We understand the stress that filming overseas can bring to our clients. Our aim is to make them feel we’re their ‘London Office’, working the production exactly as they would do at home. Wherever you come from and wherever you’re filming, the challenges are the same - you have to get results on brief, on time, and on budget.
Our first job for Japan dates back to 1997. Legendary Japanese producer Takao Saiki called on us to work with his company Size, then with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, and Tokyo. Although Saiki had worked in Europe many times, he sought a European production service company to develop a long-term relationship. Saiki took me under his wing and taught me how to work with Japanese clients.
In the past 17 years we have worked with Japanese clients many, many times - each job totally different and yet each job demanding the same level of professionalism, understanding, and support. And we bring that expertise to the Production Service Network (PSN).
During this time we have employed many Japanese professionals living in Europe, both in-house and freelance. We never stop learning.
One of our most recent jobs for Japan was typically challenging. The product was PEPSI SPECIAL – and our storyboard showed a hungry young man sitting on the platform of an underground station, dreaming about food. Lost in thought, when the underground train arrives, he sees it as a giant hotdog. Filming in an underground station in London is very possible - the local authority is very helpful -, but the logistics are quite hard. As always, our clients were very demanding. They wanted the very best crew, the very best equipment, and the very best Art Department - all on a disused platform underneath Charing Cross station - in Central London. Click here to see the film.
In pre-production, our clients were very supportive and cooperative, understanding the logistics of this challenge. Our Japanese coordinator, Moto Yoshida, worked very closely with our clients to ensure clear communications – essential when working long-distance across time zones.
Our Location Manager worked to similar precision with underground authorities, who supported us and helped us achieve what we needed.
The working relationship between all the Japanese crew and our UK crew was brilliant - and despite the challenges of working underground, we had a terrific atmosphere with everybody helping each other.
We want to thank Mr Shin Takaue at Suntory, Mr Taku Tada at Tug Boat, Mr Kensakau Marumoto and Mr Takuya Hasegawa at Yomiuri, Mr Masakatsu Kasai and Mr Ryunosuke Okamura at Tohokushinsha Film Corporation. And a special thanks to our wonderful director, Mr Koichi Iguchi.