September 2, 2011

The first of three straight days of green-screen shooting.
Everyone is really pumped. This is the first step in inserting some more fantastical elements into the footage we shot on location.

This is what a day of green screen shooting looks likes.
Everyone is in battle mode.

We simultaneously hold meetings resulting in meticulous planning.

The details are then drawn into a plan and posted on a white board like this.
It’s very methodical.

To prepare for post production, I discuss making macquettes to reflect the cg modeling guidelines, concerns with the green screen fabric, and other matters with Taiga-san while consulting the schedule.

The number of models needed has well exceeded expectations…

And that’s when Taiga-san’s master, Nishimura-san steps in… “We just have to get it done! Right?!”

We then begin adjusting the suspension of the screen…

Confirm on the monitor…

Video editing staff Takeshi Wada.

Video editing staff Yumi Sawai.

Costume assistant Ayano Igarashi

ZERO’S action staff Satoshi Shimizu.

Jellyfish Eyes website creator Mai Miyazaki.
She’s been working non-stop to get these diaries up on-time!

September 1, 2011

It’s the first day of November and that means the start of typhoon season.
This actually makes it easier to read the weather patterns on location.

photo Murakami

A typhoon is on its way. Right on the outskirts of the set.

Every shot begins with Nishimiura explaining the procedure and setting the spots for each player. It’s the only then we begin shooting.

Issuing instructions to the actors via headset.

Preparing for another shot.

Yoshio Miyaki, action coordinator from ZERO’S.

photo Murakami


photo Murakami


photo Murakami

Fallen leaves.

Our base of operations.

Shooting against the green screen in the meeting room.

Everyone’s smiling, but… believe me, they’re not watching a manzai comedy show.

Such a surreal world!

photo Murakami

Kodama-san, organizing his lights.

photo Murakami

Discussing more green screen shooting for the next day.
Kazuno-san is cutting out each individual storyboard – snip snip.
We’ve already changed the previously set order of shots.
Today’s shooting ended at 2 PM.

August 30, 2011

Making a live action movie is… far different from making an animated one. I’ve learned that all too well from this experience.

A four platform tower!

Wada-chan producing smoke as part of her training…
“Hey! You’re upwind, upwind! Heeeey!! The wind changed direction! Hey!”
It’s said that movie cameramen train for at least 10 years and even then, many are unable to branch out on their own. “It’s all about having a good sense for the job,” says Nagano-san. He was able to go independent after only 6 years.

Aim and shoot!
The biggest surprise for me on set was the way that cameramen will continually set the layout of each shot. Until now, I’ve only been familiar with the layout and storyboard methods used in animation by the likes of Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Oshi. It’s really been an eye opener.

However, for Nishimura-san and Nagano-san… correction, for the rest of the entire crew, there is a common grammar to setting up each shot that everyone is aware of. From making diagrams, to lighting, timing, overhead lighting, sound, and even acting – all elements have to be set in a split-second. All I do is watch on a monitor and make comments at a rate of once every three takes. I’m definitely not the one giving all the instructions. The Nishimura Unit really do work in a positive, forward thinking manner.

Blackboard notifications for the extras.

“Who’s had perfect attendance for all 3 days?!” “Me!”

Those who attended all three days received a clear plastic folder with autograph.

A commemorative photo with the perfect attendance group! There were 9 people in total. This is much more than we expected so we were very happy!!! Today, the extras finish in the afternoon.

I was almost in tears at the bounty that makeup staff Shimizu-san brought! The tsukemono are delicious!

Trying my hand at directing the actors…

“Suppress your ‘self’ and even a fire is cool…” I wrote this bit of wisdom for the children but I’m stuck on it as well…

So… what do you say we shoot the twilight?! Nagano-san and Matsumoto-san.

photo Murakami

Like a scene from Evangelion.

photo Murakami

Nagano-san’s legs have been stung by countless black flies!

A nighter… my legs have been done in by the black flies too…

photo Murakami

I tried using the centipede ointment I borrowed from Mori Murata but it only helps temporarily. Eventually, a white liquid began to emerge. Too Scary!