Production I.G> WORK LIST> The Sky Crawlers> SPECIAL FEATURE> Interview with Hiroyuki Hayashi

Interview with Hiroyuki Hayashi

Hiroyuki Hayashi
Hayashi was born in Osaka in 1958 and established his company Umigame Jimusho in 1991. His credits include popular video games like Gun Griffon, (1996, opening movie) Doki Oki, (1995, character design) Onimusha: Warlords (2001, opening movie) Clock Tower 3 (2002) and many commercial advertisements for clients such as Panasonic and Shiseido. Hayashi's expertise covers a wide range of skills enabling him to produce CGI images, video games, TV spots and conceptual artworks. His collaboration with Oshii dates back to G.R.M. The Record of Garm War (1997-98) a technically ambitious but unrealized project. Hayashi eventually joined Avalon (2001) as a digital art director to help realize the movie's unique world. He joined the production of Innocence to produce its stunning opening CGI sequence. In The Sky Crawlers he had the role of CGI supervisor.

The sky is the important element of this movie. Oshii-san told me that he wanted the sky to have a heavenly quality. I decided to depict it so that it contrasted with the depiction of earth. I tried to give the impression that on the ground the air had a density. There's a sense of stuffiness, like you're breathing the same air you exhaled. On the other hand, once airborne, it's an airy or almost airless domain. In the world of The Sky Crawlers, the stratosphere hasn't been reached yet. It's a pure, unpolluted domain beyond the clouds. The depiction of the aircrafts against such skies is the most crucial aspect of the movie. The aircraft choreography was also crucial. When the pilot is flying, he becomes one with his plane, so it was important that his emotions were reflected in the plane's behavior. I choreographed the aircraft so that they look scared when hit. What made all this possible is this software called Vue. It can depict endless clouds at any velocity you want. With Vue, I could have the aircraft in any position from any angle in any motion. I think that no other Japanese movie has ever used Vue so extensively. Oshii-san always goes for cutting-edge technology for his movies. But what that really means is probably that the technology is catching up with what he wants to depict. The aircraft in this movie had to act as if they were the main characters. And my contribution to the movie was to draw fine performances from the aircraft, which gave me the satisfaction of the CGI really being an important part of the story.