Koichi Noguchi (Expelled from Paradise) Interview
While attending the Los Angeles premiere of Gen Urobuchi's latest film Expelled from Paradise our staffer, Salvador Mateos, had a chance to sit down and talk to the film's producer Koichi Noguchi to ask a little bit about the film and his role within production. With a background in 3D CG production, we speak with Kouichi about his thoughts on the animation industry in Japan along with what he wants audiences to take away from his critically acclaimed sci-fi film.
T-ONO: First off, thank you for coming to the United States to premiere your new movie, Expelled from Paradise. Please tell us a little about yourself, your past experience and your involvement in the film.
Koichi: I was working in the States back in 1995 for Boss Films (Air Force One, Multiplicity) I worked in their VFX (visual effects) department. I had previously worked on five projects as a VFX artist in the States before moving back to Japan five years ago. I had been working in visual effects in Japan, before I switched to being a producer.
T-ONO: This is Gen Urobuchi's first film to be produced in 3D, did you work directly alongside him and if so, how was it working with him?
Koichi: First, there aren't many CG projects in Japan. In the beginning when we first spoke to Gen Urobuchi about this project, we discussed about not having many characters or too many scenes. We decided that we wanted to make something with a strong message and that was how we started the project for Expelled from Paradise.
T-ONO: Unlike America, the anime industry has been a bit slow to adapt 3D CG as a way to produce films with the exception of a few films and series here and there. What are your thoughts on the state of animation in Japan?
Koichi: There has been more and more 3D CG animation Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Cyborg 009 and now Expelled from Paradise. Now that there has been more and more 3D CG animation in Japan, I hope that this project will serve as a catalyst for more Japanese 3D CG animation to come out.
T-ONO: Do you think there will be a time when 3D becomes commonplace?
Koichi: Personally I would love for that to happen I started working in the 3D industry so I am not familiar with the 2D as much as I am in the 3D CG industry due to my background. While I do hope CG becomes commonplace in Japan someday, it would be difficult as fans really love to see hand drawn animation. However, it still doesn't affect my dream of making even greater 3DCG animation.
T-ONO: Are there any current or future projects that you're working on that you can share with us?
Koichi: While I would love to talk about it, just know that I am working on other 3D projects. I get a lot of fan request telling me that I should do a sequel to Expelled from Paradise.
T-ONO: What kind of message, if any, are you hoping fans take away from the film?
Koichi: At the beginning of this project we were thinking about the question, where is humanity going from here? Since society has moved on from analog to digital and the internet has become a big portion of society. Going from there and looking at the world in the future, we asked ourselves how would the future change that it keeps evolving with the boom of the Digital Age.
So I asked Gen Urobuchi what do you think would happen and what do you think the future holds for humanity? He said that in the future since we're becoming mostly digitalized, paper money would not be worth anything. What will be important is memory alongside how much memory you will be able to obtain. He thought that storage would eventually take over as the new currency. Also one more point we wanted to make is: what is humanity worth in the new Digital Age if physical existence is not necessary? Do we need a physical body?
T-ONO: How are you hoping the crowd receives your film?
Koichi: I hope fans will receive it as Japanese fans did, they received it very positively. In Japan the film in the Yahoo! chart it received a 4.2 out of 5.0 so it was highly received. I hope something similar will happen here in the states.