The aftermath sequence takes shape…

As we prepare to film more scenes next week, the footage from the previous shoots is taking form in the edit suite…

Takashi (Leo Ashizawa) confronts the destruction, aided by Nurse Hashimoto (Leila Wong)

Takashi (Leo Ashizawa) confronts the destruction, aided by Nurse Hashimoto (Leila Wong)

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Vera Fenlon’s special make-up FX helps bring the horrors of the atom bomb to life.

Actress Michelle Yim portrays a victim of the bombing.

Actress Michelle Yim portrays a victim of the bombing.

Nicholas Lue-Fong plays Makoto

Nicolas Lue-Fong plays Makoto

Matron Hasimoto (Kaya Yuzuki) and Nurse Hashimoto (Leila Wong) coming to terms with the horrors of the A-bomb

Matron Hisamatsu (Kaya Yuzuki) and Nurse Hashimoto (Leila Wong) coming to terms with the horrors of the A-bomb

Nicholas Lue-Fong plays Makoto

Nicolas Lue-Fong as Makoto Nagai

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Location, location, location…

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Actor Andrew Futaishi raising a symbol of hope in the aftermath of the atom bomb.

These last two weeks we’ve been getting more scenes in the bag and with filming both in the green-screen studio and at various locations; it’s been our busiest and most grueling shoot yet.

Most of the time on location meant putting up with the bitter cold, wind and rain (despite it being almost summer!) we got some great shots though.  As always, our cast and crew were brilliant, running up and down mounds of rubble and dirt, and in the case of the actors, often dressed only in torn rags!

With the focus on the immediate aftermath of the bombing, our chief make-up artist Vera Fenlon was, once again, ably assisted by students from Birmingham South and City College.

“ We’ve just finished filming some of the most dramatic scenes in the entire movie,” explains co-director Ian Higgins, “and the shots couldn’t have come out any better.”

“The locations were perfect, even the weather, horrible and cold though it was, actually served to enhance the scenes,” adds co-director Dominic Higgins. “There was one scene for example, where Leo (Takashi Nagai) finds his wife’s melted rosary in the burned out remains of their house and he’s sitting there, holding the rosary in his hands crying, and suddenly it starts to rain, we all got soaked, but it looked amazing and the timing was perfect, no one cared about how wet and cold we were!”

In the studio, we also shot the first scenes set in “Nyokodo” – the tiny hut in Nagasaki that Takashi Nagai spent the remaining years of his life, with his family, after the atom bombing. For these scenes we re-created the interior of the hut in the corner of our green-screen studio.

“It was a bit strange to sit with Leo in the Nyokodo set,” says Ian, “having sat in the real Nyokodo with Takashi’s grandson, it felt a bit unreal to be now sitting in a re-created version with our Takashi. But it looks great and it’s really nice not to have to worry about adding the background later!”

The next couple of weeks will be editing, grading and FX work on these new scenes and preparation for what will be the final 6 days of filming which will take place in June.

Special thanks to Coppers Farm for allowing us to film on their land!

Medical Team on location

Medical Team on location – we raised a couple of eyebrows on this location shoot!  (Picture credit: Monica Price)

Keeping warm

Actress Kimberley Wong keeping warm between takes.  (Picture credit: Chris Willmore)

On location

Hair stylist Nikki giving Leo some support before filming a scene.  (Picture credit: Chris Willmore)

Last minute direction before a take

Last minute direction before a take.  The cast braved freezing weather!   (Picture credit: Stephen Green)

Chief Make-up artist Vera keeps a close on eye on her work.

Chief Make-up artist Vera keeps a close on eye on her work.  (Picture credit: Stephen Green)

Lighting up "Nyokodo"

Lighting up “Nyokodo” (Picture credit: Chris Willmore)

Co-director Ian Higgins and Leo Ashizawa check an archive photo of Dr Nagai in Nyokodo before going for a take.

Co-director Ian Higgins and Leo Ashizawa check an archive photo of Dr Nagai in Nyokodo before going for a take.

Leo in Nyokodo

Leo Ashizawa in Nyokodo.

Leo getting into character

Leo getting into character (with false belly) while Wardrobe wiz Monica watches on. (Picture credit: Chris Willmore).

Below are some graded stills from the recent shoot…

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Interview with Fr. Paul Glynn author of “A Song For Nagasaki”

Fr. Paul Glynn

Fr. Paul Glynn is the author of “A Song For Nagasaki”, which is one of the books that inspired our movie. In this interview filmed during our research trip to Japan, he explains what the story of Takashi Nagai can teach us today.

With more filming about to commence next week, we’re busy preparing for the work ahead. Stay tuned for more behind the scenes info, photos and production stills soon!

Show your support for “All That Remains” on Indiegogo! (Click the link below).

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Fat Man is conceived – video clip

Below is the scene where Prof. Peierls writes up the memorandum which lays out the details necessary to construct a super bomb. This information would lead to the building of Fat Man, the atom bomb which destroyed Nagasaki.

The clip is pre-sound mixed

Our Indiegogo campaign is going great, thanks to everyone who has so generously contributed! Check it out by clicking the link below!

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Nagasaki No Kane – A song for Nagasaki and a thank you.

As a thank you to all those who have been so generous in their donations to the production costs of All That Remains so far, we’d thought we’d share this very special memory from our trip to Japan with you.

When visiting Fr. Paul Glynn, author of “A Song For Nagasaki” in Nara, to interview him for our movie, we did not expect to get such a fantastic welcome, a welcome which included a wonderful meal (washed down with sake) and the above performance by Opera singer Yumiko Okada of the song “Nagasaki No Kane” (The Bells of Nagasaki) which was the theme song for the 1949 movie on Dr. Nagai. We think you’ll agree, it’s a very beautiful and powerful song and a stunning performance by Mrs Okada.

Remember every penny really does go a long way to helping us reach the finishing post! If you have a few dollars to spare and fancy being a part of this amazing project click the link below!

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From design to final shot – a look at the special effects.

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Dream sequence in ‘All That Remains’ where Takashi Nagai comes face to face with the atom bomb that destroyed Nagasaki.

These last couple of weeks, our main focus in the edit room has been FX work – turning concept art into convincing special effect shots and recreating iconic scenes from archive photos.

Most of the “digital set pieces” are a mix of photographic, live action and computer generated 3D elements.

For the dream sequence pictured at the top of this post, a 3D model of “Fat Man” – the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki was rendered to match the exact angle and lighting of the shot. Below, the Fat Man model is prepared for a final render.

A 3D model of "Fat Man"

All the elements for each shot were composited in PhotoShop, the shots were then completed in Adobe After Effects (an industry standard visual effects software) for coloring and final blending of all the elements.

For the shot illustrated above, we worked from an archive photo and built up the atom bombed landscape using a mixture of photographic material and 3D renders. Actor Leo Ashizawa was filmed in the greenscreen studio and superimposed into the scene to recreate an iconic photo of Dr. Nagai.

The above post was originally published on Life Through a Digital Lens .

 As we push on with the final leg of the filming, we’ve decided to launch another crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo, to help cover the costs of getting the last few scenes in the bag.

As we always say, every dollar/pound really goes a long way, so if you can spare a few bob and fancy seeing your name included in the final credits, why not head over to Indiegogo now?

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Family moments…

Midori and Noboru

A cold reception –  Midori visits Takashi’s father.

As April kicks off, we get back to scheduling and preparing to shoot more scenes. This month the focus is on the aftermath of the A-bomb – so there are a lot of grueling days ahead.

During March we concentrated mainly on filming all the “Nagai family” scenes before the Atom bombing, including scenes between Takashi and his father, Noburu.

Noburu was a descendent of a Samurai and the first of the Nagai family to study and practice Western medicine techniques. He was a very influential figure for the young Takashi and encouraged his son to follow in his footsteps by becoming a doctor.

When Takashi converted to Christianity, Noburu however proved to be a staunch traditionalist and was vehemently against it. In fact, Takashi’s decision to convert caused a serious rift between father and son. A rift that was eventually mended by Midori.

Playing the part of Noburu is David Yip, star of the cult 80’s TV show, “The Chinese Detective”. It was a great honour for us to have David on board, and directors Ian and Dominic Higgins were very excited to get the chance to work with him.

“David was the first Asian actor in England to be given a main starring role in a prime time TV show, back in 1981”, explains Dominic, “and our film is also breaking new ground, by being the first Western movie to deal directly with the atomic bombing of Japan, so he seemed a prefect to choice for such an important role.”

“In fact, David remains the only South East Asian actor to have been given the lead role in a British drama,” adds Ian, “so I do hope that our film will now also shine a huge spotlight on the great talent this over looked sector of the acting community has to offer”.

David Yip talks to Ian & Dominic

David Yip talks to Ian & Dominic with producer Nigel Davey

Our Chief Make-up artist Vera Fenlon did a terrific job in helping David ‘step into the character’ of a stern Japanese father. “As a Chinese actor, I was a bit concerned about playing the part of a traditional Japanese father,” Says David, “but after Vera had finished her work, and I looked in the mirror, I saw a Japanese man staring back at me!”.

David Yip in All That Remains

Aided by Make-up artist Vera Fenlon, Chinese actor David Yip plays a Japanese father.

Yuna Shin as Midori Nagai

Yuna Shin as Midori Nagai

David Yip in All That Remains

David Yip in All That Remains

For those of you with access to the “Production Hub”, we’ve uploaded a very special clip that illustrates what a truly remarkable woman Midori Nagai was.

War – up close and personal

surgeon

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!

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.

All That Remains Trailer

Watch the first official trailer of All That Remains.

Check out director’s Ian and Dominic Higgins’ blog for their commentary on the trailer.