August 8, 2011

This is it. The first day of shooting. I felt like my nerves were going to burst… actually, it’s more like I’m too sleepy to think. Nishimura-san is kindly carrying me along on his back and yet… it’s still exhausting to adjust to the pace of the set and maintain my bearings. The staff, however, perform their tasks one after the other with energy to spare. It made me realize just how lazy the art world is. And it’s only my first day.

On top of that, we have to prioritize logistics and that means that the story keeps jumping all over the place, leaving my brain a jumbled mess. The sun is baring down hard here in Chiba. After just two hours, any areas of exposed skin have turned jet black. This is it – the Jellyfish Eyes world has begun to come to life!

On the left is assistant director Yoshihiro Nishimura. @ni4yo4
In many ways, he can be considered the father of the Jellyfish Eyes project. He’s handled everything from the script, to the storyboards, to calling the shots on set. And his new film Helldriver is in theaters now (from August 19 at Ginza Cinepathos.
In the center is assistant director Shiozaki, aka Shio-chan. @juns610
He takes care of the crew. From this photo, he looks like a dyed-in-the-wool movie industry man but he’s actually a person of great sensitivity, who’s not afraid to get in people’s faces and is a hard taskmasker… in other words, he’s a movie industry man.

The first day of shooting. All of our box-lunches had special hand-made congratulations on their wrapping. It made me quite happy, so I kept the paper.

From day 1, Yasutaka Nagano has been shooting from all sorts of high spots. Let’s be honest, he likes it up there.

I too had my picture taken with a camera. Movie cameras are cool.

Second assistant director Toyohiro Miyata. He gives detailed instructions to the actors and keeps track of the overall structure. He also wears a different cap everyday. Today he came all the way from Chiba and by nightfall he was shooting at a studio in Tokyo. And that’s only on the first day. This photo was taken at the studio.

August 4, 2011

Today, our entire staff assembled for a meeting to mark the first day of shooting. With over 100 cast and crew present it was a great opportunity to build up morale.
The decision to shoot a Jellyfish Eyes as a live action movie came after encouragement from Helldriver director Yoshihiro Nishimura but in fact, this project began live ten years ago as a plan for a full legnth CG animation. It then saw life as a motif for a series of paintings and sculptures.


「Jellyfish Eyes-MAX & Shimon in the Strange Forest」2004


「Jellyfish Eyes – TATSUYA」2004, 「Jellyfish Eyes – MAX & SHIMON」2004,「Jellyfish Eyes – SAKI」2004
Title (From Left to Right)

As noted above, we originally expected the project to be completed as an animation. Things proceeded for half a year under the palindromic Japanese title Kodomo no Modoko but after half a year, we concluded that it was impossible to achieve Murakami’s vision at the time. Now we’ve decided to throw all the ideas that have been collected for the project over the last ten years into this live action film. It is that film which begins life today, August 4th.

Feng Shui Master YU came all the way from Taiwan to perform a ceremony praying for the safety of those on set.

Staff waiting for the ceremony to begin.

photo Murakami

I’m truly grateful to the more than 100 staff members who attended the ceremony.

After the ceremony and initial reading of the script, we headed to Pabaan Studios to discuss shooting. On the left is Visual Effects Supervisor Tsuyoshi Kazuno (STUDIO BUCKHORN). On the right is Special Effect Supervisor Kiyotaka Tanaka.

A photo of discussions taking place at Pabaan. In the back right is action coordinator Isao Karasawa(ZERO’S).

On the left is Director of Photography Yasutaka Nakano and on the right is Lighting Director Jun Kodama.