SciFi Japan

    NEZURA 1964 Interview with Director Hiroto Yokakawa


    A closeup look at the Mammoth Nazura design from the upcoming movie, NEZURA 1964. Photo courtesy of Hiroto Yokakawa. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    Author: Benjamin Chaffins
    Official Site: nezura1964.com (Japan)
    Special Thanks to Avery Guerra


    Promo art using imagery from the aborted original
    movie. Image courtesy of Hiroto Yokakawa. © 2020 3Y
    Film, KADOKAWA

    NEZURA 1964 (ネズラ 1964) is an upcoming Japanese tokusatsu film set to release this December in Japan. It has raised a few eyebrows from kaiju fans all across the world who are curious about what the film is.

    Thanks to the film’s consulting producer/publicist Avery Guerra, I was able to interview Hiroto Yokokawa, the director himself, about his project. I wanted to ask him the necessary questions that could help shine some light on this movie and whether or not American fans can expect to see it someday. That being said, I hope that you, the reader, enjoy this interview and learn a few things that went on behind-the scenes.

    Benjamin Chaffins (ベンジャミン・チャッフインズ): How did you get involved with NEZURA 1964? (どのようにしてネズラ 1964に関わりましたか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): I was greatly influenced by Gamera. We knew that the origin of Gamera was a rat, and we started this project. There are many wonderful projects and works in the world that have been hidden in public. This “NEZURA 1964” is drawn as a symbol of such works. I pay tribute to directors Yonesaburo Tsukiji and Noriaki Yuasa [the filmmakers behind GAMERA]. (私はガメラに大きな影響を受けました。ガメラの原点がネズラだと知り、この企画を発案しました。世の中には、公に登場せず隠れてしまった素晴らしい企画や作品が沢山あります。この「ネズラ1964」はそんな作品たちの象徴として描きます。そして築地米三郎監督や湯浅憲明に敬意を表します.)

    Ben (ベン): What is your role in this movie? (映画でのあなたの役割は何ですか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): In addition to the director, I am responsible for script writing and art. The screenplay was written in collaboration with Kensaku Sakai of ULTRA KAIJU SANPO (2015-2019 Ultraman TV show). A variety of excellent staff are involved besides me. Please look forward to this film, by all means. (私は監督の他に、脚本や美術を担当します。脚本は「ウルトラ怪獣散歩」(2015-2019 Ultraman TV show)の酒井健作と共同で書きました。私の他に様々な優秀なスタッフが関わります。是非ご期待ください.)


    The unpainted Mammoth Nazura maquette, based on Keisuke Yoneyama’s design.
    Photo courtesy of Hiroto Yokakawa. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    Ben (ベン): Please explain the modeling of the 3D model for NEZURA. (ネズラの3Dモデルのモデリングについて教えてください.)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): The mammoth rat in this movie uses both FX and costume suits. The monster design is by Keisuke Yoneyama. The costume suit was produced by Takuma Asai, and the 3D model was produced by Kabayashi Yamada. (この映画に登場するマンモスネズラはFXと着ぐるみスーツを使い分け、表現します。怪獣デザインは米山啓介。着ぐるみスーツは浅井拓馬が制作し、3Dモデルは山田果林が制作しました.)

    Ben (ベン): Who is the director of special effects? (特撮の監督は誰ですか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): The special effects will be handled by multiple people under my direction. (特撮は私の指揮のもと複数人で担当します.)

    Ben (ベン): What is the main plot of the movie, without revealing too much about the story? (ストーリーについてあまり明らかにしないで、映画の主なプロットは何ですか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): It draws the backstage of the monster movie NEZURA that Daiei was planning to make. It is a story that leads to the anguish and frustration of using real rats for special effects, and the miracle of the later production of GAMERA. (かつて大映が製作する予定だった怪獣映画『大群獣ネズラ』の舞台裏を描きます。特撮に本物のネズミを使用したことでの苦悩や挫折、そして後の『大怪獣ガメラ』制作の奇跡へと繋がる物語です.)


    Actor Yukijiro Hotaru holding an advance poster for NEZURA 1964.
    Photo courtesy of Hiroto Yokakawa. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    Ben (ベン): Can you explain the height of the mammoth rat? (マンモスラットの身長を説明していただけますか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): The body length is 80 meters and weight is 70 tons. (体長は80メートル、体重70トンです.)

    Ben (ベン): Tell us about the role Yukijiro Hotaru [Gamera Trilogy, GMK] plays in this film. (螢雪次朗 がこの映画で果たした役割について教えてください.)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): Yukijiro Hotaru is in the main cast of this volume, and plays the president of the planning company for NEZURA. It is a funny character. I am impressed with his wonderful acting ability. (螢雪次朗は本編のメインキャストであり、『大群獣ネズラ』の企画会社の社長を演じます. 愉快なキャラクターです. 彼の素晴らしい演技力には感動しています.)

    Ben (ベン): How long did it take to write the screenplay for the movie? (映画の脚本を書くのにどれくらい時間がかかりましたか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): It took about a month to thoroughly research the background of that time. (当時の背景を徹底的にリサーチし、約1か月程度かかりました.)

    Ben (ベン): What is your professional background? (あなたの専門的背景は何ですか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): I’m a sculptor at an art university. Making use of this skill, I am creating works that are aware of the fusion of video and 3D. (私は美術大学の彫刻家出身です。このスキルをいかし、映像と立体の融合を意識した作品作りをしています.)


    The cast of NEZURA 1964. Top row from Left to right: Yukijiro Hotaru, Masanori Kikuzawa and Kazuma Yoneyama. Bottom row: Yoshiro Uchida,
    Ippei Osako, Himawari Ono and Noboru Sato. Photos courtesy of Hiroto Yokakawa. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    Ben (ベン): Do you have any projects that you have worked on in the past? (過去に他に取り組んだプロジェクトはありますか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): I directed the movie THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL in 2018. This is also a homage to a special effects movie, and Akira Takarada and Akira Kubo of “Godzilla”, Peggy Neil [THE X FROM OUTER SPACE] and Shelley Sweeney [Godzilla series] have appeared. In addition, Jiro Kabuki and Yoshiro Uchida [GAMERA], who appear in NEZURA 1964, also appeared in THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL. I also directed the Toho project work HEDORAH SILENT SPRING. (私は「The Great Buddha Arrival」という映画を2018年に監督しました。こちらも特撮映画にオマージュをささげたものになり、「ゴジラ」の宝田明や久保明や、ペギーニールやシェリースゥエニーらが登場します。また「ネズラ1964」に登場する、螢雪次朗や内田喜郎も「The Great Buddha Arrival」に登場します。他にも、東宝のプロジェクト作品「Hedorah Silent Spring」を監督しました.)


    Photo courtesy of Hiroto Yokakawa. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    Ben (ベン): Your movie is set to release in December of this year, what do you expect from monster fans about your work? (あなたの映画は今年12月にリリースされる予定ですが、あなたの作品について怪獣ファンから何を期待しますか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): I want them to know that there were two great creators, Yonezaburo Tsukiji and Noriaki Yukawa. (築地米三郎と湯川憲明という2人の偉大なクリエイターがいたことを知ってもらいたいです.)

    Ben (ベン): Do you think your movie will be released in America in the future? (あなたの映画は将来アメリカでリリースされると思いますか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): I would like for American fans to see this someday. (いつかアメリカのファンにも観てもらいたいです.)

    Ben (ベン): And finally, how much was the movie’s budget? (そして最後に、映画の予算はいくらでしたか?)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): About $30,000.

    Ben (ベン): Thank you for this interview. I hope to see your movie soon. Take care. (このインタビューをありがとうございます。あなたの映画をすぐに見たいです。気を付けて.)

    Hiroto Yokokawa (横川寛人): Thank you.


    NEZURA 1964 writer/director Hiroto Yokakawa. Photo courtesy of Hiroto
    Yokakawa.

    New NEZURA 1964 poster. Image courtesy of Hiroto Yokakawa. © 2020 3Y Film,
    KADOKAWA

    Yukijiro Hotaru with one of the stars of his planned movie. Photo courtesy of Hiroto Yokakawa. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    For more information on NEZURA 1964 please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:


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