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The animated Saga of Nightwish: how was it made

Japanilaisen Ritsuko Aoyaman näkemys Nightwishin jäsenistä To Nightwish with Love -dokumentissa.
The members of Nightwish by Ritsuko Aoyama from Japan. Japanilaisen Ritsuko Aoyaman näkemys Nightwishin jäsenistä To Nightwish with Love -dokumentissa. Kuva: Yle/Ritsuko Aoyama Nightwish,To Nightwish with Love,Fanitaide,ritsuko aoyama

Alongside To Nightwish with Love -documentary arose seven-part animated series, where fans tell the history of the band. Each part has a different animation style and some of the animation characters have been designed by the fans participating in the documentary creation.

When making a documentary about any band's fans, of course you have to tell also about the band, because all the viewers are not hard-core fans. But how to tell about the band in such a way that the main focus will remain on fans and their views?

We solved the problem by making animation from the band’s history, which script was drawn up by the best experts, the fans themselves.

The band's history was divided into seven chapters, and seven fans, who had expressed their interest in writing, were selected. Web series’ script writer created with them seven short stories of the band’s stages. After that the fans read their writings for the video, according to the instructions given by the director.

Kuubalaisen Rafael Santosin luomat animaatiohahmot.
The band according to Rafael Santos from Cuba. Kuubalaisen Rafael Santosin luomat animaatiohahmot. Kuva: Yle/Rafael Santos Nightwish,To Nightwish with Love,Fanitaide,Rafael Santos

Seven writer-readers are Ashley Redman from Australia, Bailey Coty from Canada, Satu Eronen from Finland, Khriztian León from Brazil, Nina Hüsler from Switzerland, Olga Tarasova from Ukraine and Veit Vergara from Germany.

Then we asked on Facebook, what the animation characters should look like. We got a lot of tips, and few persons even dared to send their own proposals. Based on them we ordered band members’ character designs for three parts from three fans: Rafael Santos from Cuba, Ashley Redman from Australia and Ritsuko Aoyama from Japan.

The remaining four parts were created by our own graphic artists Samuli Alapuranen, Petri Kärenlampi and Tomi Paijo. One animation required portraits of the band members as fan art. The required images were drawn by Olga Stepanova from Kazakhstan and Florencia Troisi from Argentina.

Floor Jansen australialaisen Asley Redmanin suunnittelemana animaatiohahmona.
Floor Jansen as an animated character by Australian Ashley Redman. Floor Jansen australialaisen Asley Redmanin suunnittelemana animaatiohahmona. Kuva: Yle/Ashley Redman Nightwish,To Nightwish with Love,Floor Jansen,Fanitaide

Animations music was played by Ryan Husted from the United States: he programmed Nightwish songs for each era as 8-bit midi versions with Japanese computer program GXSCC. In some cases, the animated characters needed also replication: Mexican actress and Nightwish fan Mariem Henaine was in charge of dubbing.

All in all, fans from 13 different countries took part in making the series. Animations tell in a nutshell Nightwish’s 20-year history from 1996 to 2016.

The animation and the documentary film and the web series To Nightwish with Love will be available online here on Saturday, August 20, 2:00 pm (UTC+3).

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