I saw the original GITS when I was first introduced to anime. Didn’t understand it. Found it creepy and weird. Now in 2017 a controversial reboot has come out which, for me, resurrected an urge to revisit the past. The only thing the new one has that’s arguably ‘better’ than the original is slicker computer graphics. HBO’s Westworld must have borrowed heavily from the title intro of the 1995 GITS because there are a lot of visual similarities in that series intro. The more I thought about them the more I was drawn to the themes of cyberpunk, futuristic user interfaces, man-machine co-dependency, and ominous technological vibes.
While the original GITS title serves its own purpose flawlessly, I wanted to build a fan version that peeks down a more nefarious path, in contrast to a beautifully layered fabrication concept. I should also mention that I had a dream in which the concept more or less sprouted in the aesthetic that I brought to visual life.
I was looking to explore a darker tone, grungier, and edgier, all the while establishing the universe of an interconnected cyber dependent society for better or for worse.
Initial concept art as storyboard treatment.
I knew most if not all of it would be After Effects. I just underestimated how much time it would take to get it looking even half shitty. Red Giant Trapcode plugins Form, Tao, and Mir all were added and removed at various stages of development. I wanted to use actual credit titles so I found the original top billed crew and threw their names in.
Early Rough Cut.
This is a prototype where I have most of the timing and simple effects laid out. Looks like shit but the devil = details.
Having to grunge up the universe was its own special brand of compositing. A good amount of blur and glow effects were incorporated as well as a subtle finishing layer of noise. It takes a lot of time to composite even a few seconds, and this project got became tiresome after several weeks of trial and error – especially when you don’t know half of what you want, or how to accomplish it. If anything, what I learned the most was how to manipulate Trapcode effects to varying degrees of success.
I wanted to really make my own soundtrack from grungy industrial sounds and layer into a gradual build – a la Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Buuuuut that shit takes forever, and I’m horrible at music (although I went so far as downloading Garageband) so I hopped on Audiosocket.com and found a creepy twisted .WAV file which loosely approximates what I had intended. It’s a bit shorter than I would have preferred, but overall I’m happy with this experiment and am dreaming of the next one.