HIRONOBU: We had just had to create cool or beautiful products but it has changed these days. Creating good eyeglasses is not well enough to attract people any more. We need to communicate with people and deliver the “image” of the brand to users by ourselves.
I found a book “JAPANESE MOTION GRAPHIC CREATORS 2011” that was published last year. It introduces 100 great creators and there was a party in Shibuya, Tokyo which invited 30 creators that were chosen out of 100. I was looking for a creator because I was thinking about JAPONISM PROJECTION filming and I felt he was the one after watching their all videos at the party. So I gave my business card to him right there and I told him what I was going to do and what I wanted to do to “deliver” the image of JAPONISM PROJECTION. The new line hadn’t been launched at that time but he accepted my offer gladly after telling him everything of my thoughts. And this is how we met and the beginning of everything.
NAOKI: First of all, I have been a fan of JAPONISM and wearing their optical frame for the years. So I was very surprised but really happy to have this opportunity. I had never dreamed of working with a designer of JAPONISM. There was no other choice for me but to accept his sudden offer.
HIRONOBU: It took about a month to build a concept for the new line.
NAOKI: Right. He told me that the new line has a new structure which was developed specially for the line. So I wanted to highlight the new structure with no hesitation. But JAPONISM has built an innovative history, I decided to create a video that shows and connects their old history and a new history that they are going to build.
HIRONOBU: We attended optical exhibitions in Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo to launch the new line last year and we brought this new video to show the guests. People liked our new video but we found European buyers would mind the way how we express or present ourselves more than our products. This is why I started to care more about how we deliver “behind the scenes” to our customers not only to deliver our products. And then I asked him to film a video that shows production process and manufactures to express ourselves better.
HIRONOBU: I asked Naoki to come to the factories with me many times for the filming.
NAOKI: Yes. As I am one of JAPONISM users, it was my first time to see the actual manufacturing processes. I didn’t know it takes more than 250 processes to make one optical frame and all process is finished by hand. I was just surprised and impressed very much to know making an optical frame needs that much of time and labor.
As being in the same field of industry as them, that we create things, I thought to make something for someone is just like that, I mean it is to make a great effort to develop their own skills everyday with their heart. This is how I thought about the craftsmen after see them working with passion and a grateful attitude toward their job. I tried to film the manufactures’ faces or hands, scenes that tell the atmosphere of the factory.
It’ll be great if watching this video can tell them how we should take good care of our eyeglasses and I would like to delivery this to end users the most.
HIRONOBU: When we visited factories, I heard craftsmen saying that they all felt Naoki’s professional attitude toward the job.
NAOKI: Thank you… But I also felt THEIR professionalism! When I tried to film them at very close, they didn’t get upset and kept calm doing their job, or they even said “you don’t need to film this, this is nothing special.” But once we started filming, they did their job so perfectly, like we were not there.
HIRONOBU: At the end of this video, we put a short sentence that is “DESIGN, FUNCTION, QUALITY, ALL FROM OUR SPIRITS”. This is because we don’t think we can go against other brands or the customers’ needs with only our techniques any more. By now the customers have liked our products because they are all hand made in Japan, quality is good of course, and the design is outstanding. But we don’t think that will be good enough reason to buy our products spending a lot of money. So I thought about what we have to attract customers then and figured out that we have “Japanese spirits” in any aspects. This is what I found out in the end as what we can fight against other brands.
NAOKI: I think people, users can feel manufactures’ passion when they touch and see the products. And I think optical frames themselves are definitely what can deliver to the users. So I wanted to shoot manufactures’ heart that is put into the products.
From me for the small book, I put “Diligence of Japan.” The word “diligence” means the constant effort to accomplish something. I think a message that a products tells to a customer originally comes from the manufacture and I’m sure the user can feel the message too. That is what I want to express through my works.
If more people can receive those messages from manufactures through a product, I think they will value and appreciate things even more.
HIRONOBU: He has directed schools and hospitals before, I wonder what it would be like if he can direct something from optical industry!
NAOKI: That sound exciting. I would love to someday.