TV TOKYO “P. Ito” Exclusive Interview “Are you worried? Are you worried that I’m going to quit? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

TV TOKYO “P. Ito” Exclusive Interview “Are you worried? Are you worried that I’m going to quit?

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I’ve never posed like this before in my life,” he blurted out. Ito P. is a godly man who responds to such requests as “A little bit like an evil old man!

Yes, that’s right! The title of the article is “Are you worried? How about we title the article, ‘Are you worried that I might quit?

The charismatic Mr. Takayuki Ito (50) of TV TOKYO, who has appeared on “Moya Moya Samaazasu 2” (“Moya Moya Samaazasu”) and is affectionately known as “Ito P.” He was promoted to head of TV TOKYO’s production department as of April 1.

We interviewed P. Ito before the personnel announcement. At the time, he was in the position of executive producer . I’ ve been getting a lot of comments lately (laughs).

(Laughs.) “Executive producer was also my first title since the station opened. And when I asked the executive producer, “Is this the kind of thing you’d have a problem with if I quit? I asked him, and he told me honestly, ‘That’s part of it. (Laughs.) Since my job title is “on-site execution,” I will continue to do my best to be close to the field.

Mr. Ito has worked on many popular programs, including “Moyasama” and “Emergency SOS! Mr. Ito, who wrote about his approach to planning and work stance in “Ito P’s Moya Moya Work Technique” (Shueisha Shinsho), published in 2011, noted that TV TOKYO differs from other stations in its ideas and sensibilities, and wrote, “I value TV TOKYO’s grammar very much. When asked if “TV TOKYO’s grammar” has changed over time, he replied, “It hasn’t changed. In fact, it may have become stronger. In terms of the method of planning and creating programs, the basics of ‘searching for what is not there’ have not changed,” he says.

Not only TV, but also YouTube, TikTok, etc. Content is meaningless if it is not seen. To get people to watch, you need to make them look twice, or be surprised, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice, or make them look twice! “It has to be immediately recognizable. It has to be immediately recognizable.

TV Tokyo is known for its edgy projects. When asked where these projects are born, he says, surprisingly, “It’s in everyday life.

When I ask him where he gets his inspiration for his projects, he says, surprisingly, “It’s in everyday life. It’s like, ‘That’s something I’ve wondered about myself, too! ‘ and it creates empathy; if you can get even one person in a hundred or one in a thousand to strongly empathize with you, then you have a hit on your hands.”

One of his best-known works, “Pond Water,” was also born from a trivial question.

The news story said, “Police are searching the pond after lowering the water level,” and I thought, “What does lowering the water level mean? And I thought, ‘What do they mean by lowering the water level? The next day, by chance, during a meeting, one of the writers began researching “rake-digging,” which involves pumping water out of a pond or swamp to remove mud and other debris, and the project grew from there.

The full-length programs produced in this way are often imitated by other stations. It is often rumored that “there are clear instructions from commercial broadcasters to ‘take a project that looks good on TV TOKYO,’ he said.

I have been teased by my peers for a long time that “TV TOKYO can take a crack at it,” or “Was TV TOKYO a TV station? “For a long time, I have been teased by my peers, saying, ‘Teletei is good at making cracks. Nippon TV is good at taking things down, and there are a lot of them. TV Asahi does it in a disgusting way, and TBS is so blatant in the way they do it that I have complained, “You have to do better than that! I once complained to TBS, “You have to do better than that! (Laughs.) There is talk of protesting as a station, but rather than fight there, TV TOKYO is willing to be taken down and teased. Even if they take away our projects, I believe that true originality will remain in the end.

Although “Ike no Mizu” was a big hit, it initially met with great opposition within the company, and there was such a struggle at the meeting that the head of the programming bureau and I got into a loud shouting match.

One week after the meeting, I went out to dinner with the head of the programming bureau without a resolution. I thought about it, and he said, ‘How about TV doing something for someone else? He said, ‘I’ve been thinking about it since then. The proposed title was “Drain the Water,” but we added “Emergency SOS” at the beginning and “Operation” at the end – that’s how we decided on the name of the “Pond Water” program. There was a reaction, even if it was a big objection. It was a struggle, but they thought it through. From there, a halation occurred and the plan was refined. It’s like the location gods come down, and programs that work well have some kind of reaction from people.”

He chats with the cameraman. During editing, he said, “Wow! If we hadn’t shot it, we wouldn’t have been able to use it, so we couldn’t use it. If they hadn’t, we wouldn’t be able to use it.

It is not only new programs that have experienced halos. The starting point for “Moyasama” to go golden in April 2010 was when the head of the programming department at the time said, “My wife says it can go golden. Many staff members were opposed to the move, because of the popularity of the late-night show’s unique and relaxed atmosphere.

The “Moyasama” program,” which is about wandering around town, has the TV TOKYO gene for travel programs. So I wanted to try it. Plus, there was the relationship value of being able to say, ‘My wife, you know,’ so that’s why we came up with that idea.”

Mr. Ito has since been actively interacting with people within the company to “eliminate first-time encounters,” and he encourages his subordinates to do the same.

I believe that TV stations should become content makers. Not only distribution, but also product development, such as product sales, is content. When I think about it, the number of people I can work with, even within the company alone, has increased tremendously, such as in events and sales. Now is not the time when 7 out of 10 people turned on the TV. Where to create touch points is also important. In addition to the existing events and program linkages with magazines, there are now many more places where we can strike a chord, such as working with Spotify to diversify our audio content. We are a company that was originally allowed to engage in very narrow local battles, such as a big food contest or an appraisal of the contents of a warehouse, so there is no need to think only about “making it into a program” in these times. In order to encourage junior staff to think freely about touch points, I tell them that they can forget about TV for once.

Although he speaks casually, it is not a phrase that can be said so casually by a TV producer who is in production. However, it is a way of thinking that accurately captures the current times, and it is an answer that came naturally from the standpoint of a content maker. This flexibility is the reason why Mr. Ito receives so many inquiries and ideas.

When Mr. Ito heard that an outside sales representative for BS, who was in charge of highway-related sponsorships, was “struggling with low budgets,” he approached the production department and asked for help with a 90-minute project. He called on the production department to solicit 90-minute projects, and within a week, 30 were submitted. Normally, this would be a case of asking an advertising agency to do the job, but this was something that a content maker could do. In the end, my project, “All the exits on the expressway, all the way down. (laugh),” he says with a mischievous laugh, but he was pleased with the response to the large number of proposals received.

Young salespeople are motivated, but sometimes they don’t know how to find solutions,” he said. It is the job of content makers to solve those problems with content and provide solutions. we picked up on what one staff member was having, and the distribution and events we did there sometimes led to programs. Television can’t be made by one person, and sometimes a hit is born from an issue, a complaint, or a claim.”

Looking at the TV industry from a bird’s eye view, Ito says, “The most important thing for us TV people right now is to have our own answers to the question, ‘What is TV?

One answer is that comedy on TV doesn’t have to be silly. For example, “Godotan” is incredibly silly (laughs). But if you think that Japanese people are growing up knowing the feeling of ‘this is crap,’ it means that they are contributing to cultural sensitivity, and it is fine if it is even more crap. In the extreme, a comedy show should do 15 minutes of comedy, and there should be comedy fans who can watch a 30-minute comedy and think, ‘Wow. Well, I’m not planning this as a ‘contribution to the cultural level of the TV station’ or anything so rigid (laughs).

With producer Isamu Ota at the opening event of TV TOKYO’s fan branch. The host of the event was announcer Minami Nakahara (courtesy of TV Tokyo).

In an age where diversity is being called for and content is being segmented, there are difficulties with television, a medium that is in some ways too large. TV Tokyo’s drama series “I Can Be a Wizard if I’m a Virgin till I’m 30” (“Cherimaho”), based on a comic book of the same title with a boy’s love theme, was an exceptional hit and gave birth to the big break of Eiji Akachu and Keita Machida, but there was once a project that did not go through.

However, there was one project that never went through. “People talk about uncertainty and diversity, but I think that TV content is definitely lacking diversity. The drama “Cherry Maho” became a hit and was made into a movie, but I don’t think that would have been possible 10 years ago on TV, as a matter of common sense. I am currently working on a romantic reality show project called “I’m in love with your beard,” and the person who came up with that project about 15 years ago is still in the company.

He said with a straight face, “There is definitely a world like this, and this is interesting,” but he was told, “Such a project will never pass. But they would say, ‘That kind of project will never be accepted in my lifetime. Breaking the common sense means that there are people who stand at the forefront of social change, and if TV stands at the front line of that change, social understanding will advance. More specifically, I want TV Tokyo to stand at the tip of the spear, and I want us to be a station that can make a statement that will change such common sense.

TV TOKYO’s drama “Byplayers” drew attention for its self-deprecating line, “It’s TV TOKYO, right?” Behind its popularity with many viewers is its open self-deprecation about things like “no budget” and “not enough people.

In a special program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the station, he said, “We did a program called ‘Moya Moya Video Taibutsu! It was a self-deprecating program that collected footage from TV Tokyo’s 50-year program archive and called it “almost a broadcast accident. When we aired the program, the head of the programming bureau at the time said in a very threatening tone, “Do you think TV TOKYO is stupid? What do you know about it? He scolded me severely. He was extremely angry with me, but the next day, when the ratings were good, the same person praised me profusely (laughs).

I manage my schedule in a notebook. I am an analog person. If I don’t write it down, I lose track of it (laughs).

Of course, it is a self-deprecating way of teasing the station with respect. Like the impossible mistakes that happen during live broadcasts, or the ones where we only have one camera because we don’t have enough budget or people, and the receiving camera – if we had another camera, it wouldn’t be an accidental video. As a result of our desperate efforts, all kinds of things happened (laughs). People say, “TV TOKYO is loved,” but I don’t feel that way, and I shouldn’t be conscious of it. You shouldn’t feel that you are loved. I’m just trying desperately to do my best. There are times when we make a big cock-up, but we give it our all–and I think that all-out effort is what makes it interesting.”

The self-deprecating atmosphere of the company often gives the impression of a free corporate culture, but “I’m like this, but it’s a very strict company. We are very strict about mistakes. The company is very strict about mistakes. I thought I could do whatever I wanted, but that’s not the case at all,” Ito said seriously, but he soon laughed and continued.

How do you get around that and keep the back door open?” he asked. Or, “When I notice it, I’m already doing it.

Mr. Ito happily talked about his “tricks” and “foul techniques,” which he developed because he was fighting and thinking on site. However, on March 15, TV Tokyo announced the promotion of Mr. Ito to head of the Production Bureau, effective April 1. Unlike executive producers, who are expected to “execute on the spot,” the head of the production bureau is primarily responsible for overseeing operations. I asked him, “Isn’t it unimaginable for you to leave the field? When I asked, Isn’t it hard to imagine leaving the field? He immediately replied, “The production bureau is the field.

I aim to be a bureau chief who stays close to the field! I might even end up making something I can’t stand (laughs).

I secretly look forward to the day when the charismatic director will open a new “back door” and broadcast a program that, “before I know it, I’ve already “made it.

  • Interview and text Miho Kuwata Photography Takeshi Kinugawa

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