lunes, 25 de agosto de 2014

Mysterious islands at Japanese fantasy and monsters movies.

 Since the first appearance of Godzilla at 1954, part of the Japanese film industry was focused on the production of fantasy films featuring giant monsters. Many of these films were located in mysterious islands where all kind of weird creatures lived. Although the production company Toho Film was the main and most productive company doing those kind of movies, the great forerunner of these films was certainly King-Kong (1933) and the Skull island.

As in the iconic American film, the Japanese used matte paintings to show the long shots of the islands. Although sometimes it was a miniature island matted in. The matte painting was usually uncredited on Japanese films and I’m not really sure who painted what. I have found some names credited for matte work, or matte shots, but I suspect most of these names are from camera operators.

The first one at the Japanese Fantasy islands was black and white for Godzilla (1954) 
Special visual effect: Eiji Tsurubaya
Matte work:  Hiroshi Mukoyama

Two beautiful colour paintings of the island  from Mosura (1961)
This time, no mention of matte work or matte process on the credit. VFX again under the master  Eiji Tsurubaya.

Another Toho Film, this time associated with Universal for the making of  King Kong versus Godzilla (1962) with Eiji Surabaya in charge of VFX, and again Hiroshi Mukoyama credited for matte process.

The same FX team worked at Godzilla versus the sea monster (1966) a film with lots of matte paintings.

For Son of Godzilla (1967) Tsurubaya used a miniature island on a water tank with a painted  backing.

 At  Destroy all monsters (1968) they show  the island  as aerial view from a helicopter as a matte painting. Then it was displayed as a model miniature on a water tank with painted backing. There are many other matte paintings  on that film, again uncredited.

Latitude zero (1969) is also a Toho film, but without giant monsters. This time is a fantasy science fiction film. Part of the action happened on a deserted rocky island  displayed mostly with matte paintings.  Eiji Tsurubaya is again supervisor of FX work with no matte painting credited. 

 For the final destruction of the island it was a model miniature.