Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/23 (Friday)

[Note: Starting from the oldest to to the newest entries now, sorry for the confusion]

I’m the fourth assistant director Kato for Kamen Rider THE NEXT. This production diary is intended to introduce our day to day filming experiences and discussions that are usually staff only. Nice to meet you.

First, I’ll introduce myself. It’s been a little over a year since I started this job. I was a home electronics engineer for 5 years and switched careers, so I guess I’m a little strange. My digital lifestyle became analog, I get more phone calls instead of e-mails, company cafeteria changed from credit to cash, footwork instead of networking, drinking and socializing instead of time at home… I’m comfortable with the new work style. I like this better anyway, and I’m absorbing a lot about movies and its digital aspects.

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/23

Many call movies a comprehensive art since many people with different skills work on all kinds of things. Director/producer/production crew (assistant directors belong here)/production design/special effects/lighting/sound/art/wardrobe/editing/script writers/makeup/actor manager/car rental… Many people are involved. I will try my best to write in a way to explain what people do what at in the production of a movie in hopes that you might become more interested in the movie making process.
Alright, let’s get started!!

2/23 (Friday)
Tasaki Group, crank in! Preparation was brief, and filming is about to start.
As written above, there are many people working on a particular project, but every project has a different set of staff. That being said, the first day of filming is also a “break in” day, and the group’s rhythm is decided naturally. So, the first day is very important. There are no complicated actions scenes or dramatic acting on the crank in day. Like a ship at sea, the production starts slowly.

Today we’re filming a scene in a high-class club. Ichimonji Hayato makes his appearance in the darkness of the metropolis.
Those who saw THE FIRST will remember that Hayato suffers from a “rejection” since he betrayed Shocker. He cannot live without his blood transfusion. However, he has made his decision to never go back to the Shocker headquarters. His body is rotting away, meanwhile…

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/23

Oh that Hayato, he’s having a blast at the high-class club. He has enchanted every hostess in the club! He even orders a dozen bottles of Dom Pérignon! To top it off, there’s gold! …Did you know that there’s Dom Pérignon with gold in it? Basically it’s more expensive than the regular bottle. I’d love to drink it at least once. Sadly the bottle wasn’t filled with the actual drink (^-^;>

Since this is the first entry, let me talk about the production crew. We, the assistant directors, fall into the production crew category. The director is a producer and and it’s natural that he’s in the production crew, but it’s also the production crew’s responsibility to create the rhythm that I mentioned above. Majority of the “Test!” and “Rolling!” and other things you hear on the set are said by the production crew. There’s also a rank within the assistant directors: the chief assistant director checks everything and plans the shooting schedule, second assistant director supervises the production while handling the wardrobe/makeup crew, third assistant director and below handles the art/props department while supervising.
Now, the lowest rank assistant director like myself gets to use the clapper board. Once we see and hear the clap, the cameras start rolling and it’s as if it switches on the actors, so it’s an important item to maintain the rhythm.

The production crew in a way acts as the lubricant that creates an atmosphere which allows the actors to perform comfortably, creating the director’s vision as a team.

[Translated by Pal. Originally posted on 9/13/2007 @ Kamen Rider THE NEXT Official Blog]