Welcome to another round of my writer/editor notes! Watch the full episode and then come back and check out some random (quite literally) insights into my brain on Death Battle. (Remember those anti-drug PSAs? “This is your brain on drugs” and it’s a shot of a fried egg in a pan or something. The '90s were weird. Lot of dutch angles.)
This is the first episode of Death Battle that I wrote! Very exciting for me. I used to write a lot of Top 10s and Desk Ofs over the years and now I’m in the big leagues! And even bigger to be writing for a RWBY character! I wrote Weiss’ rundown and the fight and Sam wrote Mitsusu. It was a blast to write this and I hope everyone enjoys it!
The fight itself was actually where I started writing and the first idea I had was, “Let’s have it start mid-fight. We cut in and they’re already sword fighting.” I liked that idea a lot, It’s the epitome of “get in late” and it utilizes the freedom of this season - one that doesn’t feature that “FIGHT” graphic anymore. Actually, you could almost pretend in your head cannon that the FIGHT graphic happens before we cut into this fight.
Another awesome thing about working on this particular episode is that Torrian came back to direct the fight animation. I was so happy to work with him for really the first time. We have collaborated before and he’s helped me with projects of my own but we’ve never had a chance to work on an animated fight together. So that was very exciting.
A lot of my screenwriting experience is writing sitcom style stuff and comedies, so naturally my first draft of this script was overloaded with jokes. Here are some we ended up cutting: “Weiss schnee do that???” “Weiss couldn’t beat total ice-olation.” “Weiss wipes the floor with any whack wimps that dare to waltz.” “Mitsuru, persona user, she drives a Subaru, her favorite show being, Zoboomafoo.” Really silly stuff, you can see how they would get cut.
I looove cutting a character for DB that has a tv show or a lot of movies to pull from. No offense to comic book panels but it’s infinitely more rewarding to cut video together.
Did anyone see Liam (a DB writer/researcher) appear on DBCast a few weeks back? I am not prepared to be as thorough as he was when talking about this episode so don’t have your hopes up! haha
I work for Rooster Teeth obviously but I can’t tell you how excited I am to have had a chance to play around with an original RT property like RWBY. It’s so so cool and I’m so happy to have been assigned to write and edit this episode. Like, Miles and Kerry read through my script before we got started - how cool is that?!
So over the long weekend last month (Memorial Day) I watched all of Season 2 of Barry in. one. sitting. I definitely didn’t set out to do that lol. It was just so good. I’m sure this isn’t an original opinion on the show but what I love is how un-glamorous the violence is in the show. It’s not cool and no one is invincible. It’s brutal and unforgiving. It adds so much darkness and weight to the show. The irony here is that I’m writing about this in a post-mortem for a show called DEATH BATTLE lol.
Check out the Commentary for more BTS stuff. Behind the scenes not that one band. Unless you guys want us to start talking about them. Tweet at Ben I guess? We’ll do it.
2 weeks agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
3 weeks agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
We graduated high school ten years ago today. Here comes an unedited stream of consciousness to celebrate the occasion:
1. Because I got a ride with Mr Mateyka, the best English teacher I ever had, I would wake up somewhere between 5 and 6am and get to school well before it started. I used to find somewhere on campus to sleep in private before the bell rang. I was never “busted” but there were some close calls.
2. I miss San Francisco a lot. Four years of perpetual hoodie weather spoiled my hoodie-loving heart.
3. Making “New Life Academy” and the countless other videos we made is the reason I work in the industry today. I couldn’t be more grateful for that.
4. My voice cracked during a cover of a relient k song that we performed during a chapel and that still haunts me from time to time.
5. I feel super alienated when people talk about their high school experiences in a negative light because mine, despite hardships, was ultimately so positive and I look back on it fondly.
6. Last week I hurt my foot running around with our dog, Sophie. It still kinds hurts even now but in high school I once fell down an entire flight of stairs, landed on my feet, and kept running. Thanks, aging!
7. I am SO happy that I recorded a ton of footage from these times. It's really, truly, one of the best things I could have done at the time. Maybe I'll share some soon. I've really enjoyed revisiting them from time to time over the years.
8. I am a TERRIBLE tour guide for San Francisco. I won't take you to the touristy spot or the best spots, I'll take you to the tiny Chinese spot we walked to during lunch. Or the Win-Wah market up the street that had Wasabi flavored funyuns and arizona iced tea. The old hangout spots!
9. For new friends who don't know, I graduated with a class of sixteen people. We were a tight-knit group of productive slackers and I miss them a lot.
10. My sister passed away during freshman year of high school and my SFCS family got me through. Some of them talked me through it, some prayed with me and for me and most of them just made me smile when it was really really hard to. Thanks so much for so many dear memories, '09!
1 month agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
Another episode of this crazy pop culture fight to the death...show....and another round of stories, fun facts and notes from the edit bay of DEATH BATTLE.
It was pretty cool* to have two characters that are both in Smash. Having the same source of footage was a nice way to provide some balance to both rundowns. Sometimes it can feel uneven between one character who has a bunch of movies to pull from and one who may only have a comic or video game. *YEAH! This is the kind of thing an editor finds PRETTY COOL. Deal with it. And thanks for reading.
I came to discover that Wario is a tragic character. Why wouldn’t you let him be Sheriff more, Mario? Now he’s a bad guy. Where is the gritty live-action Breaking Bad-style character study starring Wario?? #WAREISTHELIVEACTIONWARIOWHEREMOVIE
Now let’s talk about a really important thing specifically about Wario VS Dedede: I can’t wait for Avengers Endgame. At the time that I’m writing this, I’m about 30 hours away from watching it and it has consumed all thought. It has become a problem. Thankfully this episode of DB is done otherwise I don’t know what I’d do. Send help. (Don’t).
Here’s something I’ve wonder about the DB audience: Do any of you have any questions about the differences between DB previews and the final episode?
And now we have come to the point in this post where I truly nerd out about editing even more so than I already have. On more than one occasion, I had clips in this episode that had sound effects without music which meant that I got to include those sounds without having it clash with my music. SO AWESOME!
Seriously. Can’t wait for Endgame. When this post comes out I will have already seen it. I’m jealous, future me.
P.S. My next episode is one that I also co-wrote! I can’t wait for y’all to see it.
3 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
Welcome to my editor notes. This is where I regale you with anecdotes from the edit bay and give you a peek into my pop culture-soaked-mind. For example: This was an interesting episode to edit because on one hand you had Black Widow, who has so many movies, shows and comics to pull from and then on the other hand (my strong hand) you have Widowmaker, who has one short film, one comic, and a game. So it took a lot of editing magic to bring it all together but I’m really pleased with how it came out.
Did anyone catch the preview of this fight at SXSW?? I’m super curious. But not at all like a cat. DOGSFORLIFE.
Wiz: “...Soon becoming the KGB’s top operative.” Me: “TOPERATIVE!!!!!”
Let’s talk about the FIGHT graphic. Now that everyone has seen the the BWWM fight, what do you think about losing the graphic? I think it would have felt forced in this fight. Also I think that going forward, the reason we got rid of the graphic will be even more and more evident with each new fight. WINK WINK.
This is my first actual episode of Death Battle that I edited all on my own! I was super happy to edit an episode about an MCU character. It gave me flashbacks to writing and editing Top 10 Avengers That Should DIE in Infinity War.
Also for someone who loves the MCU so much (ME IT’S ME I LOVE IT) it’s crazy to think that I’ve gotten paid to play in this sandbox on more than one occasion.
Also also guess what doesn’t help your productivity as you’re finishing up the edit of this episode! A new Avengers: Endgame trailer!! I’ve watched that trailer twelve times for each snapped hero. You gotta pay your respects.
I legitimately stopped in the middle of writing this to watch an endgame trailer Easter egg video.
Finally, a question for you all: If Natasha and Amelie started a band together called “The BlackWidowMakers” what kind of music would they play? Also, I want to hear alt band names from you.
P.S. For more behind the scenes stuff check out the commentary and this week's episode of DEATHBATTLECast!
4 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
- Season 6 of DEATH BATTLE has begun!!
- And this is my first episode! What a crazy thing to say. I’ve been working with these guys for almost two years and I have watched them work so hard to make awesome episodes. To now hop on to this DB team as an editor and writer (soon!) is just awesome.
- I also need to thank Gerardo and Noel for helping me out with my first edit. They edited the Aquaman Preview and the Namor Preview, respectively. They really helped me transition into the show.
- Right off the bat, the biggest difference between editing Top 10s, DBX and Desk of Death Battle and editing Death Battle proper is that I now get to work a lot closer with all of these people. It’s a much more collaborative show which I really enjoy. Editing can feel like you’re alone in a cave (even in a populated bullpen) but this experience has been just the opposite. I’ve had a chance to work more closely with Ben, Luis and the entire team.
- You may have also noticed me on the commentary for this episode. That was fun! What unfortunately got cut from the commentary was our speeches about how we don’t have and/or hate breakfast. Luis and I went off about how we never eat breakfast and how I only have precisely 4 oz of coffee every morning. 5 is too much, you morning monsters.
- Here’s a super nerdy thing about editing Death Battle that I’m looking forward to. When I would edit Desk of Death Battle, I would do my best to edit the music track to fit the video perfectly. That means seamlessly making the track longer and always have the track end as the video ends. The only time I deviated from this was when Jocelyn talked about more than one subject - then I would find a track to suit each piece. With Death Battle, just by the nature of the show I’ll be using multiple track per characters. So I’m looking forward to the creative challenge of finding new ways to edit music. ALSO HAVE ANY OF YOU SEEN THE ICE PACK I CARRY AROUND FOR MY INDEX FINGER?? It’s tired from constantly pushing the brim of my glasses up.
- Speaking of Desk of, any of you eagle eyed viewers notice anything familiar about any of the Aquaman rundown?
6 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
The Desk of The Desk of Death Battle - The GARBAGE Billy Ray Cyrus Comic - Editor Notes
- This episode of Desk of is the longest episode we've done in a while. I can't tell you how much time I spent with Billy Ray Cyrus as I worked on this episode. It was too much AND YOU'RE WELCOME.
- The Liam/Billy Ray Taken conversation: My best work? Probably.
- Why DO these Billy comics feature kids in both adventures? Were kids the target demo? Were KIDS the big Achy Breaky Heart fans??
- Also poor Merlin right? Famous wizard that ends up pumping gas. Real bummer.
- Fun Fact: this is my favorite fun fact.
- And now this: The following is my attempt to write out the lyrics to Will Smith's Wild Wild West rap from memory:
It's the wild wild west, jim west, desperado, rough rider, no you don't want nada, none of this, from the gun of this, buffalo solider, just like a told ya, wild wild west. That's all I got.
Here are the actual lyrics:
Uh, wickey wild wild
Wicky wicky wild
Wickey wild, wicky wicky wild wild wild west,
Jim West, desperado, rough rider
No you don't want nada
None of this, six gun in this, brotha runnin' this,
Buffalo soldier, look it's like I told ya
6 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
The Desk of The Desk of Death Battle - The INSANE Mishima Family - Editor Notes
- The Thanksgiving break meant that this episode needed a quick turn around. Guess what makes it difficult when you need to edit quickly: When you know nothing about Tekken and all of these similarly named family members keep throwing each other off of cliffs and you need to sort all of these non-linear clips in chronological order!!!!!!
- Thankfully my fellow SA dudes did a bunch of research on Jin and helped me out!
- But still, this was ridiculous.
- Also don't be mistaken: Just because I used a shot from The Amazing Spider-Man doesn't mean I like that movie. I do not.
- I couldn't find a scene of a son learning to shave with his dad that I liked so Vader cutting off Luke's hand will have to do!
- Any eagle-eyed Knight's Tale fans out there? *wink wink*
- I vowed to use every single frame of these awkward, slow, close ups of Kazuya. Every. Single. Frame.
- I'm almost sad there wasn't room to include more footage of this crazy family like all of these guys strapped to a rocket. WHAAT.
7 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
The Desk of The Desk of Death Battle - Pokemon Minus Misty's Voltorbs - Editor Notes
- Two Cast Away clips in back to back episodes. You're welcome.
- Lisa Foiles has started including multiple takes more and more and she often does alternative reads and improvises. It's hard to pick out the "best" one sometimes. Maybe we should start compiling the alts and release them as BTS. What do you think?
- With this episode, Detective Pikachu and Let's Go coming out, it's been hard to resist dropping 60 bucks on that game!
- Actual editing note warning: The challenge of this episode was deciding how to show several full panel comparisons in an interesting way. I went with a few different options and I'm happy with how it all came together.
- Once again people walked by my desk while I was Photoshopping that "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover" featuring Misty. Awkward hilarity ensued.
- Also, you like Nested sequences? ENJOY LIKE A MILLION.
- The Detective Pikachu trailer may or may not have influenced the release of this episode.
- I knew that this movie was coming but it wasn't until the first few seconds of the trailer that I realized that this isn't just a Pokemon movie, it's the FIRST live action movie. Crazy. I think it could be good in a weird Guardians of the Galaxy way. What do you think??
7 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
The Desk of The Desk of Death Battle - Why The Last Airbender Movie Sucks - Editor Notes
- Story time: I was in college, circa 2013, and waiting in the hall. My roommate and I had the same class and had about thirty minutes to kill. So we started watching an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I was watching it through for the first time. There was a moment, IIRC, where the gang starts hallucinating and Appa randomly stands up and starts speaking. It took me by such surprise that I started bursting out in laughter in the middle of this college campus hallway. It was embarrassing. My roommate was laughing more at my reaction than the show. At this point it was becoming inappropriate and that made me laugh even harder. It's one of my favorite memories with this show. And the movie really does suck.
- Thankfully, I saw the show first. It's so good. The movie feels like a really long montage of the first season/book. Booooo.
- The production of this episode of Desk of was faster than usual. We have a lot on our plates here at ScrewAttack as we start wrapping up the year. Long story short, I had about 2 full days to edit this episode when usually I have 3.5-4 days. It's no big deal but it meant I had to hustle. Thankfully, there weren't any comic book panels to animate and I've seen both the show and the movie. If this was the "Red's Special Pokeballs" episode from a few week's ago, It would have been rough.
- I'm realizing now that this round of notes is going to take a lot of restraint. Without it I would just use this whole thing up talking about how bad the movie is. (for example: what's with all of the weird pronunciations???? why????)
- Much like Lisa, I also knew Bruce was dead the whole time.
- You might notice a new thumbnail style for Desk of. We're hoping to make them all cleaner and more uniform from here on out!
- Fun fact: Lisa's old All That castmate, Jack De Sena voiced Sokka in Avatar!
8 months agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
The Desk of The Desk of Death Battle - Doctor Strange Screws Humanity - Writer & Editor Notes
- It's been a little while since I've had the chance to write a Desk of. I've missed it!
- The way this episode came about was actually pretty close to the premise of Desk of. I just remember when Sean was writing Doctor Strange VS Doctor Fate and how he kept coming across all of these crazy comics. So I just picked his brain and then came across this comic run (The Oath, 2007) Just like Joceyln!
- I'm really happy my "soft taco chalupa crunchwrap sorcerer supreme" joke stayed in the final script. It's just so stupid.
- In the actual comic the story is told non-linearly. So there was a lot of discussion on how to layout the events and a lot of reshuffling. At the end of the day we picked the easiest way to tell the story quickly because our goal isn't to summarize the comic, we want to make fun of it as much as possible.
- For that reason I left out some pretty crazy stuff from the comic like how Strange fights a crazy monster to get the potion or how Strange went inside Brigard's mind and eventually locked in him inside his own brain. WEIRD STUFF.
- The thing that drove me nuts is all of the brief explanations of why magic can't heal Wong. It apparently has limitations except that Strange finds a magic potion that can cure every disease known to man. OKAY.
- Also the Nicodemus West stuff is so ridiculous.
- I wish there was a camera on me when I wrote the "These two are two peas in a pod...or two rabbits in a hat...with a bat...and a six four Impala." line. I was trying to think of a way to compare Strange to West and the rest of the line just poured out of me with such glee. ALSO I HAVEN'T STOPPED SINGING I WISH BY SKEE-LO FOR WEEKS YOU CAN ASK MY WIFE.
- I'm not even going to start on the Magic Nazi Hitler Gun
Questions answered by JoshuaKazemi
| Asked by: Sonicxben 1 year ago
Not annoyed at all! I asked around and it looks like things on that end are still wrapped up in RWBY Vol. 5. So, there will most likely be little information about Gen:Lock until some time after this production is finished.
| Asked by: Sonicxben 1 year ago
Yeah! Josh is great. (I'm only picky about my name when I'm being credited. In that case I prefer 'Joshua Kazemi')
Gen:Lock looks amazing. I am so excited for it. I don't know much about it beyond what the community knows. The staff saw the teaser - the one that played in front of Lazer Team 2 - a few months back and I've been anxiously waiting for it ever since. ScrewAttack also works right next to RT Animation so, animation is always on my mind!
| Asked by: Sonicxben 1 year ago
I have no idea! Haha sorry. I do know that the Animation Department is always working really hard on a lot of ongoing and new content for the community. Keep your eyes peeled!
| Asked by: Sonicxben 1 year ago
It's great. I've been a fan for a long time. I have to pretend everything is normal and that I'm professional even though I sit in between Nick and Chad everyday, see Miles walking around our office, and watch them film Million Dollars But ten feet from my desk. Crazy stuff and I love it!
| Asked by: Sonicxben 1 year ago
Hey! I'm Josh. I'm doing really well today. It's been a good day at work. How are you doing?