My taidan/panel with Makoto Shinkai @ 2011 NYCC/NYAF

Video playlist here (courtesy of Lawrence Brenner).

Report on the taidan I hosted with anime auteur Makoto Shinkai at the 2011 New York Anime Festival/Comic Con, courtesy of Anime News Network:
[photo by Michael Vito]

Makoto Shinkai was in many places at the New York Comic Con. The director's previous films,Voices of a Distant StarThe Place Promised in Our Early Days, and 5 Centimeters Per Second were screened at the convention, and a showing of his latest, Children who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below, was held on Sunday. In between, Shinkai appeared on a panel to converse with Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica.
The panel was introduced by Crunchyroll's Japan office President Vincent Shortino, who announced that Voices of a Distant StarThe Place Promised in Our Early Days, and 5 Centimeters Per Second would all be streaming for free from Crunchyroll over the next week.
Kelts introduced Shinkai, calling him “one of the very few young anime artists who's compared favorably with Miyazaki in Japan.” Shinkai introduced himself in English, mentioning that this was his first time in New York, and that he hoped to visit the Apple store for an iPhone 4S.

[photo by Alex Ninamori]

The two discussed Shinkai's unconventional background, which stemmed from computer-graphics and video games as opposed to anime, where hand-drawn art prevails even when aided by computers. Kelts asked if Shinkai's experience in CGI made him a better director.

“When I first started making these videos, I was an amateur working at a gaming company,” Shinkai recalled. “But I really wanted to make animation, so I just used Photoshop and the other tools that I had. This was around 1998, cameras were really cheap, so I took photos on a digital camera, and I used images of cityscapes as a foundation for the images I needed. I had to do a lot of drawing.” 
[More @ANN here]

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