Tokyo Rain — The First Film in My New “Cine Scenes”

My love for Tokyo is pretty huge and fairly public. It’s borderline obsessive. I’ve only been to Tokyo twice; the first was for a week and the second was for a whole month. Yet I can easily say it’s my favourite destination I’ve ever been to.

Joe Allam Japan Sugoi

I blogged about the most recent trip on my travel blog, Jelly Journeys. It’s filled with tonnes of photos and a roundup of what Elly and I did during our time; you should definitely check it out!

A rainy Tokyo is as good as any Tokyo

During my first visit, I became aware of how beautiful a rainy day in Tokyo is. With all the added reflections in puddles from the thousands of illuminations, mixed with the colourful umbrellas (and the transparent ones!), I just had to make a short film about it on my second trip!

I have already shared this Tokyo Rain video on Jelly Journeys—but not yet here on this blog. Given that this is an overall cinematic and creative piece of content, I thought it was worth sharing the details of how I made it here!

Joe Allam Tokyo Rain Cine Scenese

Based in areas of Ginza and Shibuya, the entire film was shot on the Sony A7R II, with some shots using the Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.8 and others with the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L and 16-35 f/4L using the Metabones adapter.

Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Bridge over Road
Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Puddle

I then edited the sequence together in Premiere Pro, using multiple overlaid shots to create a series of dreamy double exposure effects. The nature of the changing lights and high contrast from the rain, inspired this style of editing and seemed to be well received judging by the comments on YouTube.

Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Overlaid Shots Aerial
Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Overlaid Shots Ginza Crossing
Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Overlaid Shots Umbrella Road

All of the shots were filmed in the S-Log2 “flat” picture profile to allow for higher dynamic range and greater colour grading control, which gives each scene that premium cinematic feel. You can choose these settings fairly easily, by selecting “picture profile 7” on the Sony.

Here’s a couple of examples showing how each original shot was really dull and uninspiring, before being graded into the final cinematic style.

Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Ungraded
Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes S-Log2 Graded

And here’s another example showing some overlaid shots blended and graded together. Note the hightened contrast and deeper shadows. This is then done for every single shot in the video. It’s a lengthy process, but totally worth it!

Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Ungraded S-Log 2 Shot
Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Graded S-Log 2 Shot

Most of the shots were graded using the Lumetri features of Premiere Pro, with additional LUTs from DeLUTs. I mostly lowered the shadows and exposure of each shot and only subtly increased the saturation from the grey S-Log2 footage, to keep it looking moody and cinematic.

Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Woman Crossing

I’m pretty pleased with the overall outcome of this short film; the first in my new series of “Cine Scenes” from all of the travels I’ve been doing this year. I’ve got more high quality sequences on the way in the coming weeks. I’m planning to get my Hong Kong Cine Scenes finished fairly promptly and will of course be sharing it on my YouTube channel and this blog!

Tokyo Rain Cine Scenes Title Umbrella

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  1. Hey Joe, really love this grade of color. Its common for Instagram stills. I would know how to achieve it with Lightroom. For video it is so beautiful. Thanks for the hint in this article about the process. Kind regards. Philipp

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