Bellés Interviews: Behind The Scenes At Toho Studios

by Armand Vaquer

Above, Jonathan Bellés setting up his equipment. Photo by Armand Vaquer.
During my recent trip to Japan, I joined producer/director Jonathan Bellés at Toho Studios for his first interviews in Japan for his documentary, Godzilla and Hiroshima: The Rise of the Kaiju Eiga.

Above, Jessica Claros reviewing her notes. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

At Toho, we were joined by interpreters Jessica Claros and David Munoz as well as Yoshikazu Ishii. For the interviews, we were permitted to use a meeting room that overlooks the main entrance to Toho Studios.

From the meeting room's window, we could see the Godzilla statue and Seven Samurai mural.

Above, interviewees Yoshikazu Ishii (center) and Eiichi Asada (right) arrive at Toho. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It was a bright and cheery room with couches, tables, a big-screen television set and carpeting.

Above, Eiichi Asada being interviewed. David Munoz stands in the background. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We arrived at the studio an hour early so Jonathan Bellés could set up his equipment, which included lights, reflectors and several stands.

Above, Eiichi Asada during his interview. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The first to be interviewed was special effects director Eiichi Asada. While Jonathan Bellés manned the camera, Jessica Claros questioned the interviewees from notes provided by Bellés. Munoz assisted whenever someone got stuck on a phrase or needed more clarification. Both Japan-based interpreters specialize in Japanese-Spanish language interpreting.

Above, Yoshikazu Ishii as he was interviewed. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Following Asada's interview, Bellés then interviewed Yoshikazu Ishii on his role as assistant (under Asada) special effects director of Godzilla Final Wars. When each interview was completed, group photos were taken. The first one (below), was with Eiichi Asada.

Above, from left are David Munoz, Jonathan Bellés, Asada, Jessica Claros and Yoshikazu Ishii. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After the interview with Yoshikazu Ishii, another group shot was taken, this time with yours truly in it.

I did manage to break away and grab a quick bite to eat (curry and rice) at the studio cafeteria and buy a few souvenirs (a t-shirt for my daughter Amber and a hat and jacket for me).

Above, Jessica Claros and Jonathan Bellés. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It was interesting to observe how Jonathan Bellés works and get past the language barrier. The two interpreters did a fine job during the interviews. The final shot (below), courtesy of Jonathan Bellés and David Munoz, was taken during camera set-up for Yoshikazu Ishii's interview.

Above, from left, Armand Vaquer, Yoshikazu Ishii, Jessica Claros and Jonathan Bellés. Photo by David Munoz.

Bellés interviewed several others at different locations following my departure from Japan. They include Akira Takarada, Masaaki Tezuka, Koichi Kawakita, Kenpachiro Satsuma, Teruyoshi Nakano and others.

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