Greetings all … The Naughty Dogs have received a lot of positive feedback on their Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune trailers. You might have seen this trailer post on IGN last week, and since people are buzzing about it we thought it would be cool to do a Q&A with the trailer’s creator, Taylor Kurosaki. Taylor is the Video and Dialogue Editor at Naughty Dog, and is responsible for creating all of their trailers, which you can read more about in the Q&A included below.
We thought it was interesting to learn about how much Taylor focuses on music as his inspiration. That said, he was cool enough to share the link to his personal music blog. Music is a big hobby of his and he thought it might be something that you would be interested in.
Q&A with Taylor Kurosaki
How did you come up with the concept for this trailer?
Well, this was the fourth official trailer for UDF I worked on. [Perhaps we can link to the others here...] The first three were really about conveying who Nathan Drake is, the nature of the threats he encounters and the scope of the artifacts he is after. In those trailers I really wanted to give the viewer a sense of this foreboding world Nate is exploring, so they were ominous in tone and vibe. For this post-launch trailer, I wanted to completely flip it around and play up the pulp adventure fun of Uncharted. I was always blown away by the ‘painterly’ quality of the screenshots of the game. I thought they had such a cool comic book look to them, even though they were straight from the PS3, with no retouching whatsoever. So it was really a no brainer, make a pulp-comic trailer comprised solely of screenshots. I want to give a big shout out to everyone on the team who spent the countless hours capturing those beautiful stills, especially Eric Baldwin who recently captured a whole bunch more specifically for this trailer.
Did you enjoy getting to work with the DJ Shadow track?
Oh yeah. I’ve been a fan of Shadow’s since Entroducing. Our Producer Sam Thompson and I had discussed the idea of working with him for some time, maybe as far back as Jak 3 or Jak X. I think we both had envisioned licensing one of his existing tracks for a trailer or to use in one of the games, so I was blown away that I not only got to finally work with his music, but that he was actually producing an original song. DJ Shadow is a “digger”- he finds bits and pieces of music which interest him and completely deconstructs them, reconfiguring and re-realizing them into something different and completely Shadow. He took that process and applied it to Greg Edmonson’s original Uncharted score, and that’s the music we set the trailer to.
How important of a role does the selection of music play in making a trailer?
For me it’s everything. It all comes from the music. I can’t even begin envisioning the concept without proper music as inspiration. The first two Uncharted trailers used the amazing and sweeping orchestral music from our game. (Thanks to Greg Edmonson and Jonathan Mayer.) For the third trailer, the mood was darker and more sinister, so the track Dissolved Girl by Massive Attack was used. For Jak X, I got to work with Queens of the Stone Age and Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle, as those artists really suited that game. For Jak3, it was Kidneythieves, as their aesthetic really matched the desolate and harsh world Jak was thrown into.
Who are you more like? Nathan Drake or Victor Sullivan?
Unfortunately, I don’t think I can grow a Sully-quality mustache, so I’ll go with Nate. Why can’t I choose Elena?
Besides your own, what is your favorite game trailer of all time?
It’s got to be the Gears of War Mad World Trailer. It’s a great example of how you can pair visuals with music to create an entirely new meaning than either element has on it’s own.