This is the first of an intended series of interviews with those animators whose work has particularly appealed to our students here at South Axholme. Each interview will be available in a more colourful format, along with suitable illustrations, on our website.
Tom Henderson interviews Naoki Mitsusi
Tom: At what age did you discover animation and decide that it is what you wanted to do?
Naoki: It wasn't until I bought my first mac, around 97, so I was around 30.
Tom: Did you take part in an animation class at secondary school?
Tom: Where did you get your inspiration for your 'Joe's Story' series?
Naoki: Inspiration was gotten from all sorts of things. The beginning scene of Joe's Story 01 with the turtle crossing the road was taken from the book, "Grapes of Wrath". "Gorilla Girls" was inspired by the female artist activist group "Guerilla Girls". The museum in the animation is the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles, where I used to work and met my wife. The location underneath the museum is a favorite location to shoot car commercials in Los Angeles.
Tom: What software do you use to produce the animations?
Tom: Have any of your animations received awards?
Naoki: "Adieu" won an award from the Bitfilm festival (Germany) in the flash linear category.
Tom: I noticed that you use chimpanzees in quite a few of your animations, is there any reason for this?
Naoki: Monkeys are convenient, we look like them, everybody.
Tom: Is animation a career that pays or itself or a way of attracting work in other areas?
Naoki: For me, animation is a medium, like painting. I might try to express an idea using paints and brushes or through animation.
Tom: Do you have a favourite animator or series of animations?
Naoki: I like Michel Gondry, his work makes you want to go make something.
Tom: When you make your animations do you make them at home or do you go to an office or workplace to produce them?
Naoki: I make my animation at my home studio.
Tom: On average, how long does it take to make an episode of 'Joe's Story'?
Naoki: It was taking me approximately a month to make each episode of "Joe's Story."
Tom: Is the series to be extended?
Tom: Do you have any plans for future projects?
Naoki: There are a few ideas floating around, but nothing concrete.
Tom: Thank you for the interview, Naoki, and best wishes for the future. I had a great deal of choice in this, choosing whom to interview and I selected your work because I enjoyed the series about Joe very much.
Naoki: I'm happy to hear that my animations have been useful and I’m happy to help you out with your project. Best wishes.
For the first in the series “Joe’s Story” visit http://www.goultralightsgo.com/naoki/js2002/js01.html