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SHOKOKI! - The Lift-
INTRODUCTION STORY PRODUCTION NOTE
CAST & STAFF BIOGRAPHY  

The setting is an elevator in a skyscraper. The limited space of it is similar to a stage for a play: it is a place where nightmares are created. Six ordinary people happened to be inside the elevator. In another elevator, six members of a comedy group, JOVI JOVA are inside. Then, an accident: both elevators stopped and become suspended in midair. Astonishment and disturbance flood the minds of everyone. Angst and feelings of resignation controls the enclosed space. The ordinary people exhibited extraordinary physiological and psychological reactions at once that they had suppressed, to try and be ordinary. They claw and struggle against each other to save themselves in a desperate craze and false liveliness.
In sharp contrast, the six members of JOVI JOVA are calm, and ended up to begin creating a rush of ideas for new movies by utilizing the situation they are in that is prepared by the "devilish force." The elevators won't move, and the wild illusions start being metamorphosed into nightmares. A strange looking green colored mucus drops down the elevator's wall, and the shafts start screaming, "Gheeee..." The ultimate despair!! What happens to the people? Is it ever possible to get out? Are they going to embrace happiness or trauma at the end!? The conversations revolve around and imaginations are everywhere.
Kow Otani, who had been in the past in charge of music of "Gamera" series and "Godzilla," has succeeded to create spooky, but at the same time refreshing music to accompany a pitch that suits the movie's timing. The photography is in charge of Yutaka Sako ("Endless Waltz" "Score 2") who has described limitless mind work within a trapped space. Akinaga Tomiyama ("Give It All" "Circuit") has created dramas that are generated by passing time through lighting. The art such as the elevators is in charge of Katsumi Kaneda ("BU SU" "Himitsu"). One of the best-known Japanese Visual Special Effects (VFX) supervisors, Mitsuaki Hashimoto ("Gohatto" "Merdeka 17805") is in charge of visual effects. Also, the professionals of the professionals have supported Director Magy as staff, who became a film director for the first time.

story

~Instead of the elevator, the trapped people's heated feelings and conversations heated more and more and they ascended without limit~

In order to reach their destination, people go into the elevator again this morning...
The main setting and the cast of this story are the elevators in a skyscraper and the people taking them. More than one hour has passed since the elevators stopped. Inside the elevators, six ordinary people and six members of a popular comedy group, JOVI JOVA, are stuckノ
The pale emergency lamp illuminates the small space filled with nausea and cigarette smoke. On the floor, in the midst of such items as a shattered intercom, abandoned cellular phones, food strewn in pieces, neatly lined up cigarette butts, a woman with lovely face but simply dressed, Ms. Yumi Yamada, a young pizza delivery man, who is oddly cheerful, Mr. Takashi Suzuki, a man who works in mass communication, who believes he is 'hot' with his jeans and a cap, a weary salary man who holds his out-dated looking bag, a middle-aged woman whose real age is a mystery and enigmatic middle-aged man who is gloomy and too quiet... these 6 people were there.
Moment by moment, time passes. Only one thing can be done by humans when they are stuck in a sealed space that is far away from everyday life, that is talking! Hunger induces fatigue...fatigue induces feelings of resignation. Discomfort fosters boredom, and boredom seeks amusement. Then, jealousy, impatience, and attacks on others rise in accordance while the control over people's feelings has been released. The exact moment when people's desire has released fully, Yumi Yamada sees mysterious mucus oozing down the wall. On top, from outside the elevator, a good-looking but with a blank look young man appears...
On the other hand, the lighting inside the elevator in which JOVI JOVA's members are riding is usual, not even dark and spooky. On top, for an unknown reason, as Magy, the leader, persuades all other members to think seriously about the ideas of the movie which takes place inside the sealed space of the elevator. Sakata and Rokkaku, who tend to be easily influenced by Hollywood movies...Ishikura whose idea includes many NGs, yet carries good feelings...Kinoshita, who counts the returns from the movie...Hasegawa, who is particular about the casting for the heroine...then, Magy, who adopts and adds their ideas into his own thoughts. For Magyユs first film as director, JOVI JOVA members are chatting away with a deluge of ideas. However, Magy has been hearing eerie sounds many times from somewhere. Then, the ultimate spooky sound reaches his hearing finally...
They have no idea on which floor their elevators are stuck and why it happened. But, at this very moment, the elevator shafts that shift the boxes vertically by the wires hanging in a skyscraper start making a screeching noise..."Gheeee....!"

Interesting Aspects: Trapped Space, Conversation, Comedy, and Forbidden Approaches Used as A Film

The core idea of the film, the story of people trapped in elevators, has been created from conversations between the person who was supposed to become the director of the film and Magy. The assumption was to make a film full of funny conversations in order to be able to utilize screenplay writer, Yuichi Kojima's true ability. While they were searching for the settings, in a natural way, they conceived of the idea of an elevator. The screenplay had been written while focusing its efforts on the development of a story that never bores the audience because the main action of the film is conversation.

The Hardest Part That Waited for The Cast

During the film making, the hardest part for the cast was to endure not to laugh. Except Junna, who was determined not to laugh under any circumstances before the shooting session. Everybody else had NGs because they laughed. The laughter was easy to prevail due to the fact that everyone was there in a small space, the elevators. Endo had created four serial NGs due to his laughter. Following the scenes that Moto pulled out something from his bag, the core of the scenes centered around Endo and Honda's exchange of feelings and conversation was the 'timing'. In spite of the requirement to take right 'timing', Endo continuously burst into laughter whenever his eyes met with Honda's. By the way, most of the NGs were done by Fukami for seven times in a row at the scene where a mysterious young man walks back and forth at the elevator hall. His steps were always a half step short, and at the end, he received an OK while the half step was short anyway.

CGIs Not A Fancy Trick...We Need It, So We Use It

In order to deal with the demands of Director Magy from the start, CGI was necessary at least in two different scenes. One was the scene of the elevator bathed by lights and moves further and further while people are inside. (The staff called the cut a "uterus cut.") The scene was composed together by match moving the pictures of the elevator that were created by CGI with inside pictures of the elevator taken while it was moving on the rails. It was the longest and most complex composed cut in the entire film.
Another was that the appearance of Kawai whose eyes are shining from electric discharge. In order to create 'grand scale effects that carry hand-crafted images although Hollywood style is adopted,' analog hand-drawn animation were composed together as a finish. As an aside, in the midst a tight shooting schedule, it became apparent that shooting inside the elevator shaft was impossible. Then, Hashimoto, who was in charge of VFX, suggested using full CGI cut, which is very rare for Japanese films. What this meant was that meanwhile the condition was that actual pictures outside of the elevator that could be compared and the cut of the shaft of the elevator were eliminated, all the elevator cuts from outside were to be created by CGIs. In order to naturally match the scene to the rest of the film, it should not be obvious that they are CGIs. A delicate processes equivalent to the film "Titanic" was required, and that was an extravagant choice. Regarding the CGI creation of the main setting of this movie, the elevators, the member of Avant, a mat painter, Tojo's attempts to be able to obtain realistic quantification should not be missed.

CAST:

  • Risa Junna (Yumi Yamada)
  • Gamon Kaai (Takashi Suzuki)
  • Moto Fuyuki (Hisashi Hamamura)
  • Kenichi Endo (Toru Kanbayashi)
  • Yoko Oshima (Shizue Sato)
  • Motoki Fukami (Hajime Okada)
  • Hirotaro Honda (Junzo Sekine)
  • JOVI JOVA (JOVI JOVA):
     Magy
     Tomoharu Hasegawa
     Meisui Kinoshita
     Satoru Sakata
     Shinji Rokkaku
     Chikara Ishikura

STAFF:

Producers: Kiyoshi Mizokami, Tadashi Ano
Director: MAGY
Screenplay: Yuichi Kojima
Music: Kow Otani
Director of Photography: Yutaka Sakow
Production Design: Katsumi Kaneda
Lighting: Akinaga Tomiyama
VFX: Mitsuaki Hashimoto
Ending Theme: What's Love? “KAERI MICHI”

 

BIOGRAPHY

DIRECTOR: MAGY
Born in 1972, in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The leader of JOVI JOVA, that has been pursuing their own 'laughter' based on their need since the creation of the group in 1993. The group now has an amazing following for their live shows. He leads JOVI JOVA while being in charge of story construction and production for the group.
The live performance of JOVI JOVA is famous for its full of intense laughter. They have appeared on stage, in TV programs, and in such films as "Adrenaline Drive," directed by Shinobu Yaguchi and "Sunflower," directed by Isao Yukisada.
In the film, "Space Travelers" directed by Katsuyuki Motohiro he was in charge of the original story. Finally, this film was the first attempt for him to be the director. Also, he is in charge of this film's screenplay under the name of Yuichi Kojima, aka, Magy, the screenplay writer.

MUSIC: Kow Otani
His title of the professions are: composer, music arranger, pianist, and producer. His range varies wide and includes classic music, full orchestral modern music, rock, jazz, and hip hop. He is a musician known for the deep sensuousness of his music.
A Graduate of Nihon University, College of Art, Courses of Composition. Played in bands, and became in charge of concert support and arranges recordings for such artists as Southern All Stars and Seiko Matsuda. He has performed in concert as a solo pianist.
While he has been engaging in such music related activities as sessions with overseas musicians, he became absorbed in film music, and became an independent composer and producer. Presently, in charge of the support for Dreams Come True.
His activities include many film music scores including "Gamera" series and "Godzilla." He is also actively engaged in such areas as TV programs and musicals that crossover various media.

JOVI JOVA
Magy: Born in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan in 1972
Tomoharu Hasegawa: Born in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan, in 1972
Meisui Kinoshita: Born in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan in 1971
Satoru Sakata: Born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan in 1971
Shinji Rokkaku: Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1972
Chikara Ishikura: Born in Ehime Prefecture, Japan in 1973

JOVI JOVA is a six member comedy group of which Magy, the director of this film, is the leader. He formed the group in 1993 while still attending Meiji University. In 1994, the number of members became six which has continued till the present. There have been sixteen live performances that attracted audience that was amazingly large. On television, radio, and essays, each member has been actively engaged while utilizing their individual unique character.

(C)PONYCANYON