The Red Baron

Growing up "American" Losing his sister in camp Getting an English Name Introduction to Film Seagulls Leaving Tule Lake Getting Started in Animation First Short Film Teaching English in Japan Animations for the Government The Red Baron Paintings reflecting on camp Reparations

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I think we ended up calling it The Red Baron.  Or something like that.  It was all to do with the Von Richtho... the Brown was this Canadian guy who claimed to have shot down Von Richthofen, you know.  It was based on that story.  And I was the aerial director and, uh, art director.  And uh associate producer really. So basically I went there before Roger to set the whole scene up and designed all the mission huts and got the crew together and all that.  And started to storyboard the film.  'Cause you have to storyboard 'cause if you don't it's all based on miniatures and you know, and camera... you know look down camera eye directions to things you're working on this thing called a gimble.  You know, which is these models where you put these actors in, you know.  And they'd be looking down like this and they're actually in this little gimble with the fan, which is making it look like the wind is blowing.  But it's that, it's that, all that kind of stuff I knew from just doing commercial work and doing, you know, just my own way of working. I just had uh you know all these camera directions and everything working.  And when you storyboard the whole film then you have it all, sort of like, the film basically made, you know.  The director just follows it.  And the actors and all that.  

So I did a second unit team.  And I went on a helicopter.  And, but before I went in the helicopter.. there were sixteen, fifteen planes in the air. Biplanes.  And they had to all be properly signaled of...'cause it's dangerous, you know, they'e all flying very tight, you know.  And from doing flips and everything smoke was coming out.  And uh the camera's got to follow them down.  It's all orche-orchestrated .... It's, um it's choreographed in the air.  And you talk to your pilots before that.  With models on, on sticks, you know.  A major communication.  So I'm doing that radio communication and directing in the helicopter and that is a very important role.  Now don't tell me how I did it. I just did it.  It was instinct.  Instinctively I did it and there was no accidents or nothing.

Date: June 29, 2012
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Chris Komai, John Esaki
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

art director film

This guide will give you the fundamental knowledge you will need to conduct your own oral history interview.

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Read the Nikkei Heroes >>

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation