• Aaron Mendoza

Interview: Jose Pavli, Director of Dawn, an Animated Aerowar Audioplay

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

With its teaser announcement on May 22nd, 2021, Dawn is described as an "Animated Aerowar Audioplay, intended to tell a story about a sortie that stands to change the course of a years-long war and the pilots that weave their way into it." There are many questions surrounding this project. Dawn's director is Jose Pavli, a composer that made a big splash with his work on the soundtrack for Project Wingman. For those unfamiliar with his music for this game, this Best of playlist and Making of videos (part one, part two) for the soundtrack serve as a good introduction. Skyward Flight Media was fortunate enough to get an interview early in this project's development with Jose Pavli.

Is Neïwa Interactive a newly formed studio?

Yes, it is. It is also a production company. At the moment, we are three persons working at Neïwa Interactive. Me and two collaborators who help me with everything that is not art-related. (Legal, Production, Copyrights issues, Publishing, etc.) On top of that, I hire artists on projects when I need them. That is what I've done for Dawn.

What is the creative scope of Neïwa Interactive?

I publish my soundtracks through Neïwa Interactive, and to be honest, that is the only reason I created this company a few months ago. I didn't plan to make it a studio, but now that it is the case, who knows where it will take us. We have just started working on Dawn, so one thing at a time. If we manage to get funded and release it, we will see what we want to do in the future.

When and how did the concept for "Dawn" begin to form?

After the release of Project Wingman, I've received so much love from the community that I wanted to give them something back.

Naturally, I have decided to work on an album in the same genre, but only with acoustic instruments, so people could listen to it while doing other things like working, programming, reading, or playing other games.

Right after starting working on this album, I've seen Mobius (Creditian Istani, 3D Visual Artist on Dawn) posting a 3D animated short clip, showing two planes flying and shooting missiles. I knew he was a fantastic artist already because he also made the key-art for Project Wingman.

It gave me this idea of having those animations in between tracks from my album. I realized that by doing this, the project would become more ambitious. I reached out to Matt (FlyAwayNow, Writer and Producer on Project Wingman) and asked him if he would be willing to join this project and write the script based on a few ideas I had. When I explained to him my idea of blending together an animation, audiobook, and a music album, he came up with the term " Animated Aerowar Audioplay". I immediately loved it, the concept was created.

Unlike a traditional audio play, this production is utilizing various 3D assets to create animated scenes alongside music and voice acting. Will the 3D scenes be present throughout the entire audio play or only for certain scenes?

Animated scenes will be throughout the entire audioplay. Some of them will be in 2D because our characters are made in 2D, but everything that happens in the sky including dogfights will be animated in 3D, during the whole story. We have a 2D Visual Artist onboard who joined the team recently, he is a great addition to the project, but I can't tell who it is yet. We want to show one of his concept art when we reveal his identity. All I can say is many people from the community know his work.

As a primarily audio-driven production, the soundtrack and sound design will be paramount. While your work as a musical composer has been put on display recently with Project Wingman's soundtrack, are you also creating the sound effects and overall sound design for this project? Is this something you've done in past works?

Sound design will definitely play a huge role in giving Dawn's characters and lore a unique identity. That's what I chose to work with my long-time friend Anize Amestoy. We've been working together on various projects for years now and I know he will create a sound atmosphere that will enhance the viewer's experience. We've started discussing how we want to use sounds in order to make the whole audioplay even more immersive and I can't wait for people to listen to what he's done.

It's intriguing that the story centers on a single combat sortie rather than an entire conflict. Will the backstory about the war and the world this event takes place in be explained either in the audioplay or through other materials?

The fact that this is an audioplay, means that we won't be able to expand too much about the backstory, the lore, and the reasons this sortie is so important. We don't know if people will like the format or if they will follow us on this journey and be there when we launch our Kickstarter. So, as Matt told me a few days ago when we were finalizing the script, it's better to tell a simple story strongly, than telling a great story poorly.

If we reach our initial Kickstarter Goal, we will tell a simple story, but we can guarantee it will be consistent and deliver what we promised.

Now, depending on the resources we get, we do have options/stretch goals to expand the lore if we can. Since it is not a game, we can't tell