As we all know one by one live conventions have been canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, while some have moved online fans and content creators have also started creating their own. Earlier this year Kyle Yount created Kaijucon-line to replace the canceled G-Fest and overall it was a big success, now a group of creators have announce Kaiju Masterclass.
Kaiju Masterclass (no it's not an actual class but something much better) looks to bring a different spin by looking at the backstory behind the creation and the creators of the kaiju genre. Those behind this project include authorities and enthusiasts of the genre including Steve Ryfle (co-author, ISHIRO HONDA: A LIFE IN FILM, FROM GODZILLA TO KUROSAWA), Erik Homenick (AKIRAIFUKUBE.ORG), John DeSentis (conductor/creator KAIJU CRESCENDO), Patrick Galvan (writer, SYFY.COM), Matt Parmley and Kyle Byrd (co-hosts, KAIJU TRANSMISSIONS podcast), and Kyle Gilmore (filmmaker and artist, VINTAGE REEL PRODUCTIONS)(bios below); that will bring together creators, researchers, and scholars of Japanese sci-fi cinema and television for three days of in-depth conversations and panels to learn about the history of the genre, the film-making process, the art of film scoring, unmade projects, and more.
Kaiju Masterclass will be held on October 2-4, 2020, Friday and through Sunday. (A schedule is coming soon.) This is a free event to attend, with all panels streaming on the Kaiju Masterclass YouTube channel. Panels will include original interviews with people who’ve worked in the kaiju genre. Special guests include directors Shusuke Kaneko and Shinji Higuchi, suit maker Shinichi Wakasa, and GODZILLA (1998) composer David Arnold, and many, many more (full list below). More on this convention to come including schedule, and panels. Check back here as we will update on all the Kaiju Masterclass info.
Update: schedule/panels have been added below.
All sessions are free and will be live-streamed on the Kaiju Masterclass YouTube channel.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2020
5pm PST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST (9am Japan Time, 10/3)
Opening remarks from the KAIJU MASTERCLASS team: Erik Homenick (emcee), Steve Ryfle, John DeSentis, Patrick Galvan, Kyle Byrd, Matt Parmley, Kyle Gilmore.
6pm PST / 8pm CST / 9pm EST (10am Japan Time, 10/3)
INTERVIEW: SHINICHI WAKASA
The acclaimed creature creator and special effects artist who updated Godzilla for the new millennium discusses his amazing monster-making career and the craft of designing and building kaiju suits.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2020
9am PST / 11am CST / 12pm EST (1am Japan Time, 10/4)
INTERVIEW: DAVID ARNOLD
The Grammy and Emmy-winning film composer discusses his epic scores for Roland Emmerich’s GODZILLA (1998) and other blockbuster films. (Moderator: John DeSentis)
10am PST / 12pm CST / 1pm EST (2am Japan Time, 10/4)
TOHO’S TOKUSATSU TELEVISION
From ZONE FIGHTER to GREENMAN, RAINBOWMAN and beyond, author Kevin Derendorf (Kaiju for Hipsters) dives into the deep cuts of Toho Co. Ltd.’s ventures into tokusatsu television.
11am PST / 1pm CST / 2pm EST (3am Japan Time, 10/4)
NICK ADAMS & HENRY SAPERSTEIN IN JAPAN
In the 1960s, Hollywood producer Henry G. Saperstein took Oscar-nominated actor Nick Adams to Japan to star in FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD and MONSTER ZERO at Toho. Playwright and actress Allyson Adams and journalist Pat Saperstein discuss their fathers’ joint adventures in Japanese sci-fi cinema. (Moderator: Steve Ryfle)
12pm PST / 2pm CST / 3pm EST (4am Japan Time, 10/4)
INTERVIEW: BOB EGGLETON
The Hugo Award-winning artist, whose kaiju illustrations have appeared in Dark Horse Comics, Random House Godzilla books, IDW’s Godzilla comic series, and on the cover of Famous Monsters of Filmland, discusses the history and evolution of kaiju-themed art. (Moderator: John DeSentis)
1pm PST / 3pm CST / 4pm EST (5am Japan Time, 10/4)
POSTERS & PROMOTION IN KAIJU FILMS
Authors Sean Linkenback (The Art of Japanese Monsters) and Ed Godziszewski (The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Godzilla) provide an overview of the art and creative advertising materials that helped make Godzilla and kaiju eiga an international phenomenon. (Moderator: Kyle Yount)
2pm PST / 4pm CST / 5pm EST (6am Japan Time, 10/4)
EXPO ’70 50th ANNIVERSARY
A look back at the 1970 World Expo in Osaka, Japan, which featured major contributions from Eiji Tsuburaya and other leading tokusatsu creators, and which influenced a number of later kaiju eiga. Stan Hyde—who was there at Expo ’70 in person!—is joined by Matt Parmley and Kevin Derendorf.
3pm PST / 5pm CST / 6pm EST (7am Japan Time, 10/4)
INTERVIEW: BEAR McCREARY
The Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning composer behind THE WALKING DEAD, MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., and of course GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS 2019 discusses the art of creating epic monster movie music. (Moderators: John DeSentis and Erik Homenick)
4pm PST / 6pm CST / 7pm EST (8am Japan Time, 10/4)
INTERVIEW: MICHIRU OSHIMA
The award-winning composer of GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS, GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA, and GODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S., as well as dozens more original scores for film, TV, video games, and anime talks about reviving the king of monsters with epic music for a new millennium. (Moderators: John DeSentis and Erik Homenick)
5pm PST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST (9am Japan Time, 10/4)
INTERVIEW: NORMAN ENGLAND
Japan-based writer and filmmaker Norman England discusses the making of his independent sci-fi satire feature THE IDOL and his upcoming book detailing his adventures on the sets of numerous kaiju and other films as a journalist, photographer, and sometimes actor. (Moderator: Steve Ryfle)
6pm PST / 8pm CST / 9pm EST (10am Japan Time, 10/4)
INTERVIEW: SHUSUKE KANEKO
Interview with the acclaimed director of GODZILLA, MOTHRA AND KING GHIDORAH, GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK, the GAMERA trilogy, DEATH NOTE, and many other classic genre films. (Moderator: Steve Ryfle)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2020
9am PST / 11am CST / 12pm EST (1am Japan Time, 10/5)
INTERVIEW: BRAD WARNER
Author and ordained Zen monk Brad Warner (Hardcore Zen) recalls his years working at Tsuburaya Productions and his behind-the-scenes contributions to the ULTRAMAN franchise as a contributing writer, sometimes actor, and consultant. (Moderator: Steve Ryfle)
10am PST / 12pm CST / 1pm EST (2am Japan Time, 10/5)
GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE: THE LOST COMMENTARY
Genre historian and author Ed Godziszewski (Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa) provides a deep dive into the hugely popular 1989 Godzilla film directed by Kazuki Omori.
11am PST / 1pm CST / 2pm EST (3am Japan Time, 10/5)
ATOMIC REQUIEM: AKIRA IFUKUBE’S ATOMIC BOMB TRILOGY
Erik Homenick and Patrick Galvan discuss the content and music of three atomic bomb films scored by Akira Ifukube (including the original Godzilla), who himself had a history with radiation.
12pm PST / 2pm CST / 3pm EST (4am Japan Time, 10/5)
DESIGNING GODZILLA 1994
Creature designers Ricardo Delgado and Carlos Huante discuss working on director Jan DeBont’s unmade 1994 GODZILLA for Tristar Pictures, which would have pit the king of monsters against a new creature called The Gryphon. (Moderator: Keith Aiken)
1pm PST / 3pm CST / 4pm EST (5am Japan Time, 10/5)
GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH 25th ANNIVERSARY
Kaiju Transmissions podcast hosts Kyle Byrd and Matt Parmley join authors Kevin Derendorf and John LeMay to provide a deep dive into the production of the Heisei Godzilla series’ epic finale.
2pm PST / 4pm CST / 5pm EST (6am Japan Time, 10/5)
THE KAIJU ART OF MATT FRANK
Artist and illustrator Matt Frank provides a live drawing and discusses his involvement in IDW Godzilla comics and the Arrow Video Gamera set. (Moderator: Matt Parmley)
3pm PST / 5pm CST / 6pm EST (7am Japan Time, 10/5)
TAB MURPHY TALKS GODZILLA 2: THE LOST SEQUEL
The Oscar-nominated screenwriter of GORILLAS IN THE MIST and numerous animated features from Disney and DC discusses writing GODZILLA 2, the unmade sequel to Roland Emmerich’s GODZILLA (1998).
4pm PST / 6pm CST / 7pm EST (8am Japan Time, 10/5)
BREAK (1 hour)
5pm PST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST (9am Japan Time, 10/5)
MAN OF ACTION: THE FILMS OF JUN FUKUDA
Authors Stuart Galbraith IV (The Emperor and The Wolf, Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!) and Steve Ryfle (Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star) join film journalist Patrick Galvan to discuss the often overlooked yet highly influential director of five Godzilla movies and many other action-packed features.
6pm PST / 8pm CST / 9pm EST (10am Japan Time, 10/5)
INTERVIEW: PATRICK MACIAS
Author Patrick Macias (Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion and the forthcoming An Eternal Thought in the Mind of Godzilla) talks about his journey deep into the world of Japanese pop-culture criticism and how Godzilla and kaiju eiga provided a path. (Moderator: Steve Ryfle)
7pm PST / 9pm CST / 10pm EST (11am Japan Time, 10/5)
INTERVIEW: SHINJI HIGUCHI
Perhaps no one has revitalized Japan’s special-effects cinema more than Shinji Higuchi. KAIJU MASTERCLASS closes the weekend with a discussion of the revolutionary director’s amazing career, from the Heisei Gamera series to SHIN GODZILLA, from the Gainax anime studio to ATTACK ON TITAN, SINKING OF JAPAN, and many others. (Moderator: Steve Ryfle)
9pm PST / 11pm CST / 12am EST (1pm Japan Time, 10/5)
THAT’S A WRAP
The KAIJU MASTERCLASS team briefly reassembles to sign off and say a heartfelt thank you.
Michiru Oshima and John DeSentis have announced their concert, and Kickstarter, to happen at this years G-Fest. Kaiju Crescendo will include works by Michiru Oshima as well as other selections, check out many of the details below and head on over to Kickstarter to support this awesome project.
About Kaiju Crescendo
Japanese Monster Music Returns to Chicago in July, 2019!
Fans and attendees of G-FEST 2014 and 2015 were treated to two incredible and memorable nights of their favorite kaiju music. "IFUKUBE 100: A LEGACY OF MONSTER MUSIC" and "SYMPHONIC FURY: THE MUSIC OF JAPANESE MONSTERS" brought many kaiju fans and professionals together to celebrate the tapestry of wonderful scoring that has been the Godzilla series. After a three year break, monstrous music is back in a big way with the most varied offering yet. "KAIJU CRESCENDO: AN EVENING OF JAPANESE MONSTER MUSIC" will bring some of the most incredible Tokusatsu film scores together for an unforgettable performance during G-FEST XXVI weekend, July 12-14th, 2019.
MICHIRU OSHIMA WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Which of the cues from her three scores do you want to hear the MOST? Please leave a comment, or write a message to this Kickstarter page and let us know about your favorite musical tracks and we will take a consensus as we finalize the set list! YOU can help decide the program!
In addition, John will be stepping up to perform some of the most requested score highlights from the Godzilla series and other beloved films from the Golden Era of Tokusatsu. The legacy of Akira Ifukube will be celebrated beginning with "Rodan" (1956) which is the most requested film score by the maestro to get the live treatment with the orchestra.
Also being honored: the great Masaru Sato and his scores from "Son of Godzilla" (1967) and "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla" (1974). These two works represent some of the most popular of his distinguished career and Mr. Sato's musical legacy is one that we cannot wait to salute.
All works will be appropriately licensed for recording and performance from JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, and Publishers) through the Harry Fox Agency in the United States as well as ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers). The CDs will be manufactured professionally and be of the highest quality, as will any other rewards.
Please join us in helping to create yet another memorable and incredible night of Japanese monster music. Remember that even if you cannot attend the concert, your contribution becomes a building block toward the ultimate goal and we have some exciting ways to thank you. Take a look at the Kickstarter rewards we have to offer and pick the one that works best for you (financially or otherwise).
On July 12th, 2014, hundreds of Japanese Tokusatsu (special effects) fans descended upon the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, IL for "IFUKUBE 100: A LEGACY OF MONSTER MUSIC". This historic concert was a celebration of the music that maestro Akira Ifukube wrote for Toho's Godzilla film series. The Rondo Award-nominated event was met with praise, accolades, and recognition from Chicago to Tokyo. Friends and fans were in awe and left wanting more. The time has come to deliver just that, even bigger and better!
One of the biggest requests by the fans was to hear some of the themes that Mr. Ifukube wrote for non-Godzilla Toho films such as "Atragon", "The Mysterians", and "War of the Gargantuas". So to satisfy this, as well as deliver for the people who missed out last year, we will be conducting the FIRST EVER North American live performance of Mr. Ifukube's concert work "Symphonic Fantasia". This three movement piece, which was accompanied by scenes from the corresponding movies for the Toho Video release of "Godzilla Fantasia", features not only the best of his work from the Godzilla series, but also from the other aforementioned films. Symphonic Fantasia will be performed under license from Toho Music. But that is only one portion of what we have in store for all of you.
The first portion of the concert will focus on the incredible music of the composer Kow Otani. In 1995, Mr. Otani was called upon to be the musical anchor in director Shusuke Kaneko's "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe"(1995). This fantastic film was a throwback to the incredible kaiju films of Ishiro Honda and Eiji Tsuburaya and re-established Gamera as viable franchise. Otani and director Kaneko re-teamed for two sequels, "Gamera 2: Assault of Legion" (1996), and "Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris" (1999) before collaborating on "Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack" at Toho Studios in 2001.
This performance will be the WORLD PREMIERE of Mr. Otani's kaiju scores, as they have never been performed live even in Japan, and he is working directly with us to ensure that the music is represented with absolute respect and authenticity. One of our stretch goals will also be to bring Mr. Otani to the concert as the guest of honor.
As it did last year, the concert will take place in conjunction with G-FEST on the weekend of July 10th-12th, 2015. Again taking up the baton for the performance will be John DeSentis with an orchestra of exceptionally talented freelance musicians from the Chicago area. We also want to make sure that our friends and fans understand that this fundraiser is for the production of the show. Tickets will be separate for those under the $200 backer level. However, backers and convention attendees will get first opportunity to purchase tickets at discounted pricing. Precise details about show time and date will be announced after the campaign.
Check out the full detailshere.