Inside Look to an Anime Studio Director’s Career! Suzuki Sensei Interview 1/3

Inside Look to an Anime Studio Director’s Career! Suzuki Sensei Interview 1/3

Hello! Thank you for letting me “examine” you. – You mean “interview”.
– Interview* Hey! It’s Mar, author of Believe in Fake Magic saga. Today I am interviewing for you a professional animator in Japan in his own Studio. So, we’ll enter there and I’ll ask him more about how he entered to the animation industry 40 years ago, how things have changed, what is the process, and so on. He is one of the key teachers who helped me out making Return the Favor, the animation graduation project I did at an animation school here in Tokyo. He knows SO many things. I really admire him. He worked in movies like Akira,
he work for Disney from Japan, and many, MANY, many others Let’s start with a self introduction. I’ve been working in animation for 45 years. When I was 16, by chance, there was an animation studio close to where I lived. Really, I entered through personal connections. Back then I was not in a good financial condition, and I was receiving “Seikatu Hogo”(public assistance) People from the city hall came to the school, they asked “what will you do after graduating?”. (It is usual that they come to ask young people) So I went to meet them. “And which work do you want to do?” they asked. And I applied for a work where I could draw. At that moment I didn’t know how to animate. But by chance there was an animation company in my town. There I did work for Tatsunoko Productions. Like Gatchaman or Taimu Bokan. That was my start. And then… I did various works at Tatsunoko. “Casshern”, “Tekkaman” “Hariken Porimar” And Taimu Pokan. I worked there for 3 years and a half. And I started at “Shin-Ei Douga”. Doraemon’s? Oh, wow. Although it had a different company name back then. – It was called A Productions.
– A Productions I went there to see how it was. Then, I called. “Do you do interviews?” So I went. And I entered. And then…. what did I do there…? From Shin-Ei Douga, I also took a lot of work from a company called “Tokyo Movie”. Like Cats Eye and… Cats Eye… and what else did I do? Anyway, lots of anime. There I participated in collaborations. But before that, were you doing inbetween animation (douga)? – No, it was already key animation (genga).
– I see. My first year and a half was inbetweening (douga) and then key animation (genga). “Cats Eye”, collaboration products, And then I took some productions from the US. I started with Pooh there. The Winnie the Pooh TV anime that would be shown in the US. Aha After various works there, I participated in Akira’s movie. Akira! I see. It took like a year and a half. So, in Japan, does it take 4 years as well? No, not 4 years. – I mean, from the movie start until it is done.
– From the script? -It takes 4 years right?
– Yes. If it is just the animation part… 1-2 years? Yes, more or less. The key animation takes around 1 year and a half. I see. After that, the background and inbetweening part is tough. And it is very detailed. That one is really impressive. Then, some of the ones who worked at Tokyo Movie together gathered. And we became independent. After working in Akira, you created the company (Basara). Technically, stopping from Shin-Ei Douga. Yes, I think so. When we worked in Akira we were already independent. It was kind of unintentional. Even so, I believe it is amaizing. You worked for years doing key animation, and even participated in animation movies. Entering “by chance” to the animation industry, and then making an animation company is a big step! I really think it is great. Hmm. Not exactly “create a company”. We were already a group of people ready to work. We just needed a space. But usually, most do key/inbetween animation for other companies directly. And some become freelancers. But when making a company, you also became responsible for others. Hmm How come you chose that? By coincidence, there were various people thinking about it. I see. So it is more like a group association. Exactly. We wanted to be independent, together. That way we decide on our own. I see. At Basara, you don’t create anime from scratch. But you receive orders from other companies. Yes. Like, animation itself… (key animation),.. And background. And background. We also do compilation. Which anime have you been working on recently? Gakuen Baby Sitters Oh, right! I saw that! So, Gakuen Baby Sitters… From here I can see… Osomatsu-san? Yes, but just backgrounds. And Vanguard. Vanguard. Inspired by a card game. Also… Yuri on Ice? It is so great. Aren’t you doing your own animation company? Yes! That is the plan. So not just animation. Correct. Animation and manga. Ooh, I see. I thought of a saga. I can do the manga with as small team or alone. After it grows, I will start with animation (again). The company you’re working at now is unrelated, right? Yes, that is right. But I am learning a lot there. Then on my free time, I work to build my own company. Hm! The second part of this video will be up soon. And my teacher will talk about what has changed in the last 40 years of animation, what are struggles, what does he like,… And also advice for aspiring animators that could be you. If you can’t find the video in my account, I am sure you’ll find other interesting material. If you are interested in the animation world, just check all my vlogs about on how I was creating Return the Favor animated short film Or check the animation directly.


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