NEBT would serve to introduce the large space structures that form the consistent background to my timeline, let me test some scene direction ideas, and give me my first real experience at creating believable characters with that dimensionality peculiar to anime storytelling. I worked out a script and got a friend to do concept artwork based on my original sketches, and at the same time wandered around internet to find out who could produce this film for me. I first asked Steve Pearl, who I knew only as the moderator of the Anime FAQ. He pointed me to Mike Tatsugawa, who said to ask Darold Higa, who pointed out the studio that had done the opening animations for Anime Expo 92 and 93. This was Running Ink Animation Productions, with whom I first made contact in October 1993 about producing anime films.
Well, things got set up and the studio and I got down to actual pre- production in early January 1994. The storyboards were finished by the third week of February and the production in earnest lasted from March to late June. (I learned a lesson here for future projects--set no deadlines!) After many, many hours of phone, FAX and email, thing began to occur in the way that I originally envisioned. I probably overemphasized my motto of "Clean, Clarke, Kubrick!" to the guys at RIAP (especially Chad Kime, the director), but I think it was successful; they achieved the visual look I was hoping for.
On July 1st, 1994 at Anime Expo, the film premiered. I myself am about 80% satsified with what I got; those gripes I do have are technical issues in the filming and editing that I know how to deal with in future projects.
If you want a copy, I'm selling the tape for $10 + $3.00 postage. I spent a lot of money to get this film made and I've got to get it back if I am to get my other projects into production. E-mail if you're interested. I might mention several #anime! IRCers worked on this film, before I even met them! :) The artwork for this film turned out very well, and it's all because these folks painted cel after cel after cel...