them, you’ll probably still recognize their flagship series; Dragon Ball Z Abridged. This show had been making the rounds across the web since 2008, and Nick Landis aka Lanipator’s Vegeta was already the most recognized unofficial voice for the character. I had one strategy for casting Vegeta; Lani or bust.


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    Luckily, Lani’s a really cool dude and agreed to not only voice Vegeta for this episode, but also a few cameos later on like in Goku VS Superman and whatever the hell this is. A few TFS members auditioned for Shadow, and Curtis aka Takahata101 wound up snatching up the role.


    (By the way, shout out to Scott aka KaiserNeko for helping to organize all that. That man deserves so much credit for all the extra work he puts into everything.)


    However, casting voice actors wasn’t so easy. I was actually told not to do it at all, to keep all Death Battle animations voiceless. We hadn't done it before, and I guess it seemed like an unnecessary addition to the man in charge. ScrewAttack had this stagnating philosophy back then which was generally against putting more money and effort into shows over time. I wasn't a fan of that. There's also always been a trend with sprite animations to keep all dialogue limited entirely to on-screen text and zero audio, which I really wanted to avoid.


    There was only one reasonable solution… secretly reach out to TFS myself and cast them anyway!


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    I give you... Shadow the Hedgehog and Vegeta!


    As for the episode, it’s easy to tell it suffers from the quick turnaround that was the norm at the time. It feels a little rushed and a lot of the numbers used to measure Vegeta and Shadow’s powers seem… off. I think they were more so vague estimates, and weren’t meant to hold much weight. The thing is, Death Battle was a different beast back then. The show didn’t really bother with calculations and was far more opinion based. The argument for Vegeta’s victory wasn’t because he could output a specific amount of power, was calc’d to be a higher speed than Shadow, or anything like that. No, the analysis recap at the end primarily covers how Vegeta has taken huge beatings and kept on fighting, so he should be able to outlast Super Shadow… and that’s it. Calculations, stat comparisons, and scaling didn’t become an important part of the Death Battle analytical process until much later. 


    It’s fine if you don’t agree with that approach. It’s a very different, unconstrained style. I definitely prefer the more scientific direction Death Battle has taken in recent years. Frankly, today's approach is way more time-consuming, so even if we had gone that route back then it may have only hurt Death Battle's production until we got a larger crew behind the show. That's just speculation, but either way, I hope you give our modern format a try before judging the series on these much older episodes.


    To this day, I think teaming up with TFS was one of the best things we could've done. If you ever have the chance to work with them or even just meet them, do it. They’re a fantastic group of people who I can’t praise enough. Also, thanks to this episode I was able to start bringing aboard more and more actors, and I didn’t have to be sneaky about it anymore! Well, it would continue to be a struggle against ScrewAttack's production philosophies of the time until management changed during the Fullscreen buyout and Rooster Teeth merge, but at least I could finally be public about breaking the rules. Since Vegeta VS Shadow, the Death Battle franchise has featured around 100 different actors! Whoa momma!


    That’ll be a wrap for now! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading another daily entry on this Road to 100. Next time, we’re talking about one of the big ones… Mario VS Sonic.


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. What’s your favorite joke/line from a Death Battle with voice actors?


    P.P.S. Go check out www.TeamFourStar.com!

  • Podcastinf for the future

    2 months ago

    burnie

    As we head into the NEXT 500 podcasts, I can't help but look back over what has worked and what I want to change. What's some things you would like to see us do in future podcasts?