How it was for me, working on FINAL FANTASY KINGSGLAIVE
How it was to work on Final Fantasy KINGSGLAIVE. careful…it’s a long read.
You must wondering why I’m writing a note about “how it was to
work with”…for a freelance guy…but you will understand what I’m
trying to say if you keep reading. It is odd, even for me, but whats
happened to me during my work on FF made me want to do it, and to give a
big big up to team behind FF Kingsglaive. let’s start…
Well I must admit when I saw the email the first time from square enix I
was like, what the hell is happening, it must be a mistake. It was like : “hey hello, we liked you art and we would know if you’d be interested in working on a final fantasy thing related, let me now.”
Of course I was interested, even if at that time I was not aware of what it was.
So I had a skype session with a part of the team, maybe one week later.
They were very friendly, they talked a lot about my works and how the
works I did on Remember Me led them to me. It was maybe 6 a.m for me
(because of the different time zone) and I was a bit sleepy, even I was
hiding it well because my webcam was not working at this time. I see you
but you can not see me…you know the thing. Then we talked about the
project, and this is when it all happened, they told me that it was for a
CGI movie, a side story of FFXV, I was literally shaking.
ou have to understand, final fantasy is for a lot of us, what ignited
the flame of drawings or the will to put 100+ hours in a video game and
most of it ,to work on this kind of video game. For me, my love of the
video game really started with FFVII.
We kept talking and I
eventually ended by saying that “YES” , I wanted to be a part of this
project and that I still have the DVD of advent children on my desk with
the artbook. At this moment they revealed to me that the team behind this project was the same team behind FF Advent Children.
Try to picture me, jumping on my couch, yes…no i’m not overreacting!
deal was settled, I will be working on some crowd people.Yes it’s not
the shiny boss of the movie or the lead character, but man, it’s Final
Fantasy! Ho and for the record I still have a day job at dontnod
entertainment, working on life is strange at this time, so every work I
had to do for FF was on my spare times and nights. They were okay about
So I started, working days and nights with every spare
minutes I could get. It was freaking awesome and trust me a lot scary,
because, you know the level of details they want, and you are like, ok,
it’s not enough, and you push harder and harder, but in the end I
delivered almost 60+ differents character concept for the crowd in five
weeks. I have to say also, the collaboration with the guys at square
enix, with the producers and the art director was the smoothest
collaboration I had, EVER! The guys were always answering in the row,
even when it was 4am for them, they always gave me the right direction
for the feedback and retakes, they knew what they wanted but they were
really open minded and they gave me a lot of freedom on a lot of
differents things that they ended by liking, and in the end, be
approved… and with people like that, the job is faaaaaar more easy.
So when I finished my first assignment I thought it was it, but
no…they really liked my work and the way I was working with them, so
they asked me to go on several others characters, but this time, more
important characters. Me I was like, “no it’s not happening, really?” okay go, round two!
it lasted like that for 7-8 months of freelance with them, with a lot
of concepts, from crowd people to…well…I can’t say, but when they
asked me for my last gig to do, one design in particular, I was
shocked… this is not the kind of design you ask to a freelance guy,
it’s more a design that the art director or the lead concept want to
keep in intern, but no…they offered me this (no don’t insist, i will
not say). So for me I was brought in to design some people that you
will not notice in the final product, to ended up by designing some
guys/gals you will see a lot!
WHAT A RIDE! WHAT A LOVELY RIDE…sorry…wrong franchise
Now I want to explain to you why it was one of the most fulfilling and kind adventure I had in term of remote/freelance work. They were HUMAN!
yeah I know, but I mean, truly human! Rui, Kenji, Shinya, Yuri, they
were the four persons who I worked with during this ride, the producers
and the art director. They were nice, kind, always trying to do
their best in Japan with a guy in France. The way they worked with me
was the smoothest I knew and know so far. The Art Director always
made some long feedbacks about my designs to not let me with some grey
areas about what I have to do, and the producers always reported
feedbacks when kenji was not able to do it. it was smooth!
Some of you may know or not know, but during this ride, I ended up in
hospital, I had some bad things in my stomach plus a rupture of some
abdominal muscles…it ended with a lot of pain.I was already struggling
with pain to finish some work for them. So I told them that I had
to finish in a hurry my last design (yeah you know…the BIG ONE)
because I will be in the hospital the next week for a stomach surgery
who will end up by two month in bed…yeah imagine…
In the freelance area, you deal a lot of time with people who want what
they paid for, not excuses, it’s okay, it’s like that sometimes, but
sometimes people forget that we are in fact, all human, with up and
down, for my case at this time I was in a big down.
were very supportive, in fact they told me to stop working and to rest
before my surgery, that I will resume my work with them after, when I
will be okay, with no more pain, that I had to listen the doctors and
not pushing it to far… I was like, “yeah but your design…” and they were like, “nevermind, it’s not so hurry, just REST”.
Okayyy…So I went to the hospital, the surgery went well, but i had a
lot of of postoperative complications. I had to go back to the hospital 3
times in the first 3 weeks because of it…it was a living
nightmare…I could only stay in bed, not up, no sit, just lying on the
bed. During this two months, the guys at Square enix sent me a lot
of mails, not to know if I could resume my works, but only supportive
mails, letting me know that they were thinking about me and they wanted
to know if I was ok. Only this…they never asked or talked about works, only took health update from me…HOW COOL and HUMAN is that? right!
So after my month and half of rest, I started to draw again, a bit, and
started to resume my work on this big design, little by little. I was
super late I guess, but I wanted to finish it to not put them in
trouble. And they still keep telling me, “no rest, don’t push it.”
Finally, we resumed our way of working, kenji made some important
feedbacks and I made the numerous retakes, and the design was approved.
This ended my work with them, with a big virtual shaking hand session.
am I telling you this…It is because we often listen how bad this
freelance gig was, how late this guy or this studio paid you, and all
and all (ho by the way they never paid me late, never, sometimes even
one week before the approval), we, as freelance, have to deal with a lot
of people, different kinds, sometime it is same shit/different
day…but sometimes it also good and necessary I guess, to tell to
others, “HEY it was a blast, everything was fine with them”.
in this case it was for me! so thanks again Rui, Kenji, Shinya and
Yuri, it was a blast working with you guys and I hope to work again with
you one day.
that is all for me. hope my little experience could bring you something and know you understand with I made this post.
ps : here is a screenshot of some of the many guys I designed for the
movie. It is just INSANE, the amount of details they put on it! it’s
like…my design, but moving. We are all used to see our models,
moving in a video game, but we always have to deal with video games
limitation, consoles, production pipeline and all…so seeing this
designs, fully CGI rendered, with all this details and shaders…I don’t
even want to know the polycount on it haha congrat guys! awesome