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View Poll Results: By what method did you get recruited in to fansubbing?
I started at the bottom and worked my way up with tutelage from my peers 53 39.26%
I started my own group and learned as I went along 41 30.37%
I joined a new group with one or two *experienced* fansubber who taught us how to do stuff 23 17.04%
I joined a new group and all of us were new and we worked it out as we went along 18 13.33%
Voters: 135. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2007-07-04, 08:40   Link #1
Live-eviL Staffer
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Sailor Moon Musical Fansubbing Land
Send a message via AIM to gumbaloom Send a message via Yahoo to gumbaloom
How were you recruited in to fansubbing?

This is a little test to see whether what I believe happening is right. It's been concerning me that over the past year the dynamics of fansubbing have been changing and that there is a move away from people joining established groups and working their way up through the ranks and getting experience and tutelage from those more experienced and instead more of a trend of diving headlong in to making their own group or joining a newly formed group.

So what do you think?

Personally I think it's a BAD thing that this sort of thing seems to be happening. I think I learned a lot by working my way up from the bottom about how fansubbing works and having my work peer reviewed by others in the group so I learned to avoid common mistakes but am I wrong. Can inexperienced fansubbers form a group and still manage to release a quality product?? (Or at the very least learn from their mistakes FAST)

Discuss discuss discuss!

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Old 2007-07-04, 08:56   Link #2
Planet uLTraCarL Inc
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Long Beach, CA
Age: 36
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That was like so long ago, but I downloaded SSA on my own and started messing around with karaoke and timing and other odd bits.

The Chronicles of uLTraCarL .. Youtube connection
[Ht] Hostile Takeover #hostile @ .. Anime-Kraze #anime-kraze @
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Old 2007-07-04, 09:10   Link #3
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Neo Venezia
I started at the bottom by just offering to help QC for an existing group. Next it was timing, then karaoke, which also lead to typesetting after discovering all those ghastly... I mean delightful .ASS override tags. And having been learning Japanese alongside all this, I'm now translating, albeit with checking from someone more knowledgeable in the language than I.
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Old 2007-07-04, 09:22   Link #4
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Better than studio quality
lol I just regged a channel

Hay guys i need some staff to sub the Final ep of Nodame Cantabile all I need r encoder, typesetter, and t/l lol pm me plz
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Old 2007-07-04, 09:30   Link #5
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paris (France)
Age: 37
Disclaimer : I'm a french fansubber in a french team, so it's not exactly the same world.

I was hanging for a long time in the IRC chan of the team (which started as a DirectConnectHub before moving to more ethical things), when i was asked if I could help for translation (English > French) on a new project (Trouble Chocolate). I accepted and we released 8 eps of the 20. Then some people disappeared, others had too much work IRL and for months there was no activity.

Hopefully, some people returned and we managed to finish the project. But since, I learned about anything (raw hunting, timing, typesetting, encoding) by myself. I read a lot on the web (sits, forums...), probably a lot more than the average french fansubber. Now the team is still alive (but barely) and I mostly do anything in my projects (except QC)...
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Old 2007-07-04, 09:30   Link #6
Join Date: Aug 2004
I personally started as a fansubber newbie after being known by the staff for a while and learned how to QC from them (some of the best and most experienced folk out there). But that was almost three years ago.

Then I independently experimented with .ass typesetting before joining up with a different group earlier this year and learned the real ropes very quickly (relatively?) more or less on my own (probably because the high QC standards ingrained in me). I also picked up AFx on the fly. Since then, other typesetters have given me the occasional feedback and criticism, which have been helpful to improve my work that I think I can classify as competent now, relative to today's standards...

I think that without feedback (or the desire to listen to feedback) or a desire to imitate quality from other groups, it would be difficult to get quality work from newer fansubbers and newer fansub groups.

Last edited by chaos4ever; 2007-07-04 at 10:51. Reason: dumb, dumb mistakes
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Old 2007-07-04, 09:53   Link #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
I started by suggesting a project for a guy that was starting up a group, then I bought dvds for that project, and next thing I QC-d for a year and got tired from it, so I decided to learn how to time, and now I have timed way to many episodes of various series for various groups.
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Old 2007-07-04, 09:54   Link #8
I see what you did there!
Join Date: Apr 2004
Age: 31
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I started as a rather slow XDCC/Fserve back in January 2003 for Anime-Junkies.
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Old 2007-07-04, 10:08   Link #9
Join Date: Nov 2004
Heh, I was messing around with winNY back in 2004 and someone asked me to grab some raws for him.
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Old 2007-07-04, 10:09   Link #10
With Mayo
Join Date: Feb 2006
Originally Posted by PEDOS_GRANDE View Post
lol I just regged a channel

Hay guys i need some staff to sub the Final ep of Nodame Cantabile all I need r encoder, typesetter, and t/l lol pm me plz

WHAT? You don't need timers? That's [STRIKEOUT]all I can do[/STRIKEOUT] what I'm best at! I do do an ultra-1337 QC though.

Oh, and for the record, I got into fansubbing first by being a post-release QC'er.
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Old 2007-07-04, 10:27   Link #11
I see what you did there!
Join Date: Apr 2004
Age: 31
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Originally Posted by Dnous View Post
Heh, I was messing around with winNY back in 2004 and someone asked me to grab some raws for him.
Same here... In my case it was AnimeCouncil.
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Old 2007-07-04, 11:05   Link #12
Excessively jovial fellow
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: ISDB-T
Age: 32
None of the above. I learned most of the tricks of the encoding trade in #darkhold and by self-study. That was enough to get me into some established groups as an encoder. I later picked up timing and typesetting, also mostly by self-study.
| ffmpegsource
17:43:13 <~deculture> Also, TheFluff, you are so fucking slowpoke.jpg that people think we dropped the DVD's.
17:43:16 <~deculture> nice job, fag!

01:04:41 < Plorkyeran> it was annoying to typeset so it should be annoying to read
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Old 2007-07-04, 11:20   Link #13
Panda Herder
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: A bombed out building in Beruit.
What about conscription?
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Old 2007-07-04, 11:33   Link #14
makes no files now
Join Date: May 2006
I started with a little AIR trailer. Timed (I still suck at it and don't really feel like improving in this aspect), typesetted (they were just fades and pos after all) and encoded it myself (don't ask where I ripped the translation from lol). I learned everything on my own, then (after about 3 months) joined an established group (first one where someone actually responded to my pathetic calls and sent me an encoding test) and learned even more (either from peers or myself - like AE and some basic QC tasks)...
"Light and shadow don't battle each other, because they're two sides of the same coin"
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Old 2007-07-04, 11:37   Link #15
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
More than six years ago there was a hotline site I frequented, the op there went on to start one of the original fansub groups with some of the other members, and I ended up being a 'member' by default (even though I never did anything for the group). Back then there were no projects I cared for and no group cared to release shoujo stuff even if it was completed. When the second wave of groups started (early in 2001) I was quick to join one, and then a few more, as they were already doing real anime (not the popularized shounen stuff) when I joined. Been active in several groups ever since then.

I don't really see it as a disturbing trend. I don't care too much about 'a quality product' as much as just getting something passable out there. Too many of the established groups have problems of their own, newbies are often better off just starting their own groups and surrounding themselves with people who think like they do. Lately, focussed groups with active members, working on just one or two series seems to be what is working best. In the end, it's just natural selection, what works comes to prevail and what doesn't work dies off. Every once in a while some new structure or methodology comes along that ends up pre-empting the old, rendering it obsolete.

I vaguely remember the end a lucky star episode, Miyuki(?) explained the origin of the term 'super-dreadnaught' and how this related to the all-big-gun battleships of the early 20th century.
Basically a new class (or type) of battleship which rendered all other combat ships obsolete (until they were overshadowed by the next big development, the carrier). The same thing has happened with digisubbing, several times. The Yamato, which you still see depicted in many different anime (Zipang, Kamichu, Space Battleship Yamato) was a ship from this bygone era. Thrust into battle when it had already been rendered obsolete, the ship perished along with the majority of its crew, while inflicting no significant casualties on their adversary, who lost no more than 10 aircraft and 12 men. This is the truth of the modern era we live in, no matter what the skills, dedication, experience of the crew, those who hang onto outdated structures, methodology, and designs will be pre-empted or overshadowed by those who adapt and modernize. Granted fansub groups aren't killing each other in this way, but it is still a fitting comparison for anyone who has been around for several years and seen the demise of all(?) the original groups, and the majority of the 'super-huge' behemoths of the past.
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Old 2007-07-04, 11:42   Link #16
Aegisub dev
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Age: 34
I voted for "started my own group" but I think I fall a bit in between categories. I am mostly self-taught however.
I think it was in 2005 when I and a friend started ARDK as fansubbing group, but it never went really well. I ended up doing most of the work alone. Before that I had already looked at bit at various tools. I remember trying various subtitle editors and not really liking any of them

Later on I went along with the Infidels! Akazukin Chacha project, where most of us were also rather new. Also died from lack of determination.
Through various projects I don't want to mention here (...) I still learned more bit by bit and also did some more translation. It was around here ArchMage ZeratuL and I started Aegisub.
Well, later on then I was offered to translate REC for gg, which I accepted. Also ended up being in Binchou-tan there. I liked having someone check over my work, but in the end I realised I really can't keep up with a reasonably fast release schedule, so another TL took over REC and Binchou-tan was dropped.
So now I stick to developing Aegisub, doing karaoke effects on demand (assuming I like the series and the song ) and maybe a little TS work.

Aegisub developer [ Forum | Manual | Feature requests | Bug reports | IRC ]
Don't ask for: More VSFilter changes (I won't), karaoke effects, help in PM's
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Old 2007-07-04, 13:36   Link #17
Seeker of Power
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: ΔHidden Forbidden Holy Ground
Age: 34
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I chose "Started at the bottom," though "started my own group and learned from there" is also kind of accurate. I joined a somewhat established group as a QC. After seeing some of the internal struggles of the group during a joint project (which caused the demise of the group), I began to teach myself some of the gruntwork (timing, basic typesetting).

After applying for a couple positions and being turned down because of my n00bness, I chose to start my own group and go from there. Thankfully, timing is painfully easy to learn [somewhat difficult to master], and I had the help of a couple experienced guys. The groups/people I did ask for help in learning would only provide links, thus I had to learn on my own. Maybe it was just bad timing, or the wrong people I approached.
I am bound to pay the debt I owe.
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Old 2007-07-04, 14:46   Link #18
Certified Organic
Join Date: Dec 2005
back before the internet days, it started with me and some friends who were interested in dragon ball and dragon quest in middle school. we had a japanese friend who would go back to japan every few months. he had a strange affection for mechanical pencils

it was the hot commodity before cell phones.

later in highschool, tokimeki memorial was released for the PC engine. around the same time Ranma 1/2 was popular. numerous games were released, noteably the Snes versions. about this time subtitling videos at the anime club was more feasable and was done on VHS. Once in college, obtaining current RAWs was alot easier since people were able to go to japan more often. of course it was all on VHS, or fate forbid, beta max.

now onto the question at hand. first of all, gumbaloon in my opinion an established group has to have been around for about 3-5 years to be able to claim 'Seniority.'

second point is alot of groups are actually college students doing this as a hobby. most likely after college alot of people tend to move from subbing to watching. When you have a real job and a real family it requires alot of time commitments, and fansubbing takes a back seat.

You stated that people starting their own groups is a bad thing. Elitism in fansubbing is just plain ridiculous.

Sure, there is a point where a bad fansub is a bad fansub. but unless someone plans to put in the work themselves and release the same show, well, that's just spouting hot air.

Just because someone is not good at modeling clay does that mean we should put a sign in the store, "No play-dough for you!"

no one is forcing anyone to watch bad releases.

neither do you own the rights to the script you translated. the script is owned by the copyright holder. you merely have your own 'interpretated translation' of someone else's script.

Last edited by Potatochobit; 2007-07-04 at 15:09.
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Old 2007-07-04, 16:06   Link #19
False Dawn
Florsheim Monster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Age: 97
Unlike a lot of people, I have to say that I agree with Gumbaloom on the opening point. I mean, how many "new" groups start up looking for translators? It's true that every group has to start somewhere, but I think taking on the pressure of creating a group when you're new to the "scene" and probably don't know much about the technical workings of certain jobs... well, groups like those have a short lifespan, and sadly, so do the subbers - who would have the potential to sticking around if they had a firm basis to work from and people to learn from.

As for the question posed, I was definitely a "start at the bottom and work my way up." I started with Solar as an editor (still there, in fact, albeit currently projectless) but learnt timing when the leader told me I'd be more useful with a second skill. I was in gg at the time too, so there were a couple of good timers in the two groups who I could get feedback from. Then, quite by accident, I had to QC an episode of something for a group, so now I can QC as well (though it is my least favourite job).

I'm hoping to add typesetting to my repertoire if I get time at some point. I think it'd be a handy skill to know.


Originally Posted by Potatochobit View Post
neither do you own the rights to the script you translated.
Actually, under copyright laws, you do (on account of translated texts being your own work - though the original author must be cited, of course). But then, how many of us pay attention to copyright laws?
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Old 2007-07-05, 00:17   Link #20
formerly JKaizer
Join Date: Dec 2005
Age: 29
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Group of friends formed a group to sub the new Diigmon series... I kinda was whiney and wanted to get involved, so they had me QC.

I completely and utterly failed at that, as people can tell watching the releases by With the Will fansubs. :P

After awhile, I slowly learned more and more skills, and eventually took on the role of the group leader. Most of it was self taught, and stealing from scripts I found laying around. >_>

I don't mind all the new groups po pping up. Sure, they sometimes die pretty quickly, but at least we see releases from them. Most of the "Good" groups that we have out there are extremely slow and release very little, if anything, anymore. All the little groups help by producing _something_ that we can watch... even if it isn't great.

And when those groups fall apart? The members go and form a new group. A good portion of the "new group looking for TL" posts in the Help Wanted threads say "Experienced members looking to start up a new group" - they're still learning, and newbies get more and more involved in the community.
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