Saturday, October 31, 2015

SADAO IIZUKA TALKS SHOP! The Optical FX Veteran Dissects The Three Treasures!

Sadao Iizuka discusses his optical SFX techniques during a Q&A session. Photo by Brett Homenick.

October 31 saw another event at DeNs Cafe in Sagamihara, Kanagawa, with optical photography veteran Sadao Iizuka. Iizuka-san worked on the original Godzilla (1954) and went on to animate King Ghidorah's gravity rays and Ultraman's Specium Ray. Suffice it to say, his credits in tokusatsu are legendary.

The focus of this talk was the optical effects in Songoku: The Road to the West (1959) and The Three Treasures (1959). Iizuka-san demonstrated how many of the optical effects in these two films were accomplished. To say the least, it was an eye-opening discussion.

After the Q&A wrapped, the attendees sat down for dinner. Iizuka-san happily answered any and all questions from his fans during the meal. He also signed many autographs from those in attendance. Famed illustrator Yuji Kaida (and his wife Aya) were among those at the event, adding a bit more star power to the occasion.

When Iizuka-san stepped outside for a break, I took this photo with him. As you can see, it's a pretty standard photo op. But, seeing as how it was Halloween, I had another pose in mind.

There I am, fully dressed as President Ted Thomas, standing next to a legendary Toho SFX technician. It was a great evening with many friendly people, as the events in Japan always are. It's great to see Iizuka-san get his due among fans who know and appreciate his work.

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