Housing Japan Vol. 13, Summer 2019

Page 26

Photos of Bruce Nachbar: Alfie Goodrich.


Bruce Nachbar

Veteran Hollywood producer discusses finding a role for himself in Japan, his first all Japanese movie, and working with some of the worlds biggest brands here in Tokyo. He speaks to Robin Sakai.

“I remember one time I was in the screening room with Steve Jobs and the production team at Pixar, and we were reviewing test footage for Monsters Inc. I was production manager and the technical task was how to create dynamic fur. Making the character’s hair automatically move with it’s body. Pixar strives to break new technological ground on every project.

that won Academy Awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, etc. - the people on them were the best of the best. Writers, producers, directors, cinematographers. That was how I was brought up in the industry and it instilled in me the ethic to always do the best work possible.” Bruce Nachbar currently divides his time between being responsible for all film and video production for fullservice production agency Empire Entertainment, and completing his first all-Japanese movie, Kita No Hou E / To the North. We chat in Empire`s atmospherically-set offices, in Toranomon.

“They pick one thing to really challenge themselves, and on Monsters Inc, it was Sullivan’s hair. So, the test footage ran, the lights came up and everyone looked for Steve’s reaction.” ‘That was good. We don’t do good.’ And he left. Of course it became great. That experience stuck with me – you read books about Steve and about how ‘good is the enemy of great’ and all of his other insights. I was lucky to be there, in the room with him and hear that. And that experience became part of my creative DNA.

After a career of over 20 years in Hollywood, spanning Pixar (Monsters Inc.,), live-action cinema (Free State of Jones) and TV (The Wonder Years; House; Party of Five) he moved to Japan in 2008. A move made for love, rather than for career or opportunity.

Throughout my career, I was incredibly fortunate to work with great people in the film and television industry during my time in the US. Working on shows

The transition from Hollywood to Japan has been an interesting one, and he has strong opinions on the challenges of navigating the Japanese film and


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