This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the giant monster masterwork “Mothra” (30 July 1961 in Japan, and 10 May 1962 in the USofA). In celebration, the publishers of Eiga HiHo are coming out with a wonderful "mook" to celebrate this milestone in giant monster history.
I'm happy to report that although I was unable to stay within the limit of my word count (I talk a lot, as anyone who knows me can attest...), the publisher was so happy with what I wrote they allotted me extra space. The article is in the Japanese language, but for those who can’t read Japanese, don’t fret. It comes loaded with lots of cool photos I took on the set of GMK (like the one seen here.)
One thing I like about the cover is that because of my name being listed in the Japanese alphabet of katakana it totally throws off the balance of everything! Ha ha ha ha ha! (It's a little hard to see in the above photo. The mook comes out on 12 July. I'll replace it when I get a better shot.)
I remember buying my first mook back in the mid-1980s when Godzilla publications were finding their way into Japanese book shops in New York City. It was large (A4 size), printed on quality, laminated paper, and came with lots of articles and more photos than I had ever seen of Godzilla between two covers before. No way did I imagine then that twenty-five years on I'd be writing about my own first hand experience with Japanese giant monsters, with photos I’d taken on the Godzilla set appearing along side. In that way, life is pretty cool. The photo here is the cover of the first mook I bought, which covered “Godzilla 1985.”
OK, I know that sounds fairly otaku, but it was a lot of fun to wear a vintage Godzilla t-shirt I’d picked up at Bleecker Bob’s in Greenwich Village in 1985 and act off of Hikari, the film's lovely lead actress. The whole thing was Kaneko's idea, and he let me write my own dialog.
I spent the entire weekend on the set, getting familiar with Hikari, producer Yoichi, and catching up with actor Hiroyuki Watanabe, who I hadn't seen since the set of GMK. Another nice surprise was that Miho Izuka was working as Kaneko’s script supervisor. I’ve known Miho since GMK and she worked as script supervisor on all of the Millennium Godzilla films. Miho is a total sweetheart and always took good care of me during Godzilla shooting, and was even there when I had my first line of dialog in “Godzilla: Tokyo SOS.”
I had two film jobs of my own since the last blog entry: more supplemental material for foreign DVDs. One was a video interview with director Noboru Iguchi that covered his film “Tomie: Unlimited” and the other was with actress Megumi Kagurazaka for her role in the Sion Sono film “Guilty of Romance.”
With my crew, we journeyed over to the Nikkatsu offices in Tokyo and met with director Iguchi and actress Kagurazaka. Both interviews were highly pleasurable to conduct and I’m confident they’ll be edited into a very enjoyable product. Much thanks to my friends at Nikkatsu, Silk Purse and Monster Pictures.