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My day in Tokyo and my pseudo-interview with Shinkai-san
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Laz
Laz


Joined: 09 Jan 2008
Posts: 1330



PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:37 pm    Post subject: Post #6: Meeting Shinkai-san ...  Reply with quote

CWF's has a few studios located in the same general area in Tokyo ... so we walked a few blocks (Sunami-san, the woman in charge of the Shinkai film, and me). The funny thing was, Sunami-san had no idea where this studio was .. he'd never been there before ... classic Smile. We got to the door, removed our shoes and entered the office. This studio was pretty small .. one work area and another office that was for Shinkai-san to use.

Shinkai-san came out of his office and I introduced myself. Shinkai-san gave me a quick overview of the folks working in this studio ... this studio was for the key animation, the backgrounds were being done in a third studio. As Shinkai-san introduced people, he noted that two of the folks there had worked at Ghibli previously. It was then that I looked down and noticed the following ... and I had to take a picture .. Shinkai-san's slippers Smile



We walked into Shinkai-san's office and sat at a little table and we chatted for a while. Sunami-san gave Shinkai-san the background on this web site and we chatted a little about what had brought me to Japan. Shinkai-san said that he usually comes into the offices once or twice a week to check on the animation and that he's been working from his flat recently.

Out of respect for CoMix Wave Films ... I can't really talk to much about my Q&A with Shinkai-san. I will say that he was very open and accommodating. From what little I was privy to, I can say that I am very excited about the next movie and I think for fans of Shinkai-san's works ... we are watching the growth and development of an artist not necessarily an artist as a finished product.

We talked a little bit about his trip to England and Jordan. I mentioned that one of the folks that posted here in the beginning, had met Shinkai-san in Jordan. I asked him about his desire to make a film that he felt was more universal ... as I believe he had mentioned in other interviews that he wanted to make a film that had a broader reach. He agreed. I think it's interesting that Shinkai-san might think that his films might not already translate to a wider audience. I think that this site and the fans from around the world show that his themes and stories "do" translate well.

First Impressions ...

I found Shinkai-san to be very cool and very relaxed. Like most Japanese folks I met ... their English is pretty good, but they're a little shy about speaking. As with all of the CWF staff .. I felt like I was talking with people I've known for a long time ... like friends.

Before we left to head to the third studio where the backgrounds were being done, I got the autograph I wanted and Shinkai-san signed 5 of the movie posters.





[/b]

Next Post takes us to the third studio where the backgrounds are created.

Laz
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Laz
Laz


Joined: 09 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:35 am    Post subject: Post #7: The Background Studio and Good byes Reply with quote

One of the funny parts of our walks to the different studios was the woman who came along with Sunami-san and myself. I believe that she was the person in charge of managing the schedule of production for Shinkai-san's work. Despite it being a cold day in Tokyo, she wore heels with no socks ... I found out that she went to college in Montana (Montana?) so she was probably used to that kind of cold Smile She was awesome and she acted as the interpreter when needed. I'm so sorry I did not remember her name.

We made our way to the third studio where the background work was being done. This studio was bigger than the second and there were about 8 or so people working there in front of these huge Mac monitors. Shinkai said they needed the big monitors in order to do all the detail in the imaging. I took a quick look at someone's screen and I could see the real world image and next to that the animated version. Very cool.

If any of you have the Shinkai art book, a majority of the folks in the back of that book ... who worked on 5 CM as animators and background animators were in this room. A few others were working on the Planzet film and a few were in the second studio doing the key animation.

We chatted a bit about Shinkai Day and some of the activities. I mentioned that Zitch had done the commentary and explained how things were pointed out during the film. Shinkai-san ask for an example ... so I said, "like when you have the cat bus magnet and the chobi magnet on the board in the third episode from 5 CM ... pointing out that kind of stuff". Shinkai said something to the effect of ... So I see that you've seen the movie a few times! He said ... I think some of the folks in here (the third studio) might not have caught that. I laughed "Yeah I've watched your movies a few times .. ha ha ha.

I asked Shinkai-san if he put easter eggs or homages in his films. He thought about it and was clarifying the term "easter egg" in it's literal sense as "eggs that get hidden for the easter holiday" (which was kind of funny in itself) and then I clarified it as "hidden things or homages to other artists, etc." Shinkai-san's answer was that if anything, the titles of books or magazines found in the movies would be the closest thing. Books that he's read or were important to him.

Another funny moment was that one of the staff, who was new to the group, was named Sayuri .. and Shinkai-san noted that his cat was named Sayuri and since she was named the same as his cat ... that they had to hire her. Smile

In seeing all these studios and artists and Shinkai-san ... I really got a good idea and feel for the process. Yeah .. Shinkai-san writes the story and does the main design, finds the locations for photography, checks the key animation and pulls the whole thing together but there are a lot of very talented folks doing a lot of the detailed animation and backgrounds. I joked with Sunami-san that they should have "Team Shinkai" jerseys and that maybe 2010 should be Global Team Shinkai Day Smile

Towards the end of the discussion, since it was a Wednesday, Shinkai invited me out to the Team drinking party which seemed to occur every Friday. I had to decline as I was leaving to go back to Fukuoka that night. Shinkai-san put an offer out to me to keep in touch and that maybe one day come out to drink with them. I said maybe at the film premiere for the new movie I'd come back to Tokyo to visit. Time was running out so I grabbed my stuff said my good byes and Sunami-san walked me to the metro station.

I can't stress enough how friendly and open and interested everyone at CoMix Wave Films was. I wish I could've stayed longer and definitely drank with them. I'm hoping that the many drama filled stories about me and my fiance that I told will some how make it into a Shinkai film someday Smile

As for the next movie ... again, I can't give anything away, but I think fans will be happy with the film. As Shinkai-san told me ... there's going to be some things that feel familiar and some things that are going to be very different. That's what I was hoping for from the next film and from future films. I'm excited to see it all come together on the big screen.

Thanks again to Vince and the folks at CrunchyRoll and to everyone at CoMix Wave Films for making this Shinkai Fan's dream come true. I started this forum with the goal of one day getting to meet Shinkai-san. The next goal is to work to make this forum a global meeting place not just one for English speaking folks.

Laz
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You're a woman, I'm a calf ... you're a window, I'm a knife ... we come together making chance into starlight ... - Jeff Buckley

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Laz
Laz


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject: Additional stuff .... Reply with quote

Sorry ... as things pop into my head I'll add them here Smile

In the third studio, Sunami-san asked me if I was only a Shinkai Fan or an anime fan too. They asked me what else I liked ... at this point I spaced out and all I could think of was Macross and Galaxy Express 999 and Harlock. I'm usually watching about 5 series at a time Smile

They both said ... oh Macross ... and asked if I saw the movie that was out (Macross Frontiers). I hadn't seen that but I did go to see Higashi no Eden (Eden of the East).

Shinkai looked at me and said  ... "Did you understand it?" ha ha ha.

I said "My GF said the same thing Smile".

It's definitely one of those movies that you would need to see the series to understand.

Shinkai-san asked if I liked Miyazaki's works. DOH ... yes, of course I like his stuff .. Mononoke, Howls moving Castle, spirited away, Totoro ...

Just one of those funny moments.
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Laz
Laz


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject: Another funny moment Reply with quote

I was asking questions around the schedule for the new film. As a Project Manager I was interested in the Scheduling/Management side of the production (wouldn't that be an awesome job ... ahh .. I can only dream).

---- If you've never seen "Animation Runner Kuromi" check it out. It's only a couple episodes but it gives you the idea as to how an anime series gets put together and the hurdles involved from a management perspective.

To set this up ... the first dream of the new year can be an auspicious sign. I think (from my Azumongah Daioh watching) that dreams of a hawk, Mt. Fuji or an eggplant are good signs.

So I'm jokingly asking the manager if she has to crack the whip on Shinkai to get his work done Smile She said that he told her that the first dream he had of the new year was her asking him if his work was done yet Smile

Laz
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chowb321
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lolz, that was very interesting. Esp shinkai's slippers! Haha.
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Laz
Laz


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:42 pm    Post subject: Another quick anecdote ... Reply with quote

The people at CoMix Wave Films were very interested in what we actually discuss on this site Smile Again, I don't think they really understand that people really like their work. So I was explaining how we talk about the different films and how some people like the first episode of 5 CM while some like the others. I told Shinkai-san that we have a bunch of Kanae fanboys on the site Smile He laughed at that. I told him that the third segment was my favorite as that was the point I was iat in my life until recently. He said, Oh .. that's the saddest one. I said, but he makes peace with his past and with Akari and turns his life around. Shinkai-san just kind of looked and nodded.

Very cool Smile

Laz
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mitase
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laz you may not be the quintessential journalist but your story was definitely enveloping. I just wanted to take a quick look at the forum yet I found myself reading for at least an hour. GSD10 is going to my my first real foray of his works and I cant stress enough how excited I am.
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zitch
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi mitase!  Welcome to the Makoto Shinkai fansite!  I see you decided to visit us from CrunchyRoll?  Smile

Hope you can join us on the teamspeak server!  Connection details are at the bottom of the page.  I'll definitely be on during most of GSD2010, but I occasionally log on at work or home if you wish to chat.
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Laz
Laz


Joined: 09 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mitase,

The press release will go out soon and I encourage you to take the opportunity to enjoy these wonderful films.

Welcome to the boards and feel free to hang out and make yourself at home Smile

Laz
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Dy.laneA
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Laz was a very interesting read. Over the last few months I've become very interested in film makeing and animation. I'm possitive it's what I want to do.

Just working on my drawing/painting skills though they really need to be good  Embarassed


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