The movies of live musical productions use nearly 20 moving cameras and Hollywood sound mixing to bring the energy of the stage to the big screen
The Geki x Cine geki means stage play projects bring Japanese musical stage productions from the Shinkansen theater troupe to the big screen using feature movie style camerawork, editing and sound mixing.
The latest production, Legacy of Soma Aonoran, an all singing and sword fighting period piece starring stage and screen stars Yuki Amami and Kenichi Matsuyama, was mixed by Hollywood sound rerecording engineer Mike Prestwood Smith.
The fact it was shot on a stage makes it very different to anything I have worked on before. Making a stage play into a movie is very challenging. I think they were using up to 19 cameras at one point, Prestwood Smith, who has worked on more than 100 movies and was Oscar nominated for his work on Captain Philips.
All the performances are live, whereas musical movies are usually dubbed so everything a bit more raw and therefore challenging, added Smith.
The end result is very different from the traditional filming of stage plays using a few static cameras.