The Generation of Degeneration is a 2008 video documentary within the special features section of the Resident Evil: Degeneration that discusses the creation of the film.

Contents

The documentary includes: Character designs and character backgrounds; comparisons between Leon and Claire between Resident Evil 2; Firearms designs and the ideas that evolved into the backgrounds seen in the finished film.

Transcript

Note: Text in italics is for when they're talking on set.

Makoto Kamiya: It's no simple horror film. It's no shooting action.

Action.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi: It's not the story of previous Resident Evil titles. A totally new story no one has yet seen.

Yusaku Toyoshima: It's like, "Finally, we're going full-length."

A little known around the globe.

Shōtarō Suga: I played all the games. I was told this would be a sequel to "Resident Evil 2."

Makoto Kamiya: It is a reckless challenge. A continuation of the game's world setting with a story following "Resident Evil 4." And the two main characters are from "Resident Evil 2."

It would appeal to the fans of the video games.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi: With our target being those who played "Resident Evil" games, we thought Leon would be the best. He was the best pick in all aspects. We wanted a female character and since "Resident Evil 2" was the biggest hit worldwide, we chose Claire to be the other main character. The story revolves around these two.

Makoto Kamiya: From the beginning, we knew we wanted Leon and Claire and to have a bio-terror incident using the t-Virus. Other than that, the story was made from scratch.

The film committee Suga-san and myself brainstormed and Suga-san put it all together as a plot. We then said, "Let's add a character of this kind, let's make the story go this way" and had meeting after meeting.

Shōtarō Suga: Claire and Leon had a voice-only dialogue in Code Veronica. Other than that, you don't know what they were doing or whether or not they kept in touch. We had discussions to come up with such things.

For the first time in Resident Evil a bio-terror incident occurs. We had to come up with a terrorist, his methods and his objective. That all leads up to Curtis.

Raccoon City gets blow up in "Resident Evil 3." That happens in 1998, the same year of the story of "Resident Evil 2." What anti-bio-terror countermeasures did the U.S. take after the incident? Do people know what really happened? This is what we discussed to structure the plot.

Then we discussed how to have Leon and Claire resolve the bio-terror incident in this story.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi: I was delighted that Suga-san made the reunion of Leon and Claire look like their first encounter in "Resident Evil 2."

Shōtarō Suga: In "Resident Evil 2" Leon says, "Get down" to Claire. I paid homage to the video game.

We couldn't ruin the image of the characters. So we tried to understand them better and build a story around them. This was not easy.

Makoto Kamiya: Leon was a rookie cop at the time of the Raccoon City incident. Since then, he's gone through a lot for someone of his age. He is recruited to be an agent under the direct control of the president. He's a cool guy with a lot of passion underneath.

Shōtarō Suga: He's got his uprightness that he probably got through his experience in "Resident Evil 2." Maybe he decided to work in an organisation to accomplish what he wanted to. Maybe there are times he has to overlook certain things for the group to achieve its goals. But this way to achieve his goal is to take out the enemy at the root.

Yusaku Toyoshima: A very detailed model of Leon exists in "Resident Evil 4." We had to make sure our Leon follows the image of him in the game.

Makoto Kamiya: Claire used to fight. Her brother still fights around the world. She asks herself if there may be ways other than fighting. She has matured and decided to join an NGO against bio-terrorism.

Yusaku Toyoshima: Claire's model in the game had a relatively low polygon count. We kept in mind how she would have changed over the years when creating a higher-polygon-count model.

Makoto Kamiya: It is not Leon and Claire who keep the story going. New character Angela and Curtis, who are sister and brother, do that job.

Shōtarō Suga: Initially, we did not plan sibling characters. We wanted new characters for those who have never come in touch with Resident Evil. We also wanted new people in the story to experience the world of Resident Evil for the first time.

Makoto Kamiya: As for Angela, we wanted another female character to make Leon's situation more complicated. She's tough on the outside but she has her weaknesses.

Curtis has lost his family in the Raccoon City incident. We wanted an evil character who has a sad past.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi: You'll see the bond between Curtis and his sister, his feelings for his lost family. Learning there are many people affected by the Raccoon City incident will be fun for those who had played the games.

Yusaku Toyoshima: The firearms are the same as those in the game. Buildings, cars, and the other things have been designed from scratch.

Shōtarō Suga: The dome facility was something that Kamiya-san requested to maximise the fact that the film was all CGI. He said no to the original design which was more like a normal lab. He wanted an arena in which he could go overboard with what goes on in the facility. The end result is the dome.

Yusaku Toyoshima: I think the dome ended up being plausible. We wanted it to be plausible while retaining weird gimmicks that we see in the action.

This is Mr. Kamiya, the director.

Makoto Kamiya: I have always worked on special effects. My main job has been special effects director. Am I really worthy to debut as a full-length feature director on Resident Evil?

Ready... action.

I kicked off the project with both expectations and worries.

Are we okay? I want to do an actual take.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi: I had Kamiya-san work on the movie cuts of another video game. He was very easy to work with and he's got a lot of perseverance.

Makoto Kamiya: Give me one more. Chock on your own words. Go slower.

Shōtarō Suga: I never thought of how things can be done in full CGI because I've worked on anime and live action. I first thought he's a director who thinks of visuals first. I totally trusted his skills since Kamiya-san comes from a special effects background. He's big, loud and displays a lot of gestures. When he speaks in meetings (imitates his gestures) it's like seeing a film.

He could be a voice actor. (laugh)

When he explained what he wanted, you could picture it easily.

Yusaku Toyoshima: Since he has done wild things like blowing up props, you expect him to do crazy things. He turns out to be a very orthodox direcotr. He knows what he wants to do. Like he looks, he cannot be shaken easily.

Makoto Kamiya: Okay.

Lori Rom: He's very funny. Very, very funny. I really enjoy his joking in between scenes. And he'll play around with us a little bit. And I just think he's a great director. Really great director.

R. C. Ormond: I love working with him. He's very energetic and even though, like, the language barrier's there, he acts out his feelings and his emotions so there's a lot of times when the translator's not there and I get what he's saying just by-- He acts out the scene. His body motion. I'm like, "I know what you want. Got it. Let's go." And I'm ready. So, yeah, I love working with him. He's very energetic, good guy.

Ryosuke Mori: First, about the handguns.
Translator: First about the guns.
Ryosuke Mori: Handguns.
Translator: Handguns.
(Everyone laughs)
Translator: He knows better English than me.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi: I asked to have the motion capture done with actors from Hollywood. I wanted the gestures of characters to match the English lines they spoke. Using Japanese actors wouldn't have given us what we wanted. We invited actors from the U.S. and did the motion capturing in Japan. It worked out great.

Action.

Makoto Kamiya: As it is the trend in the video game industry, Kobayashi-san wanted actors from the U.S. I totally agreed, and we did auditions in the U.S.

Yusaku Toyoshima: On day one we had the American actors go through training by Mr. Mori, our military advisor. They learned how to hold guns and were made to walk across the room all day long. Our studio is large and that allowed us to do a lot of unique things.

Makoto Kamiya: Angela looks into his face.
Translator: After you say, "Shoot them in the head", you two both look at each other.

Makoto Kamiya: Since I cannot speak English, I was worried if I could direct especially the drama scenes.

Gunshot, and you're surrounded by zombies.

I learned the nnuances can be understood regardless of the language barrier.

Derek Mears: Eat this!
R. C. Ormund: That's enough!

Makoto Kamiya: Don't start out excited. Let ti build as you shoot.

You can tell when the actors can act out the emotions well. That was an interesting discovery.

Action.
Senator Davis. Can we have a word?
You cannot.
Please, senator.

Yusaku Toyoshima: We use the software Maya. After the script is finished and the storyboards are ready, we create character models and start with the motion capturing.

R. C. Ormund: Angela, get clear.
Lori Rom: Leon!

Yusaku Toyoshima: The captured data is processed and applied to the models. We create what is called the animatics with camera angles, layouts, and cut lengths determined. The characters and background are created separately. Everything is combined at the end and is brushed up.

Makoto Kamiya: There are many CGI films in the U.S. but not many full-length films with realistic characters. Most CGI films are done with an anime approach.

With Hollywood not doing what we are trying to do, it really felt like a big challenge.

Yusaku Toyoshima: The pursuit of realism with CGI leads to something with a live-action look. Not everyone likes that. It's been done in the past. The difference between such films and ours is that our characters show emotions in their facial expressions. We captured facial motions of the actors and applied them to the models. We had to put together a new system that allows us to do all this.

Derek Mears: Come on. Yeah! Freaks.

Yusaku Toyoshima: There are 10 2-D cameras. We take the data from each one and synthesise data in 3-D.

Makoto Kamiya: Looking too realistic could be eerie. But we are pursuing reality. Our goal is to make things look real without the awkwardness.

I love the film Dawn of the Dead. It was called Zombie in Japan. Seeing that film was sensational.

She is shocked to see Leon kill someone who looks normal.
Translator: Angela doesn't know what's going on. You know, it doesn't hit her that it's a zombie that's been shot. So she thinks that Leon shot this personesque whatever it is.
Lori Rom: He's shooting civilians is all I know.
Translator: Yeah.
Lori Rom: Okay. Okay.
Makoto Kamiya: She is doing what she does because she wants to save people.
Translator: And you're doing what you're doing because you wanna be a rescuer. You know, a saviour, you know?
Lori Rom: Right.

Makoto Kamiya: Zombies.. are very pitiful beings. Their not thinking at all makes them scary.

Shōtarō Suga: Many people feature zombies in their works because they look human. This fact makes it easier to develop drama. Those infected by the t-Virus look human.

The infectees you see are people you know but they are no longer who you know. This brings about interesting chemical reactions in the story.

Makoto Kamiya: Their only objective is to eat. I made sure they acted on instinct only. Even during the voice recording, I made sure the actors didn't react to, say, being shot. I was very particular about it.

In Romero's zombie films, you don't know why they became zombies. In Resident Evil, it is clear that the t-Virus is the cause.

Shōtarō Suga: In addition to zombies, you have monsters. Curtis became one. This extra touch sets Resident Evil aside from other zombie films.

Yusaku Toyoshima: G-Curtis morphs in two phases. Hyakutake-san spent a lot of time on the design and sculpting. We used this as the base of our CGI model.

Shōtarō Suga: Curtis morphs like hell but he still retains human elements. That makes his existence sad. He chases his sister in the dome to breed following his instinct. While staying within the boundaries of a zombie film, such elements take Resident Evil to a higher level. It is this elevation that makes Resident Evil stand out.

Makoto Kamiya: While the film is based on the video game and its characters, I was allowed to create a lot of things from scratch. This was very fun and satisfying.

Shōtarō Suga: The story will allow you to enjoy the Resident Evil world in more depth.

Yusaku Toyoshima: We didn't want CGI dolls moving around. We wanted them to show a lot of emotion so that the audience can relate to them. I think we achieved this.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi: I wanted this film to turn out to be Resident Evil 4.5. We were able to depict really well what happens after "Resident Evil 4."

Shōtarō Suga: I hope people would enjoy the 90 minutes of this film during breaks from playing games.

Yusaku Toyoshima: The entire film being CGI makes it follow the steps of the games while stretching the boundaries of Resident Evil. Fans must have discovered a new way to enjoy the series. After seeing Leon and Claire, fans may ask for Rebecca next.

Makoto Kamiya: This film serves as an element to fill in intervals between the games to create all together the Resident Evil saga.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi: We at Capcom will be very happy if people become fans of Resident Evil through this film, and if not, understand what Resident Evil is all about. The games are released once every few years. This film will make you enjoy Resident Evil in a shorter cycle.

The original Japanese transcript for this file is not yet present. Please add it.

Sources

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