Monday, March 12, 2012

Pink Film Budget

According to this fellow's site, a budget for an independently produced adult film back in the pink days would have been around $40,000 US (at the current exchange rate), or about 3,500,000 yen.

Here's his breakdown (in yen):

  • Director -- 200,000
  • Screenplay -- 150,000
  • Ass't Director -- 150,000
  • Shooting/lighting -- 400,000
  • Editing -- 100,000
  • Actor -- 450,000
  • Film stock -- 450,000
  • Processing -- 600,000

Seems like a lot of dough to me even at today's exchange rate. Back in, oh, 1968 or so, that would have been considered a lot more money.

When he first started making pink films, Yamabe Nobuo of Yamabe Pro was known to throw quite a bit of cash into his productions. Subsequently, though, he became rather tightfisted.

Oka Naomi in Nihon no Kinbaku, 1980
Obviously, buying and processing film was a major expense. Small wonder so many producers these days are going with digital which can look, under the best conditions, almost like film.

It appears that Yamabe was probably the one responsible for attaching the Flower and Snake bit to some of the early pink SM films whose screenplays were written by Dan Oniroku. Thanks to the magazine Kitan Club, the words flower and snake became associated with SM just as the name Dan Oniroku later became synonymous with SM.

According to one of my associates, it seems that Dan, who was a novelist first and foremost, was not initially gung-ho about the idea of adapting Flower and Snake to the big screen. But Yamabe, an astute businessman who had no interest himself in SM, thought it would put more butts in seats. He was right and that explains why there are so many Flower and Snake films today.

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