On location at Yokosuka: Base in Japan doubling as movie set
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — It’s Julia and Taiko’s first date.
They scamper around the Yokosuka waterfront. They catch “The Endless Summer” at the Benny Decker Theater. They bowl a few frames at the base bowling alley. Looks like young surfer love, nod the 70 chaperones scrutinizing the couple’s every move.
That’s because the “date” is a movie. The “chaperones” were cast, crew and onlookers for Friday’s scenes, which were filmed at Yokosuka Naval Base.
Warner Bros. chose the base as a location in the Japanese full-length feature film “Catch A Wave,” scheduled for release in spring 2006.
Yokosuka officials said they were happy to host the film crew.
“We think it sets a positive image for the base,” said base Media Relations Director Hanako Tomizuka. “We wanted to make sure that the story was going to be set here.”
Rosa Katoh plays one of the leads, “Julia,” a Japanese-American living at Yokosuka Naval Base. Haruma Miura is “Taiko Sasaki,” a surfer who must compete against Yokosuka Naval Base’s hometown surfer dudes.
The actual surfing scenes will be filmed in Chiba, but several extras Friday were base residents, some of whom planned to be there, and others who spontaneously found themselves in front of the cameras.
It was Lauren Walters’ big screen debut, she said. The Morale, Welfare and Recreation aquatics program worker played a mom, a moviegoer and a sports fan — all before noon.
Even so, it’s surprising how much waiting around goes into movie-making, she said: “I didn’t realize how everything has to be positioned just perfectly. But this is a good opportunity to see how it’s all put together.”
Beth Gideon said she’s camera shy but decided to come anyway.
“Being in a movie is unique,” she said. “Maybe I’ll sneak my elbow in there or see my ponytail on the big screen.”