All posts in “Rocky Horror Picture Show”

More Exciting (and Bizarre) Animations! Part 3〜おもしろい動画をご紹介

Hey welcome back for some more great animations.I hope you folks enjoy this series of animations. As for me, I find that watching these things inspires me and gives me ideas for when I make my own video productions for Robot55. It is amazing that, in many cases, so many wonderful videos remain of productions that were made on shoe string budgets.

I love that sort of thinking. It is the ultimate in creativity. I hope that some of these videos give you ideas for your creative productions whether those are video productions, art, writing a book, or even making a cake! Whatever we do, let’s have fun!

The first animation up today is one of the earliest animators. His name is Willis O’Brien. Most of you might recognize his work as he was the guy who made the giant gorilla in the classic 1933 film, “King Kong.” I remember watching that film in cinema class at university and just being simply amazed that they could have this animation so many years ago…. (I was studying animation too at  the time!)

Willis Harold O’Brien was born in Oakland, California in 1886. He is a pioneer in motion picture special effects and stop-motion animations. He is well known and his reputation was (and still is) that he, “was responsible for some of the best-known images in cinema history.” O’Brien is best remembered for his work on The Lost World (1925), King Kong (1933) and Mighty Joe Young (1949). He won the 1950 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. He wrote the story for King Kong vs. Frankenstein which was changed and was developed into Ishirō Honda’s King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962).

Here is Willis H. O’Brien from 1915 – “The dinosaur and the missing link”

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Next up is some stop animation work that, when I was a kid, I didn’t like at all. For some reason, these images disturb me. I can’t put my finger on it… But I guess they made me fear that my toys were alive while I was sleeping. You might recognize some of these images and this style too. This is work by George Pal.

George Pal was born in 1908 in Hungary and moved to the USA in 1940. He was an animator and film producer, mostly doing science fiction (maybe that’s where the scary part came in for me as a kid). He was nominated for Academy Awards in the category Best Short Cartoons for seven years in a row between 1942 – 1948! Wow! Pal is the the second most nominated Hungarian exile after Miklós Rózsa.

George Pal has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1722 Vine St.

Rocky Horror Picture Show fans will be interested in the trivia that, in the opening theme to that show, of both the stage musical, “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” George Pal is among the many references to classic science fiction and horror films in the opening theme.

Here’s George Pal with “Philips Broadcast” from 1938:

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OK. I said the last animation scared me as a kid. Next up is a very bizarre and twisted animation that is sure to cause the kids have nightmares. I cannot find any information about this Japanese animator nor this animation. But I think it speaks for itself.

Hitoshi Suenaga Distrust of Romantica:

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Well that’s it for this week. Hope you enjoyed this short trip into the past and the minds of some very “out of the box” creators. See you next week, same place and same time!

Psst! Want to see more?

Need a Break? Watch These Three Fantastic Short Animations! (

More Exciting (and Bizarre) Animations!


At Robot55 we make video productions for businesses and services and products, but we also pride ourselves on making videos for art and music. Our starting price is ¥70,000 and we are sure we can work out something that fits your budget.  Contact us!


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A Japanese Rock & Roll Ghost Story

“Don’t dream it. Be it.” – Tim Curry as ‘Dr. Frankenfurter’ from the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Last year, when I had a close call with death (please refer to: Near Death at the Hospital, Last Month! – Back in Humor, This Month!) I realized that I needed to start doing the things in my life that I have been dreaming about. So, I decided that I had to get my talented friends together and make a short feature film. I think there is a chance for us to build a Rock & Roll Cult movement that is famous around the world between now and the 2020 Olympics.

I want to be in the center of that movement. The movement involves Japanese culture, past and present, rock and roll music and animation.

To make things easier to grasp, I think it might be good to tell you, dear reader, the 4 key words (images) that I always want to keep in mind for all the films and projects we make: 1) 1950s Science Fiction, 2) Rock and Roll, 3) Horror/Ghost movies, 4) Tarantino.

I think if I can keep my mind, and my staff’s mind, on these images, then we will succeed in making the kinds of things that will be perfect to put 2015 ~ 2020 Tokyo into the minds of the fans of cult films and music… Because the Olympics and big money cash-ins amongst the politically well connected ARE NOT what we, nor Japanese people are about… At least I hope so.

Our story is about a struggling Rock and Roll musician who finds the tortured spirit of an old blues musician living in his studio. At night, when they are all alone, the two together make music that is unworldly in its brilliance, yet no one can hear it except the struggling rocker and the dead blues musician. It doesn’t have a happy ending… Or does it?

I wanted to make this movie on the level of quality of something like Quentin Tarrantino makes. Yes. Laugh now, if you wish; it is a ridiculous goal for us. Ridiculous or not, that is the heights we aim for.

To be the director of the movie, I asked Enrico Ciccu who has written and directed for some very fine cult movie productions in Italy. He has agreed to direct. Enrico is a difficult person to work with; but that’s the way I like it. Great artists are never easy people to deal with. Enrico wrote the screenplay and had a large hand in the making for this short film which was accepted at the Sapporo Film Festival: “Julie – Johnny Guitar.”

I think “Julie – Johnny Guitar” captures the essence of what we want to accomplish in the Rock & Roll Ghost Story: A Tarantino style full of cinematic allusions and pop culture references.

In any quality film, not only is the director a critical issue, but lighting is also something that makes or breaks the visuals – and therefore the suspension of disbelief – in a film. For the lighting of our movie, I recruited a guy who has been a good friend for nearly twenty years. He was my next door neighbor for ten years and he is now my lighting director. His name is Yuji Wada…

Oh, yeah, I guess I should also mention that Yuji Wada was the lighting director for many Sophie Coppola films, one of my favorites was the Hollywood smash hit, Lost in Translation starring Bill Murray.

lost inThe lighting in this scene is the feel of what I want. Yuji is the perfect guy for that. Need proof? Here, below, is a shot from our session on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. This is EXACTLY what I wanted.

ghost & pan

For our cameraman, I asked Ken Nishikawa who is a former BBC staff as well as director at TBS. Ken has worked on TV and film productions for just about every major TV station in Japan. He is a superb cameraman and brilliant artist. He also wrote the screenplay and is directing production for another Robot55 production entitled: Matsuchiyo – Life of a Geisha, which we will be going into serious production this spring. Here is the short trailer for that:

Finally, to put it all together, I needed actors who can actually perform and have a strong Rock and Roll image. Who better than one of Japan’s best rock and roll bands, “The Neatbeats”? Mr. Pan, lead singer of the Neatbeats, will play the part of our struggling musician. He is the hero, and failure, of our movie. He is the guy sitting on the right of the sofa in the photo above. The guy is just overflowing with Rock and Roll. He’s perfect!

Besides Mr. Pan, we also have several other famous Japanese rock stars acting in our movie. I am also in one scene acting as a guy who is drunk and almost dead from boredom. Here is that scene that was shot night before last on Jan. 26, 2015:

012615 camera set up

Robot55 movie shoot. On stage is the Privates. Table in front is Furukawa Taro and Tomomi Hiraiwa. Table behind (guy sleeping) is me, Mike Rogers (Brilliant acting, right?) Camera (far right) Enrico Ciccu (Director). Photo by Arai Osamu.

The editing for this film starts next week. As we progress, we will post updates. I may be acting dead in this photo, but I am going to die a happy man when this production is finished and it is world-quality and as good as anything Hollywood makes. It is one thing, a first of many, that all of us; Ken Nishikawa, Enrico Ciccu and me, have dreamt about all our lives.

Like the good doctor, said, “Don’t dream it. Be it.”

shoot 4 guys

Photo from the set of “A Japanese Rock & Roll Ghost Story” Left to right: Mike Rogers (sitting in front), Enrico Enrico Wtmm Ciccu (standing), Ken Nishikawa (kneeling in middle), Mr. Pan (sitting on sofa laughing). (photo by Osamu Arai)


There is also a boom of English language videos and productions coming to Japan and Robot55 aims to be a key player in making viral videos for the foreign market that comes to Japan. Why not? We have people who live and work professionally in this market in TV and video production as well as guys who have made many commercials and smash hit (and cult) TV and radio shows.

I am confident that there is no other company in Japan who can touch us for that market; making viral videos in English for the foreigners coming to Japan for the Tokyo Olympics. There is a cult and cutlure boom coming to Japan in the next 5 years.