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Official Satomi Hakkenden Interview.

Staff Interviews
Volume 6: Sakaguchi Taku (Action Director)

Q: Talk about being the action director.

This time, being allowed to do the action direction meant, of course, that I was in charge of the cut ratio and editing for the filming. I managed all of the action portions by myself, so it both fun and a bit of a strain.

Q: Talk about being asked to be the action director for Satomi Hakkenden.

Well, of course, there was a lot of pressure. Satomi Hakkenden has the strong impression of being something you watched as a child and found fun. I was asked by Suzuki, the producer, “Would you be the action director?” and I said I had the confidence to meet his expectations. I thought perhaps that by leaving the task to me he was saying something like, “cause a revolution.” (Laughs). If that’s not so, then it’s good if I receive requests from other people. The challenging action director, not the action leader or the person who teaches actors how to use swords, is like that, I think. I want to make a drama about which people say, “that was a good drama and the action was interesting.” I’m going to make a work that people say that about 100% of the time!!

Q: Talk about some of the action.

Well, I made use of some of the characters’ personalities to think about the action. Because Shinno is the main character, I made him very standard. The other warriors had a lot of wind and fire, and had a lot of power; I gave each of them a little spice and so all of the warriors came to have a sense of unity with one another. I thought a lot about what action would be cool to match with the role and the actor, and at times I talked about it with Doi, the director, and the actor himself. Because the director and producer both placed a lot of trust in me, I was able to be very free and it was fun.

Q: How much did you do?

Everyone was busy, so I did basic things that had to be done—the real minimal stuff. In Takizawa’s case, he really cut through the movement and handled the action well so eventually we pursued a higher level of action for him.

Q: As the characters developed, did the matching action also change?

Well, for example, regarding the characters, in the beginning they had a certain extent of strength, but little by little they showed themselves to be getting stronger and displaying weaknesses. I was thinking about what kind of action would be effective within the flow of the entire story as we filmed.

Q: Please give us a message.

By entrusting this to me, you’re getting action unlike anything else; I’ve been fussing over how I can make it different from anything you’ve ever seen up till now. It’s a historical piece, but it’s not like a historical piece—I challenged myself to do a new kind of action. Nevertheless, I didn’t change everything. I took great care with those things that carry traditional expectations and adopted some contemporary bits; I was thinking I wanted to make a “new form of action.” Please have a look at Satomi Hakkenden.

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