New Disney+ Show ‘Lost Man Found’ Begins Production in the Vine Neighborhood of Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, MI — A new show set to begin airing on Disney+ this summer, “Lost Man Found,” is gearing up to begin filming in the Vine neighborhood of Kalamazoo.

The team members were scouting the neighborhood on Monday, March 7. Producer Takuma Hayashi told MLive that actual filming will start on March 14 and is expected to wrap on March 25.

The show, he said, is a semi-realistic, comedic story about a Japanese actor and his struggles to rise to fame and fall in love. It is based on a book that was only published in Japanese, he said.

NHK Japan, which is similar to the BBC network, is initially handling the production/airing of the show, but it will eventually air on Disney+, Hayashi said. Radiant Pictures’ Hayashi said the scenes will be shot in both English and Japanese, depending on the scene.

Based in Los Angeles, Hayashi is on location and directing production for both episodes filmed in Kalamazoo. Filming for the series began earlier this year in Japan, where the other episodes of the series are set, he said. On Monday, the crew spent part of the day at Satellite Records, which will be one of two main filming locations, along with Martini’s restaurant, located just down the street on South Westnedge Avenue.

The show, Hayashi said, is filmed in Kalamazoo because the actor the story is based on had a brother, Takeshi, who he lost contact with after the brother moved from Japan to Kalamazoo.

As happened in real life, after 15 years apart, a friend of Takeshi’s reaches out to the actor’s agent once Takeshi is terminally ill. This leads to the actor, Satoru, traveling to Kalamazoo for what is also the actor’s first trip to the United States, Hayashi said.

The real-life brother, Hayashi said, had worked at Martini, which is why the restaurant was selected as one of the locations for the site. The other location, Satellite, will be converted from a record store to a hybrid video/disc store where the brother’s friend had worked and where people regularly hung out, Hayashi said.

“‘Lost Man Found’ is about the actor, how he became an actor and his story, but these two episodes are about his brother and their relationship, and how they come together,” a- he declared. “It’s based on a true, but fictional story. So there are a lot of things we shoot that don’t fit 100% with their story. »

Most of the filming will take place indoors, he said, but those who pass through or live in the Vine neighborhood could see cinematic activity unfold in the coming weeks.

The show stars Japanese actors Taiga Nakano and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, the latter of whom is a former member of popular Japanese boy group SMAP. Kusanagi, he said, is sort of the Japanese equivalent of Justin Timberlake.

Both stars are in Kalamazoo for filming, but the show’s third star, Sairi Ito, is not making the trip and is only featured in the Japanese episodes, Hayashi said.

“We’re just grateful to the neighborhood association, Satellite and Martini’s for being so accommodating,” he said. “We were hoping it would be a little drier and a little warmer, but next week isn’t looking good. We’re all from LA mostly and Monday and Tuesday have a 30% chance of snow/ rain both days.

“It’s not that good.”

Satellite Records assistant manager Bunny Villare said they were happy to offer Satellite’s store as a filming location.

“We thought it would be good exposure for the store, and they seemed like really open, honest, nice guys,” Villaire said. “The story is somewhat true to life of something that happened in the Vine neighborhood and we really connect with the Vine neighborhood so we thought it would be really good to help introduce a Vine neighborhood story.”

The satellite will be mostly closed March 21-23 while filming on location, but those wishing to purchase records can go to the back entrance of the store on those days, Villaire said.

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