Back in April, when it seemed likely covid-19 would lead to the cancellation of G-FEST 2020, a discussion began among some friends of mine, which turned into the idea of creating an online Godzilla-themed convention. A few days later, we were in serious talks; and now, after much hard work, it is my sincere pleasure to announce Kaiju Masterclass — a free online event dedicated to informative discussions on kaiju eiga — is right around the corner!
Kaiju Masterclass will be held on October 2-4, 2020 — starting that Friday and lasting through Sunday. (A schedule is coming soon.) As mentioned above, the event is free to attend, with all panels streaming to the convention’s YouTube channel. Panels include original interviews with people who’ve worked on the Godzilla series — among the special guests are directors Shusuke Kaneko and Shinji Higuchi, suit maker Shinichi Wakasa, and GODZILLA (1998) composer David Arnold!
Also giving talks will be genre historians Steve Ryfle (the head organizer of this event), Ed Godziszewski, and Stuart Galbraith IV; kaiju set veteran Norman England, whose science fiction film The iDol is now available on Blu-ray; staff members behind the unmade TriStar Godzilla films; the daughters of Nick Adams and Henry G. Saperstein; and many others! A list of confirmed guests can be found here.
I myself will be involved in two panels. The first is a discussion with Akira Ifukube biographer Erik Homenick on Ifukube’s work in Children of Hiroshima (1952), Hiroshima (1953), and the original Godzilla (1954) — a nominal trilogy of post-occupation movies dealing with the subject of nuclear weapons and Japanese society. The second is a conversation with historians Steve Ryfle and Stuart Galbraith IV on the director Jun Fukuda.
Be sure to check out Kaiju Masterclass’s website and follow the convention on social media for updates.