A video of Ultraman fighting a monster made by five Chinese young men has gone viral on Japanese social media since a Japanese netizen shared a post on his Twitter five days ago.
The video was fist posted on Kuaishou, a Chinese popular short video application. Liked by the designer of Ultraman Hiroshi Maruyama and Japanese director Shunji Iwai, the video went on to get over 1.67 million views, about 30,000 shares and 70,000 likes on Twitter so far.
In the video, wearing a mask and armor made of paper boxes, a man who acted as the monster was causing havoc in a Chinese village-style area that were made out of boxes and paper. After several fierce exchanges with the monster, Ultraman was beaten down to the ground after receiving a severe blow to the chest. Meanwhile, teammates were lurking on the side, trying to attack the monster with paper guns and rocket launchers made of lotus roots.
Tokusatsu, or "special filming", is a Japanese term for live-action film or television drama that makes heavy use of special effects. Monster films such as Ultraman and Godzilla or Super Sentai based on tokusatsu properties enjoy great popularity in Asia.
“It is so unbelievable that they can shoot such an interesting special film with limited resources! They have got amazing creativity,” A Japanese netizen remarked on the Twitter.
“It turns out that the love for special films can transcend borders. I really wish there would be a special film festival for amateurs,” said another Japanese netizen.Aged between 19 and 23, some of them used to work in a factory after graduating from elementary school. A year ago, they started to make videos together after they got familiar with each other online. They set up a short film studio operating an advertisement and printing business and share a house, Jiang Huan, one of the creators of the video, told the Beijing News.
Five creators of the video now set up a short film studio operating an advertisement and printing business. (Photo: The Beijing News)
Jiang said it took them nearly half a month to make the props, most of which were made of paper boxes. They had to cut and paste the boxes precisely according to designs searched from the internet. They had been wrecking their minds for days before coming up with a video script.
“Despite the light rain which damaged some of the props, the shooting process went so smoothly that we got it done in one day, which was beyond our expectations,” said Jiang, adding that a cell phone was the only equipment they used in the shooting.
Having received no training in video editing, the team taught themselves with online editing courses. They had to re-edit the video after their computer broke down from time to time.
Jiang and his team made a short film of Ultraman a year ago, which had received no attention online. “Back then we did not have so much experience in making videos. The storyline was too simple,” Jiang was quoted as saying.
Jiang said they felt great pressure after the video were well-received at home and abroad. “We want to make better videos to prove ourselves. But as a new team, we must take one step at a time and not get too ambitious.”