The Story of Godzilla’s Birth – Pt 17


The Story of Godzilla's Birth
「ゴジラ誕生語」The Story of Godzilla's Birth by Osamu Yamaguchi

P 38


It’s Godzilla! When Serizawa pulls out the oxygen destroyer’s safety valve, tremendous bubbles rise, and Godzilla begins to suffer. After confirming that, Serizawa cuts his own air hose with a knife. Only once did he use his Oxygen Destroyer, in exchange for his own life.


Finally, Godzilla fell and disappeared into the seaweed. However, Dr. Yamane muttered:


“I can’t believe that Godzilla is the last one. If hydrogen bomb tests continue, Godzilla’s kind may appear somewhere in the world again… ”


In this way, Godzilla, the first full-fledged monster movie, will not be produced as a profound drama. Takeo Murata, the scenario writer who was in charge of the scenario with Director Honda, said,


“While writing ‘Godzilla,’ I felt strongly that I had to be able to draw humans.”


“Godzilla” was treated as a blockbuster, with a budget of 70 million yen, which was quite large at the time. For that reason, we were able to gather excellent actors and staff for both the main story and special effects. However, special effects are originally expensive. The excellent staff is only part of it, and it’s a completely unprecedented job, so I don’t know what the future holds. I’m glad to say that everything started by groping around.


These staff members were organized into three groups: Honda group’s A group for the main story, Tsuburaya group’s B group for special effects, and Mukoyama group’s C group for compositing.

Gokasho Bay in Ise-Shima, Mie Prefecture was selected as the location (location shooting to shoot the actual scenery on-site) due to the need for underwater shooting due to the high transparency of the seawater and the location of the island. It was decided to be a fishing village in Toba City on the peninsula. It was decided that Odo Island would be shot at a fishing village in Toba City, on the same Shima Peninsula.

P 39


Shooting began from the Toba location of the main story. The main staff will start on August 2nd. Next, on the 6th, the Hon Yokujitsu corps departed for the main story, and started shooting the next day. Until the end of September, we rushed into shooting for 5 days.


On the other hand, Tsuburaya’s special effects group B had trouble making miniatures, and finally started shooting in late August. Filming took seven days until the end of October.


It was inevitable that Team B was late. Tokusatsu takes time no matter what you do. In addition to the production and setup of miniatures, there are also many accidents that will be introduce from now on. Tsuburaya directed the young staff and continued shooting through the night. They started at 9:00 in the morning and ended the day’s work at 4:00 or 5:00 the next morning. Even if all human beings such as art, lighting, camera, etc. were mobilized, it was inevitable that it would progress like this.


Among the staff, the phrase “Godzilla is five o’clock (GOJIDA)” was whispered without anyone saying anything. It didn’t mean “finish at 5pm,” it meant “takes until 5am.” Special effects for “Godzilla,” which has many night scenes, are prepared during the day, and shooting usually starts around 7:00 at night. Also, tokusatsu requires many times more lighting than usual, so it was more convenient to do it after the other studios had finished filming.


However, it takes several hours to shoot one cut (a series of shots = film). Therefore, by the time we finish shooting the scheduled cuts, it’s only natural that the night will dawn. From there, the voices of the staff sounded like screams, saying, “Godzilla is at 5 o’clock.” Tokusatsu is not only a lot of work. Even though it was his first monster movie, it could be said that Tsuburaya’s conviction to pursue the best visuals made him do so.