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Interview w/ ADR Director/Writer: Steven Foster

[size=18]Interview w/ ADR Director/Writer: Steven Foster[/size]

[quote]If you’ve been a fan of dubbed anime at any point over the last sixteen years or so, you’ve no doubt encountered the name Steven Foster. For over a decade, Steven has been working in Texas creating some of the most memorable and sometimes infamous ADR scripts in anime history while also directing dozens of titles.

Recently I had the chance to talk with Steven regarding his career and future. Over the course of our time together Steven talked to me about his start in the industry, what it was like to work in an ever changing market and ultimately what led to his departure from Sentai Filmworks.

Please keep in mind that I did not censor or edit any of the comments made below so if you’re offended by strong language or are in a work environment, you might want to turn away.[/quote]

A rather interesting read.
Didn’t know he had actually left Sentai altogether.

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I had suspected he had left Seraphim, so that part wasn’t surprising. It’s still disappointing and a little sad to read. Like any dub director, he had his missteps, but I enjoyed a far larger number of his dubs than I did of many of his contemporaries.

Unfortunately, Sentai/Seraphim just isn’t the same place that ADV was, so it’s not surprising that some of their early guys have moved on. Of course, it may not be goodbye forever. Some of the older behinds the scenes guys ended up returning, so anything is possible.

Bah, can’t read, getting a HTTP500 error.

[quote=“miquelfire, post:4, topic:7663, full:true”]
Bah, can’t read, getting a HTTP500 error[/quote]
Can you right click and open in a new window?
EDIT: Never mind, I’m getting that error now also.

Same, 500 error. But this has got me really depressed from hearing that news. Guess that would mean child actor Ty Doran wont be able to come back either.

Plus I’m worried that Kyle Jones might be the next director to be the go to an only director for Sentai Filmworks/Serephim Digital since Chris Ayres has been doing less work, an John an Chris Cambel are no where to be seen. I just hope I’m wrong, an once I see the full interview. I guess I will make a youtube vid of my response.

Looks like the whole Otaku Review site is down, wait a bit - perhaps it’ll come back up.

I tried in another browser, in case there was something fishy with the referral header causing the error. Too bad you can’t disclose more info to the end user about 500 errors without risking putting something the end user should never know about…

I eventually read it though.

That was depressing to learn. I didn’t want to believe when the rumors were swirling but now there’s no denying it. He was a legendary director and I’ll miss his dubs.

The most disturbing element of the interview, regarding dubs, was his mention of Sentai’s push to “stay faithful” to the Japanese. That’s utterly impossible to do-a fool’s errand-and pursuing that path results in crappy dubs; like he said, Fosterized anime FTW.

I recently read on ANN a review for Gatchaman Crowds that stated that the dub doesn’t sound natural at all, that the lines don’t sound as though they’re coming from the characters, that there’s no context to the lines. ANN has hardly a shred of credibility when it comes to reviewing dubs but such egregious complaints didn’t come out on Foster’s watch because that never happened on his watch. :frowning:

It sounds like he understood Horizon perfectly, which follows as it might be the best Sentai Filmworks dub. :wink:

me too. it belongs right down there at the bottom of the list with crayon-shin chan, milk-chan, and School days as the biggest pieces of nonsensical trash there is.

Never heard of this person before, but then the only name I currently know that isn’t a VA is that EW Rector, that tells me VOD is about to end and the TAN logo will show and I can watch another show without having to fight the lists and crap menu system to get back to the section like GIRL POWER I was in.

I don’t think anything could ahve helped that crappy Appleseed that used CGI when the original was a classic. Did we ever get Monster Princess on VOD dubbed?

wasnt Garden of Worlds advertised like months ago, but never came on? I think that was when the ads lied and only showed SVOD titles to everyone when FVOd never stood a chance of getting the shows like that and Penguindrum and many others that were “coming this month”, but only for SVOD…

They are remaking Appleseed again?!?!?! So he was working as ADR Director with Sony some time this year it seems on Appleseed Alpha?

I’m pretty sure that I’m not following this. You’ve never heard of Stephen Foster?

Sadly this Foster interview does not mention the legendary dub of Guin Saga. At some point, I really need to get around to watching all of that. Maybe by that time, Foster’s tell-all work will be published (Something that wouldn’t be as necessary if Sentai had done some more commentary tracks; Stephen Foster was responsible for most of the ones that we did get/have gotten)

The new Appleseed was dubbed at Seraphim, and Sentai was also a partner in that film somehow. They are listed on the website for the movie. Stephen Foster was still directing in Houston at the time.

Nope, never heard of him before today. I saw all 26 episodes of the insanity that was Guin Saga and got mad at how it was presented to end, but that was an original story problem and general anime… “let’s not finish it” kind of crap. How many stories bring you into the world grabbing you by the goands to keep you interested, then just cut you off.

I know the voice actors I knew because Steve Blume… I wanted to know IF TOM from AS was Spike from Bebop, freeman because something on a VHS I used to have, Motoko because I think she is the weird doctor lady in Xenosaga and the voice sounded familiar to GiTS and a few others, so I looked them up on IMDB. Jessica Boone, because there was some be something discussion about her on the old TAN vBulletin when the site used to be vomit yellow and ahvd poohboy everywhere, and Chris Patton because I wanted to here the PAnda PAndy song after TAN VOD run of Nerima Daikon ended. I think David Yosch or something was a power ranger? (original blue ranger?)

I don’t really follow “stars” in any motion pcture of any sort jsut that a character/voice should be the same person like Mako, or replaced DAMN close if they pass like Uncle Iroj was. I knew Mako from Conan movies and that dumb movie with Walker Texas Ranger in it where he ran the resturant.

I love dubs because I don’t have to read, but don’t bother with who is doing the voice if they fit well and most have for me or they caused me to stop watching the show so I never bothered to care, because the next character played will be a different persona so the voice will adapt to change slightly and may fit the character art and persona better next time.

I know Krista Miller or something like that did the voice in that voice-recognition game for PS2 because XPLAY did a segment on it and Adam Sessler mentnioend her. I think a Xenosaga voice is that of NAmi form One Piece, but couldn’t tell you who it is.

I like stories, good ones, and if all the pieces fall into place, I have no reason to look up who the hack was that made it bad or off.

Should I know who everyone in the sub and dubbing is to be able to enjoy anime? Should I care? When I did the dream cast for Log Horizon dub thing I pulled names I had heard or knew at that moment or looked up. I know only a few others but if they fit the part, it doesn’t mean they will fit the next and vice versa so unless it is someone replacing Raul Julia in Addams Family movies, then it doesn’t matter who it is so long as internal consistency is held and continuity works.

Oh I know the girl from Sabrina Teenage Witch with Clarrisa Explains it All as Sabrina, her best friend is a VA, but couldn’t tell you her name.

His IMDB only lists about 20 total titles including director, actor, writer, etc so if he has done more, it might need to be updated. He has no wikipedia page that I could find.

But then I played D&D for over a decade before I learned that Gary Gygax was more than just someone who wrote a PHB and DMG… I really don’t follow many people in entertainment or celeb worship because they are jsut people doing a job. They have cons for the crazies that worship them (sometimes a bit too much if you saw Chris PAtton singing Panda Pandy on youtube). I can’t hrie for anything so if i like a show, they should jsut know that if they were in it, they were a major contributing factor, and I know many others that think that way without going goo-goo- or gah-gah over the guy who did the voice of Miroku on InuYasha…whoever that was. :confused:

Keeping track of directors is important as they’re the ones responsible for how a dub turns out. In the case of Foster, as his fame was so widespread in the fandom that not knowing of him is an astonishing.

…Guin Saga was, by all accounts, a poorly constructed sword and sorcery work about a possible catman and it wasn’t meant to appeal to dudes. The dub that Foster gave it, immortalized on YouTube as “best dub evar”, seemed as though it were lampooning the wonky show intentionally, a ghost stories redux. That sounds appealing to me, though whatever happened with that dub is something that I’d like to learn.

I’d also like to know what happened with the Golgo 13 dub in its second half :frowning:

Well sicne anime isn’t like a major motion picture that often has all the credits before the program begins with the exception of Harry Potter that jsut got into the movie because its audience didn’t really care that much about who directed and they knew the actors jsut get on with the story…anime has the credits for English version usually after you see something like Lantis or King Records which means if you stop before the JApanese portion of the credits, then you have no idea who anything is.

I knew directors and producers are key to getting it all together and done, but Avatar by James Cameron is the most likely way I wil know the director.

Wait, Fosters dub wasn’t meant to appeal to guys or the original Japanese story wasnt? I liked the dub when it was on VOD, it took me bck to Thundarr the Barbarian, The Herculoids, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and strange stuff like that from my childhood, but also close to Outlaw Star as well. It was jsut that it didn’t end. It left it open for more story to be told, and we never got the more Story of Guin, not even Mako telling what happened to Conan as the end of …the Barbarian. No closure.

Maybe that was a failing on the original story where it made you think it was about Guin, but was really about the kids or the world and it was “Guin’s” Saga, or part of that story for this kingdom, not really about him or the world itself? Other than that ending I liked it both the animation directiona nd the dub. I only recall one flat character that seemed the voice had no depth, but I think that character was jsut boring anyway. MAybe I need to see a sub of it to see if there wa something I missed?

Original story, that’s what I’d heard. I started watching it a while back, but while I didn’t mind the dub at the beginning it did remind me of Orphen after the haters compelled Foster to stick closer to “the script” (whatever that is). Apparently the Fosterization in that dub doesn’t start until later, but I didn’t want to jump right to it and thus my Guin Saga watching has been in limbo.

On one hand, maybe the show should have been taken 100% seriously. On the other, a show where a guy wearing a leopard mask (or has an actual leopard’s head) punches an assailant so hard that the assailant bursts into flames was begging for a tongue-in-cheek dub; some of the hijinks in that show make the scene where Conan punches out the camel seem legit :wink:

Well making jokes of humanoids or furries, could have been the problem there since ya know there has been this thing going around since 1973 where people could play as a character including furries, or humanoids called D&D. So mocking it as silly probably could have pissed off a lot of fans since many times anime fans and RPG/gamers overlap. Thus why so many games based on anime.

IF you want to mock a series, then it should be done MST3K style, rather than turn it into trash because you don’t like it or don’t get it. tongue-in-cheek is often seen as offensive to those that do seriously like something and someone else makes fun of it.

But then I feel you should stick to the original story because that is what was created for all things, like Harry Potter, and anime. I hate filler like in Naruto because it adds things that don’t belong in the world, but when it is needed and uses only the things provided in the content up to that point and won’t fivert the story, then it is fine.

It is like the Russel Crowe Robin Hood movie. Pretty much crap trying to “educate” people on the real person behind the myth, when not everyone cares about it, but liked the idea of Robin Hood as presented in EVERY other movie. Also like PJs Hobbit, where he is trying to retell LotR and drag it out to the same number of movies just to get more money by adding things that don’t belong or help in the story. For example; Bolg becoming and orc, and Azog being alive, so for some reason they can be like the Uruk-hai chasing the Fellowship to give the Hobbit a since of urgency. Though it isn’t like Thorin’s Company is having dwarf drinking parties every night and jsut wasting time, because there is never really a specific time given to how long it is from the start until they have Elrond read the map instructions. Crap added for the sake of crap because “artistic license” really does offend many fans. Does PEter JAckson and his psycho woman writer that added the she-elf part really think they are good enough to make something as long lasting as Tolkein? Are they trying to claim his skills by adapting his work or just trying to piss off his estate because they didn’t have access tot he full story and only the 4 books and their apendixes? The animated version is missing Beorn, but has mostly every other part of the movie and seems pretty damn urgent that they get to the secret door so why add crap jsut to add crap of have change for the sake of change? Money, royalties to the writers for EACH of the 3 movies when it could have been done in 2 by cutting out all the orc crap and other things they added.

As a book reader first and motion picture viewer second, I think the author has more rights than a director should when a book is turned into TV or movie, and the very reason the thing was turned into a movie was because the appeal of the book. So who are you to try to change it? The same thing could be said about anime distribution outside of its native country such as in the past things like 4Kids turning the black pirate into a pink one because apparently black porates aren’t allowed, even though Disney and Jack Sparrow movies seem to have no problems with them. So either changing the story to Americanize it and crap on the original culture or jsut to put your two cents worth in, or jsut because you don’t like something so want to make fun of it is a very unprofessional and childish thing to do be it Foster, Peter JAckson, or anyone else to many people.

Likewise I say a book made from TV or movie, shoudl follow closely to the story as well and not add new stuff, unless it is to set the mood for the things you can no longer see from a book but clearly the backgrounds and sets were there in a movie.

MAny people believe that those sort of things demand a new legal thing for creators rights that was the origin of copyright, but it has been bastardized in modern times to be corporate related and in no way protect the creator only the current copyright holder so the thing doesn’t get into public domain all because of Mickey Mouse. Now I am not sure how that could apply to anime dubs and such, but sticking to the original story even a different culture is a good start. How much of Milk-chan or Ghost Stories was changed to americanize them and how much was originally just that damn stupid in the original “stories” they told?

Is it right for another country to change the story away from the original and still use the animation to tell a new and mostly unrelated story? i thought foreign distributors purpose was to make some money on somethng they didnt create by providing it to a new audience in a new language, not to provide a new story?

This is still all based off what is being said here about Guin because I had never heard of Foster prior to this thread and without looking at IMDB, I would have no idea what else he did. Legend, good movie. Jerry Maquire, bad movie. I don’t follow Tom Cruise, but if he is in a good movie I watch it Titanic, crap movie, Avatar, good movie. I don’t follow directors/writers either jsut because it is James Cameron. Don’t care for some of Tim Burton movies either, but some are ok…

I am jsut one that likes the finished product and will say those involved should feel lucky, and those involved in bad ones made their own bed and now have to sleep in it. You made the choice to be in a movie with guns and get paid for it Jim Carrey, you ahve no right to complain about the studios that made it or the consumer that likes it, it was your choice and only yours.

Chobits japanese, good, Chobits with Crispin Freeman as Hideki, bad. Doesn’t make it his fault, but the whole team made it bad. Crispin Freeman as Alucard, works every time and Alucard just seems like the over the top arrogant ass that the art shows him to be.


The inclusion of that romance-novel grade Mary Sue heroine in The Hobbit was pretty bad. Suffice it to say that the gag-inducing love triangle she had going with the elegant (and unattainable) effeminate elf prince who beat up Justin Bieber and the “bad boy” dwarf ought not to have been in the movie IMO.

Thankfully Fosterization doesn’t (though, TBF, it would be hard pressed to) add new characters or radically change the story.
That’s it’s charm: it makes weak stories better and, as Foster pointed out in the interview, there’s no shortage of anime with weak stories. You saw all of the Guin Saga dub and aren’t froth with rage at the Fosterization, right?

Like others (eg:Chris Patton), Freeman works best in those sort of roles where all he has to do is act naturally :wink:

I saw the dub and a non-Seantai/ADV sub, cause I got tired of waiting one week and found it online. Seemed pretty close to me, and some of it was jsut plain crap, but for a story it fileld a niche that was missing as said before from things like Thundarr and such. Story seemed to suck anyway since it really wasn’t a Guin Saga, but Paris Hilton and Justin Beieber Saga and Guin was jsut sort of there in the niddle of it and never got any real answers. Kind of how crappy Nadia ended going into complete stupid territory. Both have to be attributed to the original story, otherwise they scenes wouldn’t have been animated that way at all. to my knowledge the animation isn’t tampered with unless you are 4Kids, so the scenes all appeared int he correct order int he dub, so nothing he did could have caused the problem that was already present.

Like Ghost stories was a mockery of Scooby Doo, the animation is what told the story and Guin with the dub sound off and on were both as good. The fault lies in the story the animation presents most times or like in the case of Bandit King Jing, the subs are yellow and the scenes are ytellow, so you might as well be watching a blank TV because something looks like it might be good, but you have no idea what it is, but the animation looks to present some kind of decent story when you MST3K it. Sort of like guessing a pre-Talkie in advance of the caption cards.

So you are saying Foster and other have typecast Freeman and Patton, or that they cannot act? (or you think Freeman is jsts an arogant ass and Patton is a fop?)

That’s pretty similar to all the criticism of the series that I’ve seen, which is why I just haven’t gotten into it. I’m sure it’ll still be kicking around when I get to it. The Fosterization that I’ve seen for the series could help me get through the show, but since it doesn’t kick in until later it’d be a “light at the end of the tunnel” type of motivation and since that metaphorical tunnel is pretty darn long, I’ve been checking out other things instead.

The last one. :smile: