For Fuji TV producer Takayuki Hayakawa, Japan in a Day, a collaboration with Ridley Scott about the March 11 disasters, is a project with personal poignancy. The native of Sendai, the biggest city hit by the tsunami, lost many childhood friends in the disaster and watched with the rest of the world as live footage showed large swathes of his hometown being swept away.
“I was thinking about how I could contribute to my hometown and the disaster-affected areas after March 11. I had watched Life in a Day and thought it was an incredible project, so I contacted Ridley Scott Associates, their business development division,” explained Hayakawa. “Ridley got back to me almost immediately and said he thought it was an amazing idea to make a sequel project based on the events of March 11.”
Japan in a Day will consist of footage shot by ordinary people from Japan and around the world on March 11, 2012, the one-year anniversary of the disaster. Videos can be uploaded by anyone, as long as they were shot on that day, to a dedicated Youtube website for the project.
“Of the hundreds of videos that have been uploaded already, there are two distinct groups: those shot by professionals and film students, and those from ordinary people. There’s some really fascinating footage from both groups,” said Hayakawa.
The deadline for submitting videos to the site is March 25.
About 80 percent of the footage is expected to come from Japan, and Fuji TV distributed 200 cameras free to junior and senior high students in Fukushima Prefecture to record their lives on March 11 this year.
The project will be a full coproduction between Fuji TV and Scott Free, with a director and executive producer from each company. For Fuji, Gaku Narita will direct, while Chihiro Kameyama, responsible for many of the company’s biggest dramas and film hits, will executive produce.
Japan in a Day will hit screens around the world before the end of the year and all proceeds from the film will be donated to survivors of the disasters.