Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Sakamoto Yuji - Soredemo Ikite Yuku interview Part 3B

The original interview can be found here. Corrections and comments are most welcome. Thanks to Chuks and Satomi for translation help. Only the last 1/4 of the interview left to go, if I can tear myself away from Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin. Click on the translation tab for the previous parts.

Sakamoto: Once I saw the actual thing, I could write according to the images that I saw and did not have much resistance (to the difference between the images in Sakamoto's mind and the actual thing). Therefore, I cannot enjoy watching first episodes every time.

Abiko: In the fifth episode, there is a long scene where Otake Shinobu-san speaks by herself for close to 10 minutes. This is an incredible scene. Since you did not go the shooting location might have not known about it……

Sakamoto: No, I only heard about it later. Otake-san went to the location in a flash, did the difficult scene and quickly went back home. (laughs)

Abiko: Was it done in one shot?

Sakamoto: Of course it was in one shot. It’s like that every time. Just before that scene was shot, Otake-san was jokingly quarrelling and having fun talking with everyone. When it was time to start, she got into character immediately.

Abiko: Although this scene wasn’t done in one cut, did you use multiple cameras at the same time?

Sakamoto: Yes. We used a similar set up for Kazama’s scene in episode 8. Incidentally, in that scene where the interior of the house was actually a studio set, any scene featuring the entranceway to outside was actually at the Nagano location shoot. When Otake-san was rehearsing she said ‘After Kazama-san leaves the house, I have to go after him.” So Otake-san had to see him off not just from the inside of the house.

Abiko: So, she had to go the Nagano location shoot.

Sakamoto: Exactly. If we did not shoot the outdoor scenes with Otake-san in Nagano, it would be inconsistent but Otake-san could not make it to Nagano for scheduling reasons so she was told, “Otake-san please don’t go outside”. So they were shooting the big fight (between Otake-san and Kazama-san) and straight after “Ok, cut!”, Otake-san in a flash went outside the house set and said, “from here its Nagano…” with a twinkling smile. She really is a monster! (laughs)

Abiko: (laughs) In spite of that, you wrote it the long lines because it was Otake-san?

Sakamoto: Yes, because it was Otake-san. Although I’ve seen Otake-san act in plays, I wanted to see a different sort of acting from her on television. When I think of plays, the main thing is always long lines. I actually write a lot of lines similar to a play but that was too much for me.

Abiko: So, did Otake ask for the lines?

Sakamoto: No, no. It was the producer who wanted the long lines. Of course, I did not write the long lines thinking that they would be able to be broadcast on television. Starting from the scene where Otake-san leaves the house and says, “You killed my daughter” to going to the lake, along the way I was thinking what sort of emotions are there in first half and wrote that in the script…. I thought the first half was really interesting but if we cut the second half, it won’t make any sense, so we put more weight on the second half.

Abiko: After rewatching that long line scene, although Otake-san was the only one speaking, the people in the background still have to act. I think that it must have been difficult for them to act when they can’t speak and can only listen. Just in case, there were cuts in the scene so was it done in one shot? Was it shot in the flow? I’m interested to know.  

Sakamoto: For television doramas, outside of location shoots, everything is basically done in one shot. The shootings outside were done piece by piece. Naturally there are no long shoots in television doramas. However, people working on the show were nervous. At the time of submitting my first and second drafts, Otake-san was informed that there were long dialogues. After the script was delivered, were flipped through the pages and were surprised that there were a lot of long, continuous dialogue in it but I heard that Otake-san did it like there was nothing to it, as usual.

Abiko:  It’s not really that important a scene but after reading the script I’m interested and stuck a tag on this part. In the last episode, Eita’s and Mitsushima Hikari’s characters went on a date. They were talking about where they wanted to go for vacation and Mitsushima said she wanted to go to Easter Island. When she was asked, “What do want to do there?”, Mitsushima-san said, “The Moais to..” (Easter Island statues) She’s was talking about Eita’s face, wasn’t she?

Sakamoto: Aaa…. Was she?

Abiko: Eh? She wasn’t?

Sakamoto: No she wasn’t. (laughs)

Abiko: Its about something else?

Sakamoto: She wasn’t thinking about anything in particular. (laughs)

Abiko: But, Mitsushima-san glanced at Eita’s face when she said Moai and said “It’s a secret” and laughed.

Sakamoto: That’s the type of person she is. That is Futaba’s role. She’s interesting because she stops herself before she says something.

Abiko: That’s right. That’s right.

Sakamoto: Actually, I don’t know. (laughs) Maybe Mitsushima-san thought so when she was doing that. My assumption is tha the Futaba that Mitsushima portrays liked the Moai since she was a kid and just wanted to see the Moais. That’s probably what she wanted to say when she stopped at “Moais to…”

Abiko: Ehhh… Aa, I’m glad I asked.

Sakamoto: You should ask when you have a chance. The explanation might not be what you were expecting. (laughs)

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