Animated Samurai films are perfect for a solo effort

When I started out on the new film it was a straight up Samurai film but now its not... its something in its own world which is good BUT if you look at a Samurai film and Japanese style swordfighting vs a Kung Fu film and Chinese style swordfighting it's easy to see which one would be easier to do as a solo effort or with a really small team... So since I like the samurai style swordfighting so I kept that style for the film...

Raizo Ichikawa as NEMURI KYOSHIRO
In a traditional Samurai film there isn't much swordplay in a "swordfight" scene cause those d00d's are out to kill with one strike... so its more about the build up to the actual killing blow in the big showdown...and in the showdown it's really just two guys with intense faces in still poses... its all about the MUSIC...its the music in those scenes that really BRINGS IT... So I knew I needed GREAT MUSIC in this film to make it work...

Now contrast that to a kung fu swordfight scene... its more like a dance cause they are usually swinging theY swords over 9000 times per second... which is A LOT more animation to do AND it's not more intense then the Samurai style showdown...its just busier and probably more popular in film today because the producers probably believe people would get bored if ridiculous swordfight stuff wasn't happening every split second...

So if you look at the language of film... Samurai style only says something when it REALLY means it and its usually INTENSE... when the swordsmen make they moves someone DIES... Kungfu swordfight style is talking nonstop so you never know when a word is important or not...

Some I'm not a fan of big flashy swordfight scenes with 20 people swinging they swords all over the place... I love the suspenseful intense drawn out showdowns between two swordsmen... and when animated that is A LOT easier as well so its a win win...

Lucky for me I loved the Samurai style in the first place and when I started the project I knew it would be achievable for me to do on my own...

Another thing 3d animation lends itself well... and how I used it to help this project...

I HATE sloppy "samurai" swordfight scenes... when the actors are untrained or the fight choreography isn't taken seriously the swordfighting looks weak and sloppy... the actors hands shake....they strikes lack rigidity and discipline... thats why I couldn't watch any of the "Kill Bill" films because the swordplay looked pathetic 0_o Some random blond chick in a Bruce Lee game of death jumper swinging a sword around all lame spitting genre cliche's? HELL NAW!

As you know when doing 3d animation its RIGID by default so its like made to do good disciplined sword strikes... and your actors hands don't shake or look sloppy... on the other hand all the fluid movement and insane arcs of Kung fu style swordfighting would be a lot more time consuming to do in 3d....

I found that a good Samurai style swordfight scene is all about the pacing...the build to the moment of attack... good strong poses highlighted by good framing/blocking... and a lot of mystery as to who was killed and how after the quick blur of violence...

Also the measure of a swordmen is usually how quick they are and if you know the anime conventions a character gets so fast that they hit or kill people without anyone ever seeing them how easy is that to animate? ^ ^ I didn't do that in this film but you get the picture eh?

So some genre's lend themselves well to productions done by a single person or a small team... its great if the one that works well is the one you like the best too ^ ^


  1. hey mdot! i've been catching up on your vlog today. i've missed out on some awesome posts. you're getting wiser and wiser by the day, week, month, and year lol

    i wasn't sure if you knew, but that short film by brianjin1 is available for download on facebook finally! it only costs 1 dollar to download but u have to buy 5 tickets as a time (5 bucks).

    i know you don't use facebook but if you wanted to see the full version it's now on there. he posted a vid 3 months ago with a link to it. i just burnt the AVI to DVD and im gonna go watch it now. ^_^

    alright have a good one, boss. :)


  2. Samurai films and a lot of anime have an awesome storytelling technique.

    I m form mexico and we grew up on "candy candy" "saint seiya" "remi" "robotech" 3 oclok when we got home from school theyd be playing these very deep, very adultlike stories...very cruel at times, romantic triangles, flawed main wouldnt think theyd be suitable for children, but they were..actually they were suitable for kids because we all are the same always, patronizing is whaT MAKES us sol lonesome i think...but either way, the storytelling and directing, animation style, was very different to the american stories, which were mostly episodic and say ghostbusters or g.i. joe...taht even though had action and conflict, had no drama, or no long term arch that would let us know more about the charecters, get deeper into them...i think the one that did it closer to the japanes style was Thundercats, and i loved that, so did all my friends.

    I think the japanese and the italian type of story telling are very similar...look at italo westerns and samurai films, felinni and sion sono, even the comedy is similar, i think those two countries make my favorite.

  3. "and a lot of mystery as to who was killed and how after the quick blur of violence... "

    Don't forget about the fountain of blood spraying everywhere as the 'victim' slowly slides apart in 2 or more evenly cut 'slices' ;)

  4. Jôi-uchi: Hairyô tsuma shimatsu

    Samurai Rebellion by Koboyashi because the restraint and the suspense in the conversations throughout the film reaches unsustainable breaking point at which point it explodes into the swordfights. I saw it at the cinema; Excellent work.

    I am impressed by your work and looking forward to seeing your Samurai Film. Regards.


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