FROM FANS, TO FANS.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts inspired us to make an unofficial movie theme song when he uploaded a movie poster of Oscar Isaac as Snake.
Donna thought "Wow..the universe has now inspired me to make an amazing theme song for a movie hotly anticipated globally but still being cast".
Our team came together to take fan-created content to a whole new level. We express not only love and gratitude, but also anticipation to Metal Gear the Movie coming up soon.
WHAT EXCITED YOU THE MOST WHILE WORKING ON THIS TRAILER?
Donna: Where do I start? The thrill of taking complete control of a concept and just improvising and making up something to delight fans- it's delicious, naughty, thrilling and giggle inducing. No studio executive from a major movie house was hurt in the filming of this. I've been inspired by cosplayers and youtubers who create amazing content not because they "got a job" but for the artist pleasures of it, and for the appreciation and uplifting of their community. I thought - why not do the same!
Nicholas: After working on the musical arrangements for "Metal Gear in Concert" and performing the live shows with Donna, I was very excited to contribute something new and original to this franchise. The chance to record with a live symphony orchestra with over 50 musicians was very thrilling and it added so much depth to the song, continuing the strong tradition of the entire Metal Gear series.
Gabriel: I was so excited to be working with Donna. Also to have new opportunities and as a creator to show my potential and talent on to this project.
Ray: Truthfully, it was the whirlwind of ideas that came to mind. Working on the whole thing has been someone of a dream come true and having been influenced by the series in so many different ways I found myself drowning in possibilities. I never got tired of dreaming up new ideas and actually went out and learned new disciplines and skills just to work on this, but found myself turning back to something a lot more simple.
WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING WITH DONNA?
Nicholas: Donna is inspiring, funny, crazy and talented! Her idea to write a song "for the fans" was all the inspiration I needed to start writing some music and within days she was already coming up with some fantastic lyrics. She's been a great team leader and her dramatic instinct in helping to shape the arc of the song was spot on.
Ray: Working with Donna has been a blast from the very beginning. Hanging around her team and her gets me fired up to create some real chaos! I’m used to working alone so I have my own set of rules but watching Donna’s team go made me realize the importance and power of synergy! We met in Tokyo and having watched two of her performances I kept telling myself I wanted staff members because everything looked so simple, haha…
When she casually approached me to work on this project (literally at the dinner table) I honestly must’ve been so tired I didn’t shriek but I remember not being able to sleep because I started to plant all sorts of creative seeds in my mind…
Donna’s been super sweet and open to things and is a total go-getter, and I try to absorb some of that energy whenever I’m around her!
Gabriel: Working with Donna is amazing, would have loved to work side by side with her but we were far apart, either way she always responds to me when I have questions on making the video or being a little confuse she responds quickly. I admire her and she motivates me to peruse what I love.
HOW DO YOU WANT FANS TO FEEL WHILE THEY WATCH THE TRAILER?
Donna: Far out!!! WHAT??!!! A thrilling somersault in their guts while a grin slowly suffuses their face as nostalgia, tears and longing to see the movie well up from deep within.
Nicholas: From the opening swell of the orchestra, I want them to feel that they have been pulled back into the world of Metal Gear. Each element of the song is designed to pull the corners of their mouth into a wide smile, from Donna's voice to the driving bass and the rocking drums. By the end I want them so excited for a new movie that they can't contain themselves!
Gabriel: I want them to feel Inspired and also discovering the impact that metal gear had towards their lives.
Ray: I want fans to feel like they are watching an intro a film, drawing upon the nostalgia of MGS3: Snake Eater’s fantastic title sequence by Kyle Cooper and the title screen of the same game, but also remembering the simpler times of the first Metal Gear Solid. Things were not overly complex or detailed and the simplicity of the trailer was partially meant to reflect that. I’m going to go ahead and state on record that MGS fans are amongst the most passionate of the series (ever heard of the “Chico is Quiet” theory that blew up on the internet?) and I wanted to be extremely clear to not impose my own subjective ideas onto anything that appears in the trailer.
WHAT WAS THE MOST FUN PART WORKING ON THIS PROJECT?
Donna: Meeting Nic Buc at Nobu and having him casually say "I know a guy...in the Macedonian Symphony"...the feeling of "OMG!! the fans will go nuts when they hear this song..PLUS having Stefanie Joosten come the day of the demo recording and "direct" the session- and get her final day of bossing Donna after being bossed by me in Stefandonna! Making something for the pure fun of it.
Nicholas: Getting the tone of the song just right was tricky and there was a lot of pressure to make it fit into the world of Metal Gear. Knowing it would be the inspiration for the lyrics and video also meant that it had to hit the right emotional level - dramatic, epic, intense - but also work purely as a standalone song.
Gabriel: Honestly editing the trailer is the most enjoyable part Donna giving me creative freedom and being able to listen to the drafts of the track she would be creating for the video.
Ray: Creating is fun. Learning something new and applying is excites me so much. I love feeling like a kid and letting my curiosity take over and carry me to new places. I remember telling me friends I was going to work on something incredibly special to me and I pretty much dropped off the face of the Earth. Close friends and family that know me well are wise to give me space, especially during post-production because I get extremely antsy.
But for this project though, despite the sleepless nights I spent problem solving, I did not feel a single ounce of worry or stress! I was so excited to put something Metal Gear-related out there and working with Donna that it just didn’t register as a source of anxiety :P (to all of my fellow artists that deal with creative anxiety: if you know, you know)
WHAT WAS THE TOUGHEST PART OF WORKING ON THIS PROJECT?
Donna: For me writing the lyrics. Trying to anticipate what the narrative and who the main character would be and feel. (Do you like the movie-ish terminology?!)
Nicholas: Doing the final mix on the song and going back and forth with Donna and her team was a fun process. They would say things like "can we have more choir in this bit" or "bring out the French horns here" and it was a fun, creative challenge to mix all the elements together.
Gabriel: Coming up with ideas that would stand out from any other editor editing this video and I try to make nothing a challenge to me and to do the impossible.
Ray: The toughest part was something any creative has struggled with – killing your darlings. I sketched so many different ideas, storyboarded and pieced things together until I settled on the previously mentioned idea that all UI/HUD designs with only subtle/simple references to the series. I did in fact spend hours upon hours designing, scrapping and redesigning things to make things work but in the back of my mind I felt that the designs were too specific and imposed on the art direction (nothing frustrates me more when artwork and actual game models are completely different in style).