We’ve been doing these fan commentaries for a few months but we don’t have any set rules or an information thread. A lot of the rules are common sense and we’ve all been pretty well-behaved, but here they are set in stone…
- You must be a member of Pixar Planet forums (not banned).
- Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Be courteous.
- No swearing/cursing in the commentary.
- Please keep topics limited to a ‘PG’ rating.
- The language spoken in each fan commentary is English.
- Please communicate with whoever is organising the commentaries in a prompt manner, as well as submit your schedules/shows of interest by the deadlines stated.
December - A Bug’s Life
January - Up
In December we can either take a break, because I know Christmas would be coming up, or we can repeat a film again, if popularity demands it. Up will be done in January 2010 at the earliest, if you guys want to commentate on it straight away, because by that time it would have been on DVD in the US and finally released in Japan in theatres.
A fan commentary is where fans of a particular film, or, in our case, Pixar films, get together and watch the film at the same time and comment on it with our voices. We then record those comments as one long MP3 file and upload them to the Internet so other fans can listen to those comments, while watching their copy of the movie.
Currently, Peter (qxgnxamy) is the fan commentaries organiser as well as the recordist and editor, so any questions or schedules would be sent to him. It would be a good idea to add both of us to your Skype contact list (Skype names: rachelcakes1985 and qxgnxamy) once you’ve set up your Skype program and account. Although, it’s not necessary to add other fan commentators to your Skype contact list, if you want to add them after you’ve been in a commentary with them, you can always send a request so you can add them to your contact list, so the next time you are both online you can chat. Doing this is a good way to make new friends. =)
Some fans are able to get together and record their commentaries in the same room, but because us Pixar fans are so spread out all over the world, we use the Internet to connect with each other and record our commentaries instead. How do we do this? By using a program called Skype to make free computer-to-computer conference calls to one another, and recording those conversations. You will need to download Skype in order to participate in the fan commentaries, because this is our program of choice to make VOIP calls. With Skype you can also send chat messages to people in your contact list. Before each session you will be added to a group text chat to make sure we are all ready and to say hello or answer any questions before making the call. Before participating in a practice for the first time, please install Skype and create a Skype username then send the name to me via a private message before the practice. I will then add you to my contact list. If you have any questions or need to let me know anything, you can also text chat with me if I am online on Skype.
In order to participate in the Skype call, you will need a stable Internet connection that is DSL speed or higher. Dial-up Internet is not a fast enough speed to make a Skype call. You don’t need to worry about recording your voice, as that is usually done by the host/commentary organiser.
You will also need to get a hold of a microphone and earphones. You need a microphone so you have equipment that records your voice, and earphones so that what you listen to our voices and the movie’s audio, it doesn’t go back through your microphone and give feedback to other listeners. A combination headset is easy to use and you can pick up a fairly cheap but ok quality brand for about US$15. Logitech, Sony, Panasonic and Microsoft are a few brands that make headsets for PC.
Lastly, you will need an NTSC copy of whatever film you are commentating on. Because of the framerate differences between televisions from different countries, the US version of any DVD (NTSC format) is the original running time (as shown in theatres), but the PAL version of the DVD is speed up by 4%. You can look on the back cover of your DVD to see whether your version is NTSC or PAL. If you would like an NTSC, medium-quality version of the Pixar film, if you don’t have access to an NTSC version, you can let us know in that commentary thread and Peter will create a copy for you to play on iTunes or Quicktime, and send it over Skype.
In order to participate in a feature film commentary, as a way of testing your sound and equipment as well as getting a feel for what happens in a fan commentary, it is compulsory for you to participate in at least one practice commentary on a Pixar short film. Announcements for new commentators are made once a month, before every feature, and you can keep an eye on the fan commentaries sub-forum for the announcements. If you have participated in a practice before, you are still more than welcome to participate in whatever practice commentaries come up again.
A typical practice short film commentary can take about 10 - 30 minutes. A typical feature film commentary recording session takes about 2.5 - 3 hours on average, and we usually always have a break in the middle of about 10 minutes, so we can stretch our legs, as well as to re-sync the movie.
At the moment, there is one fan commentary session per month, and there will continue to be until there is no longer any demand for them to be recorded, or when we will only record if there is interest on certain films. Around the beginning of each month, a call-out will be announced asking for members who have not ever participated in a practice yet, and would like to participate in the film that is happening the next month, then I can use that month to organise a practice for those people. If you want to know the status of what films we are commentating on next, keep an eye on the Fan Commentaries sub-forum.
The numbers for each feature fan commentary session is capped at 5 participants. Once the number goes over 5, the groups are split equally in two. If the number of participants for a film goes over 10, the rankings thread is used to determine which people get to commentate and who has to sit out. For that reason, before commentating on a feature film, please post your rankings of the Pixar films you would like to commentate on in this thread, with 1 being the most, and 9 being the least. Once you have submitted your rankings, please don’t switch them around until January 2010.
Once you’ve participated in a feature film fan commentary, you are welcome to join the Fan Commentaries Usergroup. If you choose to join the FC usegroup, this icon: will be placed underneath your username letting other members know that you express your fandom of Pixar using the fan commentary medium. Please only request to be added to the Fan Commentaries usergroup after you’ve completed a feature film commentary (either by yourself or with the fan commentaries group).
All practices and features will be uploaded and made available to the public, that is, everyone, even those you are not registered on Pixar Planet. So keep that in mind. If you would like to download past practices and feature fan commentaries we have completed, click here.
Any further questions that aren’t covered here? Reply to this thread.
Have fun commentating!