When Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots comes out June 12 for the PS3, our favourite grizzled soldier, Solid Snake, will be reunited with some old comrades. (Someone has to be there to yell “SNAAAAAKE?!” over the Codec, after all.) And as it happens, the game also gave two friends from their VFS days a chance to work together.
3D Animation & Visual Effects grads Yuta Shimizu and Joshua Herrig both worked out of Logan on the game’s cinematics. Along with Nick Smalley, Cory Bradshaw, Carlos Villarreal Kwasek, Lloyd Colaco, and Simon Young, they’re members of dutchTilt: a cooperative they formed as a way to continue their collaboration and keep in touch.
And keep in touch they do, though they’re scattered all over the world, working on all kinds of projects. So for Josh and Yuta, their brief time at Logan was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up. “Yuta and I became great friends at VFS and actually sat next to each other all the way through our time in the Ant Farm,” says Josh. “I keep trying to convince Nick and Carlos to come out to LA as well, as I’d love the chance to work with those former VFSers in any capacity!”
So with Metal Gear Solid 4 about to drop, we caught up with the pair to ask about their experience – collaborating “in real life”.
What’s it like to go from sitting side-by-side in the Ant Farm to working together on a professional production? Do you make your coworkers jealous with your in-jokes and ultra-secret VFS handshakes?
Josh: Ha ha ha ha! It was actually really cool, because there was a certain comfort level from day one. I didn’t feel like a random freelancer. I made some really great friends at VFS and I truly can’t wait to work with them in production.
I have worked a few places, and to be honest, there is a work ethic that the VFS students have that I just don’t see in many other artists I’ve worked with.
Yuta: I didn’t feel any different working together with Josh in the Ant Farm or Logan. But it is very different from working with just co-workers – it’s simply really fun to work with a friend and really easy to say, “That looks really bad!”
I think the greatest thing working with such a close friend is that you are always competitive but helpful at the same time. We both want each other to be a better artist all the time and learn from each other. Or… do you wanna be better only yourself, Josh? Then I will steal your skill!
Maybe you could describe what your roles on Metal Gear Solid 4 actually were.