Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Running Away from One Film to Another Film!

Sort of took it easy this week, working on a new script and getting ready for the final day of shooting.

The final day of shooting...

Compared to the first phase, this day will be relatively easy. I say 'relatively' because there is no such thing as an easy shoot. The easy part is that it's a single head shot of a newscaster to be used as an insert for a TV in the house where the film is set; difficult in that it's 7-pages of intense dialogue!

To get away from it all, I played hooky today from my own responsibilities and went over to the set of my friend Shusuke Kaneko to watch the final day of shooting on his new film. The majority of the shoot on his film was up in Guma, but today he and his crew were over in Ebisu at the Ebisu Garden complex, which is just a stone's throw from my place in Tokyo. I wanted to go visit their shooting in Guma but I was just too busy with my own work. I kind of miss the old days when all I lived for was going to film sets in Japan (Godzilla in particular) and making my presence felt!

I enjoy watching Kaneko shoot. And now that I have 4 productions of my own under my belt, I pick up more on the subtle instances of his style. My main interest is in a director's relationship with the actors. Keeping actors interested in the material and 'up' is without a doubt the number one responsibility of the director, and in this department Kaneko is ace!

One funny moment on the set was during the shoot. One of the young PAs came up to me and asked me to leave the set. He thought I was just some clueless foreigner who had stumbled where he shouldn't be. The staff started laughing, "this is Norman!" Some of them yelled. He started bowing apologetically.

After shooting I joined Kaneko, the film's ADs and the producer for some beer at one of the many 'beer gardens' in the area. I don't often drink in the afternoon, but I made an exception.


  1. Not posted on here for a while, mostly because I felt nothing needed to be said from myself. But I had to laugh at the memoir about the PA, lol.

    Though man, Mr. Kaneko is getting done with "Bakamono" already? Dang, he can direct good films fast. Though I bet that the time lapse is all in my head. Though I do need to see his segment in "Necronimicon" since my DVD store has it.

    And I also liked it that you subtitled the film, "Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl" (I think it sounds awesome). Nice to see that it is people who care like you who are subtitling films like thiese and not some guy a company hires. August R. is another example.

    Nice to see you are enjoying life! I am advertising your blog. Interesting stuff.

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    Yes, "Bakamono" wrapped yesterday.

    Actually, I AM a guy that the "Vampire Girl" production company hired to do the subs. I've a long history with Tomomatsu and Nishimura, too, and get their work. Plus, Nishimura worked on my newest film, so naturally I wanted to reciprocate. I've also picked up another subtitling gig with the same company and will be meeting them tomorrow morning. Busy week coming up!

    - Norman