(editor's note: I wrote this twelve years ago, back when people were bugging the crap out of me before, during, and after the five different Anime Hell shows I was doing every year. I no longer do five Anime Hell shows and I no longer use video tape. This post remains as a public service).
I need two VCRs hooked to the main circuit. I need a cassette deck and a CD player hooked into the main circuit, or a RCA jack I can plug into. I need a mixing board that isn't too complicated, a microphone, and a clear space to put my tapes. I need spectators and well-wishers to give me room to move, and I need chairs set aside for my posse. I also need a VCR and a monitor for cuing tapes, and I need a half-hour before start time for setting up.
Submissions: If you have something you want me to show at Hell, I need the videotape or the VCD in my hand a month before the convention. Do not hand me a tape at Hell and claim that it's really funny and that it's cued up and that everybody will like it; God hates liars. Don't give me a URL; my computer don't play those things and I can't get it out of my computer anyway, and if I could, it'd come out all fucked up. I need videotape or a VCD. I've got loads of stuff to trade so it's not like you wouldn't get anything in return.
You may, however, feel free to hand me a potential Hell tape at a convention - but I'm going to take it home and preview it, and THEN it might make it into rotation, at some other convention. Just not THAT convention.
I'm interested in educational films, industrial and military training films, TV ads from 1960-1980, shitty American cartoons from 1960- 1980, footage of actors or famous people screwing up, funny Simpsons clips, funny SNL fake ads, funny fake ads from anywhere else, and funny foreign footage of whatever provenance. The thing to usually keep in mind is "funny in spite of itself." Keep that in mind and you can't go far wrong.
I'm NOT interested in anime music videos, anime parody films, homemade Star Wars films, episodes of 'Poochie' that feature characters with names similar to Tenchi Muyou characters, or whatever stupid Internet Flash movie happens to be making the rounds of 'funny links' this week. All of these things are well and good, and they all have their place, and it ain't Hell.
Please don't tell me that I should just put the whole show on a tape and sit back and relax - what makes Hell Hell is the real-time selection of material and the mystery of what might happen next. I'm not going to burn the whole thing to VCDs, and I'm not going to convert it all to computer files and play it all out of a computer, because the computer would fuck up, and don't tell me it won't. I haven't lost a videotape yet.
Don't come up to me halfway through Hell and ask me "When does Midnight Madness start?" because when you ask a drunk with a microphone stupid questions, you get what you deserve.