Fortune.com have just recently published an article entitled “Animé Explosion”.
“From Pokémon to Full Metal Panic, the animé industry is doing everything the rest of show biz isn’t: embracing technology, coddling fans—and making a killing.”
Daniel Roth discusses the current state of the animé industry in the west, the approach to piracy, new technology and fanatical otaku. The article centres on John Ledford, CEO of AD Vision; primarily his business strategies, his encounters with fans at his door at 2am and of course, the live action Evangelion movie. The article goes on to mention fan-subbers, the entertainment industry and various ADV acquisitions. In discussing otaku (extreme animé fanatics), Roth gives brief mention of the live action evangelion situation:
“Since 2003 [Ledford’s] been shopping the idea of making a live-action version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, […] Ledford signed on the Weta Companies, […] to come up with plans for what the Evangelion world might look like. But instead of micromanaging the project, Ledford had Weta answer to two Evangelion fanatics at his company.”
Through badgering and extensive communication with Weta it shows that ADV are taking this film very seriously. This isn’t going to be a cheap knock off; ADV simply cannot afford to offend the great majority of their customers. And to that means it seems they want to do things right, with or without Hideaki Anno.
“Richard Taylor, Weta’s co-founder, says he’s never experienced anything quite like it. Twice a week he’d have a conference call with the fans at ADV, sending them renderings of his designs for things like the 100-foot-tall robots and getting in return their encyclopedic take on the interpretations. “These are people who could be considered scholars on the world of Evangelion,” says Taylor. “We had to appease them and find their approval.”
It follows on to mention a meeting between Taylor and a proposed producer at the San Diego Comic-Con in an attempt to ‘jump-start’ the production. Budgeting is also mentioned and it seems ADV has raised $100m of the $120 million they need.
The fans are also making themselves heard – a lot. Even more so than those who enjoyed Lord of the Rings:
“We get a lot of e-mails, a lot of letters from people around the world about Lord of the Rings. But we get 25 e-mails about Evangelion to every one we get about Lord of the Rings,” says Taylor. “And Evangelion has not even been made yet.”
A fan even consulted Taylor during his meeting with the producer, asking whether or not anything was being done about the movie:
Taylor turned to the producer and said, “This is why we have to do this movie.”
Thanks to Derek