A talk with YellowMotion: The man behind those popular Tekken 7 videos we all love
When Bandai Namco announced Tekken 7 in late 2014, practically every Tekken fan on the planet combed the internet to learn as much as they could about the upcoming fighting game. There wasn’t much out there to be honest. And with the long wait that was ahead, people wanted something that would help them past the time. One of the places I always went to was YouTube, to either watch gameplay, listen to audio, commentary, or whatever. I wanted to learn as much about the game as I could. Whenever I would search for Tekken 7 audio tracks on YouTube, one particular channel kept coming up – YellowMotion. I had no idea who or what YellowMotion was, but I followed the channel because the content was impressive, and it was practically the only channel that had audio without game audio intermingled. YellowMotion would actually clean up the tracks so that people could enjoy them. Since then, his YouTube channel has seen lots of growth, and his content has gone to remarkable levels. We tried to set up this interview once before, but the timing wasn’t quite right. Now is the time.
I don’t necessarily consider myself a real YouTuber like someone else would. I’m just focused on making good content and YouTube happens to be the platform to showcase it where the most people in the world can watch it.
Yellow, we’ve known each other for a while now, actually a few months before TekkenGamer launched. This interview is long overdue.
Thanks Zee. I’m very glad to get the opportunity to do this interview for TekkenGamer.
Indeed. Where are you from?
I’m from Europe, the Benelux region.
I don’t even know this answer yet, but what’s the meaning behind the name YellowMotion?
The name is something I came up with early on before creating the channel. I wanted it to be catchy yet, mostly, it needed to reflect on me personally as well. Like having an alias name to say so. (laughs) And to a degree I always incorporate Tekken into these kind of things as well.
Tekken? How so?
Here’s the breakdown. I’m a 3D artist, motion designer. That’s what I do. Besides my work I’m always in motion. Keeping myself busy by doing, working and creating things I find interesting in arts and media. So “motion” has a meaning to me personally on many levels. As far as “yellow,” I liked the idea to personify something with a color. Yellow shines, it’s bright and positive. That’s what I like to be and portray. And besides Jin being one of my favorite Tekken characters, yellow also links to one of my other favorite Tekken characters that I personally could see myself and reflect on – that would be Paul Phoenix. Be number one as Paul says. That’s what I like about him and that connects to me personally. And we all know Paul’s trademark, it’s his long blonde hair. So I could see the “yellow” and “motion” in Paul as well.
Is anonymity a part of the YellowMotion brand? I think you may be the only Tekken YouTuber who has not revealed his face.
I don’t tend to be anonymous, but I can understand how others can see me like that. (laughs) I like it the way it is, just as I liked it the way it was back when nobody knew me.
But your voice is heard now. Why the change?
There was no real reason or point for me to bring my personality into the mix, being my face or voice to the channel. But at one point, as time went by, I felt that I had a very good reason to start talking to my audience and viewers about Tekken 7. I felt very comfortable at that moment and so it happened kind of out of nowhere.
Think you’ll ever show your face?
I just need to feel the value behind it. So when I feel the time is right to show myself, and it’s for a good reason that I feel comfortable with it, then it will definitely happen sooner or later.
One more “witness protection” question. (laughs) Are there any people out there who know who the real you is? Other than Michael Murray and Harada whom you met and myself. (laughs)
Yes, of course. There are actually quite a few people who at least know my real name and others who know me more of who I really am as a person and what I do.
What was it like meeting Michael and Harada at Gamescom?
It was a dream come true. Absolutely great! Ever since 1998, one day I wanted to accomplish two things in life. It was meeting the creator of the Tekken series, Katshuhiro Harada. And the other, meet the creator of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Hideo Kojima. I met Hideo Kojima in 2008, and now eight years later Harada san. And both of them were signing sessions. It was the highlight for me at Gamescom 2016.
Good deal. Let’s talk Tekken. When did you first get into it?
I’ve been into the series ever since Tekken 2. But there’s no doubt that that it was Tekken 3, “the golden age of Tekken,” that just literally made the series even more very dear to my heart.
Tekken 3 is everyone’s favorite. Why do you think that particular one was so impactful?
It’s just one hell of a series, to begin with. There are two game franchises that I love very much, and there I’m very passionate about them since the mid and late 90’s. One is them is Tekken series and the other one is the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Tekken has become and shaped part of my life with each new installment of the series in the past 20 years. It’s just more than a video game. Growing up and knowing these classic yet iconic characters from the early days like Kazuya, Heihachi, Jin and Paul, for example. We get to know them, invest in them and love them for many years since our childhood. And everyone has his, her favorite one’s for sure. To me it just connects more deeply on a personal level.
You never got into Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat or any other fighting games like that?
With all due respect to series’ such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, Virtua Fighter, Guilty Gear, KOF and DOA that I played over the years, to me personally, none of these games come even close to what Tekken really is and has to offer. Ever since the first Tekken, each installment has moved forward and pushed the boundaries of what a fighting game can be.
When did you first begin making content for Tekken?
It was in April 2015 where I started taking this more seriously and would like to see where it would go from there on. Most importantly I had an audience to whom I could showcase my contents to. One of the reasons was also that I believed in the potential of what Tekken 7 could be as a final product for consoles.
And I already followed the game in its announcements, news and developments. But there was hardly any, or to be exact, no true channel on YouTube that, in my opinion, was only dedicated to showcasing and presenting Tekken 7. And the positivity regarding the game wasn’t the best either in 2015. So while I felt that nobody was doing it, I therefor thought of doing and trying it myself.
So you were filling a void you recognized basically. How did you know you were really onto something?
One of the real first video projects I made was the Tekken 7 Character Intro Pose Compilations. I took that as one of my spare time projects. That video was a success and surprisingly I received lots of positive feedback on it. All being supportive and wanting for more of these type of videos and more from Tekken 7 itself. Later I did make a similar video with the Rage Arts showcase compilation in a similar fashion. I incorporated the Tekken 7 soundtracks in that video as well. After that I took the soundtracks of Tekken 7 as my next follow-up longtime project. With all of those things one after the other I realized for sure that I was showcasing and providing Tekken 7 to the home audiences.
Your videos are very in-depth, well planned and thought out. It looks like a lot of time goes into them. Do you ever get burned out or lose motivation?
At one point fairly early on I was thinking to quit because of several unjustified backlashes I encountered with my channel. I was already spending much time on it. But when you do something really well, you will feel the opposition as well. And just exactly that happened very quickly with me. At that moment I knew that I was being noticed, maybe for good or bad. But I was doing a pretty good job, that I knew for sure. So I stayed committed to what I was doing and there was no going back. I fell down hard, but I got back up even more dedicated and motivated!
Oh wow! I’m glad you didn’t give up! Apart from staying motivated, what’s one of the biggest challenges with what you do?
There are always challenges and obstacles I have to face with every video that I make. One of them is always time, as having more time is more than welcome. Having access to great assets like graphics and videos is always a plus, as it adds more production value to the video and also makes editing more fun to do and come up with new ideas to implement it creatively. But right now I can’t fully make the ideal type of video and content that I want to create because obviously Tekken 7 isn’t out yet.
How long does it take to produce a video?
The short answer is that it takes a very long time depending on the type of video I create. After all, making a Let’s Talk video is different than just making a video montage of a video compilation. But no matter what it is, it just takes time. To me it has to be consistent with the other contents that I show. This is still a hobby that I love to do in my sparetime. So I usually don’t track the time I spend on making a video because that’s just not my style of working. But I do sure feel that it takes a lot of my free time. As each well thought out and edited video can vary between 50 to 100+ hours to give you a very rough estimate.
Which video has been the most difficult to create?
The Let’s Talk Prediction series so far have been a real challenge for me, not in difficulty to pull it off and make it happen, but time and presentation-wise.
What do you mean?
The overall message and conclusion to why I’m making that series and how I see that particular topic for myself, I wanted to portray that the best way I could to everybody. I know that I have some really loyal fans and I also know that many take my opinions and thoughts seriously. So for myself I had to be really confident in what I was going to tell and make up my mind to who I really think would make it back to Tekken 7. I didn’t want to make the videos and then later on say well guys I changed my mind I take Eddy’s and Julia’s spot back and replace them with Ganryu and Dr.Bosconovitch, for example. (laughs) And the video needed to have value even after console release. So you can imagine that the preparation, pre-production, and execution of the series as a whole was really an undertaking to begin with. And also time-wise it was something I wanted to finish before any actual announcements were made. Granted Bob and Master Raven were announced before part 2 was out, but In my update video I talked about what i had to say about Bob and Master Raven’s reveal as well giving my thoughts to why they were actually included in Tekken 7. Especially for Bob.
Which video is your all-time favorite?
My first Let’s Talk video were I talked about Tekken’s Arcade Model and The Big Arcade Expansion Reveal that I had assumed was going to be on December 12 during the King Of Iron Fist Tournament 2015. This video to me personally opened the door to speaking with my audience. And presentation wise I found it to be very good as well of what I had to tell in that video. But I literally have many favorites to be proud of. And all of them are the ones that I either have written and produced myself as an original video, whether is Akuma’s Deal Parody video, the roster prediction series or Kazumi’s Ultimate Mix Soundtrack Special. Each one of them is special to me, and I hope it’s the same for people who watched them.
Has there ever been a video that you created, putting a lot of work into, and it wasn’t received well?
So far all of the video I created myself have been received very well with great amount of positivity. There wasn’t one video where I got a backlash. But speaking as of views in popularity its maybe my Tekken Revolution Let’s Play video. It was still very well received but people weren’t looking forward to something they already had played since 2013.
I discovered you by searching for Tekken 7 music on YouTube, and honestly I thought that’s what your channel was about – Tekken music. But for the past few months you’ve been creating more custom content. Why the switch-up?
At the beginning I started presenting and showcasing the game with several gameplays, compilations, and of course, the soundtracks of Tekken 7. And when I focus on something I try to finish it and do that job as good as possible. At the end of 2015 my primarily focus was talking to my audience. So as we moved on I started to do more Let’s Talk videos. Talking was a new thing for me and for the channel as well. By giving the channel a voice I could share and give my thoughts, opinions or discuss a topic related to the game as well since I know the lore, history and the developments on the Tekken series very well.
It was a start of showing that there’s more than just presentation. And from there on I started doing more Let’s Talk videos.
I like those kinds of videos best, actually. Were there any YouTubers you were inspired by, or like today?
Well the overall good content creators in the Tekken community is still small right. And I know a lot of people that are waiting to start giving it a go by creating content when Tekken 7 releases. So there aren’t much people dedicated to Tekken right now. Before I started with Youtube and involving Tekken into it, I actually never heard of the many names that I know right now in the community regarding Tekken that were there way before me. There was the official Tekken Channel of course. I remember LUYG from the Tekken Tag 2 days. But guys like TheMainMan, for example, I discovered much later on even though he has been out there for years. But also guys like Arsenalty and Bamagix, for example. And not just the recent known and active ones. But also Tekken fanatics like JinKazmisha, LarsJunFan, LordBento and many more. They all have a really good potential to let their creative juices really flow with their channels once Tekken 7 releases. And hopefully many more will follow.
In general, what advice, if any, would you give other YouTubers on how to improve their videos and grow their channels?
There are two sides to this. Content creation and YouTube itself. You have to understand both and make them work together. As a content creator, you should decide and know what you want to show or tell to your audience. And this regards to any topic. Then determine your strengths with that topic and subject you know. In this case Tekken. Can you make cool combo’s? Play really good online? Know the lore? Make funny videos or do analysis videos about characters moves and gameplay? You name it.
But it also differs on what your objective is and what you want to portray or show with your content in general. YouTube is such a big place with every type of content showing and floating around ranging from utter trash to real inspiring works of art to be inspired of. Yet both of those videos may contain thousands of loyal viewers. It clearly has its audience and that’s what I think many should think about. The audience that will watch your content and the decision on what type of content you want to focus on.
As it will showcase and give the impression of the type of channel you are. So to me that’s obviously Tekken and I stick to that as much as possible. Even though everything I do is showcased on YouTube. I don’t necessarily consider myself a real YouTuber like someone else would. I’m just focused on making good content and YouTube happens to be the platform to showcase it where the most people in the world can watch it. You can even see my progression in the types of videos I uploaded. As in 2015 it was the presentation of Tekken 7. And right now as you can see I moved on as there is more to do than just showing. So decide and make your content and see the feedback from your viewers.
Is it well received or not? What did they like or didn’t like. From there on improve, produce and create more content. Most definitely bring value to your videos. Quality isn’t always the most important thing. But If it has value than it will be entertaining and joyful to watch as well.
As far as YouTube itself, use the tools you have but be yourself and try not to do or instantly replicate what others do. Be thankful to your audience but try not to think in fully YouTube standards or in terms if that makes sense regarding the viewers. Don’t just make videos to grind for subscribers, or be concerned wether someone will subscribe to you or not. If you just make good content with value in it. Then people will watch wether they are subscribed to you or not.
There are many YouTubers that think that their subscriber count is their most important and only milestone and measurement of success. And of course there’s truth to that because the numbers don’t magically appear. But its also very easy to lose the interest of your audience with your type of content. Maybe the content is repetitive, changed or isn’t what it used to be. Or the channel drifted away too much of what it was in the first place. As long as you stick to your topic or theme and produce content on your own regular basis, than people will notice that. To me its about the value and quality rather than quantity of content. All is good off course, but you need to find the right balance for yourself.
Here’s how I think of it right now. Do I like and enjoy what I do? Have I more to offer and show content that concerns Tekken? The answer is yes.
When making new content and changes, does the majority of my audience still enjoy what I do? If the answer is yes, than you’re doing good and should continue. If you clearly notice it’s a no than you should consider a change. But only if you feel comfortable with that change. Because remember its your channel, it’s your time and you have to enjoy doing it. Not feeling obliged or forced to do so.
And don’t be afraid to fail, because that’s where you will learn the most! If you can implement your failures in the future than you will do much better than you first started.
That was some invaluable information right there! How important are YouTubers to the Tekken community?
Very important! I think it’s important that Tekken has certain YouTubers where people could relate to on a more personal level and have things in common. As the YouTubers have a direct connection with their audiences. They certainly have an influence for sure. Like any medium you can do so many things with your content. If Tekken has more passionate people that think about creating content and love Tekken, then it should only benefit the whole community besides only the official sources to Tekken.
Back in August you made a full roster prediction video that made a lot of noise. And in my interview with Michael Murray I asked him if you were hot or cold. He said it wasn’t cold, and it wasn’t hot either. I interpreted those words as meaning the roster prediction wasn’t 100% correct. How did you interpret that?
I interpreted it just like you. From the beginning I didn’t expect it to be 100% correct, as it never was my point to be 100% correct either. Just be in the right direction of around 80% – 90% of what eventually could happen after console launch. After all the video is portraying and showcasing my opinions and my thought process in several videos. Michael’s answer surely made several things clear to me and he even replied further by saying “Not hot, was the point. somewhere from cold to warm, is what it means.”
— Michael Murray (@mykeryu) September 15, 2016
So I interpret that as several characters I mentioned are clear out 100% right while there are characters that are not planned to be included in at the launch of Tekken 7. Well not yet at least. After all Michael knows who will come at launch and what characters potentially will be realised in 2017 after console launch. Most of it will depend on the community for sure.
Since then you’ve played the game at Gamescom. Now that you’ve had a chance to play it, would you make any changes to your predictions now?
Oh really? Interesting.
Ever since I played Tekken 7 at Gamescom I was even more convinced with the roster picks that I had made. And I could see every character that I mentioned
be eventually realized in Tekken 7. Even the ones I mentioned like Kunimitsu and Eliza. The question is however, will all of those characters eventually be really included in Tekken 7? Well, maybe. You see, as I’m convinced that the community will have a major role and part in its feedback and experience after they have played, experienced and enjoyed Tekken 7 in its full glory a while after the console release. Obviously the new system and mechanics are part of that experience too.
What do you hope the game does for the Tekken community?
Gameplay wise I want this to be “the Tekken game” to be played. By that I mean that it just needs to be fun and enjoyable to play for yourself. Fun is the keyword here. I’m already convinced since I played the game and I’m sure many will agree once they get there hands on Tekken 7. And let’s not forget tournaments and eSports will be a huge part of Tekken 7, immediately once the game is release in 2017. And finally the content. I have good faith that Harada san and the Tekken Team will do a really good job on the contents to deliver a true full complete Tekken experience for the console version of the game. If those three aspects are done very well, then it’s going to be the best and most successful Tekken game since Tekken 3.
Your latest video “Tekken 7 in Slow Motion” was a very unique video. Very cinematic. The music was perfect. How do you come up with these ideas?
Thanks! It happens naturally in my mind almost everyday as I constantly have ideas floating in my head where I want to portray a mood, or a certain emotion. It has to hit me first before I can realize that idea into a video. Those ideas can come up from different things. When I create a video, wether its a Let’s Talk video or a specific montage video, I always think in structures. In this case I made this video specifically to portray why I love Tekken and why Tekken 7 is beautiful in motion. And emotion was a big part of that as I wanted the audience to feel something when they watched it. The music was also very important, to find and get the right piece that adds to the vision of the video. As editing is one of the things I do best and there’s nothing better for me than to have both the visuals and the audio to be in harmony with each other. The one elevates the other. And once I made a test where Leo’s ballerina slow motion move started to happen I knew that the idea, theme and tone was the right choice and it would work very well.
You know the history of the game, how it works and what not, but now lets’ see how well do you play the game. How would you rate yourself as a player?
It’s a tricky thing right, as rating yourself as a Tekken player. I’ll just say that I’m a real good player that plays Tekken for a very long time. Right now I wouldn’t consider myself a real pro player, as being a pro player to me means that you have to have participated in tournaments several times and actually have made it in the top 8 spots. Or say, being that active high ranked player that truthfully has made his way up to the higher ranks of reaching Fujin and beyond. But just playing Tekken games offline on Ultra Hard, knowing the mechanics very well and moves of your main and other characters, battling offline ghosts and achieving the True Tekken God rank or even beyond is still a great achievement though. But still in my book that doesn’t mean you’re a real pro player yet. But a real good player. That’s how I see and rank it for myself. So yeah I’m a real good player.
We’ll have to play sometime. Who are your main characters?
Great question. Jin Kazama, Paul Phoenix and Marshall Law are my three main characters to choose and to play with.
Who do you think you’ll use in Tekken 7?
My pick has always been Paul ever since I played him in Tekken 2, but I’m definitely going to reset that and play with everybody as soon as Tekken 7 will come out.
Have you ever participated in any tournaments?
No, not any real major tournaments. And I’m being really honest here. Being in Europe, I never actually grew up with that tournament environment. But I would love to of course if I feel I’m right for it. In Europe the scale of the Tekken scene can’t be compared to that of whats happening in the USA. And each country here has their own based community that organizes tournaments now and then. But not that annually and frequent with major events like I know and see happening in North America. But I hope that once Tekken 7 comes out the scene in Europe will also start to bloom as well.
What can people expect in the future from YellowMotion?
I’ve gotten that question a lot lately, but also very early when the variety of content on my channel wasn’t that big. And I always say the same thing. Creating video content is something I will always do. As long as I feel that I have any value, a contribution and interest to the community I will continue making content that regards to Tekken. As I still have so many ideas, concepts and video contents that I want to produce and realize. My plate is really full. Time is the only gap that will show if all can be realized in the future. As you can see all this time it’s been YellowMotion without Tekken 7. Imagine what it will look like when Tekken 7 will come out and get the game in my hands.
I can only imagine. Do you plan to stream or anything?
Yes I will. Streaming, playthroughs, online rank battles and Tekken character guides are some of those ideas and plans. I plan to do a lot of things.
What do you think of TekkenGamer so far?
I really love it, it’s for everybody! And with all respect to other Tekken community sites that are specific to their certain audiences, in my opinion TekkenGamer is the best dedicated Tekken community website I’ve ever seen happening. And it’s something the community needed for a very long time now. As a longtime Tekken fan myself that has seen and witnessed many official and unofficial Tekken related sites, I can finally say that there is a real Tekken site out there with a passionate team behind it that cares and represents of what Tekken is. So if a new player, fan asks me what Tekken site I can you recommend to see what’s going on in the Tekken scene besides the official sites, I would say TekkenGamer is all you need to go to. You’re all set and done.
Wow! Thanks for the promo! (laughs) Any last words for our visitors?
Wether new or old, thank you for enjoying, watching and keeping up with me since I’ve been doing this since 2015. I do really appreciate the positivity and honest feedback I do get for you guys. As you are the motivation do to what I do.
Thanks Yellow! Keep up the great work!
Thanks Zee, it was my pleasure.