What were my Father's thoughts
       towards film production?
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Sometimes I wonder about these things.

Collaborative art--I know for a fact he felt this to be most important. It is also true he worked as a director to push the production to its limit and put his film out for the world to see.

However, was there any particular method that he used, which makes the viewers identify and say “This was written by director Honda!”?

He was a very straight man, disliked all things crooked, hated lies, exaggerations and hyperbolic expressions. So the methods used by such a man were faithful and very realistic, which in a sense was a very plain way of expression. But rather than his ways clashing with special effects filming, it actually fused well with the SFX process; and perhaps this is what the driving force that established the famous teamwork with director Eiji Tsuburaya.

Even with the actors, he never pushed his views of the characters or how he felt they should be portrayed. Rather, he would work to accommodate the actors and recreate the characters accordingly. I have been told that there is nobody like him, someone who leaves such a strong impression as a director but who never showed his anger towards the actors nor requested changes in their acting. Now, this may sound like something very simple to do, but film making back in those days were done in such a way where they had to use actors who had exclusive contracts with the film studios. Therefore, the casting process itself was limited from the start.

So Toho produced films, starting but not limited to Team Honda, and their contracted actors would appear in every film, which naturally created the “usual group” of actors to be viewed. Of course, there were 4 other companies who had the same system as Toho. From an audience point of view, you can say that all of their films were made using the same actors each time. And I had always questioned this.

But as a child, I felt that Team Honda’s filming sets had a harmonious, gentle and warm atmosphere, where everyone was smiling. I also remember them not having many outtakes either.

I can still recall my Father’s voice being unusually loud, echoing from corner to corner throughout the studio…

July 23, 2007
Ryuji Honda