There’s good reason for a little elation today as lighting for Freedom episode 4 is finally completed, a total of about 350 shots spread between me and my chief Matsui-san, averaging about 10 cuts per day. Its a big relief there were no Crab Robos ( folks who have been following the series should know these critters, nasty buggers not only in Eden but to us too, for they consist of so many individual moving parts our workstations slow down to a crawl whenever there is one in the scene; imagine having to light a dozen. ) this time round or we would have been dragging polygons through molasses again.

Over dinner with 2 of my colleagues at Sukiya banter turned to the topic of life after Freedom – where each of us are heading or are planning to do and Matsui-san expressed his interest in games design.

“Square Enix huh ?”, I suggested, the obvious top candidate to mention.

“Jyoudanjyane ?( which roughly translates as “Are you kidding me ?” ) Advent Children was neat, but what if I get assigned to the fluid simluation detail ? I’ll drown before the first week is up.” and we had a good laugh.

If I may be allowed to explain his derangement, Matsui-san was just voicing his innate fear of pigeonhole specialization in Square Enix, or actually any other major effects company for that matter, where you can be assigned to a specific task, say, the effect of a drop of water landing on concrete; and drone on that task for eons. The bigger the company, the higher the risk. For the dauntless however, Square runs recruitment ads in CG World every month.

Jun 5th 2007

A few updates before I concuss into bed.

I slogged till 3 in the morning finishing up some shots so I can take sunday off ( yes, take SUNDAY OFF ) and amongst other things, rewatch Paprika, undoubtably one of the better anime films of late. Check out that sumptous box set !

Talking about neat dvds everyone in the studio also recieved a limited collector’s edition of Freedom 1 yesterday, a little consolation for toiling all nighters for the greater good of Freedom Committee. It’s comes with a special gold print cover and is not for sale in stores.

Earlier in the evening Morita-san treated us to a tasty Tonkatsu dinner because the higher powers that be ( namely himself and Matsuo-san, who joined us recently and had worked on Kon Satoshi’s Perfect Blue and Millenium Actress ) made a high level decision that demanded, well, the re-rendering of all completed shots hiterto. Yamaura-san, our DOP and compositing chief, was not pleased. I took the opportunity during dinner to quiz Morita-san about certain rumors that have been circulating heavily in the studio, and though not nearly written in stone just as yet, there will be exciting things coming up after the completion of Freedom 6. Morita-san will be attending the launch of Freedom in the States at ANIME EXPO and might make the announcement then.

And lastly, a friend alerted me about this piece of news in the local papers; click on the image to read the whole article.

May 26th 2007

The 2nd series of magazine ad spreads for the release of Freedom 3, illustrated by Sakiji-san. See the first series here.

May 19th 2007

The article as in appeared in Straits Times. Big thanks to all the folks who sent word of support, and also Mr Kwan for the article.

Its mad rush hour again for Freedom 4, but I will try to write a little more if time permits.

May 18th 2007

Freedom’s official English (US) website is up here :

http://www.bandaivisual.us/freedom/

Just as I suspected they have completely removed all Nissin Cup Noodles elements; check out this previous post here. As far as spiffiness of web design is concerned, the Japan site is definitely the much better of the two.

May 12th 2007





Screen caps from Freedom’s 5th television commercial, airing on Japanwide TV from today on. ( 20th April ) You can watch it from Freedom’s website by following the link below :

http://freedom-project.jp/?filenumber=4018

The theme song for this spot was initially Utada Hikaru’s “Flavour of Life”, but was changed during production to her latest single, “Kiss and Cry”. In any case, I love both the songs.

Apr 20th 2007

My Mindgame ( Studio 4C ) dvd boxset, which I ordered immediately after watching the rented dvd. Its the biggest, baddest boxset I’ve ever bought. At around $100 singapore dollars, I dare say its somewhat of a bargain. The film itself, needless to say, is absolutely mindblowing.

You can purchase this box set from Amazon Japan.

Apr 17th 2007

Freedom Committee’s celebration parties are always the best time to catch up on some industry news and gossips, considering all of us are always buried under a ton of work on normal working days. Yesterday we were out celebrating the completion of Freedom’s 5th television commercial that is to go live on Japan TV from the 20th April, I will post some pictures once press is released. Matsui-san, my lighting chief, handed me the reins for this project; I must have lighted about 75 percent of all the cuts in this commercial. Tiring, but satisfying too.

Anyway, here are the snippets:

Trivia 1) During the early pre-production stages for Freedom, Otomo Katsuhiro was deciding who should head the project, and Makoto Shinkai, whose achievements on Distant Star is somewhat of a legend, was also considered. It would have been interesting to see how Freedom would have turned out if he had indeed been director.

Trivia 2) Small talk turned to Genius Party, Studio 4C’s soon to be released animation film. Interestingly, Morita-san, Freedom’s director, used to work in 4C.

Trivia 3) Tatsuyuki Tanaka is one of the directors for Genius Party, author of the amazing artbook “Cannabis Works“. Tatsuyuki worked as an animator on Akira; remember Tetsuo’s mutating hand ? Sajiki-san, Freedom’s character and concept artist, calls him “an absolute genius”. Ditto.

Apr 14th 2007



What’s Spring in Japan without some (pretty) pictures of Sakuras to show.

Apr 3rd 2007

Cover art for Freedom 3.

Mar 27th 2007

Respect for Production I.G’s Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex creative team; 26?! mind- blowing episodes that left me completely hooked and hungry for more. As far as quality of the production is concerned, if I may be allowed to translate in our local island colloquial; “biangz, dun play play.” Hanpa ne-.

Respect also, for Japanese photographer/filmmaker Ninagawa Mika. This lady has a near frightening, unbelievable sense of colour. Bleeding from the eyes may result from prolonged viewing of her imagery. Bleed away right here : http://ninamika.com/

Bollocks. Gotta work harder.

Mar 26th 2007

Its confirmed: Freedom Project will be seeing its US release on the 26th of June 2007, with both DVD and HD DVD versions to be made available. I’m wondering how the entire marketing campaign for the US version will turn out should they remove the Nissin Cup Noodles elements, ( Freedom been a huge tie up animation project with the giant noodle company Nissin, a ubiquitious, household name here in Japan but probably not in the states, making it somewhat irrelevant ) but I hope it turns out catchy in any case.

Mar 21st 2007
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