There is not much to say about this topic that isnít obvious, but Iíll impart a few words of advice to you. It is good to coordinate with other fan subtitlers. You donít want to waste your time working on something someone else has already done. Also, if you try and tackle a TV series with over a hundred episodes, it may be advisable to work in conjunction with other groups. To get a good idea of which groups are working on which projects, visit the ďFansubber DatabaseĒ. Another thing to keep in mind is domestic licensing. It isnít a good idea to work on a show that you know has been, or will be licensed domestically. This means that you cannot release it to the public, and no convention will ever show your work if it is licensed already. Try and pick projects that have not been done by anyone else, and have not been picked up by a domestic company. These are the kinds of shows people will never get to see on their own, and bringing them to light is what fan subtitling is all about! If you still want to work on a show that has been licensed domestically, thatís great, but remember that itís only for your own personal use and cannot be distributed publicly (see Chapter 12: Distribution for more information).
There is one last word of advice that I would like to share with you... Do something you like. Thereís no point in working on a show you donít really care about that much. In addition... Donít do something you love, unless youíre fully prepared to take it on the chin and beat it to death with a rabid coyote. My point is that subtitling is sometimes arduous and pain-staking work. You can easily become burnt out if you work to much on a project. If you have a movie you absolutely adore, you might think twice before subtitling it. After watching it ten times in several days, will you still love it as much? From my experience, youíll probably not want to see if again for a long time.
Now that youíve decided what you want to do, and you have the equipment to do it with, go out and get the video! There are numerous places to buy import Japanese videos. Here are two good ones that I regularly frequent:
Both of these will ship internationally, and the prices are reasonable. CD Japan will take credit cards, but as of this writing JIGS will only accept an international postal money order via registered mail. You can get the money order and send it out at your local post office, so itís not too much of a hassle, but there is a service fee for the money order. If you plan on ordering, buy multiple items at once to save on shipping and money order fees.