SMAC! Web Magazine

The Moment MANGA Comes to Life!! #1

Manga are Movie Storyboards!
– Close coverage from the moment the manga comes to life –

Episode 1: Preparations for Turning Manga into Movies

The next Silent Manga in Action short film is going to be directed by Kazushi Watanabe, an energetic director at the forefront of the Japanese film industry. It’s set to be based on one of the works from the Comic Zenon Manga Audition, the domestic competition which served as the model for Silent Manga Audition.

We’re going to be watching closely, and reporting to you the step-by-step process of breathing life into this manga!

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Here you can see Mr. Watanabe reading the winning pieces from both the Japanese and international versions of Manga Audition, trying to decide which piece he would like to adapt. He enthusiastically reads each and mentally compares them to his own ideas.

So far, the Silent Manga Audition winners “Sky Sky” and “Excuse Me” have been made into Silent Manga in Action films. Which will be next!?

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After spending hours poring over all the works, the director chooses… “Propane Nightmares” by Molico Ross-sensei, a winning piece from the Comic Zenon Manga Audition!

Molico Ross-sensei, is the popular author of both Nobo-san to Kanojo? (Nobo-san & HER?) which is currently being serialized in Comic Zenon. and Tasogare, which is being serialized online on Comic Zenyon (the web variant of comic Zenon)

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Propane Nightmares is no mellow story. It’s an intense work with an edge, which is exactly what Mr. Watanabe wants to create!!

It’s certainly a cool story with a sense of speed. We’re looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

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After choosing the story, they begin planning the schedule. This is a very important part of the process!
Once the general flow of the work is decided, they discuss the casting, what equipment will be used etc.

Upon hearing that we would like him to film with a smartphone, the director racks his brains for the best way to go about it…

IMG_5010After some discussion, they decided to make use of some special equipment for smartphone filming!

The equipment on the right is a “stabilizer”, which is used for keeping the smartphone level while filming. Using weights, it keeps the smartphone in a horizontal position, so your hand movements won’t cause the camera to shake too much!

In the middle is a “selfie stick” (currently a world-wide fad!) Attaching your smartphone to it allows you to take a long-shot of yourself. If used effectively, it could become an important tool for shooting this film.

Finally, we have the smartphone lens. There are various camera lenses available, such as a fisheye lens, macro lenses, or wide lens. This attachment allows you to use those with your smartphone!

 

Manga begs to be brought to life!
And now that we’ve decided on a piece to adapt, we can begin!

But why did Mr. Watanabe choose that particular piece?

He told us that he chose it because “The fictional world is unique, and it’s full of energy.” Even without words, it’s more than possible to bring this story to life.

The characters are very active in every panel of this manga. Even without dialogue, the story can be vividly expressed!
With the unique panel layout of manga, and Mr. Watanabe’s directional skills, I can’t wait to see what kind of masterpiece will be produced!

 

We’re going to keep our eyes glued to this production process!

How do you put the cast and the filming crew together? How do you create a scenario from a manga with no dialogue? How do you prepare for the actual filming?

Next time, we’ll be introducing “The state of things just before the manga becomes a movie!”

Please look forward to it!

 

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Kazushi Watanabe / Film Director, Actor

At the young age of 23, he wrote, directed and played the main role of the film 19, which was well received at various overseas film festivals. At Sarajevo, it was highly praised by Miss. Agnes B, a well know film buff, and won the Special Jury Award. After that, with Agnes B’s support, 19 was released in various countries in Europe and Asia. Also talented as an actor, Watanabe appeared in Takashi Miike’s Visitor Q and Kaizou Hayashi’s Detective Office 5.

He was highly praised by film critic Tony Rayns for his roles in Shutaro Oku’s films Cain’s Descendant and USB.
Recently, he has been working on the Zombie period drama Shinsengumi of the Dead staring Bananaman’s (a comedy duo) Yuki Himura.

Home page:
http://watanabekazushi.com/

 

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Enter the Audition!