View Full Version : Interviews

30th May 2007, 12:35
Propun ca оn acest thread sa plasăm interview-urile regizorilor, animatorilor sau a altor persoane ce au legatură cu crearea anime-urilor sau manga!!! :cool:

Masaaki Yuasa interview (regizorul Mind Game):
Can you start by explaining how you came to direct Mind Game?

Producer Eiko Tanaka approached me in an official capacity with the original manga and asked if I would like to direct the film.

Was that the first time you'd read the original manga?

No. While I was working at Studio 4C on Sound Insect Noiseman, Koji Morimoto had recommended it to me, saying, "Check out this amazing manga". That was the first time I read it. It really is a very impressive manga; very out of the ordinary. His drawing style seems kind of crude and unrefined at first, but once you get used to it, it's extremely compelling and stylish, and really succeeds in getting across all his ideas. It's the kind of manga that's so good that it makes you wonder why it isn't more well known.

What made you decide to direct?

When I received the offer, I had been wanting to try my hand at directing something. But at Studio 4C first of all there was Morimoto who was a big fan, and so was Tatsuyuki Tanaka, so it didn't feel right for someone like me to horn in on their baby. But I went ahead and accepted the offer because I beleived I might be able to do a good job with the material.

Was this project planned for the theaters right from the start?

Yes, right from the start. They've got guts, right? That was my own first impression. Nobody's heard of the manga; I'd never directed a feature film before. You'd never expect a project like this to get off the ground. What's amazing about Studio 4C is that they not only got it off the ground but made it and got it distributed.

What was your approach to adapting the manga?

The manga has this incredible forward momentum to it. My question was, how can I translate that momentum onto film? The manga acheives that effect by means of rough, sketchy drawings. But the various processes involved in animation means that the drawings wind up coming out looking clean and polished, no matter what you do. The crucial thing for the film version in my opinion was that the drawings not look too polished. That they look kind of sloppy to the casual eye. Only on closer inspection do you realize that the drawings are in fact properly drawn. Hence the images reflect the content. That was my concept for the film.

There are a lot of experimental touches in the film, like having the characters turn into live actors occasionally.

A long time ago people would have freaked if you put in an image done in a totally different style from the rest of the film at some point. Well, nowadays people are pretty used to that sort of thing, and they wouldn't be that shocked anymore. So that's why I inserted some live action in here, some photos there. My hope is that these scenes come across to the viewer as being kind of unplanned and impromptu.

They're just there for fun.

Exactly. Personally, at this point, I don't want to see ordinary anime anymore. What I want to see is something like those music videos where you've got little bits of animation spliced into the live action footage, something comical like that. In my thinking, Mind Game is kind of the inverse. Not like a live action film where you've got little bits of animation spliced in, but like somehow little bits of live action snuck into an animated film. At first I just wanted to use photographs because that would have been easiest to shoot, but the producer, Eiko Tanaka, suggested that we hire a live action director and have him shoot half the film in live action.

But then you wouldn't have been director, you'd be just the co-director!

Exactly. So we talked it over, and she finally suggested, "Maybe you'd better do the shooting yourself," leaving it up to me to decide on the details of how much and where to put it. It wound up being just a kind of added spice to the animation.

So you also handled the filming of the live-action parts.

We hired proffessional live-action staff, and I was there during filming to give instructions and so on. But I didn't know anything about filming live-action, so it was a real learning process for me. Doing a full-fledged proffessional live-action shoot also made it easier to hire showbiz people like Koji Imada.

In the shots where there's a live-action face talking... say, Koji Imada... that's actually Koji Imada talking, and not a different voice-actor, right?

It's the same person. I considered using a different voice-actor at first, but for various reasons, in the end I opted to stick with the same person. My choice of voice-actors was in fact influenced by the knowledge that they themselves would also have to appear in the film. I think the results turned out better than using a separate person to do the faces and the rest of the voice-acting.

Prior to this you've been known for creative anime like Crayon Shin-chan and Cat Soup. Would you say that the same creativity that made these so appealing has found its way into this new film?

And then some. (laughs)

How do you feel about the quality of the animation?

I think the animation is really interesting. It goes totally against the grain of anime these days. It's not concerned with detail, just with momentum. That's the goal of the film, not being "well crafted", but being interesting. And I think it worked out pretty well. The visuals are particularly interesting, I think. There's lots of variety, there are bouts of fantasy, and the story is very unpredictable. I honestly think the visuals are unlike anything anyone has seen before.

About the story - is it basically faithful to the original?

Yes, it's basically exactly the same as the original. The plot is quite simple, it's just the details that are a bit out there. I finessed the ending a bit, but otherwise the details are unchanged. I didn't set out to keep it so close to the original; it just turned out that way. The original manga is that well done. Especially early on in the film, the framing of the shots is pretty much exactly the same as in the manga. Without looking at the manga I drew out how I wanted the framing, and afterwards when I looked at the manga to compare, they were practically exactly the same. I was kind of disappointed by how similar they turned out.

Perhaps that suggests your style was a good match to the manga.

I suppose so. Looking at the finished product, there are some minor differences, but I think overall the film is how Robin would have wanted it to be. Robin himself, after watching the film, told me he thought the film was pretty much saying the same thing as his manga.

Going back, what do you mean when you say you "finessed" the ending?

Well, in the original, in the second half, the story just keeps on going with the same feeling of "You can do anything if you try!"

That's also one of the main themes of the film.

The original manga says, "Do it! Go for it! Don't let anything stop you! You can do anything if you try!" Well, I personally don't have the confidence to go that far, so I sort of reined in the message a bit. So it's still "You can do anything if you try!" but tempered a bit; I have him slam headlong into a wall afterwards. Even if you fail, the important thing is to try. The result isn't important. The important thing is to enjoy the process of striving.

The music in the film really sticks with you.

Isn't it great? I had this incredible underground musician do it for me, Yamamoto Seiichi. I listen to a lot of CDs, but I don't know very much about who recorded what, so Shin'ichiro Watanabe was appointed the music producer and he looked into it for me, and he suggested Seiichi Yamamoto.

What did you think of the music when you finally heard it?

I was amazed by the variety of the songs that he came up with. Yamamoto-san is quite simply a brilliant composer. He's versatile and he can write an incredible variety of music. It's unpredictable, it's groovy, it's exciting, and it's got just the right tinge of oddness. I had wanted a large variety of music right from the start, so it was handy being able to get one person to do it all. On Watanabe's introduction I also had Yoko Kanno play one song on the piano. I put a tape together with examples of various spots from several classical pieces that I wanted the song to sound like. Originally we were going to get producer Tanaka's son's piano teacher to play it, but in the end Yoko Kanno took over. I was very happy with how it turned out.

30th May 2007, 12:39
How long was the film in production?

Starting from the planning stage, two years and nine months. Two years exactly from when animation was started.

How many films have you directed now?

Um... one? Before now the only things I've directed were a small TV pilot and a short for a publicity event. Mind Game is my first major project, my big-time debut, if you will.

Did that have any influence on you?

I want to make movies that can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. That's been my basic stance in everything I've done up until now, and it still is. Well, okay, right before Mind Game I worked on the directing and animation for a video anime called Cat Soup, which was aimed at a very small segment, but that's the only exception. I have to admit, I had my misgivings about doing something so cultish, but I was pleased with the results and learned a lot from it that I was able to put to use in this film.

So Cat Soup was sort of a springboard for Mind Game.

Yeah. It showed me that it was OK to do certain things. In that sense, it made it a lot easier to make Mind Game.

The characers are a little different in the movie, aren't they? For example, their backgrounds.

This was the first time I'd done anything with a story to speak of, and I found that there was a need for the characters to have a background story. Which is funny, because I've always had a thing against characters with a background story. (laughs)

The old man was supposedly in the whale's belly for 30 years, but I found that I couldn't picture that long expanse of time without some sort of visual aid, so I inserted some scenes showing him as a baby and so on, to give the audience a sense of the weight of those 30 years. Also, at my age, I knew nothing about the experiences of people the age of the main character, so I asked a bunch of the younger staff members to write down their own experiences, and I threw together a timetable of the various characters' lives based on that. What one person might have experienced as a student, another person might have experienced as a child. I got them to write down their impressions on these experiences based on their perspective at that age, to show how there can be different perspectives on the same event. I threw all that together into a little montage to show at the beginning. Only the little montage grew to more than five minutes, which was too long, so I only showed a bit at the beginning and then showed the rest at the end.

People probably won't get it when they first see it at the beginning of the film, but what didn't make sense the first time will start to make sense when you see it again at the end. It kind of mirrors the way Nishi begins to see things as he undergoes various inner changes. I wanted people watching the film to be able to understand the things Nishi is feeling.

That montage gives the film a lot of added depth.

Curiously enough, there were actually people on the staff who asked me why Nishi would want to leave the whale's belly. I thought it would be natural to want to get out. But I was surprised how many people thought it would have been more fun to stay in the whale's belly.

That really got me to wondering, to think people would ask why Nishi would want to leave the whale's belly. I don't mean to preach, but... why do we want to live in the world? Because it's interesting. I have Nishi make this pretty clear in the film. Because it's wonderful to live in a world full of different people mixing and living all sorts of different lives. Through our interactions with these people, we all take part in the act of creating the world around us. It doesn't even matter if we don't play that big a part. I think it's a wonderful thing just to take part in that process. That's one of the messages I hope comes across.

A TV superhero called Time Boy shows up a few times in the flashbacks. He has the power to turn back time. He plays a relatively small role, but I think it's a fairly emblematic one, thematically.

Yes, you're right. In the original manga, only Nishi gets a chance to start over. I thought that wasn't fair. I'm not that young anymore myself, and I thought it wasn't fair for only the young to get a chance to start over. So I wanted to give all of the rest of the characters a chance to start over, too. Just to be fair; it's obviously not the way life works. It's the way you wish it did. If you make a mistake, start over again. It's not too late. That sort of thing.


I just don't think results are that important. If you do your best, and you don't get good results, then just try again from a different angle, or look for a different path altogether. There's just something beautiful about the process of trying and failing and trying again when you're truly living your life to its maximum potential.

So it's actually a very positive movie.


Incredibly positive.

Of course.

It's a healthy film.

I'm just sick of all the gloomy movies coming out these days! I decided I'd had enough with dark stuff after Cat Soup. What I want to see is positive movies from now on. Enough turning inwards, people; let's turn outwards! What's important is right here on this earth. Not everybody's dreams come true, but only those who act have a chance of acheiving their dreams. All differences aside, it all boils down to one thing: The world is interesting!

30th May 2007, 14:39
De unde sila aceasta pentru lectura?
Treaba ta, daca vrei citesti daca nu vrei nu citesti, :dunno:
Ideea ii ca in loc sa cauti prin diferite surse ai putea dintii sa cercetezi acest thread, poate gasehti ce te intereseaza.

Poftim ceva mai scurt

Harold Sakuishi - creatorul manga "Beck"

The more things change, the more they stay the same . . . As American fans have embraced manga and anime - trying to make parts of Japanese culture their own, the same thing has been happening in Japan with American culture. The concept of the Japanese mainstream becoming part of our subculture is being mirrored overseas. I began to think about this when I started reading Harold Sakuishi’s, BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, which debuted last summer.

This story centers around teenage boy - Koyuki, who like most high school students wants to be “cool”, but more importantly grows up in spite of himself through character, hard work, desire, and of course a series of life-changing circumstances. As a result of a chance encounter, Yukio is exposed to the world of rock music that he never knew before. Sounds familiar right? I hope so. This style of story is certainly manga, but it’s reminiscent of films by John Hughes and Cameron Crowe, and even Saved by the Bell. From it’s very beginning BECK will get stuck in your head like your favorite song. It’s a series that can’t be defined by typical manga genres as it has a little something that any reader can identify with.

What makes it unique is that it’s filled with pop-culture references from Japan and the rest of the world. Even more so though is the fact that Sakuishi is genuinely interested in the stories and characters of his manga. His stories are based on the realities of his interests and hobbies. Like his previous series, BECK follows this trend. It’s not shonen, it’s not shojo, it’s BECK and you probably already know some of the characters in this series - chances are they’re probably friends of yours and you don’t even know it. So, are you ready to rock? I had the pleasure of sitting down for a meet and greet with Sakuishi at AnimeNEXT this summer. And the crowd goes wild . . .

JP: Where are you from in Japan?

HS: Nagoya prefecture - where many artists have come from.

JP: What’s you’re typical day like?

HS: I start my day (because of the time change) with a baseball game, usually the Seattle Mariners. Then it’s time to work. I work at a pace of about five pages a day.

JP: When drawing, do you work with any computers or technology?

HS: I haven’t adopted new technology. I still draw with pen and paper.

JP: Before writing BECK, had you visited the U.S.?

HS: I had visited twice before this. I participated in a home stay in Rutherford, NJ for 3 months and then visited Seattle.

JP: Which character in BECK do you most identify with?

HS: Chiba and Koyuki. Chiba is the evil Sakuishi and Koyuki is good side of me. These characters show different sides of my personality

JP: BECK is all about music. What are some of your favorite American bands?

HS: Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, and Stevie Wonder. I also like Common and his new record.

JP: I’m a huge Stevie Wonder fan myself! What is your favorite song?

HS: “Feeding Off the Love of the Land” is my favorite. But I also really like “Higher Ground”.

JP: Has your background in music influenced your characters?

HS: Yes. The way Koyuki holds his guitar is based on Tom Morello. Chiba’s attitude and style are based on Zach De La Rocha. Jimmy Paige inspired Rysuke and his guitar playing.

JP: I’ve heard that your character Saito-san is based on a real person. Who is it?

HS: At home I go to a Sports Club and the real Saito-san is my own swimming mentor.

JP: So, I know you’re a huge baseball fan. Who are your favorite teams?

HS: The Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, and of course the Chunichi Dragons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBEVvAyLHao - pentru cei ce doresc varianta video si mai lunga a interview-ului.

30th May 2007, 15:57
Posturile ne la temă vor fi şterse automat. Cine vrea citeşte, cine nu - nu mă faceţi să vă arăt direcţia.

31st May 2007, 22:19

Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion, His and Her Circumstances, Love and Pop etc.)

Hideaki Anno Talks to Kids

Otaku-dom has something of a poster child in Hideaki Anno. Scrawny, unkempt, and with self-esteem peaking well below measurable levels, he's become known for his neurotic demeanor as much as for the anime he's directed.

In 1997, shortly after the success of Evangelion and somewhere during pre-production of Kare Kano, Anno participated in a popular NHK show called "Welcome Back for an Extracurricular Lesson, Sempai!", where popular personalities revisit the town they grew up in to teach a class at their old primary schools. For anyone who has peeked into the very, very dark current of thought he vented so readily in Evangelion, the thought of this is impossible not to snicker at.

Whether you love or hate Evangelion, Anno is a director that can't be ignored. His unique visual style, of course, has permanently affected anime since Eva was released, but his work since then seems to prove more than that. His live action films, "Love & Pop" and "Shiki-jutsu" are important works that explore the lack of confidence that has become his highlight. More than that, though, I find the man himself utterly fascinating in how he thinks about emotions and relating to other people.

This week's Buried Treasure is a TV special that is more insightful than anything else I've read about the man. As there is little chance you will ever see this TV special, I will dispense with my usual evasiveness at key plot points, and attempt to give you a play-by-play. It's the least I can do.

Hideaki Anno talks to kids

We're introduced to Anno's hometown of Ube, a factory town in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It's not a particularly pleasant place. Rather, it has a dingy, dirty feel to it. Apparently Ube, which was supported by a chemical plant, has been going through some rough financial times. Smog and smokestacks dominate the sky. Unoshimma Elementary, where Anno went to school, is still in use, and seems to not have been renovated since before Anno attended.

The kids are adorable, of course. One proudly announces he's an otaku. Most of them are Eva fans. Before Anno arrives, they are to draw and write what they think he's like, based on their thoughts from watching Eva. Puzzled, they just start coming up with silliness.

Anno, meanwhile, is in the midst of another breakdown at the thought of teaching kids. Apparently the program's producers really had to use some persuasion to get him to appear. "I don't have any confidence," he says, a little too casually. He walks through town, full of nostalgia (obviously he seldom visits), offering up such pleasant childhood memories as, "there used to be a river here and it was full of leeches."

Deathly afraid of children, Anno steps into the classroom and starts by going through the kids fantasy drawings of him, which range from shoujo manga bishounen to something closer to a 1950's era robot. "That's completely wrong," he says in nervous response to a girl who suggested he wears pink. Noting his poor posture, one girl suggests he looks a bit like Eva Unit 01.

The assignment wasn't just busy work. "Japanese society is obsessed with information, so I wanted them to visualize something without any information at all," he notes. Despite his insistence to the contrary, he clearly has something of a game plan.

The Q&A session is next.

"What's your hobby?"

"Work is like a hobby to me."

"Why is that robot-thingy called Evangelion?"

"It comes from a Christian word meaning 'Gospel' and it's supposed to bring blessings. It has has some Greek roots. I chose the name because it sounds complicated."

"What does Rei like?" Otaku boy asks. "I haven't thought about it," is Anno's curt reply. He's not exactly a verbal person, but he's keenly aware of subtle things that affect how the kids might react to him, so he does things like maintain eye level with them. Anno admits he has a self-esteem problem. "I'm not crazy about myself. I'm often told that those who don't like themselves have high ideals, but I think someone who says that doesn't really understand the pain that's involved," he muses.

"Do you like the anime you make?"

"There's parts I like and parts I don't."

"What parts do you dislike?"

"The parts that I'm in."

Anyway, he gives the kids a quick lesson in animation, using the tried and true "bouncing ball" demo. The kids are given a light box and a tap (the pegs that the registration holes in the paper fit into), and are to try to attempt animation themselves. Their reaction is typical of first time animators: "All that work, and it was so short!"

After a quick school lunch (Anno barely eats, and refuses all meat and fish) The kids are brought by bus into town to interview Anno's parents and childhood friends. Their goal is to try to figure out what kind of kid he was. He's pretty much exactly how one would imagine.

The kids interview people in haphazard fashion, and the responses are hilarious. Anno's mother answers the children in an old tired voice, while his father interjects with lines like, "He wasn't very good at sports." After showing great talent at painting early on, he was rejected from a contest and turned his attention to manga. "He has such a stubborn personailty," his mother notes.

One friend notes that he loved watching the stars. His elementary school graduation essay was basically about how he's frustrated that he's not allowed to draw manga in class. On the rooftop of a department store, Anno reminisces about attending a Gundam show on the rooftop.

The next day, the kids are assigned to take what they've learned, and attempt to make an anime of Anno as a 6th grader. Anno, who was earlier so intimidated by children, is delighted. "Because they don't try to bumble through trying to do something technically skilled, their work is pure. I had almost lost that part inside of me, and I'm happy to rediscover it."

After the kids present their (much improved) animations, Anno wraps up by explaining the point of such free-form exercises. "In school tests, there's only one answer for each question, and you might get zero or half points if you're wrong. But in the real world, things aren't so black and white, so think about things on your own and express them in words or pictures. That's how you communicate with people. That's so important."

The class seems to understand, but by the end of the program, Anno seems to have learned a bit more about himself, and, dare I say, learned to appreciate himself a little more. I can't help but wonder how that affected his works after that.

"To express something is basically said to be the task of filling in what's missing. It's the effort to get an idea across to others. The effort of trying to make yourself look normal. Those who are unable to relate to strangers in a normal way trying to do something shrewd in order to maintain their relationship with them. That's what it is for me, at least."

Needless to say, to an Anno fan, this TV special is a gigantic treat, not just for the insight into the man, but the change we see in him. It's clearly not a put-on by the show's staff; Anno even carries himself differently by the end of the show. Of course, there's also the priceless footage of him -- a grown man -- practicing Kamen Rider arm formations on top of a playground slide.

The power lines, the landscapes of man-made structures -- including many of of Anno's visual trademark shots -- are so obviously influenced by these surroundings that we almost expect to see Asuka rounding the corner. His early paintings, as displayed by his mother, show a bit of his style, but his doodles don't look so recognizable.

NHK is world-renowned for their documentary production, and this series is no slouch. Japanese TV is usually awash in bright flashes of text, studio audience reactions, and poor editing, but "Welcome Back" is presented more like a piece on Dateline NBC. Subtle editing touches include the frequent use of Evangelion's musical score (by Shiro Sagisu), and putting Anno and the kids in particularly Evangelion-like situations (including the occasional use of Anno's favorite fish-eye lens). They don't overdo it, and luckily the show never descends into outright parody. Unfortunately, I have no credits for the show's staff.

Anno has since expanded his horizons quite a bit, having gotten quite involved with Japan's more progressive filmmakers such as Shunji Iwai (All About Lily Chou Chou) Katsuhito Ishii (The Taste of Tea), and even played a small part in Ishii's most recent film, Funky Forest. His live action films have been mixed successes, both critically and commercially. But more importantly, he's gotten married, and he's about to come full circle with the release of the new Evangelion movies. If his creative output is any indication, he seems happier now than he did before (could he have made live action Cutey Honey BEFORE overcoming depression?), and it's fun to think that this TV special might have captured one of his turning points.