Paul Fruge´

Chris Mirjahangir: I am speaking with Paul Fruge´ today about the release of Shin Godzilla (aka Shin Godzilla) at the LA premiere! And now, on with the interview! Additional questions by Jeremy Williams. Transcribed by Noah Percival.

First question why was the name switched from the original international title of Godzilla Resurgence to Shin Godzilla for the release outside Japan?

Paul Fruge´: So that was an interesting question even for us as well. Godzilla Resurgence is a very US type term, however since we do license this from Toho the producer and director said change it to Shin Godzilla so that was a very easy decision. It went from Godzilla Resurgence to make it Shin Godzilla.

Mirjahangir: How come there's only a one week run?

Fruge´: A lot of our theaters and allot of our films we put out for Funimation Films we wanna make sure that its engaging enough and to test it out with a limited theatrical release. Doing it totally mainstream like that does cost a lot of money and then depending on theaters how that stuff works, can be very challenging sometimes so a lot of times we put stuff out like this. This is kind of what we're guaranteed to make sure we're getting the best bang for our buck and doing it justice. The last thing we want to do is put it out there and make it flop were it does great for two weeks at the box office and then dies down thirty weeks later.

Mirjahangir: Could it go longer and would it go into more territories like Puerto Rico although it's a US territory has no showings whatsoever.

Fruge´: Anything can go longer I think we have a very good team that's based out in New York that do a really great job and they've been in the film business for years. So they pitched this to all the big cinemas so it depends on what they take and we've already had interest from people that want to see this longer so there could be more.

Mirjahangir: Could it go longer than two weeks or a month?

Fruge´: I'm not at liberty to say. We'll see.

Mirjahangir: Would that have an effect on the Blu-Ray coming out? Would the Blu-Ray be pushed if there's a longer theater run?

Fruge´: We'll look at it strategically to make sure it lines up well.

Mirjahangir: When did the negotiations start with Toho on bringing it over?

Fruge´: We're always in discussions. Nothing happens over night, obviously this film has been in the works for years. These discussions started a couple of years ago and just based upon the relationship we have with Toho it seemed like a really good fit.

Mirjahangir: So right when they announced it did you hit them up and said when it comes over we wanna bring it over?

Shin GodzillaFruge´: Yeah there's discussions that take place all throughout the time depending on what's going on with other stuff that obviously hasn't even come out yet that we're already talking about but prior to that we already had discussions.

Mirjahangir: When the Blu-Ray release comes out in the US will it have the same bonus features as what's on the Japanese version or would it be something entirely different?

Fruge´: It's a little different. I've been in the home video entertainment industry now for about eight years and the licenser side versus licensee side it's a little different. So we will have some special features that the Japanese have on theirs and some we won't. It really depends on what we're able to get our hands on, what they're willing to share, and or what we're willing to add ourselves for the US release.

Mirjahangir: Who did the subtitles Funimation or Toho?

Fruge´: It was a combination effort together.

Mirjahangir: You got theirs first?

Fruge´: They provided us with some and we made some tweaks to it.

Mirjahangir: So no English dub version of the film. Was it a timing issue?

Fruge´: It's always timing issues and we just tried to make sure it stayed true to what it originally is.

Mirjahangir: For the Blu-Ray would there be a English dub version on that?

Fruge´: Possibly.

Mirjahangir: So Toho's very protective of the franchise. What guidelines did they give you?

GODZILLA 1998Fruge´: The contract was prettylengthy and pretty cut and dry, but there's a lot of things in terms of the normal standards. In terms of anything promotional they want to see it which is fine, anything we're doing they want to see the plan which makes sense to make sure we're staying in line with what they're doing and then they're open to sharing and reviewing anything we have because they want to see this film be just as successful as we do.

Mirjahangir: Any chance licensing this film will lead to other Godzilla or non Godzilla giant monsters being released through Funimation for the home market?

Fruge´: Anything's possible obviously if this film does amazing and blows it in the box office and we see multiple millions and people's eyes are being opened then we will see more Godzilla.

Mirjahangir: Since partnering with Crunchyroll might we see some current or past Ultraman shows be released on home video?

Fruge´: *wry smile*

Mirjahangir: This is an Attack on Titan (2015) question. Any comments on why Attack on Titan Part 1 has taken so long to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray stateside, as fans are hoping that they don't have to wait over a year to get Shin Godzilla on Blu-Ray too.

Fruge´: Hey as a fan nobody wants to wait long but there's things that are always out of your control that force timelines and you have to stick to them but I will say that our goal is always to get the content out as soon as possible for fans within our powers.

Mirjahangir: Any Tokusatsu releases we can expect to see in the future from Funimation?

Fruge´: *wry smile*

Mirjahangir: Would like to thank Paul Fruge´ for taking the time to talk with me today. Also, some additional questions were provided by Jeremy Williams and this interview has been transcribed by Noah Percival.

As a bonus, we also have a video of Matt Frank, artist on comic titles like Godzilla Rulers of Earth, introducing Shin Godzilla at Fantastic Feast 2016.


Interview: Marc Cerasini (2016)


Paul Fruge´ is the Brand Manager/Animation Expert at Funimation Films. His past work includes working at Turner broadcasting as Broadcast Operator Coordinator and later as Assistant Manager at Cartoon Network.

Date: 10/03/2016
Interviewer: Chris Mirjahangir


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