Originally posted on 2 October 2011
Last edited on 22 August 2015
Source: Official site

Fatal Frame: Zero Anthology #1 - Ghosts

Head: Daisuke Inari (movie team), Makoto Shibata (director)

The secret of the scene that leads to Miku's first battle

Miku explores Himuro Mansion in search of her brother. As she follows the clues, she senses that something happened in this mansion, and then the ghost of the editor attacks her.

You may view the cutscene containing this scene as shown in the game. Download

The moment the atmosphere changes

―I have heard that this scene in the introduction is one of the most important scenes in the game?

Shibata: It was a key scene that tested whether or not we could produce the steadily approaching fear that is characteristic of the game.

―This is the first scene in which Miku is directly attacked by a ghost, isn't it?

Shibata: If you think about it, there isn't blood flying about or a grotesque monster going after her - it's just a man. We were absurdly trying to make it seem scary using only that, so it took quite a lot of trial and error. In any case, I wanted to show the presence of a ghost, and the moment the atmosphere changes.

There was a cut, unreleased scene

Inari: Initially, this scene was twice as long as the one in the finished version.

―Twice the length of this scene?

Inari: Yes. It's the first scene in which Miku is attacked by a ghost, so we put in extra effort.

Shibata: It got quite long, so that we could create a gradual feeling.

―What was the cut scene like?

Inari: Miku senses some kind of presence and turns around, but no one is there... This repeats about three times, and she catches a glimpse of a ghost out of the corner of her eye, and this was repeated a further three times.

―And then the editor's ghost approaches Miku?

Inari: The scene went like this: it was to be shot in a long take with the ghost approaching slowly, and then Miku, succumbing to the fear, would fall and drop the camera.

―That's a bit different from how it is now.

Shibata: We were trying to use subtle pauses and effective camerawork to create the feeling that the ghost is looking at Miku, but she can't see anything. When she looks around she can't see anyone, but she can keenly sense a presence. Something is there that shouldn't be. The thing that should be there isn't. We did a good job of showing this kind of cryptic dialogue.

Sensing the unbelievable presence of ghosts

―Were these scenes not included in the end?

Inari: When the time came to actually insert the scene into the game, we realised that it was so long that it threw off the overall pace of the game and ended up having to make big cuts.

―And that's when the tempo became that of the actual cutscene?

Shibata: If you watch the cutscene by itself, I think the version prior to the cut has this kind of power that would draw you in, but when you consider the game's tempo and balance I think that the one we have now is best.

Inari: As a result of the cuts, it turned into a slimlined scene with a really good tempo.

Shibata: Thanks to that, I think we were able to let people experience the unbelievable beings called ghosts.

Fatal Frame's ghosts were originally human

Obviously, the ghosts were once human. Unlike monsters, they have emotions. Each has their own history and reason for coming here. The reason why they died, and their regrets... In the game, their personalities are reflected in their whispered words, habits and methods of attack.

This could also be said of the Deception series, but as long as the characters are human, we didn't want to create so-called "small fry" if possible. We wanted to show that they were all characters with their own personalities. It's interesting because your opponents are human, and scary because they are human. I hope you get a sense of this. (Shibata)