Winning the Summer Wars
BD: Talk about the character designs and the contributions of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
MH: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto is one of the best animation/comic artists in Japan, and I'm a big fan of him. It's really an honor to have him as a character designer again, after working together for my previous film, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
His character designs are so unique, but everybody really loves them.
MH: Compared to the previous title, it's true there were many more characters, so it was quite hard to put everything together: script, storyboard, animation, voice recording, etc... But so many staff helped us in finishing the film.
BD: How large an animation team did you have? And talk about the contributions of your animation directors, action animation director and CG director.
MH: There were 48 key animators. In total, maybe over 300 staff. The animation director [Hiroyuki Aoyama] was in charge of the real world, and the action animation director [Tatsuzo Nishita] was in charge of the Oz world. To create the 'real' Oz world and millions of avatars there, that was the CG director [Ryo Horibe].
BD: Did they set up a new pipeline at Madhouse and create any proprietary plug-ins? What animation software did they use and how much CG was there?
BD: What are you proudest of with Summer Wars?
MH: I'm proud to have seen so many people who told me that they enjoyed the movie. Thanks to those people, I got a ticket to create the next new film.
BD: What can you tell us about it?
MH: I'll do my best to have everybody see the movie as soon as possible, but unfortunately can't say much about it just yet.
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.