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Sunday, October 18, 2009

KINGYO screening at Unicus Cinemas, and some THE WHITE FLOWER update

I went to Honjo at Saitama yesterday for a KINGYO screening at the Unicus Cinema (it's a multiplex in a shopping mall called Unicus).

I think it was for the opening event of their inaugural Honjo Kodama Area Film Festival. Both my film, and a Chinese-Japanese co-produced documentary (also from the lab I'm), Shaolin Kungfu, were there. My friends, Yang Yang and Zifeng, were the editors of that film. This is me in Professor Ando's (executive producer of KINGYO) car, heading to the multiplex, with Maiko, Zifeng and Yang Yang.

When I arrived, I camwhored. In this photo, I was supposed to be pointing at the cinema screen, too bad the photographer in question, Kabayama, was too meticulous in capturing the details of my manly face to get a wider shot and show what I was pointing at.

Pointing at the cinema screen

We waited for the crowd to come in. For a while I was worried we'll be playing our film to an empty theater.

With Zifeng and Yang Yang

Moments after the above photo was taken, I'm happy to say that the hall was nearly full, though I forgot to ask Kabayama to snap photos of the crowd to prove it.

This is us, with Ando-sensei, introducing the films we were involved in.

Introducing our films

Finally I gave a brief intro about KINGYO, with Maiko translating. I spoke about how the film was inspired by the works of Yasunari Kawabata, how the short story 'CANARIES' formed the basis of my plot while I also fused some elements of 'SNOW COUNTRY' as well (I said that as an ignorant foreigner, I had viewed the Akihabara maids as modern equivalents of the geisha, but due to lack of time, I didn't get into detail about my comically seriously research on Akihabara maids last year when i prepared for the film).

Maiko translating my words into Japanese

Unfortunately, the cinema was unable to play HDCAM, so the film was screened in DVD format. Eek.

Finally, after the screening, Maiko and I headed back to Tokyo. Maiko had taken over producing duties for my new film THE WHITE FLOWER (stills here), which I am now starting to edit. She was in the midst of her NHK internship when I was shooting the film back in July.


I took a non-linear approach with the film due to its form (it's a film constructed almost entirely with still photos) so I haven't really finished the script for its voiceover narration until two nights ago. Film will be in both Japanese and Mandarin. Maiko, as usual, is supposed to help translate the script into Japanese (well, the Japanese parts anyway) and ensure its authenticity. I will now suffer a bit more myself with the Chinese translation.

Had spent the past few nights at the editing lab beginning the editing process, which, is shaping up to be so much a challenge that I have nightmares of KINGYO again, in which I swore off doing films almost entirely in split screens. I know I'm not gonna do another film entirely in still photos either.