After watching the Silent Hill movie's big debut last weekend, we got the opportunity to pick the brain of composer and producer Akira Yamaoka to talk about his work on the movie, what it was like to adapt the game to film, and exactly how awesome Pyramid Head is.
GameSpot: How much of a role did you play in the creation of the movie? How often were you (or other people at Konami) asked to contribute and/or approve decisions about the script?
Akira Yamaoka: I provided and worked on the music for the film. Also, I checked the scenario and concept art before the actual shooting and held meetings to go over things in detail.
I do not remember how many times I went through the approval process, but it was a lot. The approval process was not like business-like paper work, it was about working together to make the Silent Hill film better.
GS: How much did you have to change the music for use in the movie? Is there something about composing music for a movie that is different than composing it for the game?
AY: I needed to restructure the songs since 5.1 was needed in the film. This was for about half the songs in the film. I used the original sound samples in order to keep the same feel as in the game. I think there was not much of a difference in song writing for film or game. Although, the timeline in a film is predetermined, and you need to be exact on the timing, so I was more careful when I synchronized it with the visuals.
GS: There is quite a bit of Silent Hill lore in the movie. How did you feel the balance works for people going into the movie who are familiar with the game versus those who aren't? Do you think the movie favors one audience over the other?
AY: If you have played the game, you will notice familiar scenes that will make it enjoyable. But the film itself will be fun to watch if you have played or not have played the game. The film has its own world to itself, so it will be enjoyable to the audiences who have not experienced the game.
GS: Do you think the movie feels like the game? Is there anything you would have liked to see in the movie that didn't make it in?
AY: Compared to the other films based on games, this is the closest experience to playing the game. This is because the director truly believed in bringing in the essentials of the game on film.Christophe succeeded in bringing the experience that many would have when playing the game, into the film.
GS: Was there a specific reason that a female protagonist was chosen instead of having a Harry Mason or James Sunderland character instead?
AY: I think that was Christophe's intention. I think the female character helps the audience to relate with her better. Rose (female character) made it easier to describe the love between mother and daughter / wife and husband.
GS: It seems like there's strong plot ties to the first game and a lot of the atmosphere of the second Silent Hill. Which of the games do you think contributed the most to the movie?
AY: The scenes might be closer to SH1, but the relationship between characters might be closer to SH2.
GS: What aspect of the movie pleased you the most (in terms of honoring the Silent Hill property)?
AY: The first appearance of Pyramid Head! Though slightly different from the game, the violent image of Pyramid Head is very cool in the film, and I love him very much.
GS: Pyramid Head looked great. How did it feel seeing him on the big screen?
AY: I love Pyramid Head, and it looks great on-screen! I want to see his scenes over and over again.
GS: Thank you for your time.