Just found this guy's channel last night and felt like sharing. As someone stumbling their way into the world of music, this kind of shit blows my mind.
2 months agoMiles Miles
I hope you guys have all been enjoying the new season of Camp Camp! It's been an absolute blast getting to work on this show with Jordan, Kerry, and Gray and I'm SO happy it's back.
One of the things I wanted to do this season was write a new song, as I had a ton of fun writing "The Camp Camp Song Song" which plays at the start of every episode. I've always been really interested in music. In school I played violin, saxophone, and guitar... and I was terrible at all of them. HOWEVER, I've really developed a love for working with musicians on the shows we make (like Nico and David for RvB). The only problem is... I can't read or write music.
Throughout the production of the Chorus Trilogy, I would often call Nico and have to sing melodies to him and describe the kind of instrumentation I was hearing in my head because I simply didn't speak the language. It sounded just as silly as you'd expect, but it got the job done, so I did something similar for David and Daniel's song "Better Than You"!
It started with dozens of voice memos saved to my phone of me just humming different melodies, adding to them, and then eventually settling on one that I liked! After that, I moved onto the lyrics. Turns out writing lyrics for songs is INCREDIBLY fun. It's this cool word puzzle where you have to not only make sure the words rhyme, but that they all have the right number of syllables AND are hopefully funny/clever/cute/etc. I got my first taste of it on the RvB Musical from Season 14, then again with Camp Camp, but THIS time I wanted to flex my teeny, tiny music muscles and take on a duet!
The song was originally titled "When Daniel Went Down to Camp Camp" (but I changed it as it was a little too on-the-nose), and these are the lyrics:
I wrote David's verse first, Daniel's second, then had to write their simultaneous parts for the finale and figure out how to harmonize with myself. It took a LOT of voice memos, but I finally figured it out, practiced it, and walked into our sound booth one day and asked our mixer Alena for a favor.
The children are horrifying. I know.
We sent that off to Camp Camp's composer, Benjamin Zecker, and HE. MADE. THAT. SHIT. DOPE. Re-recording the song with ACTUAL music to listen to made the whole experience way more fun, and he made a slight suggestion to change the melody that actually works a lot better with all of his supporting instruments, BECAUSE HE'S A MOTHERFUCKING BOSS.
After that, Daniel was cast! You might know Evan Gregory from the musical group The Gregory Brothers. Not only was he a great voice actor for our creepy cult leader, but the son of a bitch can SING. Like Benjamin, Evan added his own ideas to some of his lines that really helped elevate the entire song and we were super grateful to have him come on board for the role.
Soooo YEAH! Thanks to the amazing work of Ben and Evan, our sound team, our animators, our producer, our director, and plenty of other incredible folks, we were able to take a silly little recording of myself and turn it into something awesome!
Here's to hoping we can do it again sometime...
6 months agoMiles Miles
YO! So I wanted to record a video where I geeked out over the music in Zelda: Breath of the Wild but... I ain't got time for that. SO, I decided to just go ahead and post a rough version of the script I was putting together (mainly because I think by the time I would have time to film this, no one would be playing Zelda anymore, haha).
I'd like to say that as of now I've yet to beat Zelda (DON'T BE A DICK AND POST SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS), buuuut here are some thoughts I had on the music of the game so far. Let me know what you guys think!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a third person, action adventure game developed and published by Nintendo on March 3rd, 2017--BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT BECAUSE IT WAS LITERALLY THE HIGHEST RATED VIDEO GAME OF ALL TIME.
There’s no doubt in my mind that people will be talking about this game for years to come, and for good reason, but I wanted to take a second to talk about something I personally found fascinating about Breath of the Wild and that’s its use of music.
Now before I go any further I just want to say I’m not an expert on any of this. I don’t make video games or report on video games, I just play a lot of video games, and if you don’t agree with whatever it is I’m about to say or think it’s stupid or that I’m giving the game too much credit or whatever… that’s totally cool. Also I’m just gonna assume you have, like, a base level familiarity with the Legend of Zelda series and in regards to Breath of the Wild spoilers, I’m mainly gonna be talking about stuff that happens within the first few hours of the game and avoiding as much of the story as possible. That being said, I would rather you not spoil the game for yourself than read this. Seriously. Go play this game.
...Okay, I’m gonna nerd out over Zelda now.
I would argue that the Legend of Zelda series has some of the most iconic music in gaming. The original cartridge was released back in 1986, which has given players over THIRTY YEARS to allow for dozens of melodies to be burned into their brains. You can’t go to a renaissance fair without hearing some dude playing The Lost Woods theme on an ocarina he’s gonna try to sell you for $20… maybe 15 if it’s Sunday.
But take all of those songs, every memory you have associated with them, every SINGLE thing you know and love about the Legend of Zelda… and understand that it’s gone.
Because that is the message this game is trying to convey to you from the beginning: The land of Hyrule is dead. It died 100 years ago and all that’s left are the skeletal remains of a fallen kingdom.
Everything about Breath of the Wild is screaming this message. The fact that you start with nothing, the fact that you scavenge for everything, the fact that hills are littered with ancient, rusted blades from battles long lost, the fact that - aside from one mysterious old man - you don’t meet another person until you’ve put hours into your adventure, and I could go on!
...but this is supposed to be a talk about music, so let’s take a step back and acknowledge that music… is noticeably absent from this game.
Whereas most Zelda games immerse you with nonstop themes and melodies no matter where you go, Breath of the Wild’s creators made the decision to deviate from this strategy and instead provide scarce, atmospheric instrumentation that comes and goes depending on your locations, actions, and time of day.
Now there’s tons of reasons why they might have made this decision, the most obvious of which I would assume to be practicality. With Zelda’s return to an open world design, constant music would inevitably become grating. So, they took a page from games such as Skyrim and Minecraft and opted for occasional and situational music. But this choice also helps to support the initial message and tone of the game I brought up earlier. As players we’re used to music in our Zelda games, so when it’s not there it’s weird.
So, absence of music leads to unfamiliarity, but let’s talk about where there IS music. Breath of the Wild is doing something really cool and it starts at the Temple of Time. The temple is likely one of the first places you’ll explore in the game and it’s music falls in line with the scarce ambiance you’ve been introduced to so far, so much so that you may not even notice that it does indeed have it’s own theme. BUT if you listen, you’ll realize that composer Manaka Kataoka has incorporated Zelda’s Lullaby into the song… or at least... three notes of it. After those three notes, though, the melody takes a turn and drops into something completely different. It then almost seems to come back, as if struggling to continue, before again inevitably falling away into something new, unfamiliar, and ultimately… sad. This used to be one of the most memorable locations in the Legend of Zelda and it’s paired with what used to be one of the most memorable songs… but not anymore.
(EDIT: Shout out to Twitter user @hylain_gamer for pointing out that the Temple of Time theme is actually still there in it's entirety, it's just UNBELIEVABLY SLOWED DOWN. Gotta go back and make an adjustment to this bit when I get time. Nevertheless, this is not the temple theme most remember. It's sad, slow, and broken down. Good ear, @hylian_gamer!)
Fast forward several hours.
At this point in the game you’ve learned more about who you are, why you’re here, and what the state of the world is. You understand that it’s up to YOU to save Hyrule and you are on a journey to do so. It’s around this time you’re likely to run into the first of many stables. Yes, stables have a theme song, and yes, Kataoka once again borrows three notes from a famous Zelda melody: Lon Lon Ranch.
Unlike the Temple of Time, stable music is pretty nice! The first stable you’re likely to come across in the game is really one of the first signs of modern civilization you’ve encountered! It’s happy and it has a tinge of familiarity thanks to those three little notes. You remember the delightful NPCs of past games and you remember riding a horse, which brings us to the first, completely unsubtle incorporation of a Zelda song.
Riding your horse at night allows you to finally listen to a song you’ve known since 1986: the Legend of Zelda theme song. Like THE theme song. The strings bring it in gently and it’s the perfect compliment to the soft, plucky notes of the piano. It’s not the theme in it’s entirety, but it’s unmistakably there. WHY?
Because at this point, you have begun to take the world BACK and you have begun to feel like LINK. You’ve fought monsters, you’ve solved puzzles, you’ve found rupees, YOU’VE GOT A HORSE. These are things that are familiar and they are reinforced with THIS music that you’re likely to hear around this point in the game as you make your way towards…
One of the Four Races of Hyrule. Whether it’s Zora’s Domain or the Goron City, the homes of these four races all use music that you’ve heard before. At this point it’s all there, ALL OF IT. By now you’ve begun reclaiming Link’s memories with the aid of Impa and the Sheika Slate and low and behold you’re given music that you, the player, remember!
It’s all about reclaiming what was lost. Hyrule died and the music went with it, but as you fight to take the kingdom back you’re rewarded with the melodies you grew up listening to for hours. It’s different, it’s intentional, and maybe you hate it… but I love it, because I love the music of the Legend of Zelda… and I will fight every Moblin in Hyrule to bring it back.
Music. Zelda. Awesome.
6 months agoMiles Miles
This is now the eighth time I’ve sat down to try and type out this journal. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write… and I’ve killed, like... a lot of innocent fictional characters. It’s super long and mushy, but it’s got some really exciting news and -- well, I’m getting ahead of myself. I guess I’ll just start by saying...
I’ve been working on Red vs. Blue for six years.
I don’t think I’ve ever fully comprehended that sentence until this very moment. Like, I was positive it was four, maybe five, but… I started machinimating as an intern the same day filming began on Season 9 six years ago. You can tell because Tucker’s head-bobs are TERRIBLE.
And yet somehow, despite my mediocre machinima skills and tendency to lose rechargeable battery packs, I was given an opportunity that completely changed my life: The chance to write and direct a show I loved. You better believe I took that opportunity and ran with it the very best I could.
Over the past six years I got to help tell the story of how a bunch of losers became heroes. There were times when they fought with each other and times when they worked together better than the fiercest Freelancers. There were mysterious walls, heartbreaking audio logs, adorable killing machines, forgotten colonies, civil wars, TWO LOPEZES, future cubes, new recruits, rebel leaders,
wimpy generalsbrave generals, mercenaries, back-stabs, space prisons, alien relics, crazy doctors, talking guns, A.I. fragments, key-swords, flamethrowers, SANTA, avalanches, train fights, death towers, the most powerful suit of armor ever designed by man, and at the center of ALL OF IT stood the Reds and Blues. I have done so much more in the world of Red vs. Blue than I ever thought I could… and I’m happy.
I’m happy to have had the chance to learn from Burnie and Matt, I’m happy to have worked with so many talented people, and I’m happy to say that it’s now someone else’s turn.
A lot of viewers pointed out that VIC’s monologue at the end of Season 14 felt like a goodbye, and in a way, it was. Season 14 was a celebration of RvB; it was a season that allowed us to just have fun with the universe and its characters and to do things we’d never have been able to pull off in a traditional season. It also served as a sort of audition. I’d reached a point where I felt as though I could no longer take the Reds and Blues to new and interesting places without it feeling forced, so we began the search for a new writer and director with new ideas and a passion for storytelling.
We found him.
You might know Joe Nicolosi from any number of projects he’s worked on in the past, though you probably know him from his stop-motion RvB episode “The Brick Gulch Chronicles”. Not only did he deliver a completely unique and out-of-the-box-canyon approach to Red vs. Blue, he captured the voices of our beloved characters perfectly. Joe’s also an absolute turbo-nerd and I love him (but don’t tell him I said that). I promise I’m not leaving RvB entirely. Just as Matt and Burnie helped guide me in my early days of writing RvB, I’ll be working with Joe so that we can make his story the absolute best it can be, and trust me... it’s going to be one hell of a ride. I hope you’ll all welcome him to the site and get to know him better. Be sure to check out his journal here!
Season 15 picks up not far from where Season 13 left off. Kyle and Josh are firing up their Xboxes, Nico and David are tuning their instruments, and Joe Nicolosi is bringing new heroes, new villains, and a brand new adventure with him. I can’t wait for you all to see it.
Thank you all for everything. Whether you’re a stupid Red or a dirty Blue, I love you.
10 months agoMiles Miles
For those of you who've been following Fan Service, you'll know we recently talked about which anime series we'd recommend to people who've never watched anime before, but are curious about where they should start! We decided on The Boy and The Beast, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and EITHER Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo. Now, before we came to those conclusions, we had to come up with some lists of our own, so here's mine (in no particular order)!
1. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
If you've always thought cartoons are just for kids, this series will prove you wrong. It's not the shortest series, but it's an epic journey that follows two brothers on their quest to right their wrongs and repair their bodies after a terrible alchemy accident. The story gets WAY crazier from there, but I think what's great about this show is its variety of tone and relatable themes. You'll get action, comedy, drama, and even a splash of horror with FMAB, and even though the world and characters are all fantastical, their internal struggles and relationships are extremely realistic. Family, duty, friendship, and love are things I think we can all relate to, and FMAB has them in spades.
2. Cowboy Bebop
This is the show that got me into anime. Period. Like... I just fucking love it, man.
(Okay, now that that's out of the way.)
Bebop is an older anime, but I'd argue the style and characters keep it feelin' fresh. It's a show about space cowboys hunting bounties that's supported by an INCREDIBLE jazz and western score. This show is bittersweet, through and through. Don't expect the hero to always win, don't expect the guy to get the girl, expect a hard and lonely journey with rare yet beautiful moments of levity. At it's core, Cowboy Bebop is a story about a man trying to run from his past, while his past is actively seeking him out. I think what makes it a great intro anime is that a lot of the ingredients the show is playing with are pretty familiar to western audiences. Oh, and it's also got some incredible action sequences. OH, and not to get spoilery, but I highly recommend watching the end credits every time. The song that plays is called Real Folk Blues and I'll say that after hearing it twenty-something times at the end of every episode, it made one moment in the series absolutely breathtaking.
3. The Boy and The Beast
I really don't want to tell you much about this film. It's a recent release, the animation is gorgeous, and the story is beautiful. A boy is in need of a father figure and a beast is in need of a pupil. The two must learn to work with one another and learn as much as they can from each other. It'll make you fucking cry. Again, themes are incredibly relatable here and it's a much smaller time commitment than starting a series.
4. The Devil is a Part-Timer
Okay, so the number one reason I'm recommending this is because it's simply a comedy (and a damn good one at that). There is no crazy, heart-breaking stuff, there is no super convoluted plot (though the show does poke fun at them), this show is STRAIGHT UP designed to make you laugh. The pilot opens with what appears to be a stereotypical westerner's idea of what anime is: Magical beings and fantastical lands, an epic battle for survival against demon armies, a list of what appear to be mini-boss style antagonists that our heroes must defeat by the time the show is over!
Yeah, fuck that shit.
Within minutes, Devil sets up a fantasy world, then throws it away, placing our characters in modern day Tokyo, confused and... hilariously ill-equipped to deal with our society. Lord Satan gets a job at McDonald's aaaaaand hilarity ensues. There is a subplot that keeps things interesting throughout the series, but don't expect any groundbreaking stuff from it. It provides for some interesting character relationships, but beyond that there's not much. I will say, I watched this one in Japanese and the VAs fucking slayed me. I actually had to pause an episode because I was crying with laughter. Good shit, yo.
So this was a 12-episode story we followed during the pilot season of Fan Service, and it's wonderful. It's essentially a murder mystery/character drama with one mystical twist: the main character has the ability to travel through time... but not entirely at his own free will. The story we're left with is one of a young man who must solve a mystery in the past in order to prevent catastrophe in the future. It has some of the most touching moments I've seen in an anime and deals with some very real-world issues (such as child abuse, mental illness, and single parenting). This show actually got my MOM to watch anime, so that's pretty impressive. It's not always the most unpredictable show, but I think it's execution is superb.
So yeah! If you're looking for places to start, those would be my recommendations! Hope you guys enjoy!
11 months agoMiles Miles
So I tweeted about a new recipe I tried out tonight and a ton of people asked me for it. I found it online some time ago but finally got around to cooking it today and I am ALL about it.
Beef Barley Soup
- 2 pounds stew meat (nicely marbled beef chunks)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 10 cups water
- 3 mounded tablespoons good quality beef base
- 3 stalks celery (about 2 cups), chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large potato, peeled and shredded, about 2 cups
- 3-4 large carrots, peeled and shredded, about 2 cups
- 1 cup barley, rinsed
- Generously salt and pepper the beef. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- When it is very hot, add about 1/3 of the meat. Brown for about 1-2 minutes, then turn to brown the other side. Remove to a plate when it is browned on all sides.
- Repeat with remaining meat in 2 more batches. (If you add it all at once it will steam the meat instead of browning it--not what you want.)
- When all the meat is browned, add all the meat back to the pot with 10 cups of water. Add 3 healthy tablespoons beef stock concentrate.
- Add the chopped celery, onions, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 2 hours with the lid on.
- When the meat is tender and you can break it apart easily with a wooden spoon, add the shredded potato and carrots. Bring to a boil, then continue to simmer on low for another 30-45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
- Add 1 cup of barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low. Cook for another half hour, or until barley is tender.
1 year agoMiles Miles
Club, Call, and Consequences: The three episodes of Red vs. Blue that I still can't believe got made.
Howdy folks! I sincerely hope you guys enjoyed what we've been internally referring to as "Mercs" here at RT Animation. It's been a labor of love long in the making, and watching comments pour in over the past three weeks has been an absolute delight.
Bet'cha thought he wasn't gonna make it, huh? :P
Well these three episodes represent just one of the many stories I've imagined for Locus, Felix, and Siris, and I do sincerely hope we get to tell the rest of those stories one day, but for now, I'm still overjoyed with the way this mini-series turned out.
I cannot thank our production team enough. Literally every department that touched Mercs tried something new: new art style, new lighting style, new aspect ratio, new animation style, new models, new rigs, new music, new approach to sound design, new approach to editing, SERIOUSLY this entire project was one giant test for ourselves. We all set out to try something new, and god damn it, I couldn't be more proud of everyone.
The first episode fight alone took months of planning. Making sure animation, editing, compositing, and sound were all in time with the awesome music David Levy created was a huge undertaking. I'm fairly certain the entire team wanted me dead at one point or another throughout production and I don't blame them in the slightest.
I'd also like to thank our voice actors. Derek Mears played a wonderfully intimidating Spanish Crime Lord/Dad of the Year, David Jennison was the perfect little shit of a son (sorry we killed your character... again), and working with Chris Sabat was an absolute dream come true. That dude is the BEST kind of weird and brought Mason Wu to life in ways no one else could. And of course, I must thank my partner in crime: Gray Haddock. You're the green to my orange, the cloak to my light shield, the scariest brick wall of a bounty hunter, and one hell of a department head. Love ya buddy.
Like I said, every part of the pipeline stepped their game up this year, and I'm honored to work alongside them (COMP TEAM MAKES DREAMS COME TRUE), but I have to give a huge shout out to the team that is so easily forgotten: our producers.
Even though the project was only three episodes long, the amount of coordination and organization needed to pull it off was astronomical. EVERYTHING for this show had to be built from scratch and in addition to the entire internal team, we also worked with outside modelers, artists, and riggers throughout the course of production. Our producers kept us on track, gave us clear goals to shoot for, and helped make this an incredibly smooth production.
Oh, and it turns out our fight performers are also legendary dancers.
So yeah... we learned a lot on this production, and we had a LOT of fun making it, but now for the question everyone has been asking: What happened to the Mercs?
We all know where Locus and Felix ended up, but this trilogy didn't answer what happened to Siris. It didn't show their descent into darkness like many people predicted... if anything, it just raised more questions. I know for some that's probably frustrating, but it's the tale I set out to tell; an open and close story with a bittersweet ending that asks the question "Did we do the right thing tonight?" There's no way to cover the entire history of these guys in just three episodes, so for now, let your imagination run wild! The point of these three episodes was to show that people change. Someone you may hate today may not have been such a bad guy years before you met them. We're all shaped by the events of our lives and the decisions that come with them. For Isaac, Samuel, and Mason, this was just one of many events that will shape who they inevitably become.
Until next time... remember to check your comms, use codenames, and never ever threaten Mason Wu's family.
1 year agoMiles Miles
Hellooooo beautiful people!
I hope you have all been enjoying Red vs. Blue: Season 14! It's been an interesting season to say the least. We've seen classic Halo machinima through the eyes of Jordan Cwierz and James Willems, hilarious stop-motion at the hands of Joe Nicolosi, and this past weekend we were treated to a live-action explosion-fest thanks to Freddie Wong. It's been an absolute pleasure watching our guest writers play around in our universe and seeing Josh and Kyle continue to kill it as machinima directors... but now it's my turn to have a little fun.
This weekend is Episode 9... and it's going to be very, very different.
Episode 9 is the first of a three-part story arc, and we're very excited to say that it will premiere Saturday at 2:30pm CT at the Red vs. Blue Panel at RTX2016. This arc is one of the biggest stories of the season and we will be talking about it in depth at the Red vs. Blue Panel. Because of this, we will also be including the episode IN THE TWITCH STREAM of the Red vs. Blue Panel! Believe me when I say, you do not want to miss this episode, so be sure to attend the panel or watch the stream! It will be one of the first things we show!
This episode is also going to have some rather large reveals (and probably not the ones you expect), and we would hate for fans who are unable to catch the panel to have it spoiled for them, so please be conscious of others when posting about it online. Take this as a bit of a warning, if you are unable to catch the episode on Saturday, you may want to avoid certain threads and forums until you can watch the episode yourself.
The episode will be released for RT First Members (previously known as Sponsors) at the regular time, Sunday at 12:00pm CT, and Monday (12:00pm CT) for RT Site members (THOUGH YOU SHOULD REALLY TRY TO SEE IT SUNDAY, WINK WINK). Our team has been working incredibly hard on this piece and we're all excited to share it with you! We hope to see you at RTX.
1 year agoMiles Miles
I'm a bit of a collector.
I've got props and posters from all my favorite stories, I refuse to buy console games digitally so I can look at my library with pride, and I'm pretty sure I own the special edition of every game Bungie's made since Halo.
So imagine my surprise when I was told we'd be making a Chorus Trilogy Box Set... a steelbook box set.
Spoiler alert, I looked something like this:
To this day, I still can't believe I was lucky enough to work on Red vs. Blue, let alone be able to say I directed an entire trilogy. Having all three movies together in such a cool package is like a dream come true.
Normally we're not able to get away with super abstract cover art, but because this piece was so special, we were given the green light to have a lot of fun with it. I really dig simple, minimalist artwork, and wanted to incorporate that style into the cover art. I pitched the idea of the three towers to the designer and he shot back with a few ideas of his own. The collaborative result is something that I think looks pretty damn cool (especially the subtle green and orange markings on the back... wink wink).
Of course, there's always a bittersweet realization when a collector's edition comes out, "But I already bought these movies when they were first released." Believe me, I know that pain. In case you're worried about missing out on additional content, I can go ahead and let you know that the content on these new discs is identical to the Blu-rays already released (note: there is more BTS content on the Blu-Rays than DVDs). No additional extras, just a limited edition steel case and unique disc art.
Still, to everyone who bought seasons 11, 12, and 13 when they were first released... thank you so, so much. We can't do the things we do without your support, and yes, that especially includes financial support. I'd been told several times that a box set wasn't going to happen, but after seeing the success of all three seasons, someone up top made the call to go for it, and it's thanks to you!
The box set is currently available for preorder on Amazon and will be released JUNE 28th, 2016.
So, if you're a fan that hasn't grabbed these movies yet (or if you only have them on DVD), by all means, pick up a copy! If you already own the movies but want this badass new bundle... well, you can always gift your old ones to someone else, right? You're such a good friend.
Thank you again for everything. I hope you guys dig this special release and I'll be seeing you soon for RvB14!
1 year agoMiles Miles
I like telling stories and making stuff.
And video games. Definitely video games.
Zero Punctuation Appreciation Group
The BlawnDee Fanclub
Miles "Tails" Prower
Questions answered by Miles
| Asked by: Almightypop 1 year ago
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view it), I really don't have the luxury of a normal week. My schedule changes day-to-day, so I'll likely never regulate my streams. I just kind of do it on the side for fun. Sorry!
| Asked by: Laker321 1 year ago
Making something cool with my best friends. Every. Single. Day,