Article: Kazuya Murata and Masahiko Minami interview
Sacred Stars of the BFI: An interview with Kazuya Murata and Masahiko Minami - Page 2
The Sacred Star of Milos introduces a few new characters, where did the ideas and inspiration for these characters come from? Are they based upon anybody that you know?
Murata: The ideas for the characters came from the script written by Yuuichi Shinbo - when turning them into visual characters with their own mannerisms and characteristics, we just go with the kind of character that best fits the requirements of the story, so they're not based on real people.
Minami: The character of Julia actually ended up being a stronger personality than was originally written in Shinbo's script, so I think that Mr. Murata must like strong women!
Minami: This is going to be my role today - I'm just going to make funny comments!
Were there any particular concepts or themes that you wanted to explore with this film? Perhaps something that you felt wasn't covered by the series itself?
Murata: The first consideration when you're making a film is that you make something which the audience enjoys, but content-wise up until now Edward and Alphonse Elric have always used their alchemy to fulfil their own desires and to get their bodies back, but this time around in Milos the people there want to use alchemy for the good of everybody, so it's a difference stance to that which the alchemists hold and a different way of using alchemy. By giving that new experience to Ed and Al, we wanted the audience to see things in a different way and to think in a different way as well.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the production of this movie?
Murata: There were a couple of challenges - firstly, there's alchemy in the film that is new to Ed and Al; they've never seen it before and it's on quite a large scale. How to put that alchemy and its scale across to an audience convincingly was one element that was challenging.
The other challenge was the style of drawing - we tried to create a hand-drawn feel in this film, and whilst wanting the existing fans of the anime to accept that, we also wanted to have a new and fresh feeling to the film so there was a challenge in getting the balance right there.
Sticking to the same theme, the animation director Kenichi Konishi has a very dynamic and organic, hand-drawn visual style - had you worked together before and did you personally choose to work with him on this film to convey the kind of excitement requirement?
Murata: Yes, I did choose him on account of his visual style. We were together as part of the first batch of apprentices at Studio Ghibli, so I'd always thought that I'd like to work with him someday.
Are there any other titles that you'd like to work on, or other artists you'd like to collaborate with in the future?
Murata: Well, I'm working now on an original TV series which is something that I've wanted to do for a while. There are lots of people that I want to work with, but timing is a very big issue so I just hope that the timing is right to allow me to work with the people that I want to.
Obviously you've both worked on a huge number of other anime projects during your careers outside of Fullmetal Alchemist; do you have any series that you're especially proud of your work on?
Murata: Planetes... Eureka Seven... Code Geass... I'm proud of everything that I've made so far, but the series that I just mentioned are the ones that are most well-known, so I thought you might recognise them! However, all of my creations are important to me.
Minami: As a producer I've worked on more than twenty titles, and they're all like my little children! Our job is to "bring up" these anime titles until they're ready, then they go out into the world and some of them do well and others go off the rails a bit, but they're still all my children.
We've created lots of animation, so do take a look at the Studio Bones web site and see what we've got!