I now work in Hollywood and this is of course a place I cannot say that I completely understand yet. But from my experiences working in Hollywood I think the biggest difference I feel between Japan and Hollywood is that the approach taken to conveying [a] new work to audiences is very, very different in the two countries.
What I mean by this is that I think in both countries people work very, very hard to create what they think is a wonderful, wonderful work but in the United States there is tremendous effort in marketing, in PR.
There is tremendous thought placed, and great creativity placed, in the effort to surprise audiences, to startle audiences, to really attract the eye of audiences and critics. I think that is something that in Japan certainly people make efforts but there isn't this background, this environment or this history of this tremendous marketing effort that you see in the United States, and this is something that I think we can learn a great deal from.
In fact, in promoting this current work, I tried to think of this not as simply buying lots of expensive advertisements and just inundating the media with commercials, etc. But I think of this as an effort to gradually get this film to permeate society. I think of this as a flowing stream. You start with a very, very small trickle at the beginning, and then you come across many, many different dams. In other words, a dam might be, for example, patient groups, another dam might be medical related personnel, and another dam might be people who work in companies. In other words, by going through each of these dams, overcoming them and bringing them into the fold, you gradually start with this very tiny trickle and eventually the banks widen and eventually you go out and you reach the entire ocean. That's the kind of promotion that I am hoping to achieve for this film.
When you have these arguments you have to sometimes step back and think things through and we're talking only about different media, different channels or different ways of communication, of conveying something. What's most important however is, do you actually have something to say? What is it within you that you want to convey? I think it's very, very dangerous when technologies arise and you have all these new channels and these new media and these ways of conveying information, expressing yourself, etc., when you haven't done the most serious work − the most fundamental work − is do you have something to actually convey, to express?
So I think frankly that the most important steps is to find what it is that you want to say, and once you have that, all of these new channels are available to you.
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