Anna Kimura (Younger Kayano) and Nicolas Lue-Fong (Younger Makoto) enjoy an outdoor shoot! Photo credit: Chris Wilmore
Today marks the 68th anniversary of the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare, when “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. In three days time it will be the anniversary of the Nagasaki atomic bombing. For us, it will be exactly a year to the day that we started filming with cast members (although principal photography on the film began when we were in Japan, the previous November).
It’s been an amazing year made possible by the many incredibly generous donations given to us by individuals who have reached into their own pockets to help raise the funds we so badly needed. These individuals we will always have our most sincere gratitude for their belief in us and the story we want to tell.
We are now busy preparing for what will be our penultimate filming day! This will take place on August 8th but we thought it was about time we posted another update, so that you could all see what we’ve been up to since our last blog.
Over the course of three days we’ve shot most of the remaining key scenes of the script.
Making the most of the beautiful weather (some of the hottest days in the UK in seven years!) we took our equipment outside the studio and filmed several scenes up in the surrounding Lickey Hills, a local beauty spot that has a real exotic mix of trees and plants.
The Lickey Hills, in the West Midlands became Japan for a day. Photo credit: Stephen Green
We also took advantage of the weather to film some great shots with a beautiful vintage 1946 motor car. Many thanks to Peter Willoughby for the use of his car, and also special thanks to Mr and Mrs Khan for not only allowing us to film this scene on their land, but for being so welcoming too.
Ian setting up a shot with the vintage car. Photo credit: Dan woodward
Dominic getting a shot inside the vintage car. Photo credit: Josh Pitt
With just two more days of filming left, the end is now truly in sight, and for directors Ian and Dominic Higgins, for whom this project has been a three year undertaking (from initial research to final edited movie), it’s a mixed feeling of relief, excitement and sadness.
“This has been very much a personal journey for us both, we’ve worked with some great actors and crew, and met some wonderful people along the way. But as both writers and directors of the film, we also feel like we’ve come to know Dr. Nagai and his family on a very personal level and it’s like we’ve spent time with them,” says Dominic.
“Of course, we still have a lot of work to do in the edit room piecing the film together and generating more effects shots, as well working on the sound design and music score, but as we’ve been working on much of this as we’ve gone on, it means we’re looking at a couple of months locked away in the edit room, as opposed to the twelve months or so that you’d expect if we’d shot this in more conventional manner,” explains Ian.
Now it’s back to the storyboards and shots lists!
Ian and Dominic discuss a scene with producer Nigel Davey. Photo credit: Stephen Green
Dominic making sure he’s happy! Photo credit: Stephen Green
Two of our camera guys in action – Dan Woodward getting ready for a take while Ian and B camera operator Josh Pitt set up another angle, as little Anna waits patiently . Photo credit: Stephen Green
Ian with Anna before one of her shots
Ian lets Anna know he’s happy with her shot! Photo credit: Chris Willmore
Dominic giving direction before a take with Nicolas. Photo credit: Chris Willmore
Sound guy Mat Stroyde in action! Photo credit: Chris Willmore
Producer Nigel Davey with Anna and Nicolas. Photo credit: Chris Willmore
Just before a take, Anna gives Dominic a little present, one of her crisps! Photo credit: Chris Willmore
Ian giving last minute direction to Nic and Anna (who’s still finishing off her crisps!)
Josh framing a shot. Photo credit: Chris Willmore
On the morning of a shoot, Dominic and Nigel discuss the order of the day. Photo credit: Chris Willmore
Leo Ashizawa (Takashi Nagai) discussing a scene with Ian and Dominic
Debbie-Mai Gordon plays the older Kayano
Henry Wu plays the older Makoto
Dominic with Henry and Debbie-Mai as they prepare to film their first scene.
Nicolas getting ready for a take.
Meg Kubota (Tsumo Moriyama) with Anna and Nicolas.
One of our outdoor sets. Photo credit: Stephen Green