Sunday, January 6, 2019

2019 Plans

(This is just a rewrite of my usual status-plus-recruiting post, so don't get your expectations too high.)

I surveyed the team about what projects we should do in 2019, and as usual, there are more ideas than bandwidth. Still, a few of them are already underway and can be treated as "commitments," in the usual loose fansub sense.
  • Sangokushi movies. These three movies are enormously long - three hours longer than John Woo's epic Red Cliffs movie, or the equivalent of a 20- to 22-episode anime series. There are also hundreds of signs. Movie 1: encoded, translated, timed, typeset, edited; in QC. Movie 2: encoded, translated, timed, typeset; in QC. Movie 3: encoded, translated, timed, typeset; in editing.
  • Manxmouse. Encoded, translated, translation checked; in editing
  • Tales from the Old Testament. Episodes 1-3: released. Episodes 4-6: in encoding and translation.
In addition, we're planning a number of reissues, based on recent media acquisitions and improved transcription capabilities.
  • Al Caral no Isan. New laserdisc rip, without the washouts of the current raw. In RC.
  • Boyfriend parts 1 and 2. New laserdisc rip of the complete OVA.
I'm really happy about Boyfriend. As I mentioned in my release post, Boyfriend was originally a two-part OVA, released on VHS tape and laserdisc. It was condensed into a shorter TV special, released only on VHS tape; that was the basis for the Orphan release. The new version will not only look and sound better, it will be more complete.

Beyond that, the list of possibilities is too long for rational contemplation: the remaining episodes of Chameleon; a translation-checked version of Gosenzosama Banbanzai; BD versions of Cleopatra and Senya Ichiya Monogatari; three different Tezuka Osamu OVAs or series; Nayuta, Genji Pt 1 and other Piyo Piyo Productions laserdisc rips; and on and on! There's little chance of getting through the backlog of available scripts this year, let alone taking on new projects, unless Orphan gets more capable and experienced help...
  • Editor. I can't deal with the backlog all by myself. (I'd like to have a life away from the computer.) However, an editor for Orphan needs to be bimodal. Some of our translators are very proficient in English and rather picky about gratuitous changes to their wording. With their scripts, an editor must exercise great restraint and avoid gratuitous changes. Some of our translators are not native English speakers. With their scripts, an editor must change the wording to flow better but preserve accuracy.
  • Typesetter. Same issue; I'm it for now. A typesetter must know motion tracking and must be prepared to work with jittery, hand-drawn signs, blended frames, etc.
  • QC. QCs must have a thorough command of American English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage. They must know how to use Aegisub and to look for errors not just in the dialog but in the timing and signs.
  • Encoder. Orphan needs an encoder who can work with difficult sources and apply corrections, manually if required, to the numerous flaws, including interlacing, frame blending, chroma bleeds, color drift, film burn, etc. Orphan doesn't get progressive DVDs or Blu-rays very often, and when it does, there are enough encoders for them.
In closing, two caveats. First, don't use the comments section to plead for translation of your favorite show. As I've explained several times, Orphan doesn't take requests. Second, don't apply to the team if you have no experience or if you want to use different tools, like Discord instead of IRC or Twitter instead of blog posts. Orphan's an old-fashioned fansub group, I'm an old-fashioned (or just old) fansubber, and I'm not going to change the workflow now.

[Updated 07-Mar-2019]