Monday, September 18, 2017

THE WAR IN SPACE! SFX Director Nakano Busts Myths About Toho's '70s Space Opera!

SFX director Teruyoshi Nakano and model maker Takashi Naganuma talk all things Zone Fighter. Photo by Brett Homenick.

I just returned from another fantastic event with Toho's dynamic duo: Teruyoshi Nakano and Takashi Naganuma. The two SFX titans have worked on many projects together, but Zone Fighter was the focus of tonight's discussion. 

Takashi Naganuma. Photo by Brett Homenick.

The highlight of the evening for me, though, came when I had the chance to ask a question that I'd wanted to ask for a long time but kept slipping my mind. While it's certainly not the most pressing issue in Toho history, I'd been curious for years about The War in Space (1977). 

SFX director Teruysohi Nakano. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

Most fans in the West believe that the film was largely inspired by Star Wars, but I've also heard it claimed (with no evidence, of course) that it was actually the cartoon Space Battleship Yamato that Toho used for inspiration.

Granted, I doubt many folks care about the true origins of The War in Space, but given the uncertainty, I had to ask one of the film's principal creators. So I proffered the question: Which one really inspired The War in Space?

The answer I received truly surprised me. Neither, Nakano-san answered. The true inspiration? Old Hollywood pirate movies! As random as it may sound, that's how The War in Space's SFX director answered the question of what inspired the movie. At least we can finally forget the unsupported rumor that Yamato had anything to do with it.

Those unexpected bits of Toho trivia are just one of the reasons I love evenings like this. I'm glad I remembered to ask the question after all this time!

Teruyoshi Nakano pals around with his old friend, Zone Fighter. Photo by Brett Homenick.

That about sums it up for this rather cool night. Yesterday's typhoon is long gone, so I didn't even need to bring an umbrella tonight. That said, given the day's heat and humidity, I can't wait for fall to get here!

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