Digital Media FX Talks Animatrix

Joe Tracy alerts us to a couple of articles from Digital Media FX! Take a gander, it’s interesting stuff. Note that the initial number of TEN episodes are still in the works. Other sites have recently been reporting only FIVE in the works. Well, here ya go:

What is the Animatrix?
(by Are you ready for the Animatrix? The Matrix producer Joel Silver is moving full steam ahead with a series of anime productions based on The Matrix. He’s recruited some of Japans leading directors and animators to help.

“We’re planning a series of animated short subjects that will kind of take the world from the world we’re in today to the world of the Matrix and how we got there,” says Silver. “We have assembled a team of unbelievably talented and renowned Japanese animation directors and artists to create a series of short films that will be accessible either on the Internet or eventually on DVD.”

You can see drawings for the new Matrix anime productions on The Matrix Revisited DVD. The DVD also contains interview quotes from Japanese artists and directors involved with the anime productions.

“We’re intending to put the animes out on a regular basis,” says Silver. When can you expect the first set? Fall 2002.

More on The Animatrix
(by There’s more information to report on The Matrix Anime production discussed in yesterday’s Digital Media FX report. The anime series will apparently consist of 10 “episodes”. It hasn’t been decided yet how the episodes will be released, but the producers are leaning towards an Internet release followed by another DVD – all before the sequel to The Matrix hits theaters in 2003.

The official title for the series is “Animatrix.” The information provided in The Matrix Revisited DVD special sheds only basic information about the series. Michael Arias is one of the producers specifically for the Animatrix series. Arias says they wanted to put the vision of The Matrix “together with the gods of Japanese animation and see what will come out of that.”

Several Japanese studios, including Mad House, are involved with specific episodes, some which will be original stories.

One of the episode directors for The Animatrix is Yoshiaki Kawajiri. “The Matrix is a flat-out incredible experience both visually and on a narrative level,” says Kawajiri. ” It really manages to fuse a lot of disparate elements of cinema. You see why people love it so fanatically. It really convinced me that a new breed of filmmaking had arrived.”

Another episode is based within the simulation (training program) that ends up becoming a part of the real world. It is described as an “Akira style ninja epic”.

An episode titled “World Record” follows a man within the Matrix that is able to break out of it through “sheer physical power.” That episode is being directed by Takeshi Koike. He says that many more questions about the Matrix will be answered and that “the more you understand it, the more interesting it becomes.”

Another episode serves as a prequel to The Matrix that “details the war between man and machines,” according to Producer Joel Silver. That episode is directed by Mahiro Maeda.

Producer Joel Silver hints at Square Pictures involvement in a project that “deals with information that directly relates to the movie.” This is the secret project Square had started working on earlier this year that was mentioned in two Digital Media FX reports last Spring.