The morning FLEW by. There was one thing that hit me hard and I ended up pretty depressed, but it's not related to this in any way, so I'm going to leave that out... (pretending it doesn't exist for the moment.... hum hum) So, cue nervousness as my friend is running a little bit late to meet me, but it's okay...... Mippa and I get down to Yokohama, unable to contain our excitement and worrying about all of the things like, "I wonder what other people will be dressed like..." and whatnot. And lots of musing about what the new Shin (who was coincidentally Ryoma in Cinepuri!! My favorite character ne~) will be like. We arrive in Yokohama (Kannai station) and meet Katsu, where the three of us attempt to find the meeting place for all of the extras. It wasn't very hard (though it took a bit of creative scrutinizing of the area maps and trying to find long strings of kanji that none of us could read completely.. I am still not sure what the place was called.....) But we made it in time and walked up to the designated meeting place on the second floor of an unassuming office building. At first, I thought that they were going to film it in this giant empty office that looked a lot like a large conference room with 100-some tables lined up, but it turns out that was just the waiting room.
We had no idea what to do.... we felt kind of stupid. Some people were sitting, and some people were lining up at the front in front of these tables, so we did the same, and ended up being some of the first to check in (they matched our names to a list, and gave us a card that we were supposed to give back at the end of the night to receive a free t-shirt). After that, (it started at 11), we sat and waited, until about 11:30, when the director came to the front ofthe room and explained that the filming would take place in a nearby location, etc, etc, and lots of details about the day. My japanese comprehension is improving in leaps and bounds, I am really happy about that. ^^ I could get all of the basic directions and things, though there were some things that I missed completely.... So then they asked us to wait around until 12... and then it turned out at 12 that they wanted another hour to get ready, so we just waited (there were about 200 people I guess?)....
The director came up to the three of us and asked if we could understand Japanese... I said "We're fine" but he didn't seem to believe me, but he wandered off again....
The people that came.. there were all kinds of people!! Some people were really gothic-punk decked-out. Very cool!! There were people scattered throughout the range from "cool" to "dorky" and then some super-otakus. Like.... this poor guy dressed in a red t-shirt and huge glasses and this balding guy with a bright yellow t-shirt and old jeans.. and these two ANNOYING squealy fangirls (they didn't have to act because they LIVED the part) dressed in matching jeans miniskirts and leapord-print tank tops... (look for them in the movie. They're short, so you might not be able to see them well, but they were near us, on our right, a lot of the time. OMG ANNOYING. And they kept shoving....)
And then we waited and waited some more..... and finally 1:00 rolled around. They told us a few things, like the "cool-tachi" (professional extras that were hired separately and outfitted appropriately by their companies) were going to be in the very front, and some of the other people who looked really gothic or outlandish (one girl near us FREAKED out, lol). The professionals were the ones that would surround Hachi too while she was in the audience. It's very interesting how they did it. The rest of us were mainly there to fill up space, though trust me, we did just as much work... and all together us audience members did a LOT more work that day than any of the Blast members or Hachi did. (^^;; ahem)
At 1, they told us to leave our stuff wherever we wanted (on the tables) and led everyone to a nearby underground live house. It was one of the smallest live houses that I've ever been to!! It was smaller than the NaB's live houses, though not by much!! But I'm so amused that they really did use a real live house! It was very cramped. The director, since this is a movie, was very precise about where he wanted people. He would constantly ask people to move around until he liked how it looked in this or that camera, etc. Basically, the scene that we were shooting is Blast's debut Tokyo concert. =DThis is the scene in the manga/anime where Hachi first comes to see Nana's live and stands at the front of the audience about halfway through.. and we lucky people were the audience!! =D My friends and I ended up dead center in the front half of the audience, so pretty damn close. =D And then we just stood around while they set up things and changed things, and whatnot.. and murmured to each other... It was very cute how they'd printed out posters with tonight's "LIVE LINEUP" on the wall. Blast was first on the mini-posters, and then a bunch of made-up bands... what I found hilarious was that one of the bands was repeated on the poster.. LOL (ahhhhh mistakes) I wish I could have had one of them! =D Yeah, there was lots of time to look around while we were waiting. Then, the director was finally ready, and he helped us audience-tachi start training. We're supposed to be HUGE fans of Blast, we LOVE Blast and love the members, researched them on the internet, and supposedly know this song (their new song) by heart already. According to the director, that is. Of course, none of us had ever heard the song at all. As far as I know, it hasn't been released at all, radio-wise, commercial-wise or anything (correct me if I'm wrong). So he said that they were going to play it once, and during the song, could we please "get a feel for the rhythm and move to it"?
I was concentrating so hard on trying to be a cool, really energetic huge fan, that I can't remember any of the lyrics aside from "Love is love" or something like that.... Compared to "Glamorous Sky", I didn't like it nearly as much, but it really, really grew on me by the 29-millionth time hearing it (sort of like Nagayan's IQ-TaiQ-BBQ) This was just a practice with a pre-recorded version of the song, so it was kind of like being at a live and hearing a band's new song for the first time. We tried to be super-genki and it got really REALLY hot in there. By the end of the first song, everyone was so tired! =D;; Me included! From there, the director gave us more specific instructions and moved people around a little bit, and had us tighten up things. He pointed out people who were doing really well and people who weren't and told us to follow the rhythm of the other people who were on cue. They encourage us to yell and told us when to scream the loudest (generally we were supposed to be really loud the whole time but especially when there were lulls between verses, then it was time to shout "NANA!!" "NOBU!!!" "BLAST!!!!" etc especially) Three practices in, it was time for the real thing (there were roughly 20-minute rests in between each song... and the song was actually only the first half of the song. It was a kind of surreal experience when we're all into it, and they shut off the sound very suddenly and the lights come back on. LOL
So, finally, the actors themselves come out on stage, and we finally get to see them!!! =D My first thought was, "OMG SHIN IS SOOOOO TINY!!!" I think the he is smaller than Kimeru!!! (And damn, that's small!!) Okay, he's a 15-year old boy, true, but I really was shocked! He is very, very tiny, but he looks SPOT ON as Shin! I am so glad that they changed actors, he looks PERFECT!! Yasu also looks amazing!!! And I am glad that they changed Nobu's hair so that it looks a tiny bit more like Nobu's in the manga (he had a dyed multicolord sort-of mohawk but not quite.. it's hard to explain). And Mika Nakashima (Nana) is tinier than Shin! I just never realized how small these people are!! 'o'
This one-minute-ish segment starts up with Blast on the stage, and on "Oi, Staa-to!" the audience starts murmuring, like any audience before a concert... then Nana puts her hand on the mike and says, "Konbanwa, Blast desu~" at which we're supposed to go CRAZY. Lots of "kyaaaaaa!!!!"s and "Nanaaaaaaaaaaaa~!"s. During this part, it's a bit like being at a real live, we just give it way WAY more energy than I've ever expended at a live before, all in one minute!! Literally, by the end of a take you're all dripping sweat and dying. I think that the cameras were in the back mostly for these first early takes. Filming this and filming Kimeru's PV last summer were surprisingly totally and completely different experiences!! This was a LOT more controlled and very precise. "You there, go over here, and you two switch places, and you, do this more," etc etc. Between takes, each time which was a full runthrough of the first half of the song, Nakashima Mika was actually singing, and it was very much like a real Blast live!!! That was the most exciting experience! I felt like I was more at a real concert of Blast's than a fake one in a movie! It was VERY tiring and I thought I was going to drop dead after two hours of this, but after a number of takes and rearranging and directing things, they let us all go back to the hall to wait... for what turned out only 20 minutes! ^^;;
During the breaks between takes, the actors stayed on stage for the most part, and were fanned/fixed their makeup by whatever production people do such things. Though it was interesting how most of the fanning time, Nakashima-san was fanning herself, lol. Also interesting to note was that even though we were all there in the audience, they didn't talk to us. In fact, they kind of acted like we didn't exist. ^^;;;; I'm sure that it was a rule or something, but it kind of made them seem... stuck-up? Do you know what I mean? Here are the main actors, and we are actors too at least for this day, and they just ignored us. ^^;;; Though Nakashima did talk a tiny bit to the girls in the very front, I thought that was really nice of her. But I wonder if it's like that all of the time. I guess if I was an actor, I wouldn't care either, there are so many extras every day in their films after all.... ^_^;; But do you know what I mean? We were doing a LOT of work for their sake after all.. I don't believe in idolizing people myself, anyways...but mah, you kind of got used to it after a while, and it was a lot easier to admire the costuming (Shin's wig was really great!!) when they weren't going to look back at you. =D
We had another break during which we were filmed leaving the live house and then came back, this time, we started off a little differently. For the first take, the actors were missing, and instead, it was not filming, it was just our voices!! So we did a few takes with just our voices, for sound work later on. And then they picked out people to shout specific names separately with no music so that they'd have voices to position as they want. "Nana!!!!" "Shin-chaaaaaaan!!" etc. Mippa volunteered to shout "Yasuuuuuuuuuu!" (I think?) and Katsu to shout "Shiiiiiiiiiiiiin!" I kept quiet, but I hope that they use their voices, that's so cool! ^o^
So, more takes from different angles and moving people around... and finally around 6, when we all thought we'd die from exhaustion, we were sent back to the room again. We were given an hour to eat the dinner that they provided for us (bentos and green tea... actually pretty good!), and then ferried into the live house.
This time with Hachi there, they did more takes from more angles, and then my favorite was the next-to-last take. I guess they wanted some close-ups of the front center audience, with this cool camera/cameraman system on a computer-controlled dolly. The director was really picky with whom he wanted right in the camera up-close and whatnot....... and he put us RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA!! We were only a few people behind Hachi, directly in front of Nana about 4 people back, so close and so center!! The camera was RIGHT less than a foot from my FACE! O.O;;;;;;;; They put the snappy-thing (what do you call it?) that the take number is written on and whatnot right in front of my face, I was so shocked! ^^; So even though we were really tired, we really gave it out all!!! If that's used at all, then there is no way that you won't see us on camera, wow!! O.O (Flattering? Maybe...?) The director kept having to tell us not to watch the camera as it pulled back during the song, but it was really hard! But I think we did a good job of looking through it and at Nana or Shin as we were told! =D
After this was more takes and more takes from different angles. The actors disappeared (people on the edges shook some of their hands or said a few things to Nana and Hachi, but we were in the middle so it wasn't possible), so it was just crowd shots after this. What was really funny was that they would empty out sections of us and have us go back and wait while others were filming and vise-versa, so that they could get camera shots from "in the crowd". LOL It's not really "in the crowd". And the best part was that since there were no actors around anymore, the director (an overweight very casually dressed dorkyish guy) would pretend to be Nana at the mike and stuff... LOL
After the filming was done, I thought that this had been one of the hardest days I've ever worked in my life. I really gave it my all!! It was a LOT of fun, but it sapped every bit of strength that I had.. but it was definitely worth it! Because of this, those three minutes of the movie that took 12 hours to shoot are going to be very special to me. ^^ My sweat, tears, and energy went into making it after all. More than I've ever given to any job before. ^^ I'm proud, and I hope that it turns out great, and the rest of the movie too! ♥
I hope that Nana 2 is as successful as the first one, or even more so!!! Another friend went to shoot another extras scene today, so I hope that it went well!! ^o^ Please support Nana 2!! (And I hope they use us on a trailer beforehand! =d)