PRODUCTION BLOG

Blog entry #25: "Heartwarming Zombies"

Happy New Year!
I hope all of you have enjoyed the holiday season.

With "Resident Evil: Degeneration" finally been released here in Japan (as "Biohazard: Degeneration"), I was able to enjoy a very relaxing holiday season. One of the things I did was watch "Resident Evil: Degeneration" on Blu-ray with my wife. She has already seen the film in the theaters with English voices. So this time, we watched the Japanese voice version. With no subtitles and since it was her 2nd time to experience the film itself, she was able to focus on the picture, allowing her to fully enjoy the graphics.

We played the Blu-ray disc on a PlayStation 3 with our 5.1 ch surround system. Every time a chopper hovers, every time zombies roar, and every time machine guns are fired, our pet cat looked around in fear to figure out what is going on in his favorite living room.

After watching the main film, the two of us enjoyed the bonus features. My wife was laughing hard during the Voice Bloopers ("Claire's Flare" was her favorite) and chuckled in joy whenever she spotted her husband (= me) in the "making of" featurette.

I recommend to you all spending a cozy moment with your family watching zombies do their things.

Written by: D

Blog entry #24: "Bonus Features (6) Picture-in-Picture"

I have talked about the different bonus features you will find on the DVD and Blu-ray discs of "Resident Evil: Degeneration." This next one is actually for the Blu-ray version only.

This one is called "Picture-in-Picture."

There's a lot of explanation I must do for this feature that makes great use of the huge capacity of the Blu-ray disc as well as its enabling of showing multiple visual tracks at the same time.

When you view the main film in this mode, you will see a few icons lined up on the screen. The icons represent "Video Storyboard," "Motion Capture," and "Animatics."

A "video storyboard" is a moving storyboard made by video recording the paper storyboard pages -- drawn based on the text-only script -- as one viewable video sequence.

"Motion capture" is a process in which you have actors wearing full body suits with small markers placed all over do their acting, and special cameras record the motion of the actors.

"Animatics" is footage featuring crude CGI with simple 3D characters moving in front of little or no backgrounds and minimal effects. The purpose of this footage is to check the motion of the characters and work on the camera angles for each cut. From this point on you improve the CGI quality so that eventually you end up with the final picture.

Let me get back to icon talk.

As you watch the main film, you can choose an icon. This makes a window pop up on the screen, and footage of the icon you have chosen is played in that window.

For example, if you select the animatics icon while watching the main film, animatics of the cut of the main film that is currently playing will play in the window. Moreover, while watching the animatics, if you become curious about what that particular cut looks like in the original storyboard stage, you can select the video storyboard icon and switch what's playing in the window from the animatics to the video storyboard. All of this can be done without interrupting the main film that is constantly and smoothly playing.

The animatics sequence is available for the entire length of the main film (excluding parts like the end credits, of course). As for the video storyboard, there are parts that are missing because either some scenes have been cut or changes have been made to the scene during the motion capture process in the studio. The motion capturing sequence does not exist in full length as well. This is because there are some scenes that do not require the technique -- an airplane flying through air, a close-up of a PC monitor, etc. etc.

You can tell whether or not the different kinds of footage exist for a particular scene by looking at the icons. If during a given cut all 3 icons are lit, you know that the animatics, video storyboard, and motion capture all exist and are selectable. If during another cut, only the animatics and motion capture icons are lit, you can tell that the video storyboard for that cut does not exist, and only the animatics and motion capture sequences can be selected.

All the above means that you can view the 3 work-in-progress sequences while enjoying the main film -- without ever stopping the main film. Isn't this amazing? I personally think this is quite epoch-making. I hope others in this industry agree.

This luxurious bonus feature alone should make you want to buy the Blu-ray version, doesn't it? It's worth checking out.

Written by: D

Blog entry #23: "Bonus Features (5) 'Resident Evil 5' Special Footage"

Resident EvilWith the Japanese release date of December 17 of the DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD, I am delighted to talk about another bonus feature -- special footage from Capcom's videogame "Resident Evil 5."
 
There are two "Resident Evil 5" trailers included. One of them is the trailer shown at "Tokyo Game Show 2008." I believe there are readers that might have had the chance to see the trailer. The other trailer is one that was created to be shown in Japanese theaters and included in the DVD, Blu-ray, and PSP (UMD) of "Resident Evil: DEGENERATION." It is not something you can see anywhere else. Precious, eh?
 
We hope you enjoy "Resident Evil: DEGENERATION" and then hype up your expectations for "Resident Evil 5."

Written by: D

Blog entry #22: "Wall of BIC CAMERA Yurakucho Shop"

Here are images of "Resident Evil: Degeneration" ads along the wall of the Yurakucho shop of BIC CAMERA in the heart of Tokyo. Pretty awesome, eh?

Wall

Wall

Wall

Wall

Written by: D

Blog entry #21: "Bonus Features (4) Voice Bloopers"

With the Japanese release date of December 17 of the DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD, let me talk about this one particular bonus feature that is my personal favorite.

This one is called "Voice Bloopers".

With live action films, you end up with a lot of bad takes. You can gather them and view them for pleasure. But with CGI films, unless you intentionally create bad takes, you never end up with any. In addition, since all final CGI cuts are created based on the finalized crude animatics, cuts that are not to be used in the final film are not created at all. Nothing is wasted. All that is created is used.

But the thing is, we know fans expect to see never-seen scenes. I myself do as a fan.

The only way to accommodate such demand is to create never-seen scenes. However, we did not have the time to create CGI that would not appear in the main film. So we said to ourselves, "If we can't come up with new picture, let's record new dialogue!"

I took different cuts from the film, edited them in different ways, and created scenes that you don't see in the film. And I then wrote lines that play along to the new situations and had our voice actors speak them. Yes, Leon's voice actor spoke Leon's new lines, and Claire's voice actor did Claire's.

Since the tone of the film itself is quite serious, we decided to make the newly-created scenes funny, will tons of humor. So, the cool guys, the beautiful ladies, dignified men, and the evil ones end up looking uncool, cowardly, and low.

I believe these scenes will make you smile, giggle, or laugh out loud.

By the way, there are a few little things we changed visually. I hope you catch them all.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the Voice Bloopers.

Finally,

"The following bloopers are not an accurate portrayal of the real personalities of the characters nor of the events in the game and/or film."

Written by: D

Blog entry #20: "Bonus Features (3) Faux 'Leon' Interview"

With the Japanese release date of December 17 of the DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD, let me talk about another bonus feature that you'll find on the DVD and Blu-ray (some features are for the Blu-ray only). By the way, this one is quite unique.

This one is called the "Faux 'Leon' Interview".

Back in November 2007 when we did the motion capture for this film, I had in mind an interview with Leon as one of the bonus features. Just imagine a Hollywood actor called Leon S. Kennedy doing an interview with a reporter after his film "resident evil: DEGENERATION" has been completed. You see him giving answers like,

"Let me tell you how hard it was to do that scene!"
"Working with the director Kamiya-san was like..."
"I hope you guys enjoy _____ and ----- in the film."

in the "MOVIES" portion of a particular TV program. Yes, that's what I'm talking about.

In the film, Leon is very serious. We get to see him in life-threatening action sequences. Wouldn't you want to see a different side of him? Like Leon smiling or laughing out loud?

I thought an interview with Leon would be such an opportunity.

So, I prepared a few questions and conducted the interview. The mocap actor for Leon was an extremely funny guy during the sessions, and I knew we could do the interview ad lib with no script for his answers.

"You really think you're Leon, aren't you?"
"Are you sure Leon would answer this question this way?"

I started asking these questions to him in my mind, but the interview ended up making everyone in the mocap studio laugh hard.

The next step was to take that mocap data and produce the interview with Leon's looks. The thing was, the original mocap interview was so funny that I lost the confidence to redo the interview with voice actors and make the end product as funny and natural as the original.

That is why I personally asked Leon to remain the cool Leon that he is and decided to deliver to you all the mocap footage in "Leon-ish" form. While what you will be seeing is the mocap actor, I ask you to imagine that this is Leon who is speaking. You'll get to enjoy this interview so much more that way.

One last info: You get to see the mocap actor's impersonation of Kamiya-san. Please watch the "making of" featurette "The Generation of DEGENERATION" to see for yourself how good the impersonation is.

Written by: D

Blog entry #19 : "Bonus Features (2) Character Profiles"

With the Japanese release date of December 17 of the DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD, let me talk about another bonus feature that you'll find on the DVD and Blu-ray (some features are for the Blu-ray only).

This time, let me present to you all -- "Character Profiles". If I may add, it is the profile of characters in the movie. Quite straightforward, eh? :-)

This bonus feature will consist of an image of each of the main characters accompanied by a text profile and some still images from the film showing their most exciting moments in the adventure. As for the two characters that are "more main" than the main characters, we have given them an extra touch for fans to enjoy.

While this feature is not as flashy or happening as the "making of" featurette, it contains information on each character that is not revealed in the film dialogue. I hope this serves as a good review opportunity in your "resident evil: DEGENERATION" learning experience.

Written by: D

Blog entry #18 : "Bonus Features (1) 'Making of' featurette: 'The Generation of DEGENERATION' "

The limited 2-week Japanese theatrical release in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka ended up being a tremedous success. I personally went to the Shinjuku (Tokyo) eve event on Oct. 17 and then went to the opening events in Nagoya and Osaka on the 18th. It was great to be part of such moments, sharing the exciting time and space filled with those who packed the theaters.

To those who have seen our film at the theaters -- thank you very very much!

And to those who have and have not seen our film at the theaters -- there is some news for you. This film will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, and UMD on December 17 (in Japan)!!!

With this said, I would like to talk about bonus features to be found on the DVD and Blu-ray (some are for the Blu-ray only).

First of all, there is the "making of" featurette called "The Generation of DEGENERATION".

The obvious meaning of this title is that this footage is about the production of a film called (resident evil:) DEGENERATION. The other meaning is a paradoxical play with words -- the putting together of something that is breaking down. Being the mother (or father or uncle or...) of this title, I personally love the ring it has :-)

Anyways, what it is is a "making of" documentary that lasts about 30 minutes. While Kamiya-san the director, Kobayashi-san the producer, Suga-san the writer, and Toyoshima-san the CGI producer from Digital Frontier talk about the film you get to see sketches, storyboards, crude animatics, motion capture footage, and scenes from the voice recording. It is an entertaining and academic documentary that takes you through the days of conception all the way up to the film's completion.

Watch the film, watch this featurette, and you'll want to watch the film once again. Make sure to squeeze out every single tasty drop!

Written by: D

Blog entry #17 : "TGS Memoirs (5): Kobayashi-san on Stage"

On Oct. 11, Kobayashi-san the producer went up on stage in the Capcom booth to talk about "resident evil: DEGENERATION." After showing the Tokyo Game Show trailer, he went through slides of the different characters in this film.

Kobayashi-san
Kobayashi-san's name shown on the huge screen in huge Japanese writing.

People in the crowd seemed to be surprised in a pleasant way by how good Leon and Claire looked. And they were entertained to see "ZOMBIE" introduced as one of the characters. Whether or not a zombie is part of the cast is worth debating.

Kobayashi-san
Kobayashi-san with his face shown on the huge screen.

Another character that did not look quite human was "G." If you want to learn more about G, do your homework and play "RESIDENT EVIL 2."

Written by: D

Blog entry #16 : "TGS Memoirs (4): Screening & Interviews"

Afternoon, Oct. 10 -- With more than 300 guests consisting mostly of press people, "resident evil: DEGENERATION" was shown in its entirety at the "World Premiere", following opening comments from Mr. Tsujimoto (Capcom president), Kamiya-san the director, and Kobayashi-san the producer.

Stage
After the screening was 2 hours of interviews with the international press with Kobayashi-san and Kamiya-san. Since the interviews were after the screening, a lot of the interviewers complimented the film.

Getting "raw" feedback is such a great feeling, especially when it is positive :-)

Written by: D

Blog entry #15 : "TGS Memoirs (3): Production Announcement"

The production announcement press event was held at the Tokyo Game Show main stage. In addition to Kobayashi-san the producer and Kamiya-san the director, singer/actress/model Anna Tsuchiya made an appearance to talk about her involvement in this film -- she sings the ending theme "GUILTY".

Over 100 press people showed up to capture what the three talents had to share. It would have been cool if a couple zombies made surprise appearances within the crowd just like at the airport in the film. Being part of production, I know exactly how to deal with them. Ruuuuuuuuun!!!!!

Written by: D

Blog entry #14 : "TGS Memoirs (2): Booth"

A "resident evil: DEGENERATION" ("biohazard: DEGENERATION" in Japan) section was created in the Capcom booth. A trailer put together especially for Tokyo Game Show was shown on a monitor repeatedly. A full scratch model of "G" along with early sketches and image boards was displayed.

Booth
Before admission, with no one in the booth. The "G" model can be seen under "ION" of "DEGENERATION" of the logo high above

Booth
Once admission began, a bunch of fans continuously visited the "resident evil: DEGENERATION" section.

Written by: D

Blog entry #13 : "TGS Memoirs (1): Flesh Eater"

With the production announcement, World Premiere (screening) and a bunch of media interviews on the agenda, the first thing to do at the Tokyo Game Show venue was to intake some calories. When I placed an order of beef bowl to eat meat as zombies do, the lady at the food court stand said they can serve bigger portions. I know for sure she got the idea of offering me "extra large" after looking at my size. Rrrrhhhh!
Beef Bowl

Written by: D

Blog entry #12 : "Wrap Party"

We had our wrap party for this film on October 3, somewhere in Tokyo. Over 100 people involved in the production of this film joined us. The party featured bingo in which people won some cool prizes. The excitement in this party matched that of our film.

I was given the honor to MC the show. Listening to Kamiya-san the director speak before the group toast and then Capcom's Kobayashi-san the producer give his closing remarks made myself feel that the film indeed has been completed.

Kamiya-san Kamiya-san has such a powerful voice that he really does not need a microphone.

Kobayashi-san Kobayashi-san expresses his thoughts about this film and gratitude to everyone involved.

Let me wrap up this blog entry with one word.

YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Written by: D

Blog entry #11 : "Tokyo Game Show 2008"

We're proud to tell you that we are exhibiting "resident evil: DEGENERATION" at Tokyo Game Show 2008. For your info, Tokyo Game Show 2008 will be take place from Oct. 9th to the 12th at Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan.

We will be having presentations on stage, and we had a meeting today with the script draft in front of us.

Up till now, we have done a panel at San Diego's Comic-Con and been releasing information on our official website. Now, we are finally landing on Japan, the country in which the film has been produced.

I cannot wait to go to Makuhari Messe. Maybe I should just leave now! However, I do not want to arrive too early. If I were to leave now, I should go at zombie speed.

Written by: D

Blog entry #10 : "Spicing up the Living Dead"

Today I went into a studio to grab screenshots from our film to use for PR purposes. It was about lunch time, and I had curry delivered for me.

Eating the pieces of meat in the curry while watching zombies walk seemed to add a pleasant flavor to my lunch.

Curry & Zombies

Written by: D

Blog entry #9 : "Sound Effects, Music, Voices"

The sound effects have been completed. So now we have all elements of sound -- sound effects, music, and voices. We line everything up along to picture. What we must be careful is the balance of how loud each element is. If the music is too loud, you won't be able to hear the dialogue or sound effects. If an explosion is too loud, you won't hear the music. And if an explosion is too small, it won't be that exciting of an explosion. Balance is key, right?

To make sure everything is right, Kamiya-san (the director) went into the sound studio to check everything while watching the picture. I accompanied him to make sure all English dialogue was loud enough to be audible but not too loud.

The facility featured surround sound, and you could hear voices and sounds from behind.

Kamiya-san watches the screen. I watch him and the screen from behind. Then who's making all these eerie moans and groans from behind me???

Written by: D

Blog entry #8 : "And Now, The End is Near"

Production of this film has come to a point where we have started putting together the end credits.

Well, we first list up a bunch of names and start checking.

"Oh, I found a typo!"

"We forgot to include that guy!"

"How shall we determine where to show who's name?"

I guess the end is not as near as I thought...

End Credits

Written by: D

Blog entry #7 : "Observer of the Director"

For a particular purpose that I cannot reveal ("You're still hiding stuff from us?" say you.), we video recorded an interview of director Makoto Kamiya the other day.

Kamiya-san talked about his thoughts on this film along with specific intentions regarding certain scenes. I happened to sit near him in the many interviews we did for the Japanese and international press and noticed again a couple things about him. I say "again" because I've spent quite a lot of time with Kamiya-san during meetings and voice recording sessions, and I noticed the same things then. So this is more of a reconfirmation.

- Kamiya-san simply loves zombies.

When the interviewer asks questions about zombies or touches upon Kamiya-san's experience with the "Resident Evil" video games, he just won't stop. Whether the topic be how they walk, how they talk (more like "vocalize"), or the pathos of their very existence, you can see his affection for zombies ooze from his pores.

Who likes not his zombie, his zombie likes not him.

- Kamiya-san is thoughtful and considerate.

"Do you like my answer I just gave you?" "If I could only give you more interesing answers..."

He says these things to make sure the interview is happy. If we were to go out for a meal,

"Don't care about what I want. I'll go with any kind of cuisine as long as everyone else is happy."

is what the modest Kamiya-san would say.

If a person like Kamiya-san turns into a zombie himself, would he be a humble zombie telling his fellow zombies,

"Don't worry about me. I can feed on these people after you!"?

I doubt it. The meat lover he is will make sure his basic instincts are satisfied before any other zombie around him :-)

As my closing remarks of this blog entry, let me give you information that you'll never find in his interviews. How would you keep zombie Kamiya away from you?

Just rub some onions or scallions on your skin. These and only these veggies are his weakness.

Written by: D

Blog entry #6 : "Finally I can speak!"

As readers may already know, we have made a big annoucement at "Comic Con International 2008" in San Diego. A panel was held in front of 250 fans and journalists with producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi (Capcom) and director Makoto Kamiya introducing the all-new 2 minute trailer. Comic Con 2008 Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi (left) and director Makoto Kamiya (right)

The trailer revealed that Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield team up for the first time since the video game "Resident Evil 2."

Fans screamed in joy and awe when seeing the two returned on the panel room screen.

Following the trailer was a Q&A session during which Resident Evil fans bombarded the two with interesting questions that the two were able to cleverly answer or skillfully dodge :-)

Leon

Now that we have made the annoucement, there will be more juicy information that we can talk about here in our blog entries.

Maintain your appetite for more, just as the zombies do in "resident evil: DEGENERATION."

Claire

Written by: D

Blog entry #5 : "King Me has Zombie's Ears!"

The title of this entry is a parody of a famous fable. This fable is about someone who gets stressed out for not being able to share a secret. To alleviate the pain, he digs a hole in the ground and shouts into it the secret.

I feel exactly the same way as this guy.

There are so many things I wish to talk about regarding "Resident Evil: Degeneration" that I cannot because now is not the right timing.

"Hey, isn't the timing totally up to you!?"

If someone says this to me, I must say yes. The thing is, we want to make the right announcement of the right information at the right timing. So, while my self-established restrictions torture me, I would like to respect them.

If I may speak in extremely abstract terms, production is going really well. The animatics (visuals consisting of crude 3D models moving in a very crude environment as done in the mocap sessions) edit has been completed, and the length of each cut has been finalized. The total length of the film has been fixed. Even the voices recorded a while ago have been integrated. What is left is the full rendering of the CGI, adding sound effects, and decorating the film with the soundtrack. Talking about the soundtrack, the composer for this film was in chaos when I met him last time. He's got tens of tunes he must finish in the next month or so.

At this point of the entire production process, there are a lot of things that must be done very quickly (how much more abstract could I be!). There's a lot of data sending with our office overseas. The quickest way to do so is obviously e-mail. However, when the files are too large, e-mail ain't gonna do the job. Using a server may work, but uploading the data at this end is unbelievably time-consuming. And the same holds true with downloading the data at their end. I'd love to send the entire hard drive over, but doing so overseas just doesn't seem safe.

So, we decided to burn the files on a bunch of DVDs. Transferring digital data in this digital age the analog way is sometimes the best way.

Like the ancient sages used to say, "Make haste analog!"

DVDs
(Look at the stack of DVDs that are to be sent!)

Written by: D

Blog entry #4 : Voice Recording in LA: part 2

(continued from last time)

Fighting off our fatigue coming from our jet lag and full stomachs as well as the polar temperature to cook the mechs in the recording room, we learned that voice overs are done differently in the US from Japan. In Japan, a chunk of scenes to be covered will be shown all at once to the cast. And all voice actors whose characters appear in those scenes deliver their lines together as to be heard in those scenes.

In the US, each voice actor does their part individually. If two or more characters have a lot of dialogue together, they may be done together. However, this seems to be rare.

The actors watch something called the animatics which is more primitive than the fully-rendered final CGI. The animatics is a "moving storyboard" that shows visually crude 3D models moving along to the motion capture data in a very crude environment. While crude, the 3D characters show lip motion and some visual expression. So as the voice actors speak, they pump life into what's shown on the monitor.

Pumping life, I have just written. As writing so, I must not forget to remind all that a lot of the cast enriching "Resident Evil: Degeneration" are zombies. Keeping aside whether or not this applies to zombies in our work, normally zombies are referred to as the "living dead." They are dead bodies walking around. It is a subject of discussion whether these fellows possess life. Let us put this topic aside for now as well, for without them this work will not be possible.

Zombies have a particular vocal sound. Maybe it is not accurate to call refer to it as vocal. It's more like some sound leaking out of their mouths. It is this notion that the director of this film and myself have found out is not shared among the general public as by us zombie fanatics.

As the director tells the voice actors,

"OK, give me some zombie voices!",

what we get is not what we expect. We try different instructions, and all we get is just "not zombie enough."

As we struggle, we start hearing things like,

"Brains....",

enunciated in a very un-zombie fashion.

This line comes from a 1985 zombie flick "The Return of the Living Dead" in which this old lady zombie screams out for human brains.

Breaking the "common law" of zombie films, the zombies in this film are not immobilized even if their brains are destroyed or their heads are severed from their bodies. This famous "Brains...." line, coming from an epoch-making and innovative zombie film, seems to have penetrated the general public of the United States in addition to us in Japan where the film became a huge hit.

Being able to find out about this common sharing regarding this line was a pleasant surprise. However, that doesn't mean "Brains...." is what we want in "Resident Evil: Degeneration."

To solve the problem, the director delivers to the voice actor booth from the engineer room via the mic his authentic zombie voice. That very moment, our section of the recording studio is filled with terror. Our director is damn gooood!

Hands(The hands of) the director giving instructions from the engineer room.

As a zombie maniac myself, I cannot hold back myself. I must go out of my way and do my own thing.

If the director does his "Ahh ah aaah ahh", I have to unleash my "Rrrh oorrhh ohrrh rhrrh."

Unloading all that the director and myself have accumulated over the past 30+ years as zombie fans helped our actors to learn what it means to be 30+ a zombie. They ended up doing a great job sounding like the living dead that we know.

In addition to the solo zombie moans, we need group undead harmonies as WALLA (environmental voices such as background dialogue, public announcements, cries, etc.) for the film. The two people who have made great contributions in the area of increasing the number of people in the United States who can do zombie voices (i.e. the director and myself) entered the booth.

All of us in the booth stepped up to the mic individually, did our thing, stepped back, and took turns.

(person A steps up to mic)

"Aaah ahh aahhahh"

(person A steps back)
(person B steps up to mic)

"Rrhh rhrhr orrhh oorhrrh"

(person B steps back)
(person C steps up to mic)

"Grrh gorrhrr urrgrh rrghrur"

and so on.

Being part of this scene and watching it happen is beauty. And fun!!!

When we were done, we watch our footage along with the WALLA that we just recorded.

And maaan, how creepy it is!

Written by: D

Blog entry #3 : Voice Recording in LA: part 1

Monitors

I went. I recorded. I returned. With a touch of the Roman Empire, let me proudly announce that we have completed the voice recording of "Resident Evil: Degeneration."

I left Japan on April 20 (Sun). Back then, it was raining pretty much everyday. It was still quite chilly. I did my packing based on that. And I get to LA and what do I get! Sunny 77F (25C) weather! It was just too hot for Japan gear.

When in LA, do as LA does, as they say. I put on one of the few lighter clothes I brought with me to become a Californian myself. Since it was a Sunday, we went shopping and then enjoyed dinner while discussing with the LA crew how we wanted to do the recording.

Dinner was at a casual French bistro. The director of "Resident Evil: Degeneration," the gentleman from the CGI development studio, and myself consumed some major amounts of food. And this was only 3 hours after we gulped down some food court food in a nearby shopping mall as we did our shopping.

You know, food is THE only pleasure when being away from home on business. Moreover, the 3 of us are die-hard carnivores that can probably outeat the zombies in this piece. Just let me list what we ate during our stay in LA -- French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese (including dim sum), Indian, Korean (including barbecue), Brasilian, Thai, Japanese, spare ribs, steak, steak, and more steak...

Oops! I've been talking about food and nothing else! Let me start working on the entree...Sorry again!

The Three Meateaters have stored enough power within to start recording some voices.

What awaited us in the studio was extremely cold temperature. The engineering room was filled with a bunch of PCs and monitors and mixing mechs.

The air conditioner was on full blast to keep these machines nice and cool. It was really like,

"Stay awake or you'll freeze to death!"

Thanks to our hard work of putting on layers of fat, we were able to doze off without dying.

"What!? You guys fell asleep!?"

I can hear your voices already. But please spare us. After lunch on days 1 & 2, combined with our jet lag, there were some moments -- only moments -- that we fell asleep.

I could tell myself that I was "out for a few seconds."

I tried to shake off the fatigue as I looked on my right to make sure the director didn't catch my moments of absence. And there he was -- enjoying his brief seconds of sleep :)

Let me defend him. He woke up right away. Yes, he did. Trust me.

Soon came a 10-minute break. During that break, I said to him,

"I fell asleep for a while. I was anxious I would be woken up by you. I looked at you, and you were sleeping too!"

"Well, let me return the favor! I heard you snoring! Now, who's telling ME I was asleep!"

replied the director in joy and triumph.

Dang!!!

To be continued in "Voice Recording in LA: part 2"

Written by: D

Blog entry #2 : "Zombies and DVDs"

Zombies and DVDs

Most of the time, zombies (in general: not necessarily the zombies in this film) are humans that have become the living dead due to a virus, chemical, space radiation, or a curse. In other words, zombies are originally human. If they were originally human,

1) Potential zombies exist as long as there are humans on Earth.
2) Your family, loved ones, and friends could become one of them.

As for (1), you really cannot say, "All we have to do is wipe out the remaining zombies." There is no true end to this battle. Pretty tough, isn't it?
And (2) -- If you don't take out your "former loved one," you will be killed. Can you make such a decision?

I hope you can now share with me that "zombie-ism" is quite deep. It's my pleasure to be able to share with you this philosophy in "Resident Evil: Degeneration."

By the way, I will soon be travelling from Japan to the US to be at the voice recording of this project. Yes, we have come from meetings to the script to the story board all the way to voices! The length of the footage has been finalized, and the animatics (CGI-based footage showing motion of the characters) have been completed. While the work still needs major hyping up of the graphics, putting together of the background, etc., it is now watchable as one continuous piece. Reaching this stage of the process is quite satisfying. Really damn cooooo!

The 3 DVDs The 3 DVDs you see in the photo are:
- the "way too long" version
- the "OK length-wise but needs some more tweaking in terms of individual cuts" version
- the "I think we've finally got what we need to move forward" version.

Wanna take a sneak preview?
Naaah! Maybe next time! ("next time" being quite a while away...)

Written by: S.N.

Blog entry #1 :
"RESIDENT EVIL: Degeneration" Production Blog Begins!

With so much pollen flying through the air, making everyone sneeze like crazy, I'm sure people wished they were zombies that are hay-fever-free. In such a time of the year, we are proud to kick off the production blog of the full-length CGI feature "RESIDENT EVIL: Degeneration."

"Be ready for some CGI, my friend!" doesn't mean the production of this motion picture starts out with CGI people and creatures moving around. Like any other work, we start out with a script.

little red bookUntil this little red book became what it is, we have gone through tens of hours of discussions, tossing around ideas, shooting them down, and tossing up even more ideas. Thanks to the time we have put in, we are confident that the story will captivate action-loving fans of the Resident Evil video game franchise as well as worshippers of the living dead.

character profilesThe passion of those involved in putting together this script is what makes the cover of the book red. Only a few pages from the front cover into the script are character profiles and setting descriptions. I'd love to give you a sneak preview, but let's save that for some other time :-)

Today, I am going to go visit the director to discuss a few things. The dense script and exploding passion of the director are going through nuclear fusion, resulting in a motion picture that would simply end up too long. That's why we've got to make some edits (while deep down inside we wish we could include all). What we're cutting is what I am going to go discuss with the director. A good diet is one in which you lose body fat without losing muscle mass. Let me show you what the project looks like before losing weight.

This file consists of the storyboard -- a printout of what is shown on the big screen in the director's brain -- based on the red script. Isn't the thickness of this file unbelievable? I'd love to give you a sneak preview, but let's...(ditto).

Anyways, I hope you check out this production blog every now and then. Till next time, protect yourself from abrupt springtime temperature changes and zombie attacks!

Written by: D