Fabulous Five "Pray" - Behind the ScenesJapan

Last month at Adfest 2019, AOI Pro's young director Naoto Mitake’s short film “Pray” was screened at Fabulous Five.

Our AOI Global member Masahiro Oyamada joined the project as a Line Producer. Here is a short behind-the-scenes interview with him!

Q: How much time did you have to prepare for the shoot?

A: I got a call from Naoto that he was selected as one of the Fabulous Five, just when I was having dinner with my colleagues; only 2 weeks before the shoot!

Q: What was the hardest part of the production process?

 A: After getting the offer, it was a struggle for me to gather all the casts and crew within a limited amount of time, while working on different projects at the same time. We also had to scout the locations by ourselves without Naoto, since he was based in Malaysia. Working within an extremely tight schedule and budget was strenuous, but luckily I was able to reach out to my favorite and most reliable crew, who were all interested and eager to make the script come to life. Without their passion in filmmaking, we wouldn’t have made it this far.

Q: What was different about this project, compared with other films you work on daily?

 A: Naoto and I have been friends ever since we entered AOI on the same year, but it was my first time to actually work with him on set. I was overwhelmed by reading his first draft, how he portrayed the Muslim culture from a Japanese point of view, which I believe was inspired by the fact that he currently resides in Malaysia. His taste in cinematography was influenced by cinema legends such as Yasujiro Ozu, Wong Kar-wai, and Jim Jarmusch, who he would often refer to whenever he had a chat with the DP on set. I was truly inspired by his uncompromising attitude to give each and every angle a meaning. Without a doubt, he will be a big star!

Q: How did you feel when it was screened at Adfest?

A: Luckily, I was able to make it to the screening myself. It was an honor to show the film on the big screen for the first time with Naoto. Though we got various reactions after the screening, I was glad that hundreds of people were able to witness the worldwide debut of newcomer Naoto, and realize that the future of filmmaking is bright for the years to come.

 I would like to thank everyone who was involved in making this film!

Check out the full film from our Recent Work page!