(Translator's note: This post is a continuation of a previous entry.)
I'm sure the previous posts have created more questions than answers about the inner workings of Japanese AV companies. In fact, talking about AV in this format nowadays may even be seen as slightly humorous. One thing's for sure and that's the decline of the art of making good packaging. This is the result of more people viewing movies on the internet. Some people opt to forgo the retail experience and watch something essentially the same online.
However, there is something I want you all to consider: the proportion of actual Japanese AV in ratio to movies filmed by real amateurs. It's almost certainly 90% movies made by Production Companies.
In other words, most Japanese adult movies seen on the internet have been produced by a Japanese AV Production Company (Translator's note: Do you think amateurs will make the effort to add post-processing mosaic?). Without them, there wouldn't be much out there for your masturbation needs no matter how unique your fetish may be. This portion of the article is for those wanting to know more about this area of the Japanese AV industry.
It's now time to talk about these Production Companies. As some of you may recall, my time working for an AV company was spent with one that focused on the distribution side of the business. Then again, 'Production Company' is a term most makers of AV identify themselves as. It also may seem redundant, but many Production Companies have sub-labels within their company that each focus on different genres.
Most Production Companies produce titles made for a male audience. The majority of their work centers around filming. Take note that 'filming' in this sense does not only mean sex. There's also scenes and situations that need to be filmed as preparation for the 'main event' and all this ends up being a time-consuming task leading up to a release date. Now I will explain the process of filming and then releasing a Japanese AV movie.
Step 1: Interview with AV Actress
Generally, the director and/or producer will first interview the main AV star and her manager. There they go over the type of movie they are planning on filming along with what and what not the AV star is able to do. For example, a production with a shiofuki theme may look for an AV star who possesses the talent of orgasming explosively. During the interview, she may be asked to demonstrate her 'talents' using a vibrator. An actress interviewing for an anal movie may be asked and later required to show how expansive her anus via a demonstration with a dildo. Thus, the details of how the production will come to be and who will star in it are all usually decided during the interview process by the director.
Step 2: Location Hunting
Finding an ideal studio and/or location is next. Well-known studios are the usual go-to for most productions. However, this does not apply to public nudity movies. Careful researching of the surrounding area is performed to ensure filming can occur without any unexpected incidents. Although filming in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic exists, it's not very common and is mostly carried out only by a few rogue Production Companies.
Step 3: The Setting, The Props, and Wardrobe
New ADs work like there's no tomorrow during this step. Those that don't take this step seriously don't last long as ADs. Larger Production Companies with bigger productions in mind often keep large storage areas full of props. Some companies even rent out an apartment unit to use as a storage area. It also takes a lot of time and effort to select the right items especially for more grandiose productions. This sometimes leads to all-nighters full of tense preparation before the day of production and even those are blessings compared to the setups needed for productions such as train chikan.
Written by Miyuki Nakagawara
Men's Cyzo recommends this title to readers of this article.
(Translator's note: Assistant Director has such a nice ring to it. In fact, the English entry for it on Wikipedia describes a position that's almost the polar opposite of the Japanese AV version of an AD who is the go-to for anything the director wants. On another note, watch some public nudity movies the next time you have an opportunity. Take notice of 'suspicious' people simply standing around facing away from the raunchy centerpiece. These are the lookouts who make sure nothing undesirable happens.)
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