Director Yusuke Hirota and writer Akihiro Nishino talk about making for a uniquely visually compelling adventure.
With “The town of Poupelle of Chimney, ”Japanese studio STUDIO4ºC breaks into 3D/CG for the first time cartoon, with former CG supervisor Yusuke Hirota (“Shin Godzilla”) directing his first film. This technique proved essential to the hopeful Oscars, as the eponymous character is literally a man made of trash.
“Given that Poupelle is made up of more than 100 pieces of trash, 3D animation is a necessity,” says Hirota. “We actually tried to make this movie in 2D, but Poupelle’s facial expressions were hard to come by until we started doing it in 3D. Likewise, the background image of Chimney Town, with its numerous tall buildings and dense crowd surrounded by smoke cannot be achieved using 2D”.
In a factory town that has been surrounded by chimney smoke for so long that none of its citizens can recall the sky and the place where the secret police make anyone dare imagine a world outside. disappear, a child dreams of seeing “stars”, distant celestial objects considered a myth. On a Halloween night, Lubicchi meets Poupelle, and together they decide to prove that the sky and stars are real.
It’s no surprise that smoke is such an important part of the film, both visually and narratively. While there is no concept of sunlight or daylight, the film clearly establishes the different times of day, with animations that use light and shadow to spell out the time of day, as well as make Bring the city to life. “We wanted the distinction between day and night to be clear,” says Hirota. “When we created the townscapes, we changed the main lighting based on the time of day. For the morning scenes we used yellow ish lighting. For the afternoon to evening scenes, we changed it to orange. For the night scenes, we minimized the light. That’s how we represent the world of Chimney Town. ”
This helps establish the film’s steampunk aesthetic, which organically derives from Chimney Town’s reliance on coal as a source of energy, but gives the film a different fantasy story visual style. distinctive, with Chimney Town’s iconic bronze, single-circle and conical hats around the world. Akihiro Nishino, who wrote the photo book adaptation of the film as well as the screenplay, said: “I’m a stage person so I like having effects on stage. “I wanted to emphasize the light so that we only see it when it is reflected on something, as well as use the smoke to not show everything. The back alleys are obscured, and you can only see so much. “
Nishino and Hirota worked closely on the adaptation of “Poupelle of Chimney Town,” which really came from the idea for a movie. According to Nishino, it’s relatively easier to go back to that original idea and continue developing it than to adapt the book directly – except for one major change. In the book, the buildings of Chimney Town are drawn in the style of European towns, but in the movie they have a Japanese character. “I see that Halloween is starting to get big in Japan thanks to social media,” said Nishino. “In Japan, Halloween was more of a cosplay event, but the next day, all that was left was trash all over the towns, so the movie turned around Halloween, and we decided change the style to make it more Japanese.”
And yet, despite the film’s remarkable Japanese visuals and its use of Ghibli-evoking fantasy elements, the story looks like Pixar is going to beat itself up for not thinking ahead: What’s going to happen? out if our garbage has emotions? Although Nishino and Hirota did not specifically name studios as influencers, Hirota did aim to create something as recognizable as a Ghibli or Disney film. “We wanted to create a mainstream story, we wanted to surpass Disney in terms of reaching all audiences,” Hirota said.
And like Ghibli, “Poupelle of Chimney Town” isn’t afraid to explore dark or complicated themes, even if it’s still family-friendly. Given that one of the two main characters is purely a man made of trash, the film tackles themes of environmentalism and pollution – along with some surprising commentary on capitalism. . According to Nishino, the first goal of the film is to create a mainstream entertainment that can appeal to all audiences, which means they can’t shy away from exploring the dark elements in the story. . “Environmental issues are very important in creating something for now, for today,” says Nishino. “It’s something we can’t ignore and I love creating stories that cover some of the issues we’re facing at the moment, and nothing bigger than this one.”
“We wanted to keep the emotions of the characters as real as possible,” added Hirota. “I wanted to keep the creepy creepy scenes. For example, there are fight scenes where people punch each other. We want to bring pain to the audience. We don’t want to take our eyes off those feelings. We wanted to confront and deliver these emotions, and we designed it around this, so maybe that’s why some viewers felt there was some darkness in this movie. . “
Unlike a Ghibli movie, “Poupelle of Chimney Town” doesn’t end here. In fact, that’s just the beginning. “This is the first episode aka the first volume, and we hope to continue exploring this story,” said Nishino. One of the other ways for the story to continue is the Off-Broadway musical, “Poupelle of Chimney Town – The Musical,” which was scheduled to hit theaters last year before the pandemic began.
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/poupelle-of-chimney-town-animated-feature-1234686888/ ‘Poupelle of Chimney Town’: Making a Pixar-esque Anime Feature