About TSUTAYA CREATORS’ PROGRAM is the third time this year
The final committee of “TSUTAYA CREATORS’ PROGRAM FILM (TCP) 2017”, which IMAGICA has been supporting and sponsoring since this year, was held at the Garden Hall of Ebisu Garden Place on November 16.
TCP is a program with a purpose of discovering the visual creators, sponsored by Culture Entertainment Co., Ltd. and TSUTAYA Co., Ltd. It intends to gather “the seeds of masterpieces”—ideas which can be turned into films—from professionals as well as amateurs. The winners will be fully supported, from the production stage to rental, sale, and delivery of the work. It is held with the intention to create the environment for nurturing new talents, meeting new creators, and rejuvenating the movie industry in cooperation with companies from the industry. It grants award-winning works with more than 50 million yen to cover the total production cost and back their funding and production. These works will be granted opportunities and promotions that enable film fans throughout the nation to watch, for example, TSUTAYA and TSUTAYA DISCAS rentals or TSUTAYA TV broadcasting.
The TSUTAYA CREATORS’ PROGRAM started in 2015, and this is the third year. A total of 268 works were submitted this year. Among them, seven works (seven creators) were selected as finalists. They all gave a presentation today for the final committee.
Sponsorship Plan “Real Production Notes: ‘Uso wo Aisuru Onna’ Seminar”
~From Pre-Production to Post-Production~
While the judges deliberated in a separate room to make the final decision, “Real Production Notes ‘Uso wo Aisuru Onna’ Seminar” was held on the stage, presented by IMAGICA.
“Uso wo Aisuru Onna” (coming to the theatre on January 20, 2018) was directed by Kazuhito Nakae and is the first TCP Grand Prix winner. This is the first original plan that became a movie from TCP. (The title when it was submitted to TCP was ‘Uso to neta Onna’).
This is a love story written by Director Nakae, who read a newspaper article with a sensational title: “Who Was My Husband?” He was inspired by this actual incident. It is about a woman whose boyfriend of five years falls into a coma only to find out that he had lied about his medical doctor profession and even his name. Who was he really? Did he really love her? She lost her confidence and decided to follow his footprints based on the 700-page novel he wrote in secret. Masami Nagasawa played the heroine, Yukari Kawahara, while Issei Takahashi played the role of her lover, Kippei Koide. IMAGICA was also involved in this work. The stage, facilitated by Koji Okada (IMAGICA Visual Business Main Department, Produce Division, No.1 Produce Group), who was in charge of the sales of this work, featured Director Kazuhito Nakae and ROBOT Producer Koichi Murakami. They talked about the progress from pre-production to post-production processes as well as their stories behind the scenes.
“They actually wrote more than 100 different developments and endings. I actually wanted to shoot on film.” – Director Nakae
I gave as many suggestions as possible as a lab technician -IMAGICA, Okada
Director Nakae had been working on this movie plan for a long time. He wrote more than 100 different developments and endings for over in the course of 10 years. He said, “The main character is a woman. I thought need to include the female perspective. I asked my female writer friend (Kimi Kondo, co-screenplay writer) to join us and finished the screenplay. Producer Murakami also commented, “Building a scenario is a production process with the most obstacles. You cannot produce a good movie without overcoming them.” Okada said, “While I was reading the finished screenplay, I could almost visualize the real images,” and also commented on the post-production by saying, “Normally, I receive post-production requests around the time of crank-ins. But this time, I received the notice earlier, so I was able to make suggestions utilizing my knowledge as a lab technician.”
For this work, great attention was paid to how the textures appeared visually on film, despite the fact that this was digitally photographed. “Photographer (Yoshihiro) Ikeuchi and I wanted to do it with an actual film, but in the end, we had so many retakes. Ikeuchi whispered in my ear at the end, ‘I am so glad we did not choice the film (because the film is precious, expensive and cannot be reused for retakes)’, “ On the other hand, IMAGICA had presented for four types of finishing with film in their mind. Okada said, “I was really pleased that they included the looks and other things only films can create in the choices, as I worked at a company that started off as a film laboratory.” Since Okada was so passionate talking about films, Director Nakae asked, “Did you want to do it on film?” Okada answered “Personally yes, I wish I could.”
HARBOR (video production platform) used as image data exchange
“High-speed data communication using exclusive line enabled smooth works.” – Producer Murakami (ROBOT)
For this work, they used “HARBOR,” a video production platform that enables total management which was jointly developed by IMAGICA and its group company Photron and allowed them to exchange film images without hard discs. They could exchange data at high speed using exclusive lines. “Our work went very smoothly since we could send and receive data simultaneously,” said Producer Murakami. As for the finishing, they set up a backup system in which they performed a total of seven checks during the editorial process in a well-equipped IMAGICA screening room. Okada said, “I wanted the director whose first time it was to direct a long film to be able to experience what did not show on the monitors.”
Lastly, a video message from Ms. Nagasawa and Mr. Takahashi was played. The seminar concluded with a message from Director Nakae and the latest trailer for the film. “We finished filming in April, and I have been busy editing and doing other things until very recently, so I have not been able to watch it a calm state of mind. But I can say with confidence that the acting is fantastic.“ he said.
IMAGICA Award was given to “2/1 Ichibunnoni (tentative title)”, this plan draw about life by science fiction is a very deep theme.
Finally, the announcement of 2017 TCP winners; the IMAGICA Award winner was announced first. This award, one of the sponsored plans, was established as a prize for creators who have new seeds of talent in the viewpoint of IMAGICA, a film industry supporter from various angles. As the seven finalists nervously stood on the stage, Katsumi Obayashi, President of IMAGICA announced the winner – “2/1 Ichibunnoni (tentative title)” by Yuji Hariu, a visual creator. The story is about a physician, who cloned his son for a heart for his son’s heart transplant. He works hard to raise this clone and comes to realize that in the end, he loved the clone like his son. “This plan draw about life by science fiction is a very deep theme. So we were very interested. We can make a film with beautiful images out of this. If this was going to be a film, we wanted to support it. This is why we chose this work,” said Obayashi. Hariu received a DJI Spark FlyMore Combo, a palm-size high-performance mini-drone as an additional prize.
TCP Awards Announced: Four Winners Again This Year
Next, TCP was announced. Same as last year, Special Judge Award was established in the last minute, and a total of four awards were given. The Special Judge Award went to “Flight on the Water (tentative title)” by Akihiro Dobashi, a screenwriter. The runner-up, Filmarks Award, went to “Motorpool (tentative title)” by Atsushi Ueda. Another runner-up, Green Funding Award, went to “The Dollhouse Family (tentative title)” by Sho Kataoka, a film director, screenwriter, and novelist. The winner of the prestigious Grand Prix was “2/1 Ichibnnoni (tentative title),” which also won the IMAGICA Award. Hariu, overwhelmed by joy, commented, “I have been making a short film with my friends on the same concept before planning this work. The birth of my child after that motivated me to think deeper about life. I wanted to make the theme of this film filled with even more love. I have polished the plan as much as I could, and it has become a very important plan to me. I would like to do my best to make this a film I can share with my children when they grow up.”
The four award winners including the Grand Prix winner will be filmed as original works of TSUTAYA.
We would like to continue to support for Creators
In the seminar hosted by IMAGICA, Okada said “We want to continue supporting creators who make contents. If possible, we also want to help the films for next year’s TCP and help creators form their ideas into shape.”
IMAGICA is involved in processes covering from pre-production to post-production, which often does not receive much attention. However, as stated in the real production note of “Uso wo Aisuru Onna,” there are many tasks that require that directors work together with producers, such as the process from shootings to off-line editing, materials for CGI to color grading processes, and lastly, from title insertion to the first screening in DCP. The work is completed after so many trials and errors, repeating the most detailed tasks over and over again. As Okada mentioned, IMAGICA wants to support creators and contribute to the creation of better works.
TCP started with an intention to collect “high-quality film projects (seeds of masterpieces)” and back up their visualization. The program ended with the announcement of the fourth project next year.
”Uso wo Aisuru Onna”
Jan 20, 2018 Roadshow
Cast: Masami Nagasawa, Issei Takahashi
DAIGO, Rina Kawaei, Hitomi Kuroki, Kotaro Yoshida
Director: Kazuhito Nakae
Screenwriters: Kazuhito Nakae, Kimi Kondo
Musician: Harumi Fuki
Theme Song: “Tsunagumono” by Takako Matsu (Ariora Japan)
Producer: “Uso wo Aisuru Onna” Production Committee
Production Company: ROBOT
Production Assistant: Toho Film, Abe Shuji Office
Official site： http://usoai.jp/
＊The COVER STORY is the one before the merger to IMAGICA Lab.Inc.. The company name in the text is when we have interviewed.