A new entry about how Makoto Shinkai's been doing in London. Maybe those of you down there will recognise the picture he's taken of his neighbourhood. I have the impression that he's been getting a lot of visitors but doesn't mind them since he's been eating out and drinking with them. He writes:
April 22nd 2008
It's nearing the end of April and we are finally getting more warm days in London. I can still see a lot of people wearing coats and scarves during the mornings and nights but, the air is filled with the smell of greenery nearby and the sun is setting much later so my expectations for the season is growing. During the day when the weather is nice, I would go have a beer with my classmates at the park by the River Thames.
The photo is what the neighbourhood near my current residence looks like. I'm living in a single room in these kind of buildings. The residential area has rows of Victorian buildings lined up and it's a very quiet place. Late in the night you can sometimes hear the faint sound of the overground freight trains.
As I spend my time here I continue to get visitors from Japan. One person brought a hard drive with them, another brought a colour checker, one brought some wine which was kind of like Japan's Sake, another brought tea cakes as souvenirs while another brought a carp streamer with them here to London while on their tour or work. I had lunch with them, had a little drink and they all returned home quickly. I had intended to travel to a relatively far place but, now I've come to think maybe I haven't.
I've received many words of praise for the "ef - A Latter Tale" demo movie that was made available recently by Minori, much to my delight. However, I've also been feeling a little apologetic actually while being praised for the imagery. All I did was direct [the movie] and it was really the various members of the dedicated staff that produced it. For example the 3D CG camera work was done by the 3D Animation Director Tsukune-san. Character animation was done by Animation Director Sata-san and Art Director Yuuro-san was responsible for the fine backgrounds. So you may ask, "What did you do then?" I could say myself that, "It felt like I didn't do anything" (laughs awkwardly) because the workload I had was very little in comparison [to the other members of the staff]. (I'll just write this down. I done the storyboarding and the colour design).
And that is the reason why in many cases all the praise given to the director [myself] should really be for the members of the staff. Even for my original movie "5 Centimetres per Second", it should be the same. On the other hand, any parts that didn't work out too well must 100 percent be the director's fault. It means I didn't direct as I should have so any advice or complaints can be sent my way (laughs).
In the artbook "Sora no Kioku" which will be published by Kodansha on April 25th, there should be many interviews with the art staff (just in case, I'll let you know it has nothing to do with Minori's works). You might be able to learn about things that you can't see from the surface such as how much hard work the staff put in and the results of it all. I'm too scared so I haven't read it (laughs). As for the "artbook" format it's in, the images weren't drawn with the knowledge that they'll be printed as still images for the viewer to enjoy in mind so, I did get a bit bothered about that but, for those who wants to work or draw digitally I think this book will be a good reference. Please do obtain a copy for those of you that are interested.
Very humble about the credits part. I wonder what the person who brought a hard drive over to him wanted...? Copy his work?
Well, in any case I can't wait to get a hold of the artbook! Good thing he's cleared up that there won't be any of Minori's work in it. I've seen quite a lot of people on the 2ch forum asking if there would be any images from the adult visual novel's opening in it.