All posts tagged: filmmaking

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Serving Up Horror: Nakanishi Mai shares the backstory of her sophomore short Swallow

In Swallow a striving actress is invited to a private, gourmet club only to discover her competition has prepared a horrifying banquet which devours her. Writer-director Nakanishi Mai follows up her haunting and atmospheric short Hana with a tale of the horrific depths to which human rivalries will go. Though she has worked for large companies such as Kadokawa, the bonafide genre fan has also dedicated time abroad collaborating with international genre stalwarts particularly in the realm of horror movies. Additionally, she founded the Scream Queen FilmFest Tokyo in 2013, a female-driven genre festival dedicated to sharing the unique and diverse visions that female artists bring to genre movies. With Hana, her directorial debut, she herself has become an exciting new voice in horror. And as with any sophomore effort, building upon the success of the first while continuing to creatively evolve took Nakanishi on a journey of opportunities and interesting turns. The seeds of Swallow first germinated in a short movie script which was scheduled to be shot in Korea that was cancelled. A Taiwanese producer told Nakanishi about a short …

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25 Japanese Directors Talk Pandemic and Looking Ahead

As 2021 opened much of the entertainment industry was still reeling from the impact brought on by the pandemic. Though productions are once again ramping up, they have to do so under strict safety protocols issued by labor unions and respective film commissions in the locales filming takes place. Meanwhile, the exhibition industry which bore the brunt of damage is still facing challenges of delayed release schedules, being circumvented by digital releases, and local safety protocols. Similarly, film festivals have had to adapt to the pandemic by formulating new ways to hold their events–those which could–though it remains to be seen whether they will be able to return to pre-pandemic operations in the near future. Reflecting on these as well as learning about movies which were filmed about or around the pandemic led to a desire to ask Japanese filmmakers two questions: 1.How did the pandemic in 2020 impact the work with which you are involved or productions you are or will be working on? 2.Moving forward, in other words a world “post-COVID,” has this …