LWIF EP42: 私のラーメン屋 (My Ramen Shop)

On a visit to YouTube Space Tokyo, we were shown the set for the ramen shop. The kids thought it was neat, so we gathered up some family members and the kids made a mini-drama (ドラマ) out of it. It was all for fun, so don’t take the acting too seriously 🙂 (behind-the-scenes footage down below!)

Aiko (left) is the old ramen shop owner and Shoko (right) is the new trainee.
View from YouTube Space Tokyo in Roppongi.
Shin, who happens to be conveniently in front of a LWIF video playing in the background.

The whole reason we decided to shoot in the ramen set at YouTube Space Tokyo was because Dave Powell – who is not only the director of online partnerships for YouTube Japan and Asia Pacific, but is also runs ShootTokyo and shoots fantastic photography – was kind enough to show us the set and encourage us to use it. We met him during the YouTube 100k subscriber event.

100K YouTube subscriber event
100K YouTube subscriber event

So thanks Dave!

Once we booked the space, we realized YouTube wanted a script. So, Aiko and Shoko got together one night to work on something. It was one page and looked like this:

IMG_20160527_204112 (1)
Original script… that they loosely followed

That script was used for the 2nd act, where they had to use the instant noodles because Aiko forgot how to make the super spicy ramen (for Sota). The seed of the idea was actually from Mummy.

Scene 2
Act 2

While at the set, I realized the scene was so short, so wanted to make a bit of an intro. So I asked the kids to do random stuff. That made up the intro as well as the first act, with the noisy customer (Shin).

Act 1
Act 1

Since the mothers (who are sisters) were in the scenes as background extras, I thought it’d be good to include them in the plot in some way. I’m fairly sure I suggested they could be some troublesome customers. Mummy A and Mummy B, as well as the kids, took that idea and improvised from there.

Act 3

I don’t remember whose idea it was to run out and show that it was all fake and just playing around in a studio, but we went with it.

Thanks for watching!
Thanks for watching!

All-in-all, the whole shoot was an improvised, collaborative effort. I’m happy it all worked out in the end. The kids had lots of fun!

Mummy and I were a little stressed trying to organize everything 🙂

The shoot was done between 4pm and 9pm, and we used up all that time. The first hour and a half was just checking out lighting and gear. I was the only one shooting, so I had to use an on-camera shotgun mic and I moved the lighting around as needed. I’m really glad I booked 5 hours, because it really took that long to get everything together and then packed up at the end.

Here’s some behind-the-scenes footage. You’ll notice how some of the images are a bit bland, since they’re not colour-graded – also, I know it’s 楽しくない, not 楽じゃない xD

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this real? This feels fake.


But that answer may be too ambiguous for people, so here’s a response from commenter Red Jamora,

“I think it’s kind of like playing house with your friends/siblings/cousins, except that it was filmed… and it wasn’t house but a restaurant… and you didn’t play at home, you played at YouTube Space”

Why were the subtitles hard-coded in Japanese, why are they so big, and what about the English subs?

We felt the font style was playful, so we put it in. It felt more like Japanese TV with them. Why so big? Who knows!

There are English subs, and they are positioned in a way that for most of the subtitles, they’ll be displayed right below the Japanese ones. It was done so that people could see both subtitles at the same time.

It was actually quite time consuming doing the hard subs in Japanese, mostly due to timing and the joys of the titler in Adobe Premiere, so if we do something similar again, we may not hard code the Japanese subs (although we would provide them so that you could turn it on and off).

Who is everyone?

  • 50 year old store owner: Aiko (daughter)
  • New employee: Shoko (niece)
  • Noisy customer: Shin (son)
  • Unfortunate customer: Sota (nephew)
  • Mummy A: (sister-in-law)
  • Mummy B: (wife)
  • Cameraman: me

What equipment did you use?

Ok, no one asked this yet, but I’m sure someone will. It was shot on a Sony FS7 and a few prime lenses (really nice lenses). The great thing about having more than 50K subs, is that you can use all this stuff at YouTube Space Tokyo, for ABSOLUTELY FREE! That’s pretty cool. The only downside is that you need to get all the footage approved by YouTube, which wasn’t bad, but it’s more of an administrative hassle.

Maybe he forgot to edit this one.

Alright, also not a frequently asked question. I really hope this is sarcasm.

Back to regularly scheduled programming next week!