How did you get into
computers and anime?
HIROTA-SAN: I originally
went to university for mechanical engineering. After graduating I took
a one-year course in computer graphics. Once I was
finished at university, I couldn’t imagine
going to work as an engineer and looking back years later feeling
followed the wrong path. I’d always been interested in images and
movies, and thought one way to get into that field would be to learn about
computer graphics. It didn’t matter to me whether I was going to
be working in animation or regular commercial production.
MATRIX: What was your reaction when you learned you’d be working on
HIROTA-SAN: I was surprised.
I hadn’t really imagined myself doing
that kind of work before. When I first saw the storyboards for BEYOND it
was quite a surprise, it was totally different from anything I’d
seen in THE MATRIX.
MATRIX: Talk about some of
the immediate and consequent challenges.
HIROTA-SAN: The biggest challenge
for me is always taking the images and visions created by another person,
and finding a way to share in that vision. So, on this project, the challenges
arose in trying to visualize what Morimoto-san [Director, BEYOND] actually
wanted to see as a final picture.
MATRIX: Has working
with Morimoto-san been what you expected?
HIROTA-SAN: I have wanted
to work with Morimoto-san for some time. Now that I’ve
been given the chance it’s been fun, but it’s also
been a challenge to keep up with Morimoto’s creative pace.
MATRIX: Do you have a favorite
shot in BEYOND?
HIROTA-SAN: My favorite sequence
so far is the scene that takes place in the bug house, where the kids and
Yoko are playing together. I built that
whole thing in 3-D and did all the camera moves in 3-D, as well as actually
projecting hand drawn art work onto the 3-D geometry. I think it all works
to create some visually pleasing shots, with some interesting camera moves
and a lot of beautiful 2-D elements. I think my work has been a great contribution
to that sequence.
MATRIX: Did you work on any of the character designs?
HIROTA-SAN: I’ve been
mostly concentrating on the interiors. Someone else working with me is
actually animating scenes like the truck sequence.
MATRIX: Where do you find
inspiration for your work?
HIROTA-SAN: From pieces I watched
when I was growing up, like Fist of the North Star and Dragonball Z had
an influence on me.
MATRIX: How much of this animation was CGI?
HIROTA-SAN: Maybe between 20-30%.
MATRIX: How would you describe BEYOND?
about something very weird that happens in the middle of a regular day
in someone’s everyday
MATRIX: Thank you, Hirota-san.
Interview by REDPILL
Translated by Mike Arias