Beyond Camera Recordings and Animation: The Art of Video Creator Ryohei Noda (YOFUKASHI)【Interviewing the production of yama’s new song MV exclusively】
Most otaku are probably familiar with augmented reality, or AR, but if we had to explain it in simple terms, we’d say it’s a type of technology that can overlay the virtual world onto the physical world. Smartphone users can do it with a click of a button, and it’s like jumping into the world between reality and virtuality.
It’s almost like a hallucination, and it’s very immersive. If put to music, you might even enter a trance-like state.
There’s a creative group that makes music videos like that, among other things. Their name is YOFUKASHI.
Music video jacket designed by YOFUKASHI
Elite Creators who Trust Each Other
The members of YOFUKASHI work well together because they are elite creators who have built trust among themselves. But a lot of that is thanks to Noda, who is the center of the team. Along with being one of the creators, he also works as the director.
“As the director, I think of what kind of video or production I want to do, draw the storyboard, and then ask the creators to make animation for it.”
In other words, he’ll have an idea of a video arranged to music in his head, but then recruit partners to help him execute it.
What it looks like to be in charge of animation
“I actually met the person who did the animation for my latest project on social media.”
What? Don’t most pro musicians have their music videos made by huge companies with major production crews?
“Of course, that’s sometimes the case, but lately a lot of creators upload their works to Twitter and Instagram. Through the connections we make on social media, we came to respect each other, which lets us work together. That’s why it’s so easy. All I have to do is give them my vision and it comes out exactly as I imagined.”
Interesting. When you have a lot of people to work with, it can be hard to find the right direction. Noda, you’ve clearly developed an elite unit.
“I’d say it’s more of a group of friends than an elite unit. Making one music video requires interpretation of the song, as well as passion and understanding the concept…But we have the advantage of being able to work together through those things on a creative level.”
A frame of a music video that combines animation and camera recordings
In an Age when We “Watch” Music
In order to dream up a music video after hearing a song, understanding the song is very important.
“For me, I try not to translate the lyrics straight into video. For example, if it’s a song about love, I try not to make the video into a love story…”
That’s true. If you’re going to just copy the lyrics into a story, then you might as well be making a TV show. This is an opportunity to delve into the meaning and message behind the song and really expend on it. In other words, it’s all about taste!
“That’s right. Since YouTube and TikTok are so popular, we have more opportunities than ever to watch videos. Music is the same. It’s clear that this is a time when we listen to music that came from videos.”
Now that you mention it, nowadays it feels like we’re watching music more than listening to it. It seems that the experience of music has evolved.
Recording the 3-D parts
“Especially with animation. I think the latest trend is combining 2-D and 3-D. Developing a story in which a 2-D character operates in the real world is a something that’s easy to watch.”
That’s exactly right. It completely draws the listener in. But even so, if music videos were just about putting music together with animation, we’d all just skim the video and that’d be the end of it. That’s why it’s important to incorporate not only the good and bad of the song, but also the originality of the videos’ creator.
“Thank you. Yes, it’s not just interesting in a straightforward way because it’s hybrid media, but also because of the impression the creator strives for. I think the expression of artistry and culture is also important, in addition to the skill in making it.”
Art is expression and creation. To be frank, the inspiration behind it is also key. For you, Noda, about how much time do you spend on creating your art?
“Hm…If I were to give a general estimate, I’d say probably about a month or a month and a half.”
Seriously? Maybe it’s because I’m not a video creator, but I feel like that’s really fast.
“If it’s a lyric video, which doesn’t have much animation, I can do it in about a week. Sometimes I can come up with an image as soon as I hear a song, but it might be that I like finishing at the last minute. I often start by listening to the song and taking notes while on a walk, then I take home whatever I come up with and massage it into a working concept.”
You’re definitely an artist who takes hints from songs to create a whole new world.
Combining 2-D and 3-D Leads to Development
YOFUKASHI is an up-and-coming creator. Will the reality + α videos you create become the norm in the future?
“I think 2-D hybrids will increase. Speaking as a creator myself, it’s a genre that I really wanted to try, and, of course, it’s also on trend right now. Also, since it’s music combined with animation, even though it’s a music video, it’s intellectual property developed from music, which makes it really interesting content, I think.”
That’s true. An original 2-D character that appears in a music video has its own value. The music might be one focal point, but when it comes to the Noda Group’s music videos, the images and illustrations on the screen are the main attraction. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that their works are a combination of different kinds of pop culture.
“That’s why, when it comes to making music videos, I want to keep challenging myself, to keep putting out interesting works that are unique to me.”
We hope that YOFUKASHI, who expands the ways we can interpret music by combining 2-D and 3-D mediums, continues to show us worlds beyond our imagination.
- YOFUKASHI: Ryohei Noda
There are so many other music videos by individual creators!
● MV made with an animation technique called Collage
●MV that pioneered new expressions with live-action x animation techniques