Cutters Studios Tokyo
Japan has long been considered the ‘galápagos’. This sense still exists, even in the world of motion picture production. When comparing the Japanese standards for motion picture production and its corresponding management system with its international counterpart, there are aspects of the Japanese style that are outdated. The Japanese approach has a long history and is therefore familiar to those working in the industry in Japan; they take it for granted. But recently, there are people who approach in a different way, because though the Japanese style has its merits, when it comes to the foreign market and creating content that will gain currency worldwide, many clients feel this production method and its process are inconvenient and lacking something vital – and this includes the content.
If we look at Netflix and others, we can see that there aren’t many Japanese products being released in the world market, and the differences in the approach to art direction, production and work flow, as well as the creators’ thought processes all affect the quality of the final content. More and more staff on Japanese production sets are saying that they are facing obstacles and they can’t measure up to ‘the international standard of quality’.
At the same time, budget cuts + short turnaround times + the evolution of motion picture quality means there is a greater chance that the Japanese approach could become the international standard in the world’s motion picture industry. Let’s step back to take a look at what those in the Japanese market don’t see about their approach: How does the current Japanese motion picture production process appear to the world?
In this issue, we will address how international staff working in Japan see the future of domestic productions and look at their approach to content creation and the Japanese motion picture production system.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Ken TAKAHASHI