Community building and crowdfunding success.
Hideaki Anno is my directorial inspiration. His 1997 anime "His and Her Circumstances" (彼氏彼女の事情) made a big impression on me and is the reason I became interested in filmmaking to begin with. Specifically it was the use of limited animation that made an impression, showing that the quality of a film was not in visual spectacle but refined choices. Choices in composition. Editing. I was awestruck by the work of a master.
To better understand Anno's directorial choices, I proceeded to begin dissecting Anno's visual compositions that made such an impact on me. (Indeed, Anno himself says that "As long as the camera angles are interesting, a movie can be made.") Wanting to keep my findings organized, I opted to post these analyses onto Instagram.
Over time, people discovered my work and such grew into the following today.
I would eventually move on from dissecting Anno's compositions to pulling apart his editing choices, from general shot flow concepts to the specific timing of cuts.
Doing so expanded my audience to editors in the community, and further grew my following.
Before I knew it, I had developed a name for myself, particularly in the West for being the go-to authority on Hideaki Anno's cinematic techniques and language. Being invited onto podcasts to discuss Anno's films and consulting on video essays became part of my routine. With my following I was also able to leverage the community to crowdfund English subtitles for many of Anno's Japanese interviews, letting people in the west have greater insight into the director.
In total I had raised over $10,000 for subtitling various interview videos concerning Hideaki Anno.
In addition to raising money for subtitles, I also worked with the translators to push for clearer English translations. I spent a considerable amount of time mulling over the translations, as it's a balancing act between truthful translations and natural sounding ones. Timing the subtitles was another unsung-hero type job I did, as people don't notice if the subtitles are perfectly timed.
While I started out with predominantly western audience, since I started sharing content in Japanese, my following in Japan has increased and there's now about a 50-50 split in Japanese and Western followers.