Takashi Miike, Director
In an interview with “13 Assassins” director Takashi Miike, on a website called Easternkicks.com, he was asked how much of the village he actually built for the movie and how much was CG. His answer reveals that he built all the sets and did not rely on CG for any of the action. Here is an edited direct quote of what he says,
“The only CG you see is…I mean, we couldn’t set the bulls on fire in real life! So those are CG. But other than that, there’s also a little bit of CG work when it comes to the blood, during the fight scenes. It’s in addition to the actual physical stage blood we used. But that’s pretty much it. Also, we didn’t use any digital effects in post-production… [E]verything was shot at 24 frames per second, with no changing of the speed in the edit. The idea was to respect the old way of making these movies.”
Here is a link to the whole interview:
I was also most impressed with some of the angles and POVs Miike used during the fight scenes. I tried to find a clip of the first-person scene where one of the fighters is cut, and the camera turns to his POV to reveal the action around him, but it was nowhere to be found online. I was also interested in how Miike used light to better convey the mood of the story. I noticed it was very dark in the beginning of the film. As the story progresses, the sun shines, the rooms are better lit, and, ultimately, the fight scene is completely revealed between the light of sunshine and the mix of clouds and sun.
Interesting Tidbit: Miike made a film for HBO’s horror movie series, Masters of Horror, in 2006 that HBO deemed too disgusting to put on-air. It is called “Imprint” and is on DVD. It is based on an old Japanese story, or folktale. Frankly, after reading the description on Wikipedia, I think it sounds disgusting! Might be fun for some horror movie buffs.