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Fri, 3 Aug '12

Preparing for the Apocalypse with Resident Evil: Damnation's Makoto Kamiya [Full]

We were eager to pick his brain, he wanted to eat ours.

We've got a fever and the only cure is...more cowbell more brain-hungry Resident Evil action! Normally, we'd go to our friendly Umbrella Corporation pharmaceutical rep for a cure to this ailment, but we decided to sidestep the middleman and talk to Makoto Kamiya, the director of Resident Evil: Damnation. Coming this September, the film will serve as a prequel of sorts to the events of October's highly-anticipated Resident Evil 6. After catching some exclusive footage at San Diego Comic-Con, we caught up with Kamiya-san to talk to him about where the film fits canonically, why survival horror is so beloved and how he'd fare in a zombie apocalypse.

TOKYOPOP: You have directed a Resident Evil film before. What is it about this franchise that keeps bringing you back?

Makoto Kamiya:
[laughs] Keeps bringing me back? It’s only my second film! I’ve always been a Resident Evil fan and I’ve worked with Kobayashi-san, the producer from CAPCOM, on other projects in the past. When we were working together, I told him that I was a big RE fan, so when the Resident Evil: Degeneration project started, Kobayashi-san asked me, “Would you like to direct this film for us?” I said to myself that it’s really important to keep telling people what you like and it could happen.

TP: For Resident Evil fans, where does this film fit canonically in the timeline of the games?

The previous film, Degeneration, took place after Resident Evil 4, but things have changed regarding the proliferation of the virus and the BOWs (Bio-Organic Weapons). We wanted to show what’s going on in the world regarding BOWs and the characters you’ll play in Resident Evil 6. That’s what we’re showing in Resident Evil: Damnation; it actually falls right before Resident Evil 6. It’s between RE5 and RE6.

TP: So, this can be taken as a prequel or a lead-up to Resident Evil 6?

[laughs] In all honesty, I have no idea what the Resident Evil 6 story is about, but I hope this serves as a lead-up to that game’s events.

TP: What is it about survival horror as a genre that resonates with fans?

In other horror genre games or films, you’re always the victim, you’re always being attacked. You want to be scared. But, in the survival horror genre, you’re actually given a chance to fight what scares you. You’re not just running away; you can beat it. I think that’s what makes it very fun.

TP: Tell us about the decision to use CG for this film as opposed to a more traditional animated style? Was this to keep it stylistically rooted in the world of the games?

Yes, since our films are based on the video games, which are based on CGI and 3D models, we wanted to keep that look. There are the live-action films, which are a totally different thing, but if the whole idea was to do 2D animation, I wouldn’t be sitting here. I wouldn’t be directing it, so I’m glad they did it in CGI.

TP: Apart from this project, what can we look forward to from you in the coming year?

MK: As you can probably imagine, I can’t really give you any details as to what I’m working on in the future. But, right before I left Japan for Comic-Con, I visited a big Japanese film studio and I have been discussing a couple projects with them. We’re at the very initial stage of a couple of projects. One of them might not happen, but the other one looks like it’s definitely going to happen. I wouldn’t be directing either of these; I’d be working on the visual effects and supporting the director.

TP: A bit off-topic, but how would you fare in a zombie apocalypse?

First of all, I would try to gather as many weapons as possible. The thing is, collecting firearms in Japan is almost impossible. It’s very difficult. If I happened to be in the United States, everything’s in total chaos, I would just go into a gun shop and gather  as many guns as possible. But, if I were in Japan, what can I do? Maybe if I were by a Self-Defense Force base, then I would just go in there and get my guns.

Resident Evil: Damnation comes to Blu-ray/DVD this September and to theaters in late October. Zombies come shortly thereafter, so stock up on first-aid spray.

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