AnimeNews.biz has followed up with new US distributor and licensor AnimeMidstream, and has managed to land an interview with Raijin-Oh Executive Producer Jimmy Taylor regarding the origins of AnimeMidstream, its goals, an in-depth look at the first of its kind donation program, and its release plans for the show.
Jimmy Taylor: My name is Jimmy Taylor and I’m the Executive Producer for Anime Midstream’s production of Raijin-Oh here in the United States.
AnimeNews.biz: When was this company formed and incorporated?
Jimmy Taylor: The company was formed and incorporated Spring of 2008.
AnimeNews.biz: How many full-time staff, if any do you employ and how many people do you have working on the project right now?
Jimmy Taylor: We currently have twelve people working on the project, though that doesn’t include any voice talent.
AnimeNews.biz: Who specifically are you working with to broker the licensing of the show?
Jimmy Taylor: I’m not at liberty to mention who we are working with for licensing the show.
AnimeNews.biz: Can you give a figure in terms of the initial license cost for the series?
Jimmy Taylor: Again, that’s proprietary information and I’m not at liberty to mention anything about the licensing costs of the show.
AnimeNews.biz: On your site you state that the goal of the company is to license the best in 80′s and 90′s anime, but your companion MySpace page states the goal of licensing 70′s and 80′s anime. Are the two eras a part of your distribution plan or is there a particular era and type of anime genre you will focus on?
Jimmy Taylor: The MySpace Page was made for informative purposes for those in the St. Louis, Missouri area. All correspondence will be mainly through the company website from now on. The company is interested in hopefully distributing anime from all three decades, but given the industry we feel that majority of the anime fans would enjoy 80′s and 90′s anime genres more.
AnimeNews.biz: Does the call for voice actors mean that you will setup an internal stable for voice talent within the company in the vein of ADV Studios/Monster Island etc.?
Jimmy Taylor: That was not the intention for the call for voice actors. We want to bring in untapped voice talent from our area. We will not be confining ourselves to a set pool of actors although we will constantly be looking for talent that we can use for our productions.
AnimeNews.biz: Are you planning to pitch the show to any particular television networks?
Jimmy Taylor: No, Anime Midstream has no plans of pitching Raijin-Oh to television networks.
AnimeNews.biz: Will you offer online distribution via Hulu, CrunchyRoll, YouTube, etc at some point?
Jimmy Taylor: No, we have no plans of distributing the series online via any of the online video streaming websites.
AnimeNews.biz: Will the DVD release be made to order in the vein of the former ImaginAsian anime releases, or will you be working with a major distributor?
Jimmy Taylor: The show has just been licensed, and from what I understand the company is in negotiations with distributors.
AnimeNews.biz: Can you go into detail about the donation requests to cover the costs of production? Was this done due to lack of capital/investors, or is this a way to get the community at large involved with the production of the series?
Jimmy Taylor: It’s the latter, the company wants to get the community at large involved. The company has enough to cover the cost of production. We typically hear from fans that they want to be involved and whether it be monetary or otherwise, we welcome fan involvement.
AnimeNews.biz: Are you confident you can meet sales expectations in a time where a majority of established distributors are having their own struggles with DVD sales?
Jimmy Taylor: Sales is always a difficult thing to predict. Any company always has some difficulty in forecasting their demand accurately. But we feel confident that it will meet our sales expectation. We are aware of the current decrease in DVD sales. But Raijin-oh has it’s own following. We know who our target audience is and we’re producing this series for them.