DocCross Asia



We’re back! “Talking with the DocCross Asia international co-production team”

第二弾!特別講義「DocCross Asia国際共同制作チームとの語らい」


Nagoya TV producer Fuminori Murase, Phan Ý Linh and Nguyen Nhat Duy, and Professor Ikegawa Takayuki of Kyoto Institute of Technology
名古屋テレビの村瀬プロデューサー、Phan Ý LinhさんとNguyen Nhat Duyさん、京都工芸繊維大学の池側隆之教授

Following up on a June lecture at Meiji Gakuin University, DocCross Asia was again invited to give a presentation on July 29, entitled “Talking with the DocCross Asia international co-production team.” Professor Ikegawa Takayuki of Kyoto Institute of Technology hosted the remote talk by Nagoya TV producer Fuminori Murase, and Nguyen Nhat Duy and Phan Ý Linh. Thirty-two undergraduate and graduate students of media and design at the Academic Field of Design participated and posed a wide range of questions. (See Project Updates: Filmmaking is “painful but fun!”, July 2021)

Here’s a sample:

  • How does your experience in news reporting apply to documentary production?
  • What are the differences between making feature films and documentaries?
  • How do you get around media suppression when dealing with sensitive topics?
  • What should we keep in mind when making documentaries?

7月29日、京都工芸繊維大学の池側隆之教授の主催で、「特別講義 DocCross Asia国際共同制作チームとの語らい」が開催されました。6月に明治学院大学で行った講義に続き、今回も名古屋テレビの村瀬史憲プロデューサーとベトナム側のパートナー Nguyen Nhat Duyさん、Phan Ý Linhさんがリモートで登壇。デザイン科学域でメディアとデザインを学ぶ学部生と大学院生、合わせて32名が参加し、質疑応答では多岐にわたる質問が投げかけられました。(2021年7月活動レポート:ドキュメンタリー制作は「苦楽(くるたの)しい」!参照)

  • 「報道の経験はドキュメンタリー制作にどう生かされるのか?」
  • 「映画とドキュメンタリーとの違いは?」
  • 「言論への介入があった場合、制作者としてどう対応するのか?」
  • 「ドキュメンタリー制作で気をつけることは?」

Fuminori Murase

“I’m a ‘news guy,’” Murase explained, “so the way I shoot footage is rather bland or flat. Shooting in a short time and getting the footage out quickly for broadcast is an ingrained habit. But working with my Vietnamese partners made me realize I've hadn’t been shooting carefully, one cut at a time. I was reminded of the power of images.

“Also, in Japanese TV, we often go out knowing beforehand what we’ll shoot and then fill in the story. But this narrows down the possibilities. With my Vietnamese partners, I must create the story from the footage they shot in Vietnam. That is an exciting experience I never had when working on my own.

“Now I feel I must listen more deeply to my subjects, reconfigure the settings according to the footage, search for new materials, among other things, and that is very stimulating for me.”


Images shot by Nagoya TV

Then Duy, a director who originally worked on fiction films, explained the lure of documentaries.


Phan Ý Linh and Nguyen Nhat Duy
Phan Ý LinhさんとNguyen Nhat Duyさん

"While you can create a fiction film with your own perspective, making a documentary is a process of discovering other people's perspectives. Then we need to create a story while respecting those perspectives. I met many people in so many different conditions. Each time was a surprising experience and every time I encounter new perspectives, I feel empowered."


Images shot in Vietnam

Finally, Linh shared her thoughts about the essence of documentary production.

"We focus on the human story. We don’t focus on specific issues, or blame anybody, but we try to lay out a focus on people’s emotions. People's wishes for a better future are not sensitive topics, and there is always a way to depict them.

“The most important thing in portraying people is time and patience. You really need to take time for your protagonist. No rushing. Before shooting, we listen to the subject and understand their psychology, their wishes, and their challenges. Then, to let them express their emotion, we distance ourselves and use a wireless microphone to pick up all their dialogue. Even for one minute of footage, we must hold the camera for hours to capture the words and expressions that reveal their thoughts. It's a lot of work, but if you're flexible enough to change the story according to what you get, it will be an exciting time, full of discoveries and surprises."

This kind of international co-production, conducted remotely due to the pandemic, also requires patience and flexibility. So we were particularly struck by the filmmakers’ words conveying the excitement of discovering new perspectives:

"Watching the images from the other side for the first time is like opening a jewel box.”




Thirty-two students attended the online lecture

Feedback from students


The students were eager to share their comments in writing. Here are just a few of them:
  • "I was interested to hear the Japanese producer say that this unique project made him aware of his arbitrary gaze. The creative impact of coincidence is often discussed, especially in the world of art, but I learned that it also plays a powerful role in documentary production, which lies somewhere between ‘creation’ and ‘news reporting’."
  • "In most of our assignments, we choose people who fit the story. But in this project, the story emerges from the individual, giving me a fresh perspective on production. It was a great learning experience to hear from professional filmmakers.”
  • "When making a film, I am often worried that I’ll lose my objectivity by watching it over and over. It was interesting that, through the exchange of footage, new perspectives are introduced, which leads to further discovery."
  • "I’ve been struggling during the pandemic. It was a good opportunity for me to learn that it has led to a new form of international collaboration.”
  • "I often feel the inconvenience of studying remotely, but I realized that we can be creative and communicate closely even without meeting in person. I want to be flexible enough to deal with projects regardless of form."
  • "The filmmakers seemed to enjoy receiving footage shot from different perspectives. The discovery of new points of view leads to new ideas, and I feel that this process is an important part of the project."
The 90-minute session offered a deep dive into the essential elements of documentary production. We are very grateful to Professor Ikegawa and all of his students for giving us this precious opportunity. The production team will continue to shoot and engage in interviews until the premiere in December. We can’t wait to see what they achieve!