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Osaka Power: An Energetic Video Tour of Japan Second Largest City

Often shadowed by Tokyo, Osaka is an important cultural and economic center of the Land of the Rising Sun. German film-maker Christoph Gelep, delivers a fast pace video tour by capturing the traditional and modern side of the second largest city in Japan.

Following his first viral video of Japan – Hello Tokyo – M. Gelep who now lives in Tokyo started the pre-production of Osaka Power in 2016. He explains to Fstoppers:

 My initial idea was to build upon the style of Hello Tokyo, this time with the focus being more on the local people and the way they live. So I began researching about Osaka, to find out what's popular there, what makes it different to other cities in Japan and then to build a story around that. The idea to focus on Retro Games and the connection of gaming between young and old came naturally after visiting Osaka. There are parts of the city which still seem to be living in the past, with numerous Retro Arcades and stores selling retro games with both young and old sharing the same passion for them. One of the cultures that seemed to be popular in Osaka was skating and my research eventually led me to Bug Barnes, the founder and owner of the local legendary skating store The Mint Skateboarding.

The entire project was self-funded, therefore, the videographer and M.Barnes had to carry out a number of roles between the two of them and luckily, they also received a lot of help from Bug's friends along the way.

“Production, once underway, went fairly smoothly” says M. Gelep. “It's difficult to say how long the shooting process took overall, there was a lot of location scouting, meetings and traveling time mixed in, but I would say roughly it took about 2-3 weeks of shooting in total. The editing took almost a year to complete, during my spare time (of which I had very little) around my other commitments of shooting videos for other clients in Tokyo”

A Canon 5D Mark III with Magic Lantern was the main workhorse camera for the time-lapse and hyper-lapse sequence while the video sequences were mainly filmed with a Sony FS5. The only other camera used was the Sony a7s II, for its low light performance. There were a lot of run and gun situations with very little ambient light, so the a7s II was a good fit for that type of situation. “I knew these cameras inside out and knew they would be reliable in every situation I encountered” M. Gelep says.

Eventually the video turned out great and the artist feels “very happy with the huge positive feedback already received for the video. Also, all of the people who were involved in the video are extremely happy and proud of the final video and the way it showcases Osaka — to me that was the main goal of the video.”

You can follow Christoph Gelep's work on his Instagram, and Facebook.

Oliver Kmia's picture

Oliver Kmia is specialized in time-lapse, hyperlapse, and aerial videography. He also works with several drone manufacturers as a marketing and technical consultant. He is the lead brand ambassador of Hello Kitty camera, his favorite piece of equipment. Most people think Oliver is an idiot and they are probably right.

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Beautiful work, you captured it perfectly! I worked in Tokyo and Osaka for seven months many years ago and it was all about food, baseball and pachinko parlors. My apartment was near the Namba Station in Osaka and Ropungi Station in Tokyo.

I’ve been living in the Tokyo area for over 5 years, and I’ve been to Osaka many times. The thing that always amazes me is it’s how different the two cities are. When I go to Osaka, it often feels like I’m abroad because the energy, atmosphere, and people are so different.

I’d love to see his take on the rest if Japan. Kanagawa is a wonderful prefecture home to some amazing cities, cultural landmarks, and nature.

I love the seamless transitions, and that he included Katsuōji 😊 the best temple in the prefecture! It would have been nice to see some more stuff from the rest of the prefecture though, like USJ and Expo City.