Scene Stealer ‘Shutter’ Joshua Jackson
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By Ron Magid, Special to The Times

Director Masayuki Ochiai and producer Takashige Ichise faced a unique challenge on their Japanese/American co-production, “Shutter,” in which the ghost of a murdered girl manifests in everyday photographs -- namely, conjuring up images that would frighten viewers on either side of the Pacific. (Bill Kaye / 20th Century Fox)
“There are cultural differences about what is scary,” says the film’s U.S. visual effects producer, Thomas F. Ford IV. “It was challenging deciding what ‘scares’ would work in which version of the movie.” (20th Century Fox)
That realization meant creating alternate effects for the markets. For example, in the Japanese version, Jane (Rachael Taylor) sees the ghost girl peering wide-eyed from outside the window of a moving subway train. “That didn’t play to an American audience,” says Ford, who was asked to devise a Westernized jolt: a grinning skull atop the ghost’s body. “We needed a more direct scare.” (20th Century Fox)