A group of foreign filmmakers in Aichi Prefecture has been working on a Web series, which are still unusual in Japan, by joining forces with 10 students at the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies.
The series, titled “English Teachers,” depicts the life of a foreign teacher at a local English school.
The first episode, filmed mainly on the university’s campus in Nisshin in late August, was released free of charge Saturday.
The show is directed by Anthony Gilmore, 32, an American filmmaker living in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture, who also teaches English at the university as an adjunct instructor.
He and four of his friends established a production company, Nameless Media & Productions, in July to make the Web series.
“There are many foreigners who teach English in Japan, but I have known few films featuring them. So this will be an interesting work,” says Gilmore, who himself has worked at an English school in Japan.
He sought the university’s cooperation to shoot a film and the school gave him the green light on the grounds it would provide a good opportunity for students to get experience in moviemaking while interacting with the mostly foreign crew.
The story is about an American teacher, Tom, who struggles to make an ailing English school come to life while maneuvering a variety of everyday difficulties he faces in the land of the rising sun. The main cast is played by eight foreigners living in Japan.
The series will consist of eight episodes, each lasting five to six minutes. It will be broadcast in English, mainly targeting foreign residents in Japan and those who are interested in the country. However, the company is considering adding subtitles for Japanese viewers as well.
Students took part in the production by helping with camera work, lighting, sound, makeup and art.
“I decided to join this project because I’m interested in filmmaking,” Mariko Ito, 21, a junior in the English department, said with a smile.
Gilmore said he wanted to take a shot at the new media format, as Web series have grown popular in the United States.
“English Teachers” can be seen online for free at englishteachersseries.com
This section features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the local daily Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published Sept. 8.
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