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PIKA™NCHI
PRODUCTION NOTE STORY CAST & STAFF
PRODUCTION NOTE

Welcome to a Brand New Film Experience
The film, PIKA™NCHI, is breaking with convention by being shown digitally through "DLP projection." DLP is the latest in cinematic technology deployed in the new Star Wars trilogy and Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away."
Since the birth of motion pictures over a century ago, film has served as the primary medium through which feature movies have been shown. The greatest drawback with film, however, is that with every print that is made and shown comes a gradual loss in resolution and color quality due to wear and tear. The films that audiences see in theaters therefore do not necessarily live up to the creative expectations and vision that their creators originally imbued in the original master.
DLP (Digital Light Processing) is digital media technology developed by the American company, Texas Instruments, with the cooperation of the movie industry. It is designed to ensure durable and faithful reproductions of screen and film works that meet the visual quality and artistic demands of motion picture makers. In June 1999, the first projection of completely digital film took place across the United States with the premiere of Star Wars, Episode I.
While audiences still get to enjoy the same aesthetic advantages that "film" has always had over other visual media, what is being projected is not film, per se, but digitized film data recorded on hard disk drives (as in a PC). DLP technology therefore requires the use of special projection equipment in theaters. Its great advantage, however, is that audiences are treated to a beautiful, crisp, high-resolution picture which does not deteriorate over time or repeated showings but preserves the visual integrity and quality of the original work, so that all reproductions are essentially "opening night originals."
PIKA™NCHI was shot primarily in 16mm film and then digitally mastered to be shown in DLP-equipped theaters. The synergy of both analog and digital technologies ushers in the advent of a whole new world of visual art. Welcome to the future of cinema!

story

The story takes place in the mammoth-sized "Yashio Danchi" apartment complex comprised of some 6,000 households in 69 tenement "blocks", or "wings", and situated in the Shinagawa district of Tokyo. Despite its Tokyo address, the housing complex' idiosyncratic, non-cosmopolitan atmosphere provides the backdrop for five teenagers, "inescapably" thrown together since junior high, who've been having the time of their lives living in the moment with absolutely no thought of their futures. Nevertheless, high school graduation is upon them. On what they've dubbed their "last pilgrimage" to the trendy district of Harajuku, the five find themselves absorbed in circumstances that reveal their varying natures. Takuma (Kazunari Ninomiya) tears around on his skateboard. Bon (Jun Matsumoto) prepares to sell crepes on the street. Haru (Satoshi Ohno) is being pestered by pushy salespeople. And for no apparent reason, Chu (Sho Sakurai) starts karate chopping tiles. Lastly, Shun (Masaki Aiba) has a chance encounter with a beautiful young girl, Miku (Anri Ban). Little do any of the five know that this day would set a series of events in motion that would lead them to graduation day

Yukihiko Tsutsumi, Director
Born Nov. 3, 1955
Upon joining a television production company and working as an assistant director for two years, Tsutsumi made his directorial debut in 1980. Along with numerous television music programs and music videos, he has also tried his hand at stage and concert direction. In 1986, Tsutsumi established a creators guild called, Sold Out, with Yasushi Akimoto. In 1998, he made his film debut by directing "Eigo Ga Nanda" (Phooey with English), a chapter in the hit omnibus movie series, "Bakayaro!". In 1994, Tsutsumi, along with members of Sold Out, helped form the production company, Office Crescendo. He continues to spread his directing talent over a wide range of genres including film, television, commercials and music videos.

Masahiko Kawahara, Screenplay
Born July 7, 1969
The architect behind a wealth of writing projects including serving as the sole agent for the multimedia guild, "Highleg Jesus," Kawahara is also a performer in his own right. He has a great following among Japan's youth, in part to thrilling and "notorious" theatrical performances that fly against convention. Although Kawahara has announced that Highleg Jesus will cease to exist this summer, he will remain in the limelight as a television and commercial actor, while making use of his wide range talents as a radio personality, essayist, and DJ with an encyclopedic knowledge of music.

Yoshihiko Inohara, Creator
Born May 17, 1976
Ever since his musical debut ("Music for the People" CD) as part of the wildly popular singing group, V6, Inohara has skyrocketed to stardom on the strength of the group's popularity, a slew of hits and Inohara's own charismatic personality. He has become a mainstay on television and radio and draws a huge fan base that cuts across many age groups. Outside of V6, Inohara's many activities include a CD release as part of Tonisen (20th Century), live tours, dinner shows and stage performances. PIKA™NCHI was modeled on his real life experiences growing up inside a huge metropolitan apartment complex.

CAST PROFILE:

ARASHI

Masaki Aiba
as Shun Okano (nickname: Shun)
Born Dec. 24, 1982

Jun Matsumoto
as Rentaro Futaba (nickname: Bon)
Born Aug. 30, 1983

Kazunari Ninomiya
as Takuma Onda (nickname: Takuma)
Born June 17, 1983

Satoshi Ohno
as Haruhiko Kida (nickname: Haru)
Born Nov. 26, 1980

Sho Sakurai
as Tadashi Kamogawa (nickname: Chu)
Born Jan. 25, 1982

The formation of teen idol band, "Arashi," was first announced aboard a yacht off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sept. 15, 1999. On Nov. 3 the same year, the group made its CD debut with the theme song for the "World Cup of Volleyball '99" held in Japan. The CD became a million seller leading to an ensemble appearance in a television "spring of youth" drama about teens pouring their blood, sweat and tears into the sport of volleyball. The group has since unfurled a succession of hits with their original musical style combining Japanese pop and rap. While Arashi as a group continues to go on a large concert tour each year and appear on TV variety programs, each member is also developing their own persona, appearing in TV dramas, radio programs and stage performances. PIKA™NCHI is the first film by Arashi as an ensemble.

Hajime Yamazaki as "Katsuyuki Okano," Shun's father
Born Sept. 13, 1957

A veteran actor who has performed with the Waseda Small Theater and later the Paranoia Dept. Store repertory groups, Yamazaki rose to instant national prominence as "Mr. Suzuki" in a series of popular commercials for an English language school, NOVA. Currently active in theater, television and film, his frank, genial demeanor and talent for playing memorable character roles has endeared him to audiences.

Anri Ban, Miku Tachibana
Born Sept. 26, 1985

Active as a model in fashion magazines and photo essays, Naka won critical acclaim for her acting debut in the television drama, "The Star currency part 2", followed by a strong performance in the highly-touted film, "All About Lili Shushu". She is billed as one of Japan's most promising actresses.

 

STAFF:

Executive Producer Julie K Fujishima
Co-Producers Hiroko Nakamura, Susumu Nakazawa
Original Story Yoshihiko Inohara
Screenplay Masahiko Kawahara
Photography Director Satoru Karasawa
Lighting Director Kenji Ishida
Recording Director Soichi Inoue
Art Director Tomoyuki Maruo
Editing Director Nobuyuki Itoh
Assistant Directors Yuichiro Hirakawa, Noriko Maruge
Production Manager Ohito Okudaira
Director Yukihiko Tsutsumi

CAST:

Shun Okano (Shun) Masaki Aiba
Rentaro Futaba (Bon) Jun Matsumoto
Takuma Onda (Takuma) Kazunari Ninomiya
Haruhiko Kida (Haru) Satoshi Ohno
Tadashi Kamogawa (Chu) Sho Sakurai
Father of Bon Ryosei Tayama (Film "GTO," Fuji TV's "Millions from Heaven")
Kimie Takano Natsuko Akiyama (Play "Blue Room" and "The Girl Who Met God")
Father of Takuma Kazuhiko Hankai (Play "Cusco" and "Shanghai Band Kings")
Music teacher Saotome Ginpunchoh (Fuji TV's "Kabachi-tare" and "Ikebukuro West Gate Park")
Kagome Kamogawa Yoshihiko Inohara

(C)PONYCANYON