Monday, September 15, 2008

Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Shinkai, the genius animator in Japan, was born in 1973 and graduated with Japanese Literature Diploma. He is my favorite animator and his work "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" inspired me so much that I finally made decision to get into animation. Here is the Video link for that animated film:

Although the english version trailer isn't really as good as the original one, I still want to show you how his film's style is like. It has a beautiful and almost realistic image and visual effect, with a cinematic style. You might say "well, they have the people and time," but what if I tell you he made most of the backgrounds and effects by himself? Makoto Shinkai is famous for his skill of independent working ability, not simply because he can do it, but also because he can do it really well.
I especially like the way he approaches his art work, even though people always question on his character animation that is often considered as the important part of animation in the western eyes. However, Makoto Shinkai looks at animation in a different perspective, and he uses the background, as his character, to tell the story as well as creating the atmosphere for his films.
He is hardworking on drawing the crazy details. However, he is genius at "cheating" in order to present a beautiful world that should require a huge amount of time. By using static images, lighting effects, and camera movements, Shinkai is always able to give you a realistic feeling with the minimum effort. His early film, "She and Her Cat", is completly done by himself, and is the best example to show how he uses a lot of still images and tiny detailed animation to create the beautiful world of a cat that no one has neven done before.

Makoto Shinkai is not only excellent on his technical skill, but also his artistic vision and voice. Through "She and Her Cat", you could probably see that he can write beautiful words in relation to his vision. Together with the music, he also knows exactly which camera angle can work and how to edit them. All those talents give him a capability of producing a master piece. And that is called "5 Centimeters Per Second":

I spent a lot of time trying to find his way of working on these unbelievable images and effects, and hopefully I will let you know more about his techniques later:).There are still some amazing videos that he made, for now I think these are enough for you to enjoy.