Our exclusive interview is with Hiroki Ohsawa, LA-based Japanese film director. Hiroki’s directed movie “The Alc-Man” is just released and available online. The movie won 1 award and 5 nominations at film festivals, and was screened at TCL Chinese Theater, the most iconic landmark in Hollywood. Today, Hiroki confessed the source of the imagination and the way of story visualization.
Hiroki Ohsawa studied filmmaking and media literacy at Waseda University in Japan. While still at school, he directed and produced two award-wining documentaries. After working as a Consumer Toy Sales Operations in Bandai Namco Group, Hiroki moved to Los Angeles and earned his MFA in filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. His works have earned him 7 awards, including Best Drama from the LA Shorts Awards, and have been nominated for 10 awards.
CP: Hi Hiroki, congratulations on your movie “The Alc-Man”!
HO: Thank you so much, and thanks for having me!
CP: Can you please explain the story of the movie?
OH: It’s about a superhero called Alc-Man who transforms by drinking alcohol to save the world from alcoholic monsters. After his arch nemesis Booze The Great comes back from Alcohol Hades, a retired Alc-Man is forced to train his rebellious minor daughter to follow in his footsteps in order to protect herself. So, the story is pretty much about the relationship between the father and the daughter.
CP: The concept of “The Alc-Man” is unbelievably unique. How did you come up with the brand-new idea?
HO: I don’t think that’s brand-new, actually. I just combined a few well-known ideas in one in my style. Here is the thing. Can you imagine a non-existent new color? No, it’s impossible. However, you can make a new mixed color with the unique combination of existent colors. That’s what I did in “The Alc-Man”. Power Rangers was one of the products when I was working at a toy company, and I had experienced heavy drinking parties consistently since I was a university student. I put those two factors, superhero and alcohol, together and it was a new combination which no director has ever done before.
CP: After creating an amazing story, the next step is visualizing it as a director. How did you do that?
OH: I believe everything in the screen must have a reason to be there, and color is one of them. The alcoholic father and the hot-blooded daughter have wounded relationship at the beginning of the movie, so I used toxic green for the father and bloody red for the daughter as their theme colors, especially wardrobes. Green and red are opposite colors and describe a rupture between them. When the father and the daughter fight together against their arch nemesis at the end of the movie, the father’s superhero suit glows yellow. According to the three primary colors of light, it becomes yellow when green and red are mixed. That describes their relationship is eventually restored in harmony.
CP: You designed and made the superhero costumes by yourself. Did you also have a reason for the design?
HO: Oh yeah. Please look at the design of the title logo and the glowing lines on the superhero suit. They match.
CP: Are you working on different projects?
HO: I directed a Japanese language educational web series “NihonGO NOW!” supervised by Mari Noda, Professor of The Ohio State University last March in Japan. Next year, the videos will be available online and a textbook series by the same name will be published from a major publisher in Oxford, England. I’m also working on a feature film and a TV series as a director, but they’re still in the confidential pre-production phase. Hope I will announce something about them soon!
“The Alc-Man” Movie: https://youtu.be/FF3wep5Gum8
“NihonGO NOW!” IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11095584/
Hiroki Ohsawa Productions: https://hirokiohsawa.wixsite.com/hirokiohsawa