September 7, 2011

Well, this is the day. We’re finally going to wrap shooting.
The atmosphere on set feels different somehow. There’s a bit of relief, a bit of fatigue, and a certain pride that we made it all the way to the end with no incidents (like director Murakami falling ill for one).

Everyone is focused on the goal of completing everything before the close of the day and energy levels are high.

Everyone is focused on the goal of completing everything before the close of the day and energy levels are high.

Now it really feels like a film.

After performing actions scenes in a full body suit, wrapping your head in a cold-water towel is the best possible reward!

Due to some incidents that occurred just before shooting, we had to change locations. It seems the gods were inviting us even further in to the world of Chisato Moritaka’s Watarasebashi.
The new location is actually one of the places mentioned in the lyrics – Yakumon Shrine. The whole town is really quite beautiful at sundown (Sniffle).

Today, many of the crew could be seen in their Jellyfish Eyes t-shirts. The shirts were given out to staff throughout the day.

This is also the last day for the making of documentary by “Demo” Tanaka-san (or is it…?) He managed to check inside my location shoot utility bag. My first day on set, I noticed that everyone had these bags and so I played copycat and bought one of my own. Which of course means it’s only been in use for one month.

Nishimura-san and Miyada-san. Together, they’re giving the final directions to our actors. Trusting in the ability of our cast, they shoot take after take.

The energy on set has finally gotten to me and I’ve begun asking for overdramatic gestures from the actors. “Huh? That seems a bit over the top. And contrived!” I was told as everyone laughed. For me, however, that sort of contrived atmosphere is at the core of the film’s premise. I wanted to break open the film’s shell and show that here.

Just as we did to mark the first day, we had special boxes lunches to celebrate the wrap. I like this sort of atmosphere. It shows great attention to detail.

Third Assistant Director Masayoshi Kishida has a story from his past that is so shocking and dramatic, we added it as a scene in another live action movie that’s in the planning stages now.

Yakumo Shrine is infested with mosquitoes. While on location for this film, I’ve been bit and stung by black flies, horse flies, and mosquitoes so often, my legs are unrecognizable.

The production staff continually prepared everything, including the barley tea seen here, through out the shoot. Many thanks.

Even the smallest scene requires the full-scale involvement of staff and large equipment. This is one of the fundamentals of film making that I learned.

Seishi Ochi from the vehicle staff. He was essential in making sure the location sets were fully stocked and organized. He also paid careful attention not to disrupt the imagery of the set.

We never let up on the photography, even in the final minutes!
I want the heroin to look beautiful! So beautiful it brings tears!
Hanging onto these sentiments while everyone is racing against time leads to much tension on set.

Stylist Manami Ohsumi. Here she imitates one of the believers.
Thanks for all the hard work!

And that’s a wrap.
Thank you again to everyone.

We formed a circle in the parking lot of Yakumo Shnre and…


Cameraman Nagano-san. Thanks to you for your ceaseless energy and effort!!
I suppose I should have mentioned the cast and their adventures as I’ve been writing these diaries, but the film is not due out until next year. You’ll have to wait until then for images of the valiant troupe of performers we’ve assembled.