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Sorry, only the first part of the Famitsu
t's taking a bit more time than I have right now, so I'll come back to it later today.
Added the rest of the interview. As always, full of typos, grammatical errors, weird English and other things I probably missed. But you'll get the gist of the story.
Oh, and the 'final stage' here (佳境) is more in the sense of the peak/climax of the cycle, so they still have lots to do.Insistence on the characters, recreating the worldWhen you first heard about AA being made into a movie, what did you both think?
Takumi Shuu (Takumi) Well, there was a stage play by the Takarazuka Revue before this movie, so it wasn't as shocking as that (laugh). But putting that aside, because AA is a work that relies on the visual expressions unique to videogames, so I was a bit anxious whether it would be just a suspense drama if it was turned into a movie. But when I heard that Miike would be doing the movie, I immediately felt assured, thinking 'it will be good if he's in charge'.
Miike Takashi (Miike) When I was told about it, I thought that this would be a difficult job. I first played AA1 to 3 and the world within the games was already accomplished perfectly. And in a game you have the player pushing the buttons themselves to continue, a direct link which movies don't have. To turn this into a movie, I though that it was reckless in a sense. You can't let down the fans of the game, and you have to make sure that Takumi and the other people who worked on the games don't think that such a movie shouldn't have been made. On top of that, we have to produce our
own movie too, so the hurdles were high.So the game developers were the most important viewers?
Miike I played the games and asked around, and you soon realize that they all love the game intensely and that they made the game in rather harsh conditions. It's clear they purposely made a game with a theme that could have gone anywhere as a videogame, into this particular format through a lot of effort and trial and error. They cut down all the unneccesary parts, and this 'cleaniness' is what makes AA, I think. It's very strong materialBefore producing the movie, did you have elaborate meetings?
Takumi Actually not. Miike and I actually only met once, at the start of everything. It was never my intention to ask for this and that. Miike had played the games thoroughly for us, he understood the characters and I was impressed by his professionalism as a movie maker. We had the luck of having someone like Miike working as a creative filter in making the AA movie, so we would have to give him the freedom to create his work, or else it would have been pointless. I felt the same about the other media, like with the Takarazuka. So no orders from me.
Miike I think that it was the same for the staff of the Takarazuka production, but if you've played the game and become a fan, but you understand what parts not to change, what parts you don't want to change without being told. You see what it's important.Mr Miike, what do you think the important part of AA is?
Miike Well, first of all the characters. The characters aren't just tools to tell the story, but they are really alive. In movies, especially Hollywood movies, but there are a lot of works where characters are just there for the protagonist. I think that's really shocking and you could almost call it violent. It's because the characters in a work are alive that crimes and other tragedies occur, so we can't just make into simple tools. I also emphasize this in movies, asking actors understand what kind of personality a character has and why (s)he is saying this or that line. It's the work of a director to create such an environment.What did you think about the completed movie, including the characters, Mr. Takumi?
Takumi I was planning to watch it as a normal viewer, but as I watched it my thoughts went to 'how would the viewers look at this', looking at it from a creator's poinf of view. Can viewers keep up with this chain of deductions, I thought while feeling nervous. But the world I thought was only possible in a videogame became reality and I was pulled in like normal viewer, thinking "Ah, it was interpreted like this!". The first time I watched a provisional edited version, without music and CGI, but I watched it in one go without getting bored, so that's probably because the characters were so alive. I was convinced that this would be an interesting movie. When I saw the completed version, I was surprised by how the visuals were reproduced. And this is my personal opinion as the game's creator, but when the logo of the video game appeared like that, I was really touchedSo there was a lot of attention paid to recreating the visual aspects?
Miike Like with the characters, this was an important part, it felt like a mission. There's of course the appearances of the characters, but the look of the courtroom was also an important task right from the start. We had for example the choice of making the courtroom a bit more modern with this movie. We used holograms for presenting the evidence, so that might have been more fitting perhaps. But it would have been different from the image you have of the courtroom from playing the games. And I thought it should be a place with wooden props, with its own history, like a sacred place where many people have been judged since ancient times. The vital point was how to respect that image as we came up with the movie visuals.
Takumi I was surprised at how Phoenix was recreated, but also how the evidence was presented. So they interpreted the game system like this!
Miike We didn't use it in the actual movie, but there was a scene cut where the data for every piece of evidence would have been entered as data before the actual trial. Slamming the desk, snapping your fingers, they're all movements to call up the data. All these kinds of background settings are necessary explanations for the movie-making process, but as we shot the movie it turned out it was not necessary to show the scene. But it was definitely not for naught, this kind of eye for details is what makes the structure of the movie overall stronger.
Takumi We also talked a bit about it in the audio commentary, but there are a lot of cut scenes I would love to see, including that one. But hearing you say that, I understand.
Miike In an earlier, different movie, I took a scene where a grandfather and his grandson have a talk and slowly start to understand each other, but when I edited the scene, I saw that the scene was not actually needed. But by shooting that scene, the two actors' relation also changed and they definitely had a different vibe to them after shooting it. In the end, the scene turned out to be unneccesary, but that vibe was a result from taking the shot.
Takumi That's something that's impossible in making games and something only feasible with movies using real life actors. It's really interesting and I even feel a bit jealous.What do you talk about in the special commentary?With such behind-the-scene stories, the audio commentary seems worth listening.
Miike I've done several audio commentaries, but it's usually like time spent in hell (laugh). It's worst when you feel you have to talk about something. The strange atmosphere is obvious immediately. This time I was relaxed and had a great time, thanks to Mr Takumi. It was almost a shame we didn't had any alcohol (laugh). It was a special, almost luxurious time with only creators. We didn't always talk about what scene was on at the time, but I think you will enjoy it if you view it from a more broad point of view.
Takumi This was the first time I did an audio commentary, so I was very nervous (laugh). Mr Miike's stories are fun, but everytime I concentrated on them, important scenes ended, and then I thought "we have to talk about the movie!", so we went around in circles.
Miike But Mr Takumi is really the one who made the AA world, so everything he says makes sense, so that made things easy in a way. I had to work hard to convey that world to the staff and actors every day, but to talk with Mr Takumi who from the start had a better comprehension of that world, well, that made things easy and fun. I hope that the actors were also feeling this (laugh).
Takumi Nonsense, I was nervous all the time. But it was a short, but fun time. Even when I asked a bit about cut scenes, he answered with perfectly good reasons, and I was impressed by how he makes his movies. But personally, there were a lot of scenes I would have loved to re-record (laugh). I reviewed myself immediately after the recording. Mr Miike, don't you do that?
Miike I don't really look back. Actually, audio commentaries are fun when they're imperfect, or they are better if you can comment on them in turn. We're not talento, and if we would just read from a manuscript, we would be like narrators. In the end, we had fun parts, serious parts, and watching that with the movie, how people enjoy that, won't they enjoy it like when viewing something live? You don't have to look back that critically, I think (laugh)A sequel to the movie!? Takumi's new work!?We want to hear about the future, including the possibilities of a sequel
Miike As a standard, we make just one movie and it would be strange if we wouldn't pour everything we have into that. Which is the same for this movie and I would have been hard to make a sequel to that. I guess it's the same for games?
Takumi That's also true for AA, every time we make one, we use up everything we have, as if it is the final one.
Miike That's why I think I wouldn't just make a AA2. I would take a different approach from the games, for example Phoenix disappears from the stage between AA3 and AA4, but I would like to make a movie about that blank space in time. How he become so grouchy.
Takumi The parts you don't see in the games, parts that aren't covered. I am interested in that too (laugh).
Miike We now have the characters of the AA movie, so it would be interesting if we would make something like that, something totally unexpected. To take it to the extreme, it would even be cool to have a movie without the AA title, and that we could surprise the audience, with people starting to think "Isn't this about Phoenix?!" as they watch the movie. I would like to make something like this, something different from the games.Game fans are waiting for Mr Takumi's new game
Takumi It's the climax for the development of Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney now. It feels like everything in my life is now focused on that. I can't talk too much about it, but development is going smoothly, so please wait just a little more. We are developing this together with Level 5, but this game envelops all I do, so I can't just leave it to others like with the movie.Finally, a word to the audience of AA
Takumi AA has been recreated with Mr Miike's own falvor and a piece of entertainment different from the games, providing something games can't. By becoming live action, unexpected expressions appear and it's really something you can't see elsewere, so please watch it. And to the fans of the games, I hope you will take an interest in Mr Miike's other movies too. I would be very happy if that would happen.
Miike Please enjoy the AA I tried my best at recreating, while preserving the best points of the original. This movie is of course enjoyable for those who have played the games, but also for those who haven't yet. And if you would play the games because of the movie, then this collaboration would really be a success.
"Rationality, that was it. No esoteric mumbo jumbo could fool that fellow. Lord, no! His two feet were planted solidly on God's good earth" - Ellery Queen, The Lamp of God
Last edited by Ash on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.