Daisuke Sato and Fumihiko Tachiki interview on 11/30/06

The opening of the November 5th PRIDE Bushido 13 was met with loud cheers at the venue. As the text "Narrator Fumihiko Tachiki" appeared on the screen, the unique intro video was clearly the handiwork of Director Daisuke Sato. While Tachiki and Sato don't appear in the spotlight, they have gained an unusually strong following among PRIDE fans. Both fighters sat down with PRIDE FC to discuss the past and the future.




Pride Fighting Championships: Sato, you are called a "god" in the television industry but looking at the fans' reaction at the recent event, Tachiki must be a "god," too.
Daisuke Sato: Yes, he is!
Fumihiko Tachiki: That (response) surprised me. (Putting my name on the screen) was Sato's idea, though.
Sato: I knew that everyone was looking forward to it. (laughing)
Tachiki: This guy understands PRIDE fans and the fighters better than anyone else.
Pride: It's amazing that cheers erupted when your name appeared at a fight venue, rather than a fighter's.
Tachiki: It's never happened before and in that sense, it was exciting. It was just good luck for the narrator. (laughing)
Pride: This may be a silly question but why didn't you write "Director Daisuke Sato"on the screen, too?
Sato: I didn't think of it but even if my name appeared, no one would recognize me.
Pride: Everyone knows you! You're the man they call"god."
Sato: I wonder how many of those fanatics there are. (laughing)
Tachiki: We spoke about this after the BUSHIDO narration recording was finished. After the Lightweight title match video, there's a line like "If Gomi doesn't fight, who will?" Those were Sato's words.
Sato: But they were your words, too.
Tachiki: Of course. Of course.
Sato: It wasn't intentional but when we asked "Can't you fight?" and "If Gomi doesn't fight, who will?", we were really asking that question to everyone.
Tachiki: That went over fairly well. (laughing)
Sato: We usually record the last words about four times.
Tachiki: Yes. We're very picky when recording important words. Very picky.
Pride: You didn't expect the fans' reaction?
Sato: No, I expected it.
Pride: Both of you left PRIDE BUSHIDO on June 4th. What did you think during that time?
Tachiki: How can I describe itto put it simply, it was the loneliest I've ever been. Life goes on but it was difficult to talk about martial arts for a while after that. It was really lonely but there was nothing I could do about it. I'm just a narrator.
Pride: Did you feel this was your life work?
Tachiki: It's much more than my life work. It's hard but I do my best.
Sato: In my case, it was something the company had decided, so I had to question my own way of life. If I'm going to criticize the company, I should just quit. So, even from the beginning, I just started to retreat within myself. When I watched PRIDE during this period, and I know this sounds strange, I just didn't want them to disappear. Guys like Minowa and Mach and Gomi could have chose many other jobs but they didn't. Instead, they chose PRIDE, right? This is a promotion full of talented guys like that and it would be very bad if it disappeared. That's all I was thinking about.
Tachiki: It was tough for me too but I think it was definitely harder on Sato. I heard that he had basically become a ghost. (laughing) He was just wandering around, lost.
Sato: Tachiki probably has many other jobs and if I had stayed with FUJI, I think I would have had more projects but there aren't many original projects (like PRIDE) to work on.
Tachiki: No, there really aren't many original jobs.
Sato: Even if there were, there are no jobs where I can receive feedback directly from the target audience like I do in PRIDE.
Tachiki: I saw the Formula One video that Sato made several times and I always thought that Daisuke Sato belongs in PRIDE.
Pride: The intro videos in PRIDE are often said to be like movies, like the sports-version of movie previews.
Sato: They are definitely previews of the fights. I think that's a close description.
Tachiki: Speaking of movie-like videos, I like the recent Nishijima video the best (May 5, 2006 PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix 2006 Opening Round)
Sato: Yes, "Cinderella Man."
Tachiki: I remember that you were talking about the movie "Cinderella Man" in a previous discussion, saying that it's Nishijima's story. Nishijima's video seemed like a preview of Cinderella Man.
Sato: I'm glad you thought so.
Pride: By the way, how do you come up with ideas for the videos? For example, do you talk to a lot of people and brainstorm or do they just come to you suddenly?
Sato: It varies. Recently I've been listening to music. Sometimes the fighter, the music and Tachiki's voice will just overlap (in my mind).
Pride: So, it's like the voice of God? (laughing) Speaking of music, the intro video music is unique, isn't it? Do you choose all of those songs?
Sato: Not all of them. There were about 5 or 6 fights (that I chose) in the last BUSHIDO.
Pride: I knew your taste in music was excellent. For example, there was some whistling type of music when the photo of Mirko riding a bicycle appeared.
Sato: Oh, that was the sound effects guy. That wasn't my idea. (laughing) Let me just say this so there is no misunderstanding. I don't do everything. PRIDE is always gathering talented people. The level of fights is high and stable, so everyone wants to be involved. The person in charge of PRIDE's sound effects is particularly talented.
Tachiki: When I went to the studio and saw the recent BUSHIDO intro video and music, it awakened me. I was talking with my manager about how good the recent intros were. I was wondering how many he would make but he was involved with nearly all of them apparently. In a good sense, these videos were running at full speed. The first one we recorded was for Gegard Mousasi. Determining the first fight to record is fairly important, and I thought that was a good choice. The music was Aerosmith?
Sato: That's right.
Tachiki: That video has spirit. As a narrator, I was excited from the beginning.(To be continued)