War – up close and personal

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As we prepare for our next shoot in Mid-March, the scenes we shot in early February are taking shape in our edit suite. The main focus of the February shoot was Takashi Nagai’s personal experiences of war during his service in the second Sino-Japanese War.

Takashi Nagai was called for military service in February 1933. Japan and China had been unofficially at war since 1931. Takashi was sent to China as a medical officer in the 11th Hiroshima Infantry Regiment. He would actually serve two tours of duty in China, the second being in 1937 when the unofficial war finally became official.

Takashi’s personal experiences of the horrors and brutality of war had a profound effect on him and influenced him greatly, so for directors Ian & Dominic Higgins it was important to portray at least some of his experiences in China.

“There’s no doubt that Takashi returned from his first tour of duty traumatised but also far more spiritual”, says Dominic.

“Up until his time in China, he was still the scientist exploring the possibility of life after death and religion through the clinical microscope of science, war changed that”, adds Ian.

The war scenes required the usual attention to detail and planning the directors insist on before cameras roll, which meant storyboarding, pre-visual art and shot lists…

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During the filming of the war scenes, the directors have kept their cameras focused on the human cost of war and our make-up artists Stephanie Bentham and Jenny Gillings, aided by Birmingham’s South and City college students Donna Woodman and Dolly Karoni, did a fantastic job helping us to bring a sense of reality to the scenes.

Below are some stills from the China war sequences…

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We’ll be posting an exclusive preview of a very special scene on the Production Hub page soon!

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The filming gets back underway….

This Monday and Tuesday we’re shooting more scenes and that means we’ve been hard at work these last few days with plenty of planning and preparation. Before any shoot, we design the scenes. We do this by using storyboards and shot lists.

 
When it comes to the storyboarding we opt for 3D software as opposed to the traditional hand drawn ones, as the software we use allows us to work with “virtual” cameras and lights, meaning we get to test out different ideas with camera angles and lighting set-ups well in advance of the filming dates.

3D pre-viz

3D pre-viz

Using 3D software that utilizes virtual cameras, lights and actors (even if they sometimes resemble mannequins) really helps bring a scene to life.

For those of you who have access to the “Production Hub” we’ve uploaded the storyboards for the up-coming shoots.