October 2008 [CG]
Since its first release in March 1996, game “Biohazard” has become globally popular. Series came out in various titles and sold a total of 41 million copies. “Biohazard” was originally aimed to have movie-like picture quality. Thus when its first film was released in the United States in 2002, it earned over 1 hundred million dollars.
In 2008, its first full CG animation was released in theatres and tickets to limited shows in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka were quickly sold out. On December 26 of the same year, DVD was released and within 2 months it sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. With a combination of original stories and stories that relate to the game, “Biohazard Degeneration” succeeded to entertain global fans. Digital Frontier, the creator of the film, has produced a number of digital animations and is the top CG production company in Japan. In the interview the producer at Digital Frontier talks about the challenges he encountered during the film production. (interviewer: Kobayashi Naoki)
How it all started
“Biohazard” is a globally popular game. Its first film was a great hit. What made you decide on making a full CG animation film?
Sony Pictures Entertainment, the distributor of the previous film, wanted to create a full CG film version of Biohazard. In 2006 Capcom joined but the production process did not start until a year later, after director Makoto Kamiya, screenwriter Shotaro Suga and Digital Frontier joined the project.
Creating a full CG film from the world famous game
Digital Frontier is also known for creating the inner movie for the game. Were there any differences and challenges? If so, what sort of challenges did you face for this full CG film?
We faced a lot of challenges. Yes, we have past experience of making the movie for the game but we were uncertain whether we could apply the knowledge to the theatre version and how much of the game we could insert into the film. There were still many things that were new to us.
I believe you had to take the overall atmosphere and character image of the game into account but when creating the CG film did you have specific orders from Capcom such as on scenarios and characters’ behavior?
Director Kamiya and screenwriter Kan took the outline created by Capcom’s producer Kobayashi who also worked on the game. The two created the script for the movie version. We received a request from SPE to introduce character Clair who became popular in the game “Biohazard 2”. The movie takes place somewhere between Biohazard 4 and 5. Since the game is so popular and most of the fans expected a close relation with the game version, we thought it would be important to insert some of the characteristics of the game.
It seems like you are casting a famous actor.
Yes. We had to be aware not to disappoint the fans and to match characters’ personalities with the game. With that said, interactions with other characters in the movie were challenging. Only few characters had characteristics assigned on advance. For example, the only restrictions given to character Clair was to create red clothing and to have a pony tail.