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Video Director Atsunori Toushi talks about the differences between music video production in Japan and Korea



A circle of friends connected by gootouchi! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.

On April 17, video director Atsunori Toushi will appear. He has worked on music videos and video works for various artists including BUMP OF CHICKEN and Nogizaka46. He also talked about the differences between the Japanese and Korean ways of making music videos.

At the age of 38, he made his directorial debut with BUMP OF CHICKEN’s “ray”

Celeina (MC): The first guest of the week is Atsunori Toushi, who is a video director recommended by this program. I have heard briefly that you and Mr. Takano are connected.

Takano (MC): I went to the Cape the other day, and Toushi-san was there too.

Toushi: We went for a walk together.

Takano: We ate doughnuts and so on. I am glad to see you again. It’s nice to meet you again in this way. Toushi-san, I would like to ask you about your work today. Do you keep a count of how many you have done?

Toushi: I’ve probably done more than 300.

Takano: That’s a different order of magnitude.(haha)

Celeina: How many shows a year is that?

Toushi: I think I do about 60 a year.

Takano: Is it 10 for BUMP OF CHICKEN?

Toushi: That’s probably right. If you include lyric videos, I’ve done about 12.

Takano: That’s a wide range. You have done Nogizaka46, Awesome City Club, ONE OK ROCK, and even GLAY.

Toushi: Yes, I have been involved.

Celeina: But you were 38 years old when you made your debut as a video director, right?

Toushi: Until then, my role was as a video producer, but I wanted to understand how directors feel. When I tried it, I got a surprisingly large number of directing jobs.

Takano: And your first film as a director was “ray” by BUMP OF CHICKEN. That’s amazing, isn’t it?

Toushi: It just so happened that someone from the BUMP OF CHICKEN saw my work on a Hatsune Miku opera. We started talking about how it would be great if we could do something interesting with BUMP and Hatsune Miku.

Takano: I was surprised that the music video was not CG. You have already done most of the work as a director, haven’t you?

Toushi: That’s right. I happened to be selected as the BEST DIRECTOR of the year at the “SPACE SHOWER MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS” that year, and from there I started getting a lot of work. I guess I direct more now.

Celeina: Did you always want to be involved in the music business?

Toushi: Yes, I watched a lot of music videos and loved them. I watched a lot of domestic and international videos, and that’s how I knew I wanted to work in music.

Takano: What kind of music videos did you watch a lot when you were a student?

Toushi: I loved Red Hot Chili Peppers, so I watched their music video for “By The Way” a lot.

Celeina: When “By The Way” was released, there was no such thing as YouTube. How did you see the music video?

Toushi: I watched a lot of overseas videos on MTV and “BEAT UK” (Fuji TV), a music video show that used to be on in the middle of the night.

Takano: I would like to hear about some music videos that you think are amazing in the way they are shot.

Toushi: I love the music video for the song “Tonight, Tonight” by The Smashing Pumpkins. I recommend the music video that makes you feel like you are in a picture book.

Takano: The Smashing Pumpkins is a good music video, isn’t it? It’s more emo. Maybe it’s because I’m watching it now. I heard that the name of your company, “A4A,” is filled with a lot of feelings.

Toushi: A4A” is a play on the words “Artist for Artist,” so the name of the company is to make custom-made products for artists. So, it is like we have a variety of artists.

Celeina: When you are asked to make a music video, do you start by interviewing the artist?

Toushi: We have a meeting and often start by talking about how they felt when they wrote the song.

Takano: This may be a little difficult, but what is the most important point in making a music video?

Toushi: The most important thing is that it should be a memorial to the person. Like a photograph, I make music videos with the hope that they will be memorable for the artist.

Celeina: As far as you can tell, what artists are you currently making music videos for?

Toushi: Right now, I am making a music video for Rena Nōnen, and we are discussing and making it together with Rena Nōnen.

Takano: I am very interested in it. Thank you very much. Now, I asked Toushi-san to choose a song that he would like everyone to listen to together on the radio at this time. What song would it be?

Toushi:“By the Way” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, please!

The storyboard is 30 to 40 pages long! Differences in music video production between Korea and Japan

Takano: Yes. This is a song that Toushi-san remembers from his school days. The music video for “By the Way” also has Red Hot Chili Peppers’s style.

Toushi: Yes, it does. There are cool, comical, and cute parts, and everything is there.

Takano: After hearing this, I’m going to go back and watch it again. Toushi-san, I heard that you have been working not only in Japan but also overseas recently.

Toushi: I am also working with an artist in Korea. Since the concept is the center of the project, you first create a proposal for a 5-minute music video, which has 30-40 pages of content.

Takano: In Japan, how much is a storyboard?

Toushi: Probably about 10 pages at most.

Celeina: Do you mean there are many times as many scene changes?

Toushi: Recently, Korean music videos have about 10 scene changes.

Celeina: How many days does it take to shoot a video?

Toushi: It takes about 3 days. In Japan, we don’t often shoot for three days, so we often shoot in one day.

Takano: The way of thinking is totally different even at the point of making the film. I heard that you use a music score.

Toushi: There is a music layout, and the contents are organized by measure. It’s like a document for each measure with lyrics and sheet music. So it’s very easy to understand and develop the music. I learned the Korean way and have been making music videos in that style recently.

Celeina: Do you have any plans to shoot music videos not only in Korea, but also in other Asian and Western countries?

Toushi: I would like to make music videos. I would like to make music videos that can be a tool for communication, and that can bring us closer together. I will do my best to get offers.

Advice to those who want to become a video director

Takano: If you listen to what Toushi-san has to say and watch music videos, I think you will see things differently. I was also impressed by the fact that you started directing videos at the age of 38. I feel that age has nothing to do with it.

Toushi: That’s right. I thought there was no way I could become a director, but I did, so I hope I can take my time and do what I want to do at my own pace.

Takano: I think there are people listening to this who also want to become a video director. Toushi-san, do you have any advice for them?

Toushi: If you tell people what you want to do at your own pace, someone is always watching you. I wish you the best of luck.

Celeina: I guess it means to never give up on a challenge and to keep going. Besides this music video, is there anything else you would like to challenge in the future?

Toushi: Recently, I have been directing a fashion show for a clothing brand called “ha | za | ma.” I would like to do more than just video productions like that, I would also like to do various kinds of spatial productions.

Takano: I am looking forward to seeing what you will do in the future. What kind of people do you introduce to FIST BUMP?

Toushi: It’s Kensuke Yamamoto, Founder & CEO of “Sumally” which offers a smartphone storage service called “Sumally Pocket” and other services.

Takano: What kind of person is he?

Toushi: He has a high sensitivity to everything from art to food. Also, he knows a lot about music. He knows a lot about orchestras and so on. That’s the kind of person he is.

Takano: I’m looking forward to it. This may be difficult, but how would you sum it up in one word?

Toushi: Interesting person.

Takano: I’m looking forward to it (haha). Thank you very much. Tomorrow, I will connect you to Kensuke Yamamoto.

Celeina: Today’s guest is Atsunori Toushi. Thank you very much.

Toushi: Thank you very much.


J-WAVE (81.3FM) Mon-Thu 16:00 – 18:50
Navigator: Shinya Takano, Celeina Ann



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