August 29, 2011

The weather has been so good that everyone on set is tanned as brown as a fisherman or mountain climber. I’m tired but Chief Shiozaki tells me “You can’t make movies if you don’t have stamina.” Sorry.

Special Effects Staff Kiyotaka Taguchi (Right), Takuyuki Matsuno(Center) and VFX Kazuno-san (Far left) deep in discussion.

“And this will come down like this, here…” We’re discussing camerawork.

Shooting from a crane.

Our extras.

The famous Buchi came to participate as an extra!!

Mofuku-chan too!!

Writing these very production diaries.

“Make a face like this!” says Nishimura.

“I see, like this!” say I.

Shimizu-san from Hair and makeup (far right) brought us these items from her home. They’re great (really) for feng shui too!

August 28, 2011

Today, we charge headlong into the two scenes that have needed the most extras: the School Festival Scene and the Cult Scene!! I’m super excited.

Engaging in tense production cost negotiations with Nishimura Eizo Producer Fukui-san (kidding).

Discussing a composite shot with Nishimura-san, Kazuno-san, and Fukui-san.

An Octopus!! Oc-to-pus!

An infamous item used on set to control spending on paper cups.
We dry them out by hanging them upside down.

Shioszaki-san!! Hmm! Hmm???

Stylist Kazuki Yunoki and her husband.

What’s this?! That looks like a sign from the legendary School Festival Executive Commitee! Is this a revival?

Heeeey! Isn’t that the Miyoshi Studio Barbecue Party Icon?!
Shimi-chan and Rei Sato?

It’s the Samurai Cafe “Aku Soku Zan!”

Bouncy balls!


Caricature Jun!

Yakisoba check! “Is this sauce from Hiroshima?”

Daisuke Sato from catering. He made us okonomi-yaki on set!
It turns out he’s one of the top three caterers in Japan.

I Love♡…Aliens..

Taco-yaki… and extras.

Nishimura-san giving directions. Growl!

Karasawa-san directing the action.

Original clear plastic folder and autograph.

A special thanks to all our volunteer extras.

The battle continues… The school festival unit at sundown…

Discussing the details of the next day’s schedule. Chief Shiozaki does the honors!

August 27, 2011

As everyone knows, the amount of natural light available at a given time depends on the weather. In order to prevent such conditions from interfering with the desired mood for each scene, we often wait until conditions are just right. When the sun disappears behind a cloud, we wait for it to clear “Weather wait!” comes the shouts from the lighting and photography staff who are busy gazing upward with a special lens that measures sunlight intensity. “3 minutes!” “Wait, make that 5!”

The weather changes everyday – sometimes completely clear, sometimes cloudy, sometimes rain. Deciding which scenes to shoot becomes like putting together a puzzle. Today it’s been non-stop clouds. However, the absence of rain means that we’re still pushing ahead at a steady pace. Master YU will now use his psychic powers to make the clouds fly away. I guess this really is a set where we rely on faith.

Location shooting began early today.
The grounds were still wet from the previous night’s rain.

Looking through the viewfinder, it’s easy to spot puddles. They’re out of place for this scene, so we take a couple of minutes to soak them up! Everyone on set goes to work with a sponge! Chief Shiozaki could be heard saying he was proud to be cleaning water.

photo Murakami

Field of Dreams… not quite. It’s Japanese rice fields. Nagano-san and an Nishimura-san set the angles.

photo Murakami

Nagano-san puts on some high boots and walks in the muddy patches between rice stalks.

They were constantly consulting on each shot.

This group is discussing a different set of procedures. From left: Date-san, Saito-san, Kodama-san, and Dai-chan with the peace sign!

We had lunch together on the side of a bridge.

When we began location work, it was right after rice-planting season but now it’s already time for harvest. There were scarecrows everywhere.

photo Murakami

And then began the grey clouds. However, Master YU’s psychic powers kept it from raining once again.

Art Driver Jin Yokoyama

Still photographer Yoko Matsuyama.

Action assistant Shu Fujiki.