Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

Not Specified
from @benbsinger

  • Activity

    • #8: The Secret Audition - Death Battle's Road to 100

      13 hours ago

      Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

      LX72_-gYn0noteOKGn60-tDzRZuou73HYQX1XLHB

      Episode - 12: Vegeta VS Shadow


      “Wow. What a rip-off.”


      That was all it took to cement voice actors as a recurring thing for Death Battle from then on.


      Vegeta VS Shadow was an episode with a lot of “firsts.” It was the first to feature a Dragon Ball character, the first to feature a Sonic character, and the first to feature voice actors... but not just any actors! This was also our first collaboration episode, as we teamed up with the amazingly talented folks of Team Four Star!


      This was sort of new territory for me. Of course, I’d hired and worked with actors plenty of times for my own film projects, but I’d never actually worked with voice actors, let alone voice actors who would have to record remotely. I vividly remember as I went through the script with Takahata101 and Lanipator, I was thinking “I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m gonna pretend I do, anyway!”


      And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the secret to how you achieve your dreams. Or something like that.


      We had met a few of the Team Four Star guys a couple times, but I believe this was the first time we worked together on a project. If you don’t know them, you’ll probably still recognize their flagship series; Dragon Ball Z Abridged. This show had been making the rounds across the web since 2008, and Nick Landis aka Lanipator’s Vegeta was already the most recognized unofficial voice for the character. I had one strategy for casting Vegeta; Lani or bust.


      oVYZze1m1z_Y-ltJ8iTh81BQeMW_jbLn3SAUbh1i


      Luckily, Lani’s a really cool dude and agreed to not only voice Vegeta for this episode, but also a few cameos later on like in Goku VS Superman and whatever the hell this is. A few TFS members auditioned for Shadow, and Curtis aka Takahata101 wound up snatching up the role.


      (By the way, shout out to Scott aka KaiserNeko for helping to organize all that. That man deserves so much credit for all the extra work he puts into everything.)


      However, casting voice actors wasn’t so easy. I was actually told not to do it at all, to keep all Death Battle animations voiceless. We hadn't done it before, and I guess it seemed like an unnecessary addition to the man in charge. ScrewAttack had this stagnating philosophy back then which was generally against putting more money and effort into shows over time. I wasn't a fan of that. There's also always been a trend with sprite animations to keep all dialogue limited entirely to on-screen text and zero audio, which I really wanted to avoid.


      There was only one reasonable solution… secretly reach out to TFS myself and cast them anyway!


      _JMfxvRN255TIf7UpoyGsuuA8AbzuRTactj5S3jS

      I give you... Shadow the Hedgehog and Vegeta!


      As for the episode, it’s easy to tell it suffers from the quick turnaround that was the norm at the time. It feels a little rushed and a lot of the numbers used to measure Vegeta and Shadow’s powers seem… off. I think they were more so vague estimates, and weren’t meant to hold much weight. The thing is, Death Battle was a different beast back then. The show didn’t really bother with calculations and was far more opinion based. The argument for Vegeta’s victory wasn’t because he could output a specific amount of power, was calc’d to be a higher speed than Shadow, or anything like that. No, the analysis recap at the end primarily covers how Vegeta has taken huge beatings and kept on fighting, so he should be able to outlast Super Shadow… and that’s it. Calculations, stat comparisons, and scaling didn’t become an important part of the Death Battle analytical process until much later. 


      It’s fine if you don’t agree with that approach. It’s a very different, unconstrained style. I definitely prefer the more scientific direction Death Battle has taken in recent years. Frankly, today's approach is way more time-consuming, so even if we had gone that route back then it may have only hurt Death Battle's production until we got a larger crew behind the show. That's just speculation, but either way, I hope you give our modern format a try before judging the series on these much older episodes.


      To this day, I think teaming up with TFS was one of the best things we could've done. If you ever have the chance to work with them or even just meet them, do it. They’re a fantastic group of people who I can’t praise enough. Also, thanks to this episode I was able to start bringing aboard more and more actors, and I didn’t have to be sneaky about it anymore! Well, it would continue to be a struggle against ScrewAttack's production philosophies of the time until management changed during the Fullscreen buyout and Rooster Teeth merge, but at least I could finally be public about breaking the rules. Since Vegeta VS Shadow, the Death Battle franchise has featured around 100 different actors! Whoa momma!


      That’ll be a wrap for now! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading another daily entry on this Road to 100. Next time, we’re talking about one of the big ones… Mario VS Sonic.


      -Ben B. Singer


      P.S. What’s your favorite joke/line from a Death Battle with voice actors?


      P.P.S. Go check out www.TeamFourStar.com!

    • #7: Kitten Cannon - Death Battle's Road to 100

      3 days ago

      Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

      xcr1YRdqbvwbTUMrt3JgdDAnQW7XkCmW4vK_ZQxb

      Episode - 10: Kratos VS Spawn, 11: Bomberman VS Dig Dug


      Let’s talk about some Death Battle episodes! First up is Kratos VS Spawn, which... ahem… spawned from fan suggestions. (Yes, so clever!)


      I don’t really like how this one turned out, specifically the rundown on Kratos. It’s important to me that each Death Battle has enough personality and analysis wrapped up within so it doesn't feel like Wiz and Boomstick are simply skimming a wikipedia article. For Kratos, the rundowns sounds like just a list, and Wiz and Boomstick might as well have been reading articles off of the God of War Wikia. That’s how it sounds to me, at least. It’s boring, and Kratos should be way more hype than that!


      M1bhua7VyPsSRZ-DA8aC7VvK3GnvMj-2HR1aNt6i


      Kratos VS Spawn was also victim to one of the biggest animation cutbacks thus far. I originally planned to have an entire sequence where Spawn dragged Kratos to Hell, and the final battle would circle a giant pit of fire and demons. Unfortunately, time constraints happened, and the depths of the underworld became just a big red room. Whether it’s because of time or budget or any other issue, plenty of Death Battle’s animation back then had to have something cut.


      Anyway, I recognized my issue with the Kratos rundown almost immediately upon its premiere, so I took extra care to not make the same mistake with Bomberman VS Dig Dug. It’s weird, for some reason I remember not liking how this episode turned out, but after watching it again today, I think it’s pretty fun!


      Why Bomberman VS Dig Dug, you ask? Well, this was the age of experimentation. The internet was the wild west, and I wanted to see what cunning deeds I could get away with. Specifically, I was curious how a Death Battle would perform with a relatively niche character in the ring. Dig Dug isn’t exactly an unknown franchise, but something tells me he’s not a regular in many versus debates. By this point, Goomba VS Koopa had really started barreling toward that one million hits mark, so I was really interested to see what other types of battles would attract that kind of attention.


      H7lST-zULTUwArGnAlpr7sQkBRqd7LvSERLqwNiz


      On a different note, I’m seven blogs in and I haven’t even talked about the way Wiz and Boomstick introduced ads back in Season 1! In 2011, the concept of YouTubers making a living off their videos was still a pretty new thing, and not everyone was happy about it. While clickbait ads and pop-ups dominated most websites, online video had been relatively commercial free  in comparison. If you “sold out” your videos to sponsors, it was pretty easy to get villainized by the online communities, as you were “betraying” what the internet stood for or whatever. Yeah, it’s pretty dumb, and things have gotten a lot better since then, but we were very conscious of this when putting Death Battle together.


      We came up with a plan. We would poke fun at receiving money from sponsors by implying that this funding wasn’t for the show, but for Wiz’s experiments and Boomstick’s weapon collection. Then, if there ever came a time when we would do a Death Battle between Wiz and Boomstick, their arsenals would consist of everything the sponsors had “funded.”


      This means that according to “official Death Battle lore,” Gamefly provided Wiz with funding for rats for his genetic testing, one which eventually became his poison-immune pet, Ratsputin. Thanks to Netflix, Boomstick was able to build a laser guided kitten cannon, which was later upgraded into a baby launcher with funding from Squarespace… who doesn’t necessarily endorse baby launchers.


      And yeah, whenever Wiz VS Boomstick happens, all of this will be taken into account.


      -Ben B. Singer


      P.S. Who do you think will win the inevitable battle between Wiz and Boomstick?


    • #6: Cats & Dinosaurs - Death Battle's Road to 100

      4 days ago

      Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

      mEu2oEX-1NogNZotkGqqNk6COiMxFQCl5_crVv9M

      Episodes - 8: Yoshi VS Riptor, 9: Felicia VS Taokaka


      Yoshi VS Riptor wasn’t part of the original 26. However, thanks to the quick success of Goomba VS Koopa, I was tasked with creating another gag battle. I didn’t want to make something nearly as silly and outrageous as Goomba VS Koopa so soon, as it had only been released 4 episodes ago, but an unlikely and disproportionate-on-paper match-up seemed like a good choice. I dug through a bunch of viewer suggested match-ups, and eventually stumbled upon one I just couldn’t resist; a green cartoon dinosaur versus a weaponized velociraptor!


      To this day, Yoshi VS Riptor has the shortest animated battle sequence of all Death Battle episodes, coming out to a mere 55 seconds. In contrast, Felicia VS Taokaka wound up with one of the longest fights at the time! These animations were pretty fun to work on as I got more and more creative with the choreography. (Cue Boomstick’s “Nooo! My car!”)


      Part of the reason why Yoshi VS Riptor’s battle was so short was because I had begun exploring other tools for the animations. I had previously been building these battles with only Final Cut Pro, which is a video editing program that is definitely not designed for animation. Despite this, the keyframing tools were robust and intuitive enough to create decent sprite movement. Still, I figured it was about time I started implementing After Effects and Macromedia Flash (Now called Adobe Animate) into my work. There were two problems with this. First, while I was familiar with AE, I had never used Flash before. Remember, I had no prior animation experience before Death Battle. Second, with the immense workload and super short turnaround for each episode, I realized I didn’t have the time I needed to properly learn Flash without severely sacrificing the quality of the episodes I was currently working on! While I would continue to implement aspects of AE and Flash throughout most of my animations after this, I never entirely moved away from Final Cut. I planned to exclusively dedicate my time between episodes 13 and 14 to learn everything I could about Flash… but as you know, 13 ended up not being a season finale as I expected.


      Things worked out better for Felicia VS Taokaka, but unfortunately my conversion process between Flash and Final Cut created a blurry effect throughout the whole thing that I didn’t have time to fix before release. Even with that hiccup, I think Felicia VS Taokaka was one of my better fights back then.


      dHmcnGxYHkAyhI6Ai5fNY2LpoLc3GgEHaLUT540t


      Also, Yoshi VS Riptor was the first episode to introduce official, standardized rules into Death Battle. At least, these were the original rules. They’ve changed a bit since this episode. Here, there were only three. Two of them basically covered the same thing and were combined into a single statement when the rules were later revised.


      One last thing before I go. A lot of people have asked why we referred to Riptor as a male throughout the episode when the character is confirmed to be female. I actually remember spending a lot of time trying to determine Riptor’s gender, especially since we included a line about Yoshi’s. As I recall, Riptor’s gender wasn’t established until Killer Instinct made its triumphant return in 2013, two whole years after this episode was released. I’m actually not sure whether or not this retconned the original Riptor’s gender, but either way this episode’s age clearly shows, as evident by the fact we never mentioned the Xbox One game as it didn’t exist yet. In the early days, I was a little concerned what we would do if some new content came out which possibly changed our rundowns or results at all, but I eventually concluded that since new content was inevitable, we should always treat each Death Battle as a product of its own time.


      Thanks for reading! Despite their flaws, I have fond memories of these two episodes. If you liked this entry, please give the blog a Mod below. That’s the only way I’ll know people actually read this stuff.  laughing


      -Ben B. Singer


      P.S. Do you prefer the shorter battle animations, or the longer ones?

    • #5: The Banned Episode - Death Battle's Road to 100

      5 days ago

      Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

      k_1Ldnb5Rla1Ik_naAvbW33GyArp79PZclNa5ZM2

      Episodes - 6: Ninja Turtles Battle Royale, 7: Zitz VS Leonardo


      From one experiment to the next, here’s a trial run of three ideas at once; battle royales, returning combatants, and sequel episodes!


      From an analysis standpoint, the Ninja Turtle Battle Royale was an interesting change of pace. For the first time, we had characters who actually knew each other, and that knowledge would heavily affect the fight! Also, for a look into how difficult the biweekly schedule could be... I had never seen the 2003 TMNT show, so I had to binge the entire series in a single weekend.


      “But Ben,” you say, “that show has a total of 169 episodes, all around 23 minutes long, and an hour long movie. That’s almost 4,000 minutes, which would take more than 66 hours to watch! How’d you do it in one weekend?”


      I’m glad you asked, dear reader, and wonderful mathematics skills! Whenever I knew two back-to-back episodes weren’t two-parters, I’d watch and takes notes on them both at the same time. Multitasking, baby!


      The original plan was to actually have the turtle winner go up against a Power Ranger in the next one, specifically Tommy Oliver, the White Ranger. I believe the idea was that Tommy was already considered the most powerful Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger, so we'd find the most powerful Ninja Turtle to pit against him. It seemed like a natural fit to me. I grew up during the time both series were juggernaut phenomenons. Most kids my age had preferred one over the other, Nintendo vs Sega style, so it would be an epic rivalry match-up!


      Buuuut it seems it wasn't meant to be. A few other ScrewAttack staff members were lobbying for me to switch Tommy out for a Battletoad. (Remember, we were a video game website first and foremost then.) For the first time in Death Battle history, I left deciding an upcoming match-up entirely to a community vote. 


      The poll swung in favor of the Battletoads, so episode 7 became Zitz VS Leonardo. 


      Looking back, the battle royale episode itself is a testament to Death Battle’s age. There’s no mention of the 2012 Ninja Turtles show, as it hadn’t even been announced yet. There’s also an unfortunate use of the word “retard” to describe Michelangelo, which is pretty embarrassing by today’s standards. Back then, Wiz and Boomstick were portrayed as pretty rude and arrogant. We had quickly dropped the hardcore, bloodlusting personalities from the first two episodes, and the characters temporarily evolved into what’s apparent here; Wiz is bored and easily angered, while Boomstick is rambunctious and offensive. We were mainly inspired by the success of online shows like the Angry Video Game Nerd. Back then, angry people were all the rage!


      s4AUg3-I-AptKzJ84vL9rUEVLPz-UJmz2_vuFJ-G


      However, I don’t think it was the best choice for Death Battle. Nearly everyone agrees with the Nerd when he says Superman 64 is “oose-infested dirty fucking sewer rat shit,” but Death Battle analysis always holds some broader element of subjectivity, and often results in tearing down a fan-favorite character. It’s natural and expected for some people to disagree with any Death Battle outcome, regardless of how well presented it is. Having the hosts act like cocky douchebags accomplished little more than rubbing salt on a fresh wound, and plenty of people would lamentably attribute these awful traits to Chad and myself, rather than our characters. Thankfully, this was eventually changed for the better.


      To this day, the Ninja Turtle Battle Royale is the only Death Battle which remains blocked on YouTube in most countries due to a copyright claim. Due to its method of presentation, Death Battle’s use of copyrighted material can technically be defined as fair use. However, I honestly wasn’t too surprised this happened, because years ago I had already learned this was the episode that crossed the line.


      It's likely it was blocked because of how graphic this episode got. It featured the four turtles brutally killing and dismembering each other in cruel and cold-blooded fashion! It ends with Leo's horrifying stare at the camera while the water around him turns red with his brother’s blood!


      mCDgG5YGKIxILbL_7xqlLJ9zHP4iQsTC9-Ok5F7T


      When this episode aired, the greater discussion among viewers was about how weirdly disturbing the fight was. Sure, the colorful pixel art means the gore isn’t too disgusting to look at (apart from how blurry some close-ups are) but just the concept of the turtles slicing each other up with absolutely no remorse seemed too much for these characters. Yes, the show is called DEATH Battle, but it isn’t South Park or Robot Chicken. It’s more historical than parody, and while this may seem like a stretch to some, the battle sequences are more like a recreation you’d see in a documentary than a humorous skit. That being said, violent and over-the-top deaths help keep Death Battle fun, but it’s generally important to also keep said deaths in line with the character performing the execution. Having Leo cut Mikey's head off wasn't the problem in and of itself, but how it happened rubbed people the wrong way. To be clear, it wasn't weird to some simply because the combatants were from a cartoon. It was weird because their actions were so far removed from their characteristics that they no longer felt like the turtles people love. I realized that by making this battle so unceremoniously brutal, I had deviated from properly representing these lighthearted characters. 


      Don't get me wrong, this doesn't ruin the episode. For what Death Battle was at the time, I think it turned out well overall! Still, this was a good lesson to learn so early on, and it would affect my approach for several future episodes. Including one with a certain flying pony. But that’s a blog for another day!


      Also, while the episode may not be watchable on YouTube, it is publicly available right here on Rooster Teeth. So if you want to see your childhood ruthlessly stabbed repeatedly 24 times... here you go!


      -Ben B. Singer


      P.S. What characters would you like to see in a Battle Royale style episode?

    • #4: The Original 26 - Death Battle's Road to 100

      6 days ago

      Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

      ic2HzW72_y1oovbfz9gn0tfxYsvDmiZKjBDL9RKv

      Episode - 5: Haggar VS Zangief


      After watching Haggar VS Zangief again for the first time in years, the first thought I had was “Wow, Wiz sounded really bored through all this! What the hell, me?”


      This was the first time we explored what I consider to be a “rivalry” match-up. You know, the classic schoolyard argument. Mario or Sonic? Batman or Superman? My dad could totally beat up your dad! Mike Haggar and Zangief had a semi well known rivalry among video game fans, of which ScrewAttack’s audience still catered to the most back then. Fun fact, we actually reached out to Capcom’s then community manager Seth Killian to find out if Zangief has a last name. He responded with a confident “Nope!”


      2ELfIH5eCDhPm5QUAFBbcK4genJCMoqdvEKzkSHj

      “He’s Luigi Zangief, and I’m Zangief Zangief!”


      What’s really special about this episode is that it was the very first one inspired by popular fan requests. We had been saying “You have an idea for a Death Battle? Leave a comment below!” in the credits for several episodes now, so it was time to make a popular suggestion happen. However, this meant I had to change something I’ve rarely ever discussed before. I had to alter the list of 26 episodes we had already planned to do.


      I had always expected we’d take viewer requests throughout the series, but I still made up a planned series of episodes to present to our crew and investors. Can’t very well pitch a show to a big company and just say “Eh, we’ll figure out whatever we’ll do later!”


      In order to partner with Revision3, we had to agree to a plan. We decided we would create two seasons of 13 bi-weekly episodes. So I presented a list of 26 match-ups I thought could be well-received. I wasn’t sure if the show would do well enough to warrant further seasons, so I didn't think much about the possibility. We went forward with the plans for some time. However, about two or three weeks before production began on episode 13, (our first season’s finale) it was suddenly decided that we’d forgo the whole “seasonal” approach entirely. After this finale, which could no longer be called a finale, the show would just… keep going. Goodbye, precious few weeks of minimal freedom I was so looking forward too. If you’ve ever wondered why Death Battle Season 1 and 2 have way more episodes than later seasons, this is why. They were formed into seasons retroactively, with season finales being determined either during or after their production had begun.


      Frankly, I’m not 100% sure how this part of the business deal with Revision3 went down. It was all exclusively between Craig and Revision3. It seemed like an odd decision to make, and the constant chaos eventually began to negatively affect both the show and my health. Ever since joining Rooster Teeth, we’ve returned to a proper seasonal format, (thank god) but I suppose it’s possible that keeping Death Battle going strong and consistent for so long back then was necessary for it to reach the success it has today. Or maybe I was just being worked to the bone because ScrewAttack didn’t know what else to do. Who knows!


      Anyway, I’ve never publicly shared the original episode list before. To be perfectly honest, the actual file for the list was lost a long time ago, and currently only exists in my memory. I’m sure some of the match-ups are in the wrong order here, and it's possible I've got one or two wrong, but all-in-all I believe these were the original 26.


      BieLqcoquyflEf-9hzW5T6GLaW_8VV8073FB5ACh


      There are a few episodes listed there which were slightly changed, pushed back for a later season, or simply never saw the light of day. Also, you may have noticed there were a lot more video game themed battles than comics or anime. After all, ScrewAttack was primarily a website for gamers at the time. Still, audience suggestions quickly shook a lot of the plan up, and frankly I treated more than a few from this list as just temporary ideas in anticipation of that.


      And yes, we had planned to do Chuck Norris VS Segato Sanshiro from the very beginning. I can’t wait until I get to the blog where I talk about that crazy episode!


      -Ben B. Singer


      P.S. I'm posting each of these blogs daily at noon CST right here on my Rooster Teeth page, so if you're interested in keeping up you know when to swing by every day!


      P.P.S. Are there any cancelled match-ups in the original 26 you’d actually like to see as a Death Battle?

    • #3: A Terrible Idea - Death Battle's Road to 100

      1 week ago

      Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

      UK_te_LiH7a22fwZnejqyKhGT7rONtjtz2QUPpv-

      Episode - 4: Goomba VS Koopa

      Click here to read blog #2: Health Bars


      It seemed like such a terrible idea. On paper, it looked like an accident. When said aloud, it was impossible not to shake your head in utter disbelief and morbid disappointment.


      And that’s why we didn’t do Goomba VS the Burgertime Hotdog.


      J_jLywuEoKjlKoifTopabaQT-C8pdoXLy-nVKpjT


      Yup. That was a match-up Chad pitched early on in the show’s development, and it was the planned fourth episode all the way until I actually started writing the script. It was this ridiculous idea that spurned a recurring Death Battle tradition; the gag battle!


      Early Death Battle rarely delved into character analysis with quite as much gusto as some hardcore versus community members would, so the concept of having a gag battle every so often seemed like a great idea to me. Its levity would reinforce how Death Battle was just as fun as it was informative. I’ve often said that the first season was fairly experimental, and this was possibly the most important experiment we ever did. However, I wasn’t sold on the idea of the hotdog match-up. There just wasn’t much to work with, and nobody would recognize or care about this sidelined sausage. I decided to change the match to what we know today, one of the only Death Battles to ever pit characters from the same universe against each other; Goomba VS Koopa.


      dX2DGsvEzWEd6Cp5Uj-go56LHET8dkBz4pVjl8Jj


      I don’t think Death Battle truly found its legs until around episode 17, and I’d rarely recommend any of the episodes before that, but I still think this one is fun as hell! If I were to make a Top 10 Funniest Moments in Death Battle list, I’d probably still put Boomstick’s confusion over the Goomba’s “telepathy powerz” on it! This was the episode when Wiz and Boomstick’s characters finally started to become truly realized, though the voices still needed a lot work. While it featured a lot of guesswork and exaggerations for the sake of humor, if we were to remaster this episode today, I’d probably still keep a lot of the original script!


      Then there’s the battle animation, the fight that was way too epic for its own good. I think I spent more time building set-pieces and explosions than actually animating the Goomba and Koopa themselves. Given our animation quality nowadays, some people might not find it too appealing, (I don’t think there’s a single frame where the Goomba isn’t blurry) but I’m still pretty proud of it! Chad and I were a little concerned with ending the fight as a draw, since we didn’t want viewers to expect the same possibility for future match-ups. Yet the script was just so preposterous from start to finish I didn’t think people would take any of it seriously. To me, it was worth the risk.


      Goomba VS Koopa aired on January 17, 2011… and something started to happen.


      xguukAmHFkzWyKIEEWdRGWa3dhciVyN7X4n6lyil


      When I said this was one of the most important Death Battle experiments we ever did, it’s not just because it helped establish the tone of the show and its characters. Goomba VS Koopa, of all things, was the episode that put Death Battle on the goddamn map.


      Five months and twenty-two days after first premiering on Revision3 and YouTube, Goomba VS Koopa became the first Death Battle to achieve one million views.


      Ij4H2L-zISdbamJFXKg9U824Sq_BRvcn1WxgrnBi


      If you read my first Road to 100 blog, you may remember ScrewAttack videos back then usually reached around 20k to 30k views at best. Also, YouTube in 2011 wasn’t at all the hip and popular playground is today. To have our fourth episode ever smash all our expectations and reach one million views was a HUGE moment for us! And even better, it kept going! As of writing this, the video is very close to reaching 12 million hits on YouTube. All these years later, YouTube statistics still show that hundreds of people watch it every day.


      All for a dumb turtle fighting an ugly mushroom with feet. Whodathunk.


      -Ben B. Singer


      P.S. Do you have your own idea for a gag battle episode? I’d love to hear about it!

    • #2: Health Bars - Death Battle's Road to 100

      1 week ago

      Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

      Ntg6mj35UGXOaSY_2gxVTmDDKogY9FTdEDC2UoAD

      Episodes - 2: Akuma VS Shang Tsung, 3: Rogue VS Wonder Woman

      Click here to read blog #1: The Pitch


      Welcome back! It’s Day 2, so here goes another blog about Death Battle’s topsy-turvy history. If you missed my first entry, you can read it here, and I hope you’ll stick with me as I recount each episode’s past from now until the release of Death Battle episode 100! This time, I’m chatting about episodes 2 and 3… but I missed talking about the premiere last time, so I’m gonna cover that real quick, too.


      The online premiere of Death Battle was a little rough. Fortunately, we’d scored a deal with Revision3, an online network which would distribute the show and help sell it to sponsors. We actually had a sponsor for our very first episode! That was a pretty big deal for 21-year-old me, as was getting to open the Revision3 app on a Smart TV and actually play my own show on a television screen! But not everything about Death Battle’s first few episodes went so smoothly.


      Death Battle was set to premiere on December 6th, 2010. On December 5th, literally one day before, fellow YouTuber Noah Antwiler released a video called “The Deadliest Character,” which was shockingly very similar to Death Battle. It hit me like a bomb. I had no idea this was coming, and my show was airing in less than 24 hours. I’d spent so much time and energy on Death Battle, and all of a sudden I was terrified everyone would think it’s nothing more than a rip-off! It was pretty nerve racking, but turns out I shouldn’t have worried. Noah’s was more of a one-shot parody with entirely different intentions. Still, many long-time viewers know of the so-called “Death Battle curse,” where coincidental announcements and releases seem to unintentionally match Death Battle’s own schedule. (Like how the day we announced Bayonetta as a combatant for Season 3, Bayonetta was also announced as a DLC character in Smash Bros 4. Weird, right?) I think the curse started here, at the very beginning...


      O92W8IfVOvgKbjwKijxdMVnQV3wFdrkQmuuyPd_Y


      Episodes 2 and 3 had a lot of “early series weirdness.” We hadn’t quite locked down how Wiz and Boomstick should sound yet. In fact, their voices were so similar, some viewers thought both characters were played by one person! By episode 3, we were toying with some new ideas, and began coming into our characters as you know them today.


      But one of the most common questions I get about early Death Battle is “What’s up with the health bars?”


      wjOW0-_DVMAl3BZ1AGu15D5bxfdKuT-nm9fG7WIn


      Those were weird, right? So here’s the thing. For the first 19 episodes, I did nearly everything. Including animation. I’ll cover that process more in a later blog, but essentially I knew I wouldn’t have time to create a thrilling animation for each episode with everything else on my plate. My plan was to focus on making the animations a showcase, exhibiting how specific abilities and character stats would play off each other, and not worry too much about making an exciting fight. Considering our audience at the time was primarily gamers, combining the health bars with a strategic battle display would be the best way to express our analysis and results in an efficient and timely manner. 


      Then halfway through animating Akuma vs Shang Tsung I made a kickass mid-air battle sequence that changed my mind forever.


      As I was working on Rogue vs Wonder Woman, I realized the health bars would only end up distracting people from having a fun time, which the fight animations were very quickly evolving into. Hell, the finishing blow in that episode is two chicks making out! Only 3 episodes in, my original plan for the animations was completely abandoned. Of course, this meant I had an even greater task with making the animations fun and exciting despite my extremely tight schedule. I think you can tell by how janky several early fights were, including the one in episode 3. But I was having a blast! I still remember how I made my first ever custom sprites for this one. It was Rogue taking off her glove and grabbing Wondy with her hand.


      Anyway, like much of Season 1, there are a loooooot of problems with these two episodes. It’s pretty obvious we had zero rules in place and little reliance on calculations yet. Most of all, I’d forgotten how much of a sexist asshole Boomstick used to be! Seriously, it’s so stupidly bad it’s kinda funny.


      Thanks for reading! I won’t be posting over the weekend, but come back Monday and I’ll be chatting up one of the most important Death Battle experiments ever; Goomba VS Koopa.


      -Ben B. Singer


      P.S. What's your favorite battle animation from Season 1?

    • #1: The Pitch - Death Battle's Road to 100

      1 week ago

      Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

      Nd_13SigB2-Qdc_fViMUazk2FPFcCCG53TinQaQE

      Episodes - 1: Boba Fett VS Samus Aran, 43: Fett VS Samus Remastered


      It’s been about 8 years since Death Battle first slammed into the internet with enough force to cause millions to argue over fictional characters, and this year marks an extremely special occasion; our 100th episode! To celebrate, I’ll be writing up my own accounts for all 99 episodes leading up to the big one hundo. Starting with the very first one, Boba Fett VS Samus Aran! Oh, uh, don’t watch that unless you really want to see how cringey Death Battle’s early days were. We remastered it for very good reasons.


      Anyway, I’m Ben, the Death Battle showrunner, and I’d like to run through how this thing got started all those years ago. So let’s just jump right into it! In 2010, ScrewAttack was only about 4 years old. Craig was still in charge of the company, ProJared and Destin Legarie were just starting their online careers, and you could never see more than half of Chad’s face through his hair. I was charged with developing a pitch for a new show, and I wanted to make something that could hit at least 100k views per episode. At the time, the highest we usually reached per video was about 30k views, and I wanted to bring ScrewAttack some greater relevance in the ever increasing digital space.


      EulY69-GAJ_wvO1Zgv-hR-wCQXKXMh2uRgDccazQ


      Enter Monty Oum. Thanks to our partnership with GameTrailers, I eventually stumbled upon his Haloid video on the site. Monty wouldn’t know of his influence until years later, but this video of Master Chief and Samus Aran duking it out was ultimately what inspired Death Battle’s creation. Specifically, I was intrigued by the idea of characters from different franchises fighting, and the video's comments led me to a forum where several people were very passionately debating who would win in a fight between, who else, Goku and Superman. This reminded me of a show called Deadliest Warrior, which I had seen a few episodes of at that point. The gears were churning in my head now, and I began digging online to see if I was onto something original. The closest thing I could find was a show on Machinima called “Versus” where the hosts briefly discussed two characters but left deciding the winner up to the viewers. A conciliatory and sustainable approach, sure, but I didn’t want to leave this to a popularity vote. I wanted my show to decide who would win in fights to the death, unpopular results and all. I made the pilot episode with a match-up inspired by Haloid and called it… Who Would Win.


      Yeah, it was always meant to be a temporary name. (At least that’s what I tell myself...) Honestly, I was more busy learning how to animate. For some reason I decided to make a show with animation by myself despite having zero prior animation experience! But hey, if you want to get anywhere, you’ve got to challenge yourself. Long story short, the pitch went over great! I sat in a room with Craig, Destin, and Chad to brainstorm the details of the show. That’s where we developed the title of Death Battle and a second host named Boomstick. I would come up with Wizard aka Wiz the next day. And so I got to work putting together the first episode!


      EiWcn0kXn5oAH4TAoXG6HDSN6PiCis6-soPzi-My


      I have so much more to talk about regarding Death Battle's early days! The grueling bi-weekly schedule, Boomstick's changing voice, the original 26 episode plan, etc. I'll cover all that and more in upcoming blogs. I’d like to wrap this up by reiterating just how much better the remastered version is compared to the first episode. Sadly, Monty passed away just a few weeks before the remaster’s release. Fate had played some cruel aptly-timed trick on us, as the news came when we were halfway through production on this episode that held so much inspiration from him. As such, Torrian added a dance number (an homage to Monty’s videos) and we dedicated the episode in his name. It seemed only fitting.


      Of course, while the remaster was an excellent showing of how much Death Battle had improved, that was back in Season 2. We’re well into Season 5 now! To truly grasp Death Battle’s progression, we’d almost have to remaster the remaster at this point!


      I hope you’ll join me with these daily blogs (minus weekends) as I recount and re-examine Death Battle from then ‘til now. Thank you for watching and supporting the show for all these years. I can’t wait to show you what we’ve got planned for episode 100, and everything before and after!


      -Ben B. Singer


      4A72HNH8DkPtYox03J4z3lnWHvllv8F43_rjX_cP


      P.S. I’m curious. What was the first Death Battle episode you ever saw?

    • fado41 asked Ben B. Singer a question

      thereare alot of possible match ups and you guys obviously wont be able to do them all. So that begs the question how long do you estimate the death battle will last? Still a faithful fan by the way

      Answered: Oct 14, 2016

      I think Death Battle will last for as long as people keep watching!

    • Yoshirocks92 asked Ben B. Singer a question

      When you did Ragna VS Sol Badguy, how confusing was it when you had to go into the BlazBlue series for Ragna and the entire series itself?

      Answered: Oct 14, 2016

      I got lucky... it was actually one of the first episodes I wasn't responsible for the research! Nick had just joined the Death Battle staff and I believe this was his second episode to research and write. We set this one up for him as an attempt to kind of ease him in. We figured that since they're fighting game characters, they shouldn't make too much trouble for him as he learned how to make Death Battle.


      Boy were we wrong.

  • Comments (45)

    • Cody-The-Dark-Hero FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      3 days ago

      Ben, What do you think of Absol from Pokemon to appear in DEATH BATTLE and to face a creature named Tiger from Monster Rancher?

    • Cody-The-Dark-Hero FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      6 days ago

      Ben, I have a question or 2, what if there was a 3D episode of a fight between 2 DEATH BATTLE Victors like... Shao Kahn (MK) VS Akuma (SF)? And what if the Season 6 Premiere was also 3D and with a fight between 2 giant fighting robots like... Optimus Prime VS Burning Gundam and the fight would talk 4-in-a-half? thumbsup hamburger pizza


    • Hive0

      1 year ago

      Hey Ben.  Thought I'd drop by to inform you that this photo of you hard at work leaked onto the net.

      9fmlco.jpg


    • Kyouma95

      1 year ago

      Really has Ben a strange day so far... had this sudden desire to comment here 

    • ultraguy FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      1 year ago

      I think this has become a G1 tradition now. 

      • HerosShade

        1 year ago

        Indeed! Everyone needs a greeting and some words of encouragement on a totally average day like this.

    • Jokerke FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      1 year ago

      Hello Ben. Nice weather today. 

    • Kirbykid

      1 year ago

      Ben. Ben never changes.

    • metabro FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      1 year ago

      I'm a vampire!  I'm a vampire!  I'm a vampire!

    • fado41

      1 year ago

      Errrrmmm Ben? i think your hair is on fire

    • LousyTactician FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      1 year ago

      Hey Ben, I just wanted to wish you the best on this lovely day.

    • Grand-Blazer

      1 year ago

      And we're back on this totally normal and not-at-all different or weird day

    • The-Gaming-News-Guy FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Sir Regent Malcolm Neill

      1 year ago

      Coming from the Power Rangers Base it's Beeennn Cranston

    • ultraguy FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 years ago

      Hope I'm not late to the party(I brought snacks).

    • fado41

      2 years ago

      how do you like wearing a cloak, Ben?

    • ShadMorgen Miracle Man

      2 years ago

      Good afternoon Ben, made any mistakes lately? :D

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        Yeah. Putting my face on the internet. ;)

      • HerosShade

        2 years ago

        Bruh...

    • LousyTactician FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 years ago

      How have you been, Ben?

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        I really don't know anymore.

    • Kirbykid

      2 years ago

      Hope you've Ben having a good day.

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        The puns are getting a little to strong here...

    • fado41

      2 years ago

      hello there how have you Ben?

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        Very punny. Very punny.

    • Jokerke FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 years ago

      Ben, I came here to say hi. For no reason whatsoever.

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        Hello. Cool profile pic. It sort of reminds me of someone.

    • KingMeyJaX

      2 years ago

      Sup, It's Ben a long day today aye?

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        ...............

    • Grand-Blazer

      2 years ago

      Hi Ben! Would you like to make a contract? /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        .... I don't trust weird alien cats. Especially ones that look like me for some unknown reason...

    • HerosShade

      2 years ago

      Good morning, Ben. Your face is beaming!

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        Why thank you! I didn't realize I'd learned the secret to super saiyan goddom lately!

    • The-Gaming-News-Guy FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Sir Regent Malcolm Neill

      2 years ago

      It's Ben "Funny" Singer Valentine and his stand D4C


      Funny_Benentine.jpg

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        Um...

      • The-Gaming-News-Guy FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Sir Regent Malcolm Neill

        2 years ago

        Damn it, now i am imagining Ben with that hairstyle

    • TheMohZone Heatran on a Balloon!

      2 years ago

      Theres something in the air today, but i can't put my finger on it

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        Make sense. Air is generally intangible, after all. ;)

    • Icipall

      2 years ago

      Nothing to see here, everything is as it should be.

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        I dunno. Something looks a little... off...

    • Kyouma95

      2 years ago

      My avatar is feeling a little funny today...

      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        Well, it IS looking a little better than usual. ;)

    • Almightypop FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 years ago

      Cant wait to see your work come to life! good luck with all future projects in the rooster teeth team.


      • Ben B. Singer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Ben B. Singer

        2 years ago

        Thank you!

    • Kyouma95

      2 years ago

      Hi Ben! Ready to rock a new site with Death Battle

    • Makster

      2 years ago

      Love DeathBattle Ben, keep up the awesome work

  • Questions answered by Ben B. Singer

    I got lucky... it was actually one of the first episodes I wasn't responsible for the research! Nick had just joined the Death Battle staff and I believe this was his second episode to research and write. We set this one up for him as an attempt to kind of ease him in. We figured that since they're fighting game characters, they shouldn't make too much trouble for him as he learned how to make Death Battle.


    Boy were we wrong.

    I joined ScrewAttack back in 2007, when I was still in high school. I've been around the block making Top 10s, reviews, live action skits, animated skits, and episodic series... but now I'm the director and producer in charge of the DEATH BATTLE series and its spin-offs!

  • Videos

    Ben B. Singer's Videos