Sony vision-S concept video

Nanako Fukui 2nd AD, Naomichi Hosoya Director, Kiyoshi Ikemune PM, Akihiro Mitsuishi and Drone DP Matthew Lavin. Photo courtesy of Japanese Producer Noritaka Moriguchi
Nanako Fukui 2nd AD, Naomichi Hosoya Director, Kiyoshi Ikemune PM, Akihiro Mitsuishi and Drone DP Matthew Lavin. Photo courtesy of Japanese Producer Noritaka Moriguchi

Sony’s big reveal at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a production which announced their first ever foray into creating cars. The Sony Vision-S was introduced in a slick video presentation that excited viewers with its futuristic style. Filmed in a variety of settings, it makes perfect sense that many of these locations are from San Francisco and the surrounding area. This region has become the tech capital of the planet and nods to the forward thinking mindset which emanates from there. The director of this introduction video, Kiyoshi Ikemune had a clear vision about the look of this immensely important production and worked with Duo Creative Communications to establish this. US based producer Nanako Fukui was in constant communication with Ikemune to aid in manifesting the imagery he conceived of to launch Sony into the world of automotive creation. Working with Miyuki Tachibana from Duo Creative Communications, Inc., Fukui was involved from the outset in the most practical of facets from hiring local crews, supervising a location manager to get numerous permits, handling the budget, negotiating rates with the local crew, and creating shooting schedules. With only two and a half weeks of prep and no room for error on such a high end shoot, Nanako was the hub around which all aspects revolved. As big as any Hollywood red carpet event, this Sony Vision-S introduction video at CES marks a huge step forward for one of the world’s biggest and most respected companies.

It’s an increasingly important skill for a producer like Ms. Fukui to be well-versed in multiple languages and the customs of different cultures. For this production, Nanako worked with the director on his concepts and then assessed the budgetary constraints of this within the US as a filming location. This process far exceeds simple language translation. As someone who is at ease in both American and Japanese languages and the decorum of these cultures, Ms. Fukui was able to communicate to each side in a way that is both professional and appropriate in tone. Additionally, her experience as a producer allowed her to comprehend the expectations of the director’s vision and whether or not this was achievable within the production budget. That’s not always a pleasant message to deliver and must be done in a manner that predicts its reception. She recalls, “Upon receiving the estimated budget and shooting schedule, I realized it was impossible to shoot everything within the given days. Considering the number of locations as well as the crew and cast, I knew how much we could film in the 10 hours per day shooting schedule. I had a Skype conference with Mr. Ikemune to explain the breakdown of the shooting schedule and he talked to the Sony team who decided to make it shorter without ruining his vision. It was a sad decision that Mr. Ikemune had to cut a number of scenes from his original storyboard but ultimately it’s my job to oversee the shooting schedule and make sure that we shoot everything within the budget, even when my message is not a happy one.”

The director’s vision was built upon the themes of themes of a straight line, a circle, ecology, and technology. Timeless simplicity that is forward leaning, this echoes the ideas of an established company such as Sony advancing into the craft of automotive building. The San Francisco Bay Area possessed the aestheticsMr. Ikemune desired for the introduction of the Sony Vision-S. From the circular design of San Jose’s City Hall to the towering Bay Bridge to the famed residential area known as Twin Peaks, the vistas captured for this promotional video are striking. By Nanako’s own admittance, they are not easily attained. She relates, “You always have to make the most of every budget whether it’s a huge company or an Indie film.Negotiating means filming at off-peak times and utilizing traditional and drone camera work to get that ‘perfect shot.’ Whether it’s a residential owner, City Hall, the California Highway Patrol, or anyone else, you’ve got to speak well and know just how much you can get away with. It’s a vital skill.”

An unusual wrinkle in the creation of this production was the intense secrecy that surrounded its creation. Sony was adamant about no leaks and making this big reveal at the CES in Las Vegas with the completed film. A first impression lasts and the presentation of the Sony Vision-S concept video at CES made a profound impression. Until 2020 the name Sony hasn’t been associated with cars but enthusiasm and praise offered by those who witnessed this concept video as well as from the CEO of Sony himself confirms that this is an exciting new direction for one of the world’s most successful companies.