It’s looking more and more like the highly anticipated live-action adaptation of Attack on Titan released on August 1 will amount to nothing more than a critical flop, based on the majority of reports from Japanese film critics and fans of the anime series. Some of their reviews were even bad enough to provoke the ire of the film’s director and special modeling director into posting angry rebuttals on their social media accounts.
Now, adding even more fuel to the fire are the voices of dozens of Japanese extras in the film, who seem unanimous in their declaration that the film turned out the way it did because its production staff was incredibly arrogant and treated everyone like dirt.
Over a year ago, the producers of the live-action Attack on Titan film, then in its fledgling stages, posted a notice seeking extras to take part in the upcoming film. We can imagine the excitement of those fans eager to be involved in the production for their beloved franchise, only to be completely let-down upon actually arriving on set for the filming, if recently surfaced reports are any indication.
The following are two such reports written by voluntary extras in the film, one of whom played a Titan extra and the other a townsperson extra, who both experienced nothing but miserable conditions while working under the production staff.
Film Extra Number 1–Titan role
This first extra states that the finished film was a big disappointment to him and he’s embarrassed to have been a part of it at all. He also laments that despite the time he gave up to be a part of its production, only his foot made it into the final cut of the movie during the opening feeding frenzy scene. Here’s more of what he has to say in his own words:
“Not only was the film terrible, but its production staff were just as bad. Although all of us extras had volunteered because we wanted to, the staff were unnecessarily cruel, shouting order after order such as ‘Don’t move yet!’ or ‘How many times do I have to tell you!’ We were in constant discomfort.
Even while the staff were just getting things ready and the extras were waiting for directions, they shouted at us, ‘The next one’s a test, so no talking!’ I was shocked by their arrogance and found myself thinking, ‘Rather than working on a movie, shouldn’t they be working on their people skills?’
My honest opinion is that it’s no wonder the film turned out the way it did because those kinds of people made it.”
▼ Film Extra Number 1–perhaps his leg is just out of the frame?
He goes on to say that the volunteers were never thanked for freely giving up their time, but rather were chastened not to tell anyone else about what they did that day. Perhaps he’ll have the last laugh though, because he closes his report by writing, “I’m now going to make sure to tell everyone about your arrogant attitudes and the shoddy sets that were used before the CGI was put in!”
Film Extra Number 2–Townsperson
The second review that we’ll focus on was also written by an extra who participated in the filming approximately one year ago. Her part was to appear in random interactions around town, but she sadly couldn’t find herself in the final cut. Her experience with the film was so bad that she also regrets participating in it and states that she never wants to be a film extra ever again.
In addition, she wholeheartedly agrees that the production staff were incredibly disagreeable and unsympathetic about the heat. “Do people who make movies lack manners or something?” she writes. “It blows my mind to think that they were able to land jobs working in the film production industry with that kind of attitude, but they must have been educated in some way to make it there.”
Examples of their rudeness include yelling at the slightest mistake: “That’s different from before!”, “Do you really want to do this or not?”, and “Move it already!” She was also shocked to see some of them leaning carelessly against their own cheaply manufactured sets while eating lunch.
Finally, and perhaps her biggest revelation of all, is that some extras got so angry that they left in the middle of shooting.
Perhaps not incidentally, these two original reviews have been deleted since they were initially posted on Yahoo! Japan, but they’re still being shared through third-party websites. Does anyone smell a conspiracy here?
Interestingly though, the majority of Japanese net users were surprisingly one-sided and unsympathetic in reaction to the extras’ plight, dismissing many of their claims as overblown:
“This is normal for extras.”
“Isn’t this typical of film production?”
“It’s always the same behind the scenes no matter where you go, right?”
“So many reviewers who were extras are enraged. It’s a good thing their faces didn’t appear in the movie, or else it would have been a blemish that haunted them their entire lives.”
▼ Thank god they didn’t use my real face!
“The extras are completely misunderstanding, but that doesn’t change the fact that the movie was crap.”
“Extras aren’t treated like royal guests, even if they did volunteer. They’re being too bratty.”
“They probably came onto the set thinking they were on vacation or something.”
“Directing the extras is usually the job of the second assistant director. There are a lot of mean ones of those, so it can’t be helped.”
Are these Japanese net users completely jaded in their approach to life, or are they correct in saying that the extras are making a mountain out of a molehill? We’ve still got plenty of time to debate, especially since the second Attack on Titan live-action film won’t be hitting Japanese theaters until September 19.