Q&A session was held for the Japanese Cinema Splash section, Death & Tanya as follows:
Time & Location: October 24th (Thursday), from 19:15 @TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills Screen 3
Appearance: Taishi Shiode (Director/Screenplay/Editor/Cinematographer),Yurie Kobori (Actress), Naohiro Takeda (Actor), Takashi Matsumoto (Actor), Kenta Kawashima (Actor), Yuuki Hoshino (Actor), Yasumi Yajima (Actress), Masamichi Hagiwara (Actor), Yuuki Okamoto (Actor), Go Katori (Actor)
Nine members of the cast joined Director Taishi Shiode on the podium to speak about Death & Tanya, a comedy about a grim reaper who takes over a human body because he wants to taste a hamburger. “Thank you for coming to see this film. There were plenty of tickets left as of yesterday, so I’m assuming most of you are here because all the other screenings were sold out.” Shiode joked, addressing the full theater.
When asked about what made him write a movie about a grim reaper, Shiode said that initially he started to write a heart-warming story of a family. “Then I realized how boring the story was, and decided they deserved to die. That’s what gave me the idea.” As for the gruesomely realistic grim reaper makeup, Shiode said he was able to hire a special effects makeup person he happened to meet at a friend’s wedding party. “It took over 3 hours and 3 people to apply makeup on 2 people.” stated Yasumi Yajima, who played one of the grim reapers. The other grim reaper, Yuuki Hoshino added, “We had this makeup on for 7 hours straight on filming days.”
Shiode said that he always tries to select music that is as far apart as possible from the tone of the script. “Since a lot of my films are comedy, I try to use extremely serious music as a contrast.”
Shiode wrote the characters based on the actors, so he wasn’t worried about their acting. “The only thing I was worried about with this movie was how the grim reapers’ makeup would turn out.” When asked about his decision to hire Tateto Serizawa who played the starring role Hideo, Shiode stated, “I first met Serizawa when he came to audition for a friend’s movie. For some reason a swarm of flies flew in the room when it became Serizawa’s turn to audition, and I thought, this guy must have something special!”
Though Shiode was joking throughout the session, he said that things were actually quiet on set. “I was focused on the camera, so I wasn’t concerned about the ambience of the set. I had decided that I wasn’t going to OK a scene until I was completely satisfied with what I saw on the camera, so I wasn’t paying attention to anything else.”
Each cast member reflected on the experience of filming Death & Tanya:
Katori: I was often cold while filming at night since my costume consisted of only a piece of cloth.
Okamoto: I did my best with my role as a murdered person, but my scenes were cut short.
Hagiwara: I had a small part but my costume was so elaborate, I couldn’t go to the bathroom for 5 hours.
Yajima: The director invited me after seeing a movie I was in 2 years ago. I really enjoyed being in this film.
Hoshino: The colored contact lenses were quite uncomfortable.
Kawashima: I’m usually casted as a bad guy, so being casted as a timid person was a new experience!
Matsumoto: It was difficult to film the sword fighting scenes, since I’ve never done that before, ever.
Takeda: I wish the Director would have drawn out my potential a bit more.
Kobori: The scene where I blow a noodle out of my nose didn’t go as I had imagined.
Finally, Shiode stated, “This group had the rare experience of seeing this film… Please boast about it on Twitter!”
Japanese Cinema Splash section
Death & Tanya