How The Wind Rises Inspired Me

The Wind Rises is the movie about Miyazaki´s favourite topics: Planes! Now, I am no airplane buff, so I can only imagine how good this movie is to those that are! The details in this movie really make me wish I knew more about planes so that I could appreciate all the amazing planes and engines and all that stuff.

That is why, after seeing the movie, I wanted to do a little bit of research on the subject. I wanted to see if the planes depicted in the movie was actual planes that had existed. I knew the Zero had existed of course (I was not asleep in history class), but I noticed a lot of other planes that were in the movie that I had never heard of, or recognised, so this got me interested. As I am a huge fan of steam punk these pre-jet engine planes appealed to me. That is all the excuse I need to dedicate an evening to this. So, “TO THE INTERNETS”, i cried and jump-started my google search engine set to image search. Engage!

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Fun Fact:Studio Ghibli is actually named after the Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli World War II fighter aircraft designed by the very same Caproni that Jiro meets in the movie.

All the scenes with the italian aviator Caproni shows off some really funny-looking planes from an early and experiential phase in the history of aviation (between 1910-1920). The Great War gave aviators new possibilities through military funding that spawned a lot of experimental designs (some more successful than others).

In the movie Caproni comes flying in on a really strange looking aircraft that I can´t believe would even fly, but the plane is an actual plane designed by Caproni, the Caproni Ca.31. And it flew (even though the first version of it, the Ca.1 model, crashed on its maiden flight)!

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I can´t help to notice a little detail in the background in one of the scenes where Jiro and Caproni walks on the wings of the Ca.60; you can see a plane that looks similar in design as the planes from Porco Rosso.

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Maybe this is just me reading to much into it tho. If I knew more about planes I would probably know the references (if there is any).

The Caproni Ca.48 was a bomber plane designed by Caproni in 1917/18 and was another plane that you would not believe could fly when you look at it.

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I think the only plane that flies in the movie (in a dream mind you) that never flew in reality is the Ca.60 model. And it never reached past a prototype. But check that out; MADNESS, it could never fly!

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I can honestly say that I now know a little bit more about planes now that I have seen The Wind Rises and after it inspired me to look further into the world of planes. I still have a long way to go before I am a proper airplane buff, however.

 

Anime at Frame by Frame March 15th at Filmens Hus

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The annual Frame by Frame animation seminar is back at Filmens Hus/Cinemateket March 15th. The great thing about FxF is the intimate and laid-back format of the seminar. A great place to get familiar with the animation industry and to have conversations with both the veterans and rookies in animation. If you have a good idea for an animation and looking for a place to discuss it with those in the industry; FxF is the place for you. Bring your portfolio!

This year Japanese animation is represented by a screening of Miyazaki´s The Wind Rises (2013) and special guest Aya Suzuki. Tickets for the movie is included in the seminar pass.

For those not familiar with Aya Suzuki; she is an animator that has worked on some of the major anime productions in Japan, including The Wind Rises (2013) and Wolf Children (2012) that are both titles which has screened under the Mangapolis Anime Programme at Films from the South.

Please check out Aya´s blog here.

Together with Films from the South we at Mangapolis will hold an interview with Aya Suzuki that will be posted both at this site and over at filmfrasor.no. So after you meet her at FxF you get another chance to know more about her in our interview.

Oh yeah, before I forget to mention it; Lars Hemmingby will hold a short presentation of the Mangapolis Comic at FxF. A showcase of concept art from the horror-gothic-steam punk-weird science-film noiresque-murder mystery-zombie-extravaganza-o-rama-tron-o-matic that is Mangapolis: The Comic.

Frame by Frame poster by Christopher Nielsen

 

Gnome Henchman Character Design

Hi everybody!

Ah, the trusted henchmen of evil. They come in all kinds, don´t they?

I will design two of these henchmen to serve at the heels of my main villain in a story arc I am producing at the moment.  For the two henchmen I wanted two different supernatural beings. But I didn´t want any supernatural creature that has been used too much, like vampires, skeletons, werewolves etc (at least not in this particular case).

What I settled on for the first henchman was an evil-looking gnome. After all, what is scarier than a garden gnome, right? I wanted the gnome to look a bit like the traditional garden gnome, but more gritty and worn-down in a way.

Here is one of the first sketches I made:

 

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I dropped the traditional jacket that you find on most garden gnomes since I thought it looked a bit too friendly.

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First I thought maybe this gnome would be all crazed and short-tempered, but then I decided against it and I wanted him to be more murderous and more the look of someone that will get things done clean and efficient. So I messed around with a few sketches and at this point I have landed on something like the images below:

 

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I really liked his big polished shoes in contrast to the rest of his scruffy clothes. Still a work in progress, of course. Perhaps I should consider that jacket…?

The second henchman, you ask? All in good time.

FINALLY!

Work on the Mangapolis Comic continues. At this early stage there is mostly work on the script, backstory and pile after pile of sketches (some of which can be seen on the Mangapolis Instagram account). But today we have something more than just character design sketches, a bit from the comic itself; introducing Patrick Giles, one of the main characters. And by the looks of it, he is in a bit of trouble:

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Patrick Giles is a meddler in the supernatural and his meddling has earned him quite a reputation among both the mundane and the supernatural population of Mangapolis. Making him a notorious villain to both factions. Not an easy situation.

Just a small update to spark your curiosity, stay tuned for more updates and make sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for some drips and drops of content from the Mangapolis Comic Project. Earlier updates here and here.

Thank you for dropping by!

 

Wolf Children To-Do List

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As hinted at in the previous post Film fra Sør Distribusjon has decided to distribute Wolf Children for the big screen in Norway. And the movie is already ready for screenings in Bergen, Trondheim and Oslo from the November 15th 2013, with more norwegian cities pending.

Firstly, one of the reasons Films from the South decided to distribute Wolf Children at all was because the incredible reception the movie has enjoyed at Films from the South Festival in 2012 and 2013. So all those that took the time to drop by to watch Wolf Children has indirectly helped the launch of Wolf Children to commercial cinema.

Second, you might not realize this, but if Film fra Sør Distribusjon picked Wolf Children by those criteria, there is no reason not to think that more anime will be picked in the same way in the future if people keep showing interest for anime at film festivals.

Film festivals are the perfect place to test films for the market. And as it stands now the anime films in the Mangapolis program, during Films from the South, has had two great years audience-wise. If this keeps up, we could help more anime films reach commercial cinema in Norway.

Oh yeah, the to-do list:

1. Go see Wolf Children on the big screen to support anime

2. Visit the Wolf Children Norge Facebook page and like it

3. Support anime at your local film festival to help influence the distribution of anime in Norway

Cheers!

 

Anime at Fredrikstad Animation Festival

This Sunday in Fredrikstad you can have a chance to see two of the anime movies that featured at this years Mangapolis Program at Films from the South; Wolf Children and Wind Rises. So if you missed these two anime movies at Films from the South there is every reason to visit Fredrikstad Animation Festival this weekend.

Wolf Children is the first movie that Films from the South has bought for regular screenings. You can enjoy Wolf Children at the local cinemas in Bergen, Oslo and Trondheim (from the 15th of November 2013). Read more about Films from the South’s distribution of Wolf Children here.