Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My First Movie: Part 2

After the nice little tour of the Kanikosen set, it was time to get to work. We were herded across the street to a normal looking house(unoccupied?). Just inside the doorway was a rack filled with maybe 2 dozen sets of rubber clothes and shoes. I guessed they belonged to the rest of the crab boat crew. We were led up a staircase and into what was serving as the wardrobe room and met the little woman in charge. After a short explanation, we were left to fend for ourselves. After all of the measuring preparation we had done, I was surprised at how unorganized it all was. There was a mad grab for pants and jackets, with some serious trading going on soon afterwards. Some of the guys whose jackets were a bit too big mercifully traded with those that were comically prancing around in skin tight, little girl-sized clothing.

One of the guys enjoying his custom fitted leather. He looks a bit like Tobey Maguire from Spiderman.

What a sight we were to behold. The 19 of us were dressed in clothing I can confidently declare no Russian will wear as long as there is a Russia. We had matching white t-shirts with a bright graphic on them that read something like "happy club" in Russian characters. Over that we each had a leather jacket of various size, style, and color. The pants were the best part of all. They were bright orange work pants. Japanese work pants are a bit odd. They have an exaggerated flare that brings to mind something MC Hammer might wear. I was glad I brought my belt. Gravity would not have played well with these huge pants. I found a really interesting article on Japanese construction worker fashion here.

A look at the giant orange pants that Russian sailors wear.

Ben and Joe experiencing the joy of small clothing.

When the clothing jokes died down and everyone had finished suiting up we walked back across the street and into our blue play pen.

Some down time in the tent.

We were then given a "dinner" at 4pm. We had a choice of a scrambled egg and crab meat mixture on rice, or a taco salad sort of mixture on rice. Taco for me. Then there was a little cup of soup that was mostly broth on the side.

It wasn't bad, but I felt it was a bit meager considering the amount of time we were expected to be there. My stomach was seriously growling by the time I left.

When lunch was over our keepers began to randomly give us hats to wear. Most of them were fake fur of some sort. Many of them were goofy. Ben got the funniest hat of all. I'm really glad that there is some high quality footage of him wearing that thing.

Ben's hat was pretty much a fur bonnet with leather straps.

The icing on the cake for me was still on its way. The brown shoes I had brought weren't quite up to specification. They were too low cut, while the recipe called for taller boots. To cover this, one of the workers tied a white faux fur to each of my ankles.

My transformation into the most believable Russian ever was complete.

They really wanted us to be in that blue tent at all times, which was unfortunate for them because that's the opposite of where many of us wanted to be. I wanted to talk to people and take pictures of everything, not just sit and waste time. Next are a few of the random shots I took during my sneaking around.

They had some heavy duty electrical stuff going on that I hadn't ever seen before. This thing is strikingly similar to the ghost trap from Ghostbusters.

I don't know what you would call this, but its where some technicians would sit during filming to view what the camera is capturing. They relay their opinions to the guys on the set.

I caught Mr. Hirabayashi looking very director for a moment.

I told him as much, and he struck a pose.

Joe and I wandered back onto the ship-

-which was getting some super last minute painting done on it.

We got a little explanation about our scenes from the Assistant Director and we were told to wait until the clock struck go-time.


  1. Did you know all the English speaking extras or were they all just gaijin from around your city?

  2. Out of the 19, I would consider almost half of them my friends. A few more I have met before, and maybe five of them I had never seen nor heard of. I think we were all English teachers. The English speaking foreigner community in Ashikaga is small I think, so many of us know each other.