This article was written in around 1998, and expressed my general annoyance that nearly all requesters were asking only for our fansubbed material and ignoring everything we did. In the last six years, this hasn't changed a whit, and as of this writing (10/15/04) we have ceased distributing tapes of Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Que Sirhan Sirhan, or whatever, man.
Update: As of 2/10/06, we have stopped distribution of all subtitled material with the exception of our two parody subtitle films. People kept asking for them even though we didn't have them listed as currently available, and then whining when this fact was pointed out to them.
Corn Pone Flicks is not a fan subtitling outfit.
That's right; despite the fact that most of you have probably been referred to this page in pursuit of fansubs, we are not a fansub group. You may notice that the section on our subbed material is really teensy. The much larger portion of what we produce is amateur film, and therein lies my quandary.
Three years ago, I never would've believed it if someone had told me that I would one day be sick of people wanting copies of Matsumoto anime. Most of us here were, in fact, quite fed up with the prevailing attitude of fandom at large regarding said anime, i. e. that it was dull and boring. However, these days virtually every request sent to us reads exactly the same: Harlock 1-5, Millennia, etc, with no apparent interest in what we actually produce. Subtitling is a sidebar project for us at most, hence the rather slow growth rate of our selection. True to our standards, when we do do subs, we pore over them and do the best possible job regardless of circumstances, because I do like these stories, and want to see them done well - why in Christ's sake can't these supposed professional subtitling companies do anything akin to a professional job? Our version of Galaxy Express is better than the one by Viz ( which has been told to us by others; it's not merely our perspective), which should not be the case in any sane universe. So it is a matter of basic altruism that we do this, but it is not why CPF exists.
Our whole goddamned raison d'etre is creating our own stuff. (I personally think this should be everybody's purpose in waking up in the morning, but that's by-the-by.) A few years back, this kind of amateur production was prolific indeed. Fan parody groups were popping up like zits on a science major. Now, however, the changing face of fandom is drowning all that out like a Clearasil bath. The current qualifications for being an anime fan consist of a Blockbuster card and the occasional trip to your local comic shop. Do you think you'd like that Blockbuster card up your ass? You think you'd like that? Huh? Motherfucker?
In the past, if you wanted anime, you had to copy it from someone who already had it, often in exchange for something of yours that they might want. (Hence the now somewhat euphemistic and anachronistic use of the term 'trading' in our rules section.) The fan trading circuit is now severely reduced in scale, curtailing the only real avenues through which amateur productions can circulate. Without fan clubs and fan subtitlers promulgating this medium through the underground for years, the potential for anime in the US marketplace would have gone unnoticed, yet in these crazy modern times of ours, fanboys now are all chomping at their laptops for an opportunity to rush to the defense of some soulless corporate entity that would never reciprocate in kind when some unsuspecting individual dares to suggest that sharing their anime, or whatever, with their friends is a viable alternative to purging gutloads of money for the latest english "adapted", Macrovision-encoded episode of Flavor of the Week. When was the decision handed down that generosity was corrupt, that businesses deserved our loyalty and adherence, that a company has more rights than an individual? Be whopped about the head with a baby harbor seal if I know. Without a widespread fluency in Japanese sweeping across the Fifty like a flock of Ebola out for a night on the town, fansubs are most people's only alternative to what the licensed importers choose to hand down. For this, we are now vilified as unethical and criminal by the sort of party-line-toeing weenies who would prefer to wait for eight months to see a new release placed in their local Media Play than see a free fansubbed version of same inside a week, if for no other reason than to discover whether or not this new title is, in fact, something that they would ever even want to purchase in the first place.
The newer breed of fansubbers, (and even worse, fansub distributors), who charge for copies or require "maintenance fees" are not helping the matter. But of course, if certain U.S. companies, who shall remain named A.D. Visions, wish to borrow (rip off, steal, use without asking) jokes from us or Pinesalad Productions (specifically the name "Industrial Smoke and Mirrors" and a Dirty Pair "blooper" segment featuring a gaggle of gentlemen fleeing a showing of Robotech the Movie, respectively), well, then, that's all fine and dandy; they have the money you see, and money pays for its own ethics. If we, on the contrary five-digit member, advertise a free fansub version of the new Queen Emeraldas OVAs nearly a year before their scheduled release, our capitalist pals are acknowledged to be well within their rights to mail us a merry little memo from their lawyer demanding that we stop. Though interestingly, when we cite fair use under the copyright law and give a few precedents, they go "Err, arr, lemme go check some stuff," and disappear, never to be heard from again. (Which is not to be taken as an indication that we had them snuffed or anything, you understand.)
Taking the long way around, my point is this: We like to make shit. I believe a person is defined by what they create (whatever that may say about us). Since the point of our inception, we have urged others to follow suit and make films of their own. We want to see entertaining amateur films, to see what others do with the medium. A lot of what we have seen is truly awful, but there's been a modicum of cool shit, too. Much of our earlier stuff was rather horrid as well, but we're moving ahead to bigger things, better crimes, glazed donuts. Fansubbing is a good thing, but at some point one has to make something that is actually theirs. In all likelihood, CPF will probably never subtitle anything else; we're too busy. There's always the possibility of finishing up Endless Road SSX, but frankly, new titles are bought up and subbed so rapidly these days that it's rather a waste of time to bother with them, even if a new title were to surface that merited viewing.
Basically, we bust our butts making this crap and everybody asks only for the works of others, and it can irk us. So realize you don't have to skip by everything that isn't subtitled material. If nothing else, it's free.
And point two, which will be handled with brevity more in mind, CPF is getting tired of the "Here, gimmie" attitude taken by many request-making-type people, who send in a package of prelabeled tapes and nothing else. I guess that's what happens when people spend more time talking to computers than to other human beings. In the not-too-distant-past days of mass tape-trading through postal channels, this sort of action would result in a package of free tapes for whomever they were sent to. No, you don't have to write ahead of time to ask if it's okay by us to send tapes, but since we are providing a free service out of our own time, you can manage to grant us the courtesy of at least one complete sentence somewhere in your package. You don't have to give us a bio of your whole life, but at least say hi, where you heard of us, or something of the ilk befitting a communique to a total stranger you are getting free shit off of. We aren't some cold, impersonal business, so don't regard us as one.
As an addendum, I should point out that in around the last three years, we've had maybe three people write back just to say thanks. You know, manners are far cheaper than anime, and you don't seem to have much beef with spending an asswad on that.
Consider this fair warning. The next time we get a request from someone who can't be bothered to be polite enough to even say hello, they're gonna find their tapes recorded upside down. One button is all it takes! Don't think we won't!
Back to the Corn Pone Flicks main page
Back to the CPF filmography