<2>The Project Progressed Smoothly with Shared Enthusiasm and Trust
After receiving Nakayama's seven vital components, Komori began by analyzing the meaning of three of these aims: clear introductions to characters; fighting scenes; and beautiful stage entrances. He said, "First, rather than all thirty-four characters appearing, we discussed with Capcom and narrowed it down to eighteen characters to star in the opening movie, including some main characters and some who had never starred in an opening movie before. Then we meticulously collected examples and documents showing how, for example, fashion show catwalks, boxing match entrances, TV shows, and theatre performances like Fuerza Bruta were staged. With the aim of creating a style unique among CGI movies, we made a solid decision to use the same real-life staging techniques to introduce the characters without resorting to CGI trickery. We then made detailed image boards for the main scenes to propose the ideas to Nakayama in order to avoid misunderstandings about the final visual style."
Shown above are some of the image boards that Shirogumi presented. Nakayama was especially pleased with the image of Blanka.
Despite the distance between Osaka and Tokyo, where Capcom and Shirogumi have their headquarters respectively, instead of just e mailing documents and project plans, they made sure to meet face-to-face to discuss the images together. Everyone involved, including Nakayama, agreed that this was an important factor in achieving the smooth progression of the project with almost zero corrections. "I think, by sharing a clear vision at an early stage and meeting often to reach a consensus to preempt any derailments of the project, we were able to achieve this efficient work process while saving time and maintaining a high level of quality," said Inoue.
Then, the main plot of Ryu's meditative training was set, with the concept being that the black and white sections show Ryu's real world (or the game world), while the color sections show the world of his spiritual training (or our real world). One point the team wanted to highlight is that the viewer is catching an intimate glimpse of the daily lives of the characters and their interactions that we don't see in the actual games. "In addition," says Komori, "during the Ryu vs. Sagat battle sequence, I wanted to focus heavily on the muscle animations. As this was the climax of the opening movie, I poured a lot of energy into both the direction and CGI techniques." (A more in-depth making-of is planned to be released in the future.)
Shots from the finished movie.
Nakayama's decision to offer Shirogumi the direction and staging responsibilities came down to more of a human sense that worked subconsciously. "I took the first impression I got when meeting the Shirogumi team at the orientation as an important sign. From the start, I was planning to base my decision of what extent my directorial authority would reach on their personalities and how much we were on the same page. However, after being encouraged by how many ideas they could generate which reflected their deep understanding of the project, I thought it best to nurture this trustful relationship and let the professionals take charge of the entire creative side of the movie while we worked together," said Nakayama.
Throughout the production process "thanks to the precise image boards proposed, it was easy to imagine what the production team at the studio were working towards. I actually felt that Shirogumi excelled at explaining the images they had in mind," Nakayama continued. Shirogumi's passion for "understanding a theme and delivering a clear image" and Nakayama's trust in "allowing the movie professional's creative freedom" resulted in smooth communication throughout the project and the movie became so refined artistically it succeeded in leaving a mark on fans' hearts.
In the next article, we look into how the characters were created and the workflow of the project.
Street Fighter V Arcade Edition
Devlelopment/Sales: Capcom Corp
Release: On Sale Now
Price: ¥4,990+Tax (Physical Copy), ¥4,620+Tax (Download Copy)
Platform: PS4, PC (only download version)
Genre: Fighting Game, Action