Saturday, November 14, 2015

TOHO SFX GREATS CONVERGE! Yokohama Is the Site of the Event!

Eiichi Asada, Teruyoshi Nakano, and Kenpachiro Satsuma discuss their career in SFX. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Saturday, November 14, saw a fun and lively event in Yokohama that hosted several notable names from the world of Japanese special effects. Teruyoshi Nakano (Godzilla series SFX director from 1971-1984), Kenpachiro Satsuma (Godzilla suit actor from 1984-1995), and Eiichi Asada (Godzilla series SFX director from 2003-2004) were on hand to talk shop about tokusatsu.

Teruyoshi Nakano makes a point as Ken Satsuma listens intently. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

The three SFX giants talked a great deal about the making of Pulgasari (1985), one of the more fascinating monster epics ever made. One interesting bit of information was told to me by Toho model-maker Takashi Naganuma. He told me that the name of Pulgasari refers to a starfish and that, like a starfish, Pulgasari cannot be killed.

Eiichi Asada shares his memories with an intrigued audience. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Following the talk, it was dinnertime! All four of the guests sat with the fans and mingled with the crowd. Everyone was welcome to get pictures and their items signed. It was also a chance for fellow fans to catch up with one another. Many great discussions were had this evening.

Ken Satsuma shows off his Pulgasari shirt. Photo by Brett Homenick.

I had a particularly fascinating with Eiichi Asada, who told me about his work on Godzilla vs. Megalon. He operated the clapperboard and told me about the proper techniques for using it. After clapping the board, the user should whisk it out of frame as quickly as possible and bring it against his chest in order to reduce noise.

Sharing a happy moment with Eiichi Asada.

He also told me about the chalk dust that would often invade a scene once a clapperboard had been used. In order to keep chalk dust from rising (and interfering with the scene), Asada-san told me that he would apply moisture to the chalk to ensure it wouldn't come off the board.

Godzilla suit actor Kenpachiro Satsuma signals his approval of this photo.

Given that all four of the guests had worked on Godzilla vs. Megalon, I brought a mini poster for them to sign. It turned out extremely well, and I'm very proud to add it to my collection.

Spending time with Toho model-maker Takashi Naganuma, as Shin Kishida looks over our shoulder.

It was another excellent event, the only kind one can experience in Japan. The month is stacked with many great events, so keep watching this space!

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