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Koichi Sakamoto

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This article is about a/an fight coordinator and director in the Super Sentai and Power Rangers franchises.
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Koichi Sakamoto (坂本 浩一 Sakamoto Kōichi?) is a Japanese-born stunt actor, and producer for films and television. He is best known for his work as executive producer, as well as fight coordinator and director, working for both Super Sentai and Power Rangers, as well as Kamen Rider.

Background

A fan of Jackie Chan and Super Sentai, Sakamoto worked to become a stunt performer for Blue Mask on Hikari Sentai Maskman at live stunt shows, performing at Kōrakuen Stadium and Tokyo Dome. He came to the United States in 1989 as a foreign student to learn English and became a stunt actor. His first major stunt role was in 1994 with Guyver: Dark Hero as "Sakai." Sakamoto had also formed Alpha Stunts Production and was enlisted as 2nd Unit Director for the "battle grid" scenes from VR Troopers. This led him to eventually replace Jeff Pruitt as stunt director for the third season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Sakamoto would then go on to become the 2nd Unit Director for the remainder of the Power Rangers series, eventually filling the roles of Producer, Executive Producer, even completing the final storyboard for Countdown to Destruction, the two-part series finale episode of Power Rangers In Space (originally drafted to be three episodes). He also made an appearance as Tritor (uncredited) in the 2-part Power Rangers: Zeo episode, "King for a Day" (he only moved his lips, however, while character voice over work was performed by an uncredited Paul St. Peter).

Sakamoto eventually married Guyver's film unit production manager, Tamara Noland with whom they had one daughter, Matilda, prior to their separating. He would later marry stuntwoman and suit actor, Motoko Nagino (the Pink A-Squad Ranger of SPD) in 2002. Sakamoto became one of the few original crew members from MMPR Productions to remain with the production following its move to New Zealand in 2003. He stayed all the way to RPM's last day.

Prior to Disney's aquision of the Power Rangers franchise, Sakamoto frequently directed episodes and was the action and fight coordinator before being replaced by Mark Harris for Ninja Storm, staying on as executive producer, but no longer choreographing or directing. He is responsible for the extravagant explosions throughout the Disney-Era Power Ranger seasons, however, they are mistakenly referred to as "Kalishplosions". Disney dropped the franchise after season 17, selling it back to Saban. In 2011, Sakamoto returned as an action director for Power Rangers Samurai.

Other Works

In 2006, Sakamoto served as action unit director and choreographer in Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior[1] and trained the Jonas Brothers for a week and a half, in preparation for filming of J.O.N.A.S.

In 2008, Sakamoto and the Alpha Stunts team provided stunt training for Captain Tankboy and the Tankboy Crew for the reality TV series Tankboy TV. Sakamoto also directed fight scenes in Operation Stuntman for Tankboy TV.

Sakamoto would go to do tokusatsu TV shows and films for Toei and Tsuburaya, including Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Kamen Rider W Forever: A to Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate, Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy and Kamen Rider FourzeIcon-crosswiki along with movies such as Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Fourze & OOO: Movie War Mega MaxIcon-crosswiki and Travelers: Jigen Keisatsu. He also directed Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger. Sakamoto is known for adding elements of Hong Kong-style martial arts and stunts into traditional tokusatsu weapons battles and effects.

Directing credits

References

Sources

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