Continued from Part01
The challenge of creating the text-only world “Violet Evergarden” into the world of visual had begun.
Visual. In other words, “animation.”
Since it had the cover and illustrations in the novel in the first place, we were able to get the slight image of Violet’s world.
And as for me, was already fallen in love entirely at the novel itself; my expectations were pretty high.
Though, on the other hand, I also was concerned that how does my feeling going to be, if the image of the Violet formed inside me varies from the actual visuals?
-It seemed that I was too much obsessed with the novel to be anxious like this.
But that was only for a moment. More than that, I was keenly interested in what the visualized Violet would be. It’s a film made by the staff you can trust. Nothing more could be excited.
As feeling the good atmosphere from the production site, It was quite easy to imagine the staff must have had a lot of enthusiasm.
30 seconds to express Violet in the visual for the first time. In essence, this is a 30-second commercial for the KA Esma Bunko novel “Violet Evergarden”. It means that the world of the book has to be represented in 30 seconds of footage.
-I really respect the work of creating from nothing. I genuinely think it’s an enormous task to turn a 0 into a 1. Before anything else, the original story’s author, Kana Akatsuki’s 0→1 is already amazing. It would be like creating a universe. As for making an animation of Violet, It’s like building the earth in That universe.
Generating 30 seconds of footage.
I had already been assigned to handle the music for the film.
There was a clear conviction that a great job was going to be done, with all the strength of the visual staff.
Then what about the music? Yes, I am always making an all-out attempt with my work. Absolutely always.
I kept wondering; what kind of images and direction they will come with? and with all that in mind, what can music do for the visuals?
I’ve always thought that music is the last bastion of animation direction. It’s up to the music to make or break the visuals that have been made with all the energy of the anime staff. But it is true that sometimes music helps films as well.
To start the work as a music producer, the first thing to do is to understand. Understand the story in its origin. Understand where the creators are headed. What the production is looking for. And how the characters move. And the amounts of information in the background. Color. Filming. Figure out where all the sections are moving towards. And all of those things together to understand which direction the “project” is headed. If you are uncertain, it is important to ask for advice. And it’s also essential to be able to read between the lines. To improve the accuracy of your perception, your daily communication and the total amount of experience you have had in your life up to that point will be crucial.
I believe this- to provide an idea of the music world that you think of the best solution based on the information you have gathered-is the true essence of a music producer.
And, of course, the last bastion must not fall.
We decided to have a meeting first.
What kind of atmosphere is this footage going to be made of? And what kind of music is being imagined to be?
A meeting to discuss such stuff.
In animation creation, the process of music production moves in varying ways, depending on the project. Sometimes we start late in the project, and sometimes we start early in the project. In the case of Violet Evergarden, it was the latter one.
Since I had been obsessed with love for Violet, I was eager to express the many possibilities and my imaginations. And also, I wanted to speak from both a Violet fan’s perspective and a business development perspective.
The character and story of Violet is one that is loved by young and old, and at the same time, one that transcends borders. So from the beginning, I thought it vital that every staff needs to move with this “world” in mind.
In the discussion, in a narrow sense, I planned to talk about how to portray Violet. In a broader sense, I thought of encouraging the whole team to work with the same perspective of the world.
Until now, I’ve committed a lot of work with 30-second animations and producing music for them. 30 seconds can either be very short or very long. But when you only think of the time, 30 seconds is just a blink of an eye.
Yet as a fact, 30 seconds in a commercial is a very long time. Because of the short time frame, it is necessary to condense what you want to convey into the movie. At the same time, the music needs to supplement and boost what the image wants to deliver.
Because of the sense of the time passing quickly, the image of the story can be condensed in it. This was such an exciting experience for a music producer.
-I’ve used the word “music producer” quite a bit, but I think music producer is a mysterious work. In the first place, it is difficult to define the job “producer.” Depending on the project and the company, the understanding of the producer varies. Sometimes I’m a commanding officer, sometimes I do quite a bit of detailed work.
In fact, the “Producer” comes in many varieties. Still, somehow I think you can understand that it’s “the person in charge” of something. A person in a position to take responsibility. This means that this position requires a certain level of skill and experience.
And then, adding the word “music” to it, it turns into “The Music producer.”
A person who is in charge and responsible for “the music.”
Needless to say, there are many varieties of music producers as well.
Some music producers write lyrics and also arrange music. Some stand on stage and perform with artists.
As for me, I can’t create lyrics, music, arrangements, etc. like they do. This is why I focus on setting up the environment. It could be like a matchmaker for an arranged marriage. It can even be described as a job like a matching app. If someone says, “I want some music like ….”, I find the best music based on a variety of factors such as the direction of the sound, schedule, budget, compatibility as a person, etc.
As you know, of course, there are creators on the music production side. The music creators have their own way of expression and way of appeals. And indeed there also exist their pride.
Video creator and music creator. There is no either master or follower. Video and music work with mutual respect.
So, my style of music production is to be able to combine the best of both video and music creators’ requirements. This is why I often use expressions like “create the environment” or “set up the environment.”
I got off track.
What I wanted to tell was the 30-second commercial is a fruit of the creator’s enthusiasm.
I’ve made many 30-second commercials in the past, so I’ve been pretty aware of that fact.
With this in mind, when I heard about making a 30-second commercial for “Violet Evergarden,” I had a hunch that this was going to be a big deal. Violet’s world is a tightly knit one. The meticulousness is turned into a 30-second CM and morphs into a crystal of heat. It would consume a massive amount of calories to form it. I had a feeling it was going to be an unprecedented success.
The director of “Violet Evergarden” 30-second commercial appeared to be Mr. Ishidate Taichi.
Hearing Mr. Ishidate’s name reminded me of some of his works.
※Beyond the Border
Mr. Ishidate is going to direct the 30-second commercial for “Violet Evergarden”.
This indicated that the visual was going to be inevitably a deep one. I already knew Mr. Ishidate’s atmosphere from the “Hoshi” and “Megane” footages. And in “Beyond the Borders”, we already had a very high-density exchange.
What kind of music will Mr. Ishidate be looking for this time? Based on my memories of the past 30-second commercials, I imagined many different types of soundtracks. Violet seems to be in a medieval European world, so it would be better not to have electric instruments, or to have a royal sound instead of eccentricity kind…
If played by an orchestra, something too solemn would probably be somewhat different. Perhaps there needs to have some sort of music that represents Violet’s innocence…etc.
A soundtrack or film score is “Geki-ban”(劇伴) in Japanese. “Geki-ban” is said to be derived from the fact that this type of music is a “BANSOU” (伴奏=accompaniment) for a “GEKI” (劇＝play). So, by combining these into one word, it became to be used as “Geki-ban“-music that does not include songs. On the contrary, I call the “theme song,” “ending theme,” and “inserted song” UTA-MONO-which means vocal music.
This time, there was no UTA-MONO in my mind.
What would be a good Geki-Ban for Violet?
I spent many days playing various sounds of the scenes in my head, for the time that I could respond to any requests that came to my way from Mr. Ishidate.
Then, along came the day of the meeting.
The music which Mr. Ishidate wanted was “song.”
Continues to part03