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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yakitori is yummy

On Saturday night I went to a Yakitori restaurant at Shin-Okubu with Eric (my friend, not my dad).

With Eric at Shinjuku Station East Exit
(Eric and I at the Shinjuku Station East Exit, before making our way to Shin-Okubo)

And dammit, the food's so bloody good!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

TRANSFORMERS 2 will be the biggest film in Malaysia

On a lighter note, Sebastian had been pretty depressed about the unanimous love my beloved home country had for TRANSFORMERS 2.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Reflecting on Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

michael jackson

When I woke up this morning and saw the news of Michael Jackson's death, I was quite affected by it. I grew up as a fan. As a child I listened to all the cassette tapes I had with me then, OFF THE WALL, THRILLER and BAD. I didn't know how it all started, I can't remember. The King of Pop then was at the pinnacle of his popularity, television was often dominated by his electrifying performances, or the music videos.

In kindergarten I drew pictures of men grabbing their crotches because that's the pose I remember most from Michael Jackson's dances, to the consternation of teachers.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Short interview with me on BMW Shorties website

Did a quick email interview with the peeps at BMW Shorties two days ago, and the interview was immediately up on their page yesterday. Good job using the cast and crew photo from 3PM too!

An excerpt.

Filmmaking has been around for decades, how do you innovate and make your film different?

Actually, I don’t self-consciously try to be ‘innovative’ and do things ‘people had never done before’. Normally I just find a story I really like to do, and hope that my personal filmmaking sensibilities can do justice to the story, enough to make it unique. I’m not sure whether I am original, it’s really up to my audiences to decide that.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A very sweet gesture from the 3PM cast and crew

So I've wrapped up the shoot for my newest Japanese short film, 3PM last Friday. And had am now editing it.

Here's a photo of the cast and crew sent to me by main actress Yumiko Kitazawa (you can also read about the shoot from her blog, but it's only in Japanese).

The Cast and Crew of 3PM
From left to right: Yumiko the lead actress, Ko the sound guy, Kabayama the camera assistant turned lead actor, me, Erika the cinematographer and Yuiko the producer/ assistant director

Like I said, I've immediately started work on editing the film the night when I finished the shoot, and things seem encouraging thus far.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, dad

As I look out through my window right now, the world is absolutely grey, and obscured by the rain. Perhaps I'm going to be stuck in my room the whole day. On the other hand, I checked the weather forecast in Kuala Lumpur and it seems cloudy, and there will be rain too in the afternoon, but the rains of tropical Malaysia are ferocious, but fleeting, often ending in mere hours, while the rain of Tokyo often drag on for days. So rain or not, I doubt it will do much to affect Father's Day for dad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Completed the shoot of my new short, 3PM, edited a rough cut too

Just got back from the editing lab moments ago. Managed to wrap up the shoot for my new Japanese short film, 3PM. It was a fun shoot, exhausting it was. It's been a while since I've actually made a comedy (though many argued that CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY is just some some film with some comedic moments, and not really a comedy), I needed to do once since I've been making three consecutive depressing films (four, if you count my little-seen experimental video, FLEETING IMAGES).

Like I said, 3PM is a zero-budget film much smaller in scale than KINGYO, and set mostly in one location. I only had a skeleton crew (Me, Kou-san the sound guy, Erika the director of photography, Yuiko the producer/assistant director) , but just as I've always believed, as long as everyone's passionate, things can run pretty smoothly. That was the case of the 3PM shoot.

Even though we had some cute Waseda University cheerleaders briefly interrupting the shoot with their practice session at our location, but that lasted barely more than half an hour, and although they did their best to distract me, I managed to valiantly relocate the shoot to somewhere nearby.

Spirits were still so high that I immediately started work on putting together a rough cut of the short film in the evening, and worked on it til just now. Things look quite promising, I managed to try some stuff I never tried in previous works, yet I'm a little surprised by its length. The whole thing is nearly 16 minutes. I thought it'll be 10 to 12 minutes. Whoa. I might have some snipping to do.

Here are some stills.