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Director Dialogues

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Director Dialogues: Anoj

For this week's interview, RandomSauce sits down with Anoj, of Top 10 Series fame. Read on to learn more about the man behind the countdown as well as what goes into producing his videos.

Who is Anoj?

First off, I'm a resident of Massachusetts, 18 years old, and finishing up now as a senior in high school. I am planning to attend college in the fall and most likely pursue a degree in finance. Some passions of mine that aren't apparent through my videos are my love for music and running. Without a doubt my top two favorite bands are System of a Down and Muse but I also listen to The Killers, The Bravery, Carolina Liar, Incubus, and RHCP to name a few. As far as running goes, I've been on the varsity Cross Country team at my school since 7th grade as well as running indoor and outdoor track during high school. I have been doing road races since I was 11 years old and a few weeks ago I completed the Boston Marathon (26.2 miles) in a time of three hours and fifty-six minutes. One question I always get asked is the meaning of my gamertag and alias "Anoj". It's actually just my first name, "Jon", and first letter of my last name, "A", backwards.

So Jon A, what inspired you to start creating Halo videos?

The first encounter I ever had with Halo videos was in late 2004 when my friend showed me Nakamura's Halo 2 montage. I just really became hooked on watching Halo montages simply to see the crazy things that people encountered while playing. For me it's always been about the gameplay in videos as opposed to flashy editing, high-definition quality, or effects. Then in 2006 I decided to set up my VCR and start recording some of my own moments. I still have the tapes from the days where I would go into Rumble Training and toss long-distance plasmas just hoping to stick someone. I ended up making two Halo 2 montages just for fun and still enjoy watching them to this day. I took a break from making videos until March 2008 when my Xbox 360 got the RROD. While waiting for it to be repaired, I gathered all my best Halo 2 sticks and made a video of my ten best sticks. Then in June I held a competition to see who had the best Halo 3 clips and it has kept going since.

And which one of your videos are you most proud of?

Even though I am proud and enjoy each and every video I release, I would say my favorite is the first episode of the Top 10 Series. It reminds me of the humble beginnings that the series started out as and the great time I had putting it together. It all started out as a bit of fun and I never imagined that the series would be as popular as it is today.

What equipment do you use in production?

To capture the clips, I use a Dazzle 170 (available at most electronics stores) with Pinnacle Studio 10. Then after I have the clips on the computer, I edit with Sony Vegas 7.0e which is a great program once you are acclimated with it.

How long does it take to create a Top 10 episode?

Well, it depends. As the series has grown in popularity, the number of submissions has vastly grown. Some episodes I have over 1,500 submissions waiting for me and as you can imagine, it takes a while to sort through them to find those ten best. As a guess, I would say it takes about 15-20 hours to complete one episode but I have never timed the process. However, I sincerely love what I do and it makes the time fly by.

Good to hear. How long do you plan to continue the Top 10 series?

The "Anoj" era of the Top 10 Series ends in late August when I move on to college. However, I am considering passing the torch along to another capable director BUT, I have not made any decisions. When the time comes, I will let everyone know.

Any closing thoughts?

Thanks RandomSauce for the opportunity to be interviewed. Through Halo 3 Mythbusters, Halo Community Live, and now Director Dialogues, you certainly have shown yourself to be an asset to the Halo community. I'd also like to thank all of the fans of the series.

Thanks Anoj!

To watch Top 10 Series episodes and see everything else Top 10 Series, click on the links below.

See you next week!

If you have any suggestions for future guests, message RandomSauce on Bungie.net!