Hey everyone, I got the chance this past week to not only go check out a truly breathtaking show but to talk to someone who was responsible for part of its creation. On October 21st in Hollywood, California Nintendo teamed up with Jason Michael Paul Productions to bring adoring fans a concert to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. The show was announced at this year’s E3 and was eagerly anticipated by any lover of the franchise. I got to the show around 6:00PM and there was already a huge line around the block from the epic Pantages Theatre. I don’t want to go into detail about the show and spoil anything for those of you who will be purchasing tickets for the show when it goes on tour next year but… it was one of the best things I have seen, ever!
Anyway, enough gushing like a hopeless fan and on to the interview I got with the VFX Supervisor of the show; Josh Hodges. He was super accommodating and even gave me some cool The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony swag.
Zombie: Hey Josh, thanks for taking time out of your day here at the show to talk to me, I’m sure you are busy.
Josh: Actually my job is pretty much done, it’s all in the hands of the live show crew now, haha.
Zombie: Well I bet that is a relief for you. So let’s get down to it, what was your job exactly on this production and did you enjoy it?
Josh: My job was to work with the director to visually communicate the feeling of each musical piece by designing an “ambient background” of sorts. I basically made really high quality screen savers that were themed to accommodate each musical piece that game footage and scenes could be laid over. I enjoyed it very, very much. I am a huge Zelda fan and if you told me years ago when I was playing the first Zelda on NES that I would be working on a live performance of selected Zelda pieces of music, I would have told you that you were crazy. I was extremely lucky to have been given that opportunity.
Zombie: You sound like you genuinely love the franchise. Were there any challenges that you came up against?
Josh: Yeah, there were tons. The main one was pretty much same all the way through the project, and that was how to convey the feeling of each musical piece in a single loopable piece. Nintendo is very strict when it comes to making sure you are staying true to their games, as they rightfully should be. So we had to make sure that we were making something high quality while still holding true to the original games. The other big problem was doing this all on my own machine; I have a decent computer but some of the things I rendered got pretty heavy so my poor little computer started screaming a few times. She pulled through in the end so don’t worry (wink).
Zombie: Wow that does sound pretty intense. So, I know that you are a graduate of Cogswell. Is there anything in your experience at Cogswell that helped prepare you for this cool job?
Josh: Haha, yeah, you found me out, I am a Cogswell Dragon. Yes though, Cogswell definitely helped me prepare for this job, especially a class at the college called Project X. The class really pushed me to try my hand at different jobs as well as strengthening skills that I was already confident in. If I hadn’t taken that class, I would not be in the position I am today.
Zombie: That’s awesome; we are totally excited to have known that someone from Cogswell is doing really cool things with what they learned. So, do you have any advice for current students that are at Cogswell right now?
Josh: Ummm yeah, just remember that you get out of school what you put into it. You have to work really hard to get better and never stop trying to learn and improve your work. The trick is to never be satisfied with what you do and to push yourself every day. I still try to learn something new every day too.
Zombie: Cool Josh, well thank you again and have a great show! I am looking forward to it and I’m sure everyone else is too.
Josh: Thank you and hope you enjoy the show, take care.
For anyone who wasn’t at the show I provided a couple links below. I also linked to the Project X page on the Cogswell College website. Go check out the class that Josh was talking about. Talk to you guys again soon!
Descructoid’s Review of The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony: Click Here.
About Project X Productions: Click Here.