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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.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

LOVE SUICIDES in competition at the Paris Cinema International Film Festival

[Love Suicides] The girl (Arika Lee) looks at the sea
Love Suicides

I have mentioned this briefly back in April, but I'll mention it again since I've gotten more details now that the official line-up of next month's Paris Cinema International Film Festival is out. So yup, LOVE SUICIDES, my first ever Yasunari Kawabata adaptation before I made KINGYO, is one of the 17 short films around the world selected for competition at the Paris Cinema International Film Fest.

Roppongi Hills at Night

After finishing dinner yesterday evening, I was gripped by a sudden urge to catch a film. I thought of seeing Ahn Hung Tran's I COME WITH THE RAIN, starring Josh Harnett, Lee Byung-hun, Takuya Kimura and Shawn Yue.

I rushed off to take the train to Roppongi, but despite my best efforts, the film had already started when I reached Roppongi Hills. Even though I told the lady that I didn't mind about missing the first 5 minutes of the film, she told me that only the first two rows of seats were available. I didn't want to subject myself to such exertion of effort when seeing a film, thus I decided not to bother in the end.

Left in Roppongi without anything to do, I decided to take some photos instead.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Street musicians of Shinjuku on Friday night

I went out to Shinjuku last Friday night because I thought it's depressing to stay at home on Friday nights. I had managed to shoot some inserts for my new short film, 3PM, and had an encouraging line-reading session with my new actress Yumiko (read more about the production here) Some self-celebration was a welcome.

So bringing my new and beloved camera, I ran off to Shinjuku to snap photos of its night scenery.

CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY airing on Astro Citra tonight

Kimmy Kiew in Chicken Rice Mystery

Was more than a little surprised when Nico of Fleishman-Hillard (organizer of BMW Shorties) told me yesterday that CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY will be airing on Astro Citra tonight at 8:30pm.

Abura Soba is a dangerous addiction

Hello. My name is Edmund Yeo and I think I'm addicted to Abura Soba.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Shooting another Japanese short film, "3PM"

No, it's unlikely that I'll pull off what Tan Chui Mui did last year by making 7 short films in 7 months, but I'm trying to shoot at least one short film every 2-3 months. January I shot KINGYO (which you should know by now, is a Japanese production), April I shot AFTERNOON RIVER (Malaysian), and now, in June, I shoot my newest short film called 3PM at Waseda University.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Edmund Yeo: Hot young Malaysian filmmaker tackles classic Japanese literature" - Interview with Toronto J-Film Pow Wow

Sitting on a sofa outside Hotel Royal

After returning from last Saturday's Fuyajo Cinema Festival in the morning, I had a quick nap before getting up for an interview with Chris Magee of Toronto J-Film Pow Wow.

You'll get to read about a childhood incident that might have started my filmmaking dream.

it was how his parents approached the films that set Yeo on the path he's on today. "There was a time when I went to watch "Tremors" with my parents in the cinema when I was really young," Yeo remembers, "I was freaking out. Mom thought the best way to calm me down was to totally deconstruct the illusion of films, like pointing out how some stuff was just props, how they were just acting, how the guy didn't really die, how the monster was just a construct. Perhaps that deconstruction led to the whole discussion about how films were made." Yeo's mother explained that the person in charge of the props, actors and the monster worms in "Tremors" was called a "director". The lightbulb went on for Yeo.

You can read the full article here.

Thanks, Chris.

(I assume the 'hot' in 'hot young Malaysian filmmaker' is a reference to my physical attractiveness, which had long been overlooked. Hah.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The 4th Foreigner's Traditional Japanese Dance Exhibition

The 4th Annual Foreigner's Traditional Japanese Dance Exhibition (第四回外国人日本舞踊大会) was held in my university earlier this evening. I didn't know a thing about it until the night before when Niklas showed me a website.

I was curious, so I decided to tag along, immerse myself more into Japanese traditions! I will remain an ignorant foreigner no more!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Picnic in Yoyogi Park

After spending an entirely sleepless night at Shinjuku, I caught a few hours of sleep before Maiko's call woke me up. (read more about it on my previous blog post) After that I got ready and headed off to Yoyogi Park for a picnic with Niklas, Lia The Artist and her friends: Jennifer and Yuu The Installation Artist.

Not a fan of summer afternoons, as the weather had turned a little too hot for my liking. Yet being at Yoyogi Park, bathed in the glow of the glorious summer sunlight would have been great for me to test my new camera.

Happily I took out my new and very beloved Panasonic DMC-LX3 and wanted to see what sort of masterful photography I could conjure in such an environment.

... then I realized that I forgot to bring the batteries.

"Eeeeeyaaaaaaargh!" I eeyargh'd in shock.

I decided to go back to my roots and snap photos with my cellphone instead.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Testing my new camera on the second night of Fuyajo Cinema Festival

After having complained endlessly about my old camera, and also NOT having a camcorder for the past 6 months, I've decided to rectify all these issues by buying a new camera that could serve as both. So I went off to buy myself a Panasonic DMC-LX3. As I was buying it, I realized how outdated I've been, I was offered to buy a 16GB memory card, and all these while I've been stuck with a 1GB one.

With the new camera, I headed off to Shinjuku Wald 9 again for the Fuyajo (Sleepless City) Cinema Festival, preparing for another sleepless night, and hopefully to catch some other films, and also visit my friends from my uni lab, who had offered to look after the cup noodles booth (free cup noodles were given to everyone who came for the festival).

When I arrived, they were watching the football match between Japan and Uzbekistan of the World Cup qualifiers. Japan had already scored, so they were happy.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Kingyo's test screening at Fuyajo Cinema Festival in Shinjuku Wald 9

The work-in-progress version of Kingyo finally had its test screening at the Fuyajo Cinema Festival in Wald 9 last night (or technically, this morning, since it was screened at 12am)

A couple of the cast and crew came.

I was happy to see main actress Luchino Fujisaki again. We just ran into each other at the elevator.

Here's a photo of her with Maiko the Producer and I.

Kingyo producer Maiko and star Luchino Fujisaki

With Luchino

(Luchino also had a brief blog entry about her thoughts just before the screening. It's in Japanese though)

We then took a group photo, this time with Lia the Artist/ Asst Director/ Production Designer's much nicer camera.

Friday, June 05, 2009

R. I. P. David Carradine and Shih Kien (Shek Kin)

It's a little sad that I learned of both deaths within minutes of each other. David Carradine was found hanging in his hotel room at Bangkok (article here, either it was suicide or a sex game gone wrong). He was 72.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Piano virtuoso in Bic Camera Yurakucho

I was taking a walk around Bic Camera Yurakucho, checking out cameras and stuff when something in the distance caught my eye. I saw an old man sitting before one of the electronic pianos, pounding the keyboard relentlessly, and some shop assistants were looking at him.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Really tiny car

I was on my way to catch Star Trek in Shinjuku two days ago when I saw an unbelievably tiny car passing by.

Immediately I took out my cellphone to snap a photo. (I wasn't the only one)

Tiny car in Shinjuku

Tiny car in Shinjuku 2

On the other hand, Star Trek's pretty entertaining. Don't think the ending matched up with the intense intro though.