||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification, as it includes attribution to IMDb. (February 2012)|
September 29, 1970 |
|Years active||1991 — present|
Koichi Sakamoto (坂本 浩一 Sakamoto Kōichi , born on September 29, 1970 in Tokyo, Japan) 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 frequent director, for the long running Power Rangers franchise.
Sakamoto graduated from Adachi ward Higashiayase junior high and high school, and went on to graduate from Matsudo Senshu University. 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 eventually married the film's unit production manager, Tamara Noland with whom they had one daughter, Matilda, prior to their separating. He went onto marry stuntwoman and suit actor Motoko Nagino in 2002.
Sakamoto had also formed Alpha Stunts Production and was enlisted as 2nd Unit Director for the "battle grid" scenes from Saban Entertainment's syndicated live-action children's series VR Troopers. This led him to eventually replacing Jeff Pruitt as stunt coordinator for the third season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, along with his Alpha Stunts team. Sakamoto would then go on to become the 2nd Unit Director for the remainder of the Saban-era 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).
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 when the franchise was transferred from Saban Entertainment to Disney. Sakamoto was replaced as stunt coordinator by Mark Harris, although Sakamoto continued directing through Ninja Storm and thereafter stayed on as executive producer, no longer choreographing or directing. Disney stopped producing new seasons following Power Rangers RPM, eventually selling the franchise to Saban Brands. in 2010. In 2011, Sakamoto returned as an action director for Power Rangers Samurai, which premiered in 2011.
In 2006, Sakamoto served as action unit director and choreographer in Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior. He recently trained The Jonas Brothers for a week and a half, in preparation for filming J.O.N.A.S.
Sakamoto went on 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 Fourze along with movies such as Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Fourze & OOO: Movie War Mega Max and Travelers: Jigen Keisatsu. He is currently directing Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger. Sakamoto is known for adding elements of Hong Kong-style martial arts and stunts into traditional tokusatsu weapons battles and effects. Sakamoto has also made a guest appearance in Season 2 of Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger.