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Anime Expo 2015: Lauren Moore And The 7-Day Work Experience at FUNimation Entertainment

Posted on the 17 July 2015 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Lauren Moore at FunimationIt was honestly very nice to interview somebody that was actually at Anime Expo for the very first time, just like me. That would be Lauren Moore, social media coordinator at FUNimation, though in her defense, she’s been to a lot of conventions in the past few years. It’s just AX is…different. Find out how different it is as she talks about her role at AX, Dimension W, using ScrewAttack’s resources like it’s nothing, and somehow working 7 days a week, with only two breaks during the 24 hours in that one day. (Ok, I can’t confirm the last part.)

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Organization ASG: How’s AX been for you so far?

Lauren Moore: AX has been crazy and wonderful and busy. It’s been a huge amount of prep work that’s gone into it but it’s really nice to be here and get to do all this and see the fans.

OASG: Is this your first time here?

Lauren: This is my first AX. I go to conventions all over the US all year long and this is…this is amazing *laughs*

OASG: What’s been your job in prepping for this year’s AX?

Lauren: I wear a lot of different hats, and kind of we all do, but me specifically I’ve been doing a lot of the social media pushes, making sure that we have our information set for all of the panels that we’re doing, getting ready to do a bunch of our booth promotions, basically providing support for all of our other teams wherever we can. I guess it’s about 20-30 different people that kind of have all their hands at making sure AX is awesome in a bunch of different departments, and we all have to kind of work and figure out just doing whatever needs to get done. Sometimes it’s working a line or sometimes it’s hosting a panel, so.

OASG: You made some announcements yesterday. I think the biggest one people are wondering about is Dimension W, and FUNimation joining the committee. Why enter a partnership like this?

Lauren: This is a really really huge partnership for us, and this is brand new, so this is information like we said in the panel yesterday (Friday, July 3) that we just announced it before it was even announced in Japan. But this is kind of groundbreaking for us to do because we’ve never been on a committee for Dimension W and we’ve never done that before, so we’re kind of exploring a new frontier, so I’m sure it’s gonna be a learning process and it’s really really exciting, it’s something new. We kind of don’t know what’s in store for us yet so we’re excited to find out.

OASG: How did you get the opportunity to work at FUNimation?

Lauren: I used to work at a video game website called ScrewAttack, and I did a lot of on-camera stuff for them, and we were actually right down the road from FUNimation in Texas, and we did a video tour with them, and then when the Xbox One tour happened we kind of partnered up with them again as well. When the opportunity for this job came up, I had to jump on it. *laughs*

OASG: And at Screw Attack you did video, and for most of your career you’ve been doing video. So when DubbleTalk came about, did they get in touch with you about that, or how did the idea even start?

Lauren: So the way DubbleTalk worked, when we started doing the Broadcast Dubs, we didn’t want to do just the Broadcast Dubs, we wanted to make it a thing, to make it this really cool thing that fans could kind of come together on, and so we said, “Ok, we’ll do this live show,” and it seemed like a really really natural partnership. We started thinking about how were we going to stream this, where were we going to do this, who can we bring in from the outside to try and get new people to see anime, and our first thought was our friends right down the road at Screw Attack. So we reached out to them, luckily they said yes, and Chad James, who hosts with us and is a long time friend of ours, used to watch anime, so it was kind of neat for him to get back into it and to kind of reach out to his gamer audience, and try and get new people in. So we reached out to them, and they were really awesome, they let us shoot at their studio, and it was a kind of natural, cool partnership, and it’s been a really awesome pet project for us.

OASG: How’s Broadcast Dubs been doing for you guys?

Lauren: Incredibly!

OASG: Is it a surprise, or…?

Lauren: No, I mean, it kind of started with Space Dandy, and we slowly started during more and realized that people really like it and why not? If we can do dubs faster, people want their content as soon as possible, and if we can, why not? It’s not just the same team doing all these shows, we are upping things on the production side, like our production crews are awesome, so they’re expanding to meet demand, and they’re working like crazy, it’s really cool to see it growing.

OASG: What’s been some of the challenges of working as a social media coordinator at FUNimation?

Lauren: Some of the challenges are really just to meet the demand for everything, you know, we’ve got a lot of fans, and we want to be able to give all of them the best experience and make things feel really personal for them, and so that’s kind of the thing we work the hardest, maybe hours *laughs* We work in the office every day, and then we go to conventions and that’s kind of challenging from the standpoint that it’s a lot to do, it’s a lot of preparation, but it’s really kind of also the coolest part as well, so some of the challenges are actually kind of the coolest stuff.

OASG: …Seven days a week?

Lauren: Yeah. Oh yeah! *laughs*

OASG: Wait, where’s the rest? Where’s the day off?

Lauren: Where’s my rest? No! *laughs* Anime doesn’t quit, we don’t quit! *laughs*

OASG: What’s surprised you about the anime fandom since coming to work at FUNimation?

Lauren: So I came from the video game industry, and kind of knowing video game fans, myself as both a video game and anime fan, I kind of see them as similar to me, but, coming to see the anime specific conventions, there’s so much heart, people are super, super dedicated to cosplay, people put so much into it, and I guess just to see how much passion they have is really, really neat. And we get to see that every day, in our job, that’s really incredible, and I guess not surprising, but I dunno, it’s just really rewarding.

OASG: With Lance Heiskell and Adam Sheehan no longer with the company, how do you see, and I guess not just this year, but the upcoming years going forward?

Lauren: We’re doing a lot going forward. We’re bringing a huge amount of new shows, we’re doing a lot of new initiatives…there’s a lot to be excited about, and, we love those guys, they’re our friends, we’re always excited about for they’re doing next, and we’re excited about what we’re doing next too.

OASG: Like ALL those simulcasts that you guys will be doing this year–

Lauren: *laughs* 20!

OASG: Ok, to be fair, some are still continuing from the spring, but you do have a lot of new shows upcoming…maybe a bit too ambitious? Is this the right amount? But then again in the past few years, this wasn’t too much of a focus on simulcasts for FUNimation, but all of a sudden, simulcasting has been a big thing. What’s changed?

Lauren: We’re just trying to adapt to what the fans want. The simulcast is the newest thing happening each season, and that’s exactly what people want, and they want to be able to get it as soon as possible, they want to have options, and that’s the biggest thing that we can provide–trying to do it as quickly as possible, in as many places, and to make it as easy as possible for people to get their hands on a new show. So that’s really important to us, and for Spring season we had…I think 17 was our number? So 20 is a huge number, we’ve never jumped into the 2-0 range before, but, it’s kind of a natural progression for us, and we hope to keep growing. I mean, that’s the goal *laughs*

OASG: Any concerns though?

Lauren: Not really. We’ve knocked it out of the park last season, and we’re hoping to do it again this season. I mean, we’re excited about this stuff, we’re gonna keep going because this is what we’re excited about, this is what we’re passionate about, we’re not gonna restrict ourselves because that’s a disservice to the fans, if we’re not trying to do every single thing that we can to do as much for them as possible.

OASG: What anime are you looking forward to seeing this season?

Lauren: The show that I’m really excited about this season is Venus Project Climax, and this show is a little bit different — it’s sort of half animation, half live action, which I’m very, very curious about, that kind of mixed media, that’s really interesting to me. We talked about how I have a video background so I’m really curious about that show, I haven’t even gotten a chance to necessarily see any previews of it yet, I know we have some coming up, so that’s what definitely got me waiting right now.

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