Interview with Film Director Shunsuke Koyama - First Job

Interviewer: Teerapat P

Special Interview with the film director Shunsuke Koyama from "First Job"

Shunsuke Koyama, film director and actor after the special interview

First Job (Hatsu Shigoto, 初仕事) is one of the films in Tokyo Premier category at Tokyo International Film Festival this year (2020). By the courtesy of TIFF, we got a chance to have special interview with Shunsuke Koyama, the film director from movie "First Job", to share his ideas in the film, how he casting and also his next projects.

InStyle Asia: Nice to meet you, let's talk about your film "First Job". mr.Anzai (starring by director Shinsuke Koyama) really love his daughter so much. Why he prefered to keep the memories about his daughter by the death photo? Not the photo when she is alive. Why he need the death photo?

Shunsuke Koyama: He want to take photo because in his mind, she (his daughter) is not death. But as a parent he should think that she is death.

For him, the daughter is still alive. and.. because his wife died earlier so mr. Anzai have to function as a mother as well. And you saw the photos of the daughter he took in the photo album he showed in the film. And he still taking and continuing on what he doing.

InStyle Asia: Thank you so much, now we understand the reason why he wanna keep the death photo.

So, What is the love aspect in your opinion and the love aspect in the film? For example love between father and daughter, husband and wife, friends.

©2020 Suipon

Shunsuke Koyama: What is the family. The love among family. If you asked me what kind of love it is. may be we don't have the name what kind of love is in Japanese.

I was asked some questions in Q&A session, it was so surprised that there are quite a lot of people who lose the parents asked me the questions. To me it was a surprise to hear that they think the death of parents is same as the death of child. But for me, it's very very different.

InStyle Asia: How about love aspect on your next film. This film is about father and daughter, and how about the next one?

Shunsuke Koyama: May be if you categorised this individual love between the parent and their child, it will be a long story i wanna tell you. 

What am i thinking next is, when the child doing something dangerous. Can the parent let them be?, let them do?. Can you be not over protective?

©2020 Suipon

InStyle Asia: Let them do what they wanna do, right?

Shunsuke Koyama: For example when the child are in dangerous, as a parent, Can you watch them without interfering? This feeling, may be i haven't made the film yet. It's very diffecult to describe in an own word. 

InStyle Asia: I see. Back to this film, What do you expected the audience after watch it?

Shunsuke Koyama: I knew that i have to be very careful with my words on the Q&A session last time. There are quite a lot of people who reasonably lose their parents but we have to go the next and moving on. i want to say what i want to say.

Because I think there are a lot of people at there right now who had strong attachment, clinging to the past or to the disease.

©2020 Suipon

InStyle Asia: Let's talking about the reason to casting the three main characters (mr.Yamashita, mr.Anzai and mr.Kasuo) Could you tell us?

Shunsuke Koyama: Actor Eiichi Sawada who play the role of mr. Yamashita, had similar family backgrounds. When this project started, i portraited myself as mr.Yamashita and when i getting older around 30 years old, i portraited myself as mr. Anzai character. So it's like a confrontation between old me and current me, me now and me in the future. In the beginning I thought that I'm currently like this but when i turned 30 years old, may be i will be like that. But when i turned 30 years old or more, it was not the one i would like to be.  So i took time so long to edit. 

The reason i casted actor Eiichi Sawada is, i thought he could play the role of me who i was when I started this project. And also he have a kind of similar backgrounds. And the other characters like mr.Kasuo and the lady who working as the assistant at photo studio (in the film), they are professional actors. So i could just leave the role on them. I don't have to direct or give them so much directions. I decided to cast them because they are professional. 

Shunsuke Koyama film director from First Job (初仕事), Tokyo Premier, Japan 

InStyle Asia: I see, so you portraited yourself through the main characters in the film. Do you also like shooting the photo (mr.Yamashita in the film is photographer)?

Shunsuke Koyama: not photo, I like taking the movie.

InStyle Asia: Thank you. What is your most favourite scene from this movie?

Shunsuke Koyama: When they have dinner together at Okonomiyaki place, It's my favourite scene.

InStyle Asia: How about your next project?

Shunsuke Koyama: The child who playing in nearby park where he found the insects like the little beetles. This child decided to take this insects back to the forest. 

Actor Eiichi Sawada on the film premiere in Tokyo

InStyle Asia: Is it related to environment topic?

Shunsuke Koyama: No (laughing), it more like the kids' adventure story, I'm not thinking about environment issue.

InStyle Asia: That sounds interesting. When we can watch your next project?

Shunsuke Koyama: This film (First Job) took 6 years because i tried on air and got really troubles. So next film, i guess to take the little less than 6 years.

Actor Kazuhisa Takeda in the film premiere in Tokyo

InStyle Asia: So what we can do is, waiting for your next film.

Shunsuke Koyama: Yes (laughing), if you wish, please wait.

InStyle Asia: From now on, Do you have any plan, project or idea which is related to Southeast Asia? Like making the new film in Southeast Asia or co-producing with directors or actors there.

Shunsuke Koyama: I haven't thought about this, The contents that i thinking, make it inside Japan would be enough. And think about what i wanna shoot, take it inside Japan is fine. But if i thinking something different, it will be a different story. But what i thinking right now, make it inside Japan is enough.

InStyle Asia: I see. Personally, What kind of genre you like?

Shunsuke Koyama: I love watching fantasy story. People may not believe me if i said my film is also a fantasy movie. 

Why i think my movie (First Job) is a fantasy movie? because if we have a person like mr.Anzai in real life, and you may remembeted the scene they are looking the photo album. mr.Anzai looking at the photos where he was shot and he got it all. This is an attachment that he clings to it for long time. Normally it take many many years for a person who realized it. But he got it in only 2 - 3 days. Somehow it make sense to the audience that it's a kind of fantasy world. That's why i called my film, it's a fantasy movie.

Actor Yuki Hashiguchi in the First Job film Premier in Tokyo

InStyle Asia: The story is really interesting since the opening scene when a young photographer got the job to shoot the dead people, like a horror film. But after watched for half an hour, it's not the horror film. There are some reason to make all characters came to meet and shared the story, so we must watch until the end.

Shunsuke Koyama: It was my intentional, Thank you so much.

InStyle Asia: Thank you very much for sharing us on the interview.

Shunsuke Koyama, film director and actor in the First Job film premiere in Tokyo

About the Movie

A story of two men, mr. Yamashita who accepted the offer from mr. Anzai to shoot the corpse of his baby in his house. mr.Yamashita attempted so hard to take the photos and also discovered the reasons behind this offer.

Cast: Eiichi Sawada, Shunsuke Koyama, Yuki Hashiguchi, Tomohisa Takeda, Hanako Shiraishi, Moeko Hosoyama

Film Director: Shunsuke Koyama

©2020 Suipon, 初仕事 (First Job) film partners

©Tokyo International Film Festival 2020 (TIFF)

Interview photo & Text: InStyle Asia

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