The story behind The Story!

In December 1989, I was contracted by the Visual Software division of Dentsu Japan to direct two live performances by Whitney Houston for video. One was to be for commercial broadcast in Japan, and the other would be in the HDTV format.

Our schedule was rigorous, with what seemed like thousands of meetings and planning sessions filling 7 days a week for the 2 weeks prior to the tapings, in Yokohama.

Each day, during my taxi ride to the Dentsu offices in Tsukiji, I was tantalized by an enormous billboard of Godzilla on a building in the Ginza. It was advertising the opening of what was the first new Godzilla film to be produced in many years, Godzilla vs Biollante. I wanted desperately to see it, although I knew our relentless production schedule wouldn't permit it for several weeks, if at all.

Everyone at Dentsu knew I was a lifelong Toho fan, and they enjoyed teasing me about the film.

Weeks later, our two days of shooting had gone better than anyone could have hoped, and as a reward for me, my producer Mr. Shinryo took me and two others to see the movie on our one day off before I was to begin editing.

We went on a Sunday, and I think they got quite a kick out of watching me act like a kid. I got a souvenir program, and lined up with the Japanese kids to stamp it with the special date stamp in the lobby. I had a great time, although I felt the movie could have been better. The effects sequences and the soundtrack were terrific, but I thought the plot had way too much talking and not nearly enough of what I was there to see, action! Mr. Shinryo fell asleep.

Afterwards, in the car, my friends Toni and Kamio asked me if I liked it. I told them how I felt, and they confirmed that the children in the theater also were talking to their parents about too much dialog and not enough monsters.

Kamio asked me if I thought that I could come up with a better story line for a Godzilla movie. I told him I thought that I could, although I'd never considered it before.

Later, after dinner, they dropped me at my hotel. In my room, I thought about what Kamio had said, and I got an inspiration for "my" Godzilla movie. I grabbed the note pad and began to outline my ideas.

For the next couple of weeks, I would return to my room after 12 hour days of editing, and work on my story. After the first week or so, I told Toni and Kamio about my after-hours project. They, in turn, had mentioned it to their boss, Shozo Katsura, the head of the Visual Software division. Amused by my love of Godzilla, Shozo proceeded to arrange a special surprise for me.

Using the considerable influence of Dentsu (the largest advertising company in Japan, and the world) Shozo arranged for me to be taken on a personal tour of the Toho studios!

Needless to say, I was in Kaiju heaven on the snowy day that we went to the birthplace of Godzilla. We were introduced to Kawakita san, the director of SFX, and he and I hit it off very well together.

He too was amused at my child like enthusiasm for all things Godzilla. During our meeting in his editing room, he presented me with several strips of film from effects scenes for the Biollante movie! He then showed us the rest of the editing facilities and the orchestra studio, before leaving us to continue with his assistant. We spent several hours seeing everything and meeting the people responsible for every facet of production.

We saw "The Suit", the prop room, and even got a chance to operate the full size mechanical figure of Godzilla used for close ups. I can tell you that I wasn't the only "kid" anxious to take a turn at that!

It was a magical day that I'll never forget.

The next day I was back in the editing suite, and at night, I continued expanding my film treatment, inspired by what I'd seen at Toho.

Kamio had told Shozo about my movie ideas, and he expressed interest in hearing more about it. A dinner was arranged, and I spent the evening outlining my ideas to Shozo. He liked it, and told me that if I would polish it, he would have it translated into Japanese, so that he could take it to Toho himself! Further, he said he would propose that Dentsu co-produce with Toho! I thought that I had died and gone to heaven!

Over the next 18 months, I expanded my treatment to the form it is here, and we found that we had an ally in Kawakita san. We had many meetings with various people at Toho, and Kawakita helped us strategize on the best way to approach Tanaka san, the long time head of Toho.

It was Tanaka that, in the end, put an end to our dream. He was "old school" in his thinking, and let it be known that he would never approve of a project for Godzilla that was conceived by a Gaijin (westerner) like me.

In the end, Kawakita tried to console me by saying that Tanaka was very old, and wouldn't be around forever. Which, unfortunately for Tanaka, turned out to be true. But, politics in the movie business being what they are, this is the only place, for now, that you can experience "Godzilla vs The Mysterians".

But, you can never tell about the future.

I hope you enjoy it. I'll never forget how close we came to actually seeing it made!

"Godzilla vs. The Mysterians" -The Story-

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Last Re-Sequenced on Monday, November 27, 2006 at 5:50 AM © Total Danger™