Still recovering after seeing a Pokémon movie trailer that featured torture, a car bomb and the best ever usage of the cartoon series’ cheesy catch phrases, Kial Natale assures us that everything is okay and explains what kind of mind it takes to dream that kind of thing up.
CG: Where did the idea for a Pokemon live action trailer come from?
Kial Natale: I distinctly remember playing GTA3, and thinking ‘this would be way more fun if there were pokémon in this game.’ Everyone must have thought that though, right? Then quite a few years later, Nick started talking about dark reboots, and I started talking about what Pokémon would look like as a crime drama.
CG: Pokemon cartoons and games are very much for kids with very little violence or blood, but the live action trailer is very gritty and violent. Why did you choose to do it like this?
Kial Natale: I love the idea of taking something out of its original context or shifting the stylistic presentation of a work in a way that reveals its core ideas or characteristics in a new light. American McGee’s Alice is a great example of an adaptation that somehow feels faithful to the books, but also builds and develops on the idea of madness and irrationality in the source material.
Kial Natale: Absolute silence; I’m sure if I hear anything it will be a cease and desist, so I guess no news is good news.
CG: What has been the reaction from the Pokemon community?
Kial Natale: The trailer has been very polarizing: some people love it, and some people claim that the film has violated their childhood (although proof has yet to surface, and I deny the allegation). I never expected to see such intense discussion about pokémon!
CG: How much did it cost to produce?
Kial Natale: My receipts show 500 dollars: 170 in gear rentals, 250 in props and 80 or so in food, although if you throw in the cost of C4D, my computer and the 5d Mark 2 that Cedric Yu brought along, then the budget is in the thousands! Thing is, you don’t need any of that to make a good film: I’d watch cellphone video if it had a gripping story or message.
CG: How has the trailer benefitted you?
Kial Natale: My subscriber base on youtube went up 2500%. I’m worried I won’t be able to keep all the viewers entertained!
CG: Will you turn this into a full movie? Please say yes!
Kial Natale: I can’t in good conscience make the feature: Pokémon is a beloved part of many children’s lives, and I wouldn’t want my dark sense of humor to tarnish their experience. If the feature was made, kids would see it. I don’t own the rights to Pokémon, and I feel as though our feature would shift the series canon and inevitably be monetized.
CG: If you could date a pokemon of your choice, which one would it be and why?
Kial Natale: I think this is the hardest question I have ever been asked in my life, because no matter what I answer I lose. I’m tempted to say my favorite Jigglypuff but I also don’t really get along well with prima-donnas, so I’m just going to have to say mudkip.
CG: Do you have plans to do any more video game live action trailers?
Kial Natale: I personally want to work on something completely original, but everyone else in my group wants to do another video game adaptation. I can see the appeal: starting with a blank page is very difficult, whereas with adaptation there is whole world of characters and ideas to spark your imagination. Regardless of what we choose, I am going to work hard to keep bringing out films that I would like to see.