top of page

"A Happy Ending"
Undercover Report on Filming & Production (4)

【Reporter / Yuji Koyama】

Undercover Interview Day 4

【Trouble at an Important Cultural Property】


Just when I thought I had fallen asleep, I was awakened by a noise. Kana, the main character, was awake and doing something at the table. I wondered what she was doing, so I got up and asked her. She told me that she wakes up early every morning to work on her summer vacation assignment because the shooting goes on until late at night. What perseverance she has. She also told me that yesterday she had a fever of 38 degrees Celsius, but today she was fine. I was surprised at how tough she is. In order to concentrate on her acting, she decided not to go home even once until the film was cranked up. It was the summer vacation of a 16-year-old sophomore in high school. I was afraid that she had been living like this for a month. I then took a nap on the floor again. When I woke up, breakfast was served on a long table with a surprisingly large number of loaves of bread. This was also the result of a local bakery that sponsors a daily sharing of the previous day's unsold bread.

After breakfast, we boarded two location buses to move to the filming location. The location buses consisted of two wagons, which were rented by a local car dealer at a low rate of 10,000 yen per wagon for one month. Considering the fact that we had to rent the same vehicles for a month from a car rental shop, this is an unbeatable rate. I was impressed by the various forms of cooperation, and was also keenly aware of the fact that Mikawa Eiga is truly a film production company with strong ties to the local community.

Ms. Saiki, who plays the wife of the main character, told me that today's shooting would be a large-scale one. Based on the weather forecast in advance, we were supposed to shoot a rainy scene, but today the weather was cloudy, not rainy. I wondered what they were going to do, and was told that they were going to make it rain artificially. The filming location was at an important cultural asset called Dajuji Temple in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture.

Artificial rainfall
It's forcing me to stop shooting again!

It is a magnificent temple where the tablets of successive Tokugawa shoguns are enshrined. The reason why this temple was chosen is because it is an important cultural property and is surrounded by a network of fire hydrants. Using the hydrants, it was possible to shoot rainfall from any location. With the full cooperation of the temple's priest, they were able to make it rain and shoot all the shots.
The moment the fire hydrant hoses started spraying water, the surrounding actors and crew members cheered loudly. I was so excited that I was able to observe such an amazing filming. Whenever the camera cut, the actors were asked to wipe their bodies with towels in preparation for the next cut. The filming continued in this repetitive manner. I was also very excited to be asked to say a few words and make a guest appearance in this scene (although my scene was later cut). The morning shoot went smoothly, but in the afternoon, an unexpected incident occurred. Suddenly, not a drop of water came out of the hose. As soon as the temple staff opened the door to the hydrant motor room to investigate the cause, "Wow! was heard. The inside of the motor room was unusually hot, and the motor that was pumping the water had completely seized up. While we were waiting for the motor to be restored, the sun was setting and we were forced to end the photo shoot. 


In the end, he was told that the motor could not be repaired immediately. According to their schedule, they could only reshoot the next day, but they said they did not have enough time to reshoot all the shots. To make matters worse, the weather forecast for the next day was for clear skies. The Mikawa Eiga staff is at a loss as to whether they can make it rain or not, and the weather is also not connecting. They are once again trapped. "Director, what are you going to do? The staff members asked the director in turn. As expected, the director could not give an immediate answer. After thinking for a while, the director came up with an answer: "Let's change the setting to after the rain. This way, half of the shots taken today could be used, and the film could be completed the next day. The actors and crew members were satisfied with the answer and boarded the location bus for the return trip. It was a moment when I realized that this was how Mikawa Eiga had overcome so many obstacles.

When we are in a difficult situation, how can we overcome it by drawing on our wisdom? This is what will nurture our human power. It is only those who have the "determination" to overcome the obstacles and develop their human power, and I felt that "determination" is necessary for growth. It is precisely because every member of Mikawa Eiga has this "determination" that they overcome difficulties and grow. This "determination" is a prerequisite for the "human resource development" that Mikawa Eiga aims for.

I became a making-of photographer

Mikawa Eiga is scheduled to crank up the production next month, but there will be many obstacles waiting for them. However, Mikawa Eiga, led by "Bulldozer," will surely push forward to the crank-up with an indomitable spirit. The 2010 summer season was one of the hottest on record, but Mikawa Eiga' passion will not be defeated by the heat. They will probably spend another tropical night in a training camp without air conditioning. I wonder what kind of works they will produce with their passion during these fierce days. I found myself calling Director Iwamatsu on his cell phone. And I said to him, "I'm going to stay on as a member of the Mikawa Eiga Group. I asked him if I could join the Mikawa Eiga crew and take making-of pictures until the film was cranked up. Thus, I would continue to take 11,530 shutter shots until the crank-up of "Happy Endings. I then spent several months struggling with editing the photos and "happy hour".

Reporter / Yuji Koyama

He adds words to photos of people he meets and calls them "De Pachiri," and delivers them to more than 500 people. He has also taken photographs of people walking through the city and discovering its hidden beauty, adding a line of copy to them and calling them "Machi Shashin". He has held numerous exhibitions in Japan, Paris, Bordeaux, and other cities. 

 He has also held volunteer photo exhibitions covering the Tohoku and Kumamoto earthquakes, appealing to people around the world to understand the tragedy of these disasters and raising funds. Currently, he has a studio on Lake Hamanako where he does portrait photography and painting. As for hobbies, he enjoys cooking, audio, sailing on sunny days, etc. He is 74 years old and is addicted to the creative swamp.

30 years old
50 years old
70 years old
74 years old
bottom of page