The image isn't really him by the way. It's a character from one of his animations, as Rico is a graphic artist by profession.
All of this came about because Logan set me on the quest to discover more about a movie about L. The initial findings were described in: Lawliet - Short Movie About Death Note's L.
On the assumption that you've already read that, I won't repeat myself here. I will mention that there were one or two minor details that were awry. With thanks to Rico for pointing them out, I've already been back to edit those into accuracy.
So now to have our questions answered!
First let me say that Rico is a wonderful conversationalist. As you can tell, I took that screenshot after chatting with him for well over an hour, nor had we finished then! Yet he's so passionate about Death Note, and insightful about the issues raised within, that it all felt like no time at all. If he's like that just discussing it, I really can't wait to view his film about L.
But when I think of fan-made movies, I tend to imagine so-so quality. At the very best, it will be hit and miss. Here we actually do have qualified film-makers delving into a subject which inspires them greatly. "I really wanted to do (L) justice. As a fan, I want something. I want to see more live action."
Basically, Rico and his colleagues are here to fill the gap left by indifferent studio executives. As fans, they want it. As talented individuals, they can deliver it. Let's see that trailer again.
Death Note Movie Short - Lawliet Official Teaser Trailer
He felt rather bad about this, though I personally think it's a good thing. He did wish to highlight that Lawliet is being produced around his paid commissions. It's a labour of love, not profit.
I know that I'm not an official spokesperson for the whole Death Note fandom, but I'm certain that I spoke for all of us, when I assured him that we could wait. We'd prefer the moment of greatness to that of potential, and we'd like the director to be happy with his work. After all, we've been waiting forever for Shane Black/Gus van Sant to get on with it!
So what can we expect when Lawliet finally arrives?
Rico has written a script which explores the character of L. I don't mean that in the sense of 'fictitious character', though of course that is true too, but in what makes this person tick. Where did he come from? What motivates him? And most of all, how does L come to terms with the notion that he could be killed on this case?
Lawliet is a movie short, which takes place right on the eve of L's entrance into the Death Note world. He's already working on the Kira case, but has not yet revealed as much to the Interpol meeting. It captures a moment when L understands the danger, yet he is on the verge of committing to it anyway.
Most of the long conversation between myself and Rico was about the inner workings of L's mind (and, to a lesser extent, the other Wammy House kids too). I can confirm that this writer/director has contemplated the issues long and hard. He's considered the darkness that lies at the heart of the orphanage, which currently are addresses in the movie. Though that segment may not make the final cut (Rico is refining parts of the script).
With all of my fan-fiction, I thought I'd contemplated much of what there was to say about that institution. But Rico certainly introduced several elements that had escaped me. Particularly in regard to the dangers of chasing Kira. Or, as Rico put it, if the Wammy kids weren't careful, "they would become what they've been brought up to stop."
In Rico's opinion, L is a hero, who knew very well that he would die, but predicted how that would end up. He knew from the beginning that Kira would be defeated, and the entire of Death Note merely plays out L's ultimate plan. Then, at the end, L wins.
Rico tells us that his movie will be 'sweet, humorous and dark'. Pretty much what all Death Note fans love then!
He'll pop back for a proper interview, when Lawliet is ready for release. If you do have any questions for him, then leave them in the comments here and I'll be sure to include them then.
Incidentally, this is a movie by Identity Entertainment working with KA Films. Power On was just an early iteration of Identity Entertainment, but they decided they didn't like the name after all. Bit generic...
And finally, when we do come to watch Lawliet, Rico says to watch out for Easter Eggs. He's included some for us die-hard fans. Challenge accepted!