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Showing posts from December, 2009

Happy 2010!

I'm now hanging out at Tsukui, new year has come, waiting for Maiko the Producer's mom to prepare some soba (apparently it is Japanese tradition to eat soba during new year!). 2009 had its ups and downs, but for me, they were mostly ups. Hopefully 2010 will be better, for me and you all!!!

EXHALATION shoot day 3

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Last night, I shot the remaining scenes for my new film EXHALATION. This is lead actress Kiki Sugino in her uniform (in the film she works in a Pachinko shop).

EXHALATION shoot day 2

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Early in the morning, when I returned to the location for the shoot of my new film, EXHALATION, it struck me that i was going through the last few days of 2009. It was rather apt that, in a year which I would consider a breakthrough for my filmmaking career, I would end it while making a film.

EXHALATION shoot day 1

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The 3-day shoot for my newest short film, EXHALATION, had just started. It's the biggest production I've ever taken (yes, even bigger than KINGYO). Some photos from the film shoot today. I have only 4 hours to sleep before I get up at 5am for day two of the shoot. The crew arrived at the location at 8:30am in the morning. Everyone started preparing.

Yakiniku Christmas Dinner

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I remembered last year's Christmas, it was a quiet one. I miscalculated that Ueno Park or Senso-ji Temple would be open for Christmas, but I was wrong . It was a peaceful but somewhat melancholic experience. I kinda assumed that the same would happen this year. Perhaps I would just head off to one of the cinemas and watch AVATAR alone, but something else came up, and all of a sudden, I found myself at a Yakiniku restaurant called Buchi, in Shibuya.

LOVE SUICIDES picked up Best Director award at China Mobile Film Festival 2009

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(I've announced this on Twitter and Facebook a few days ago, but haven't actually done it here, so here you go...) Just to share some good news. I picked up the Best Director Award for my short film LOVE SUICIDES at last week's China Mobile Film Festival in Shenzhen.

KINGYO reunion party

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Yes, it's Christmas, but let me post some long overdue blog entries for now. The KINGYO team had a reunion party on the 15th of December, right after the CON-CAN Award Ceremony . Actually, it's more like a 'wrap party' instead of a 'reunion party'. Although we finished the shoot for KINGYO almost a year earlier (principal photography was done by the end of January 2009), none of us had the chance to really had a 'wrap party'. None of us were able to be at the same city at the same time, so it was great to finally have something like that. Here's part of the team. (from left to right: me, Kawamura-san who borrowed us his house for the shoot, still photographer Zhang Xiaolei, production assistant Seki, lead actress Luchino, production assistant An-chan, Lia the Artist/ Assistant director, Maiko the producer and Linto the post-production technician)

The CON-CAN Movie Festival Awards Ceremony and Ando Lab screening in Waseda

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Last month, the people of CON-CAN Movie Festival decided to hold an awards ceremony in Waseda University because, aside from me, another award winner Nishihara, was also a Waseda student.

The CON-CAN Movie Festival Screening in Keio University

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I just got back from Shenzhen, China, two nights ago. Was there a couple of days for the China Mobile Film Fest, was mortified to be reminded again that Facebook, Youtube, Blogspot and even Twitter were blocked, hence the lack of updates. I picked up an award from the festival, but I'll get back to that later. Last Monday (14th of December, 2009), I headed off to Keio University for a screening of FLEETING IMAGES (watch entire film here ) organized by the CON-CAN Movie Festival. My film, along with 3 of the award-winning films of the festival, were screened. But that night, only me and Monica Gallab of Belgium (Special Jury Prize winner for NICE DAY FOR A PICNIC, film embedded at the bottom of the post) were present for the event. This is Yumi the Photographer, she studied French literature.

My return to the ruins of Sun Hills Hotel and Fujino

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Back in May, I explored the ruins at Sagamihara. It was an unforgettable adventure that stayed with me, so I decided to return to the ruins of Sun Hills Hotel again, for location scouting.

I don't think my handwriting is THAT ugly

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Another sleepless night. I developed an outline for my new film two nights ago. Yesterday evening, I tried to come up with a rough film treatment. (it's typically the step before the first draft of a screenplay) Maiko and Kong, along with An-chan, were having discussions about Kong's new short film, which was scheduled for shooting this month. Me, knowing that it was a rare moment where I could concentrate without having any other distractions, took some papers and started scribbling some notes.

TOKYO FILMeX 2009, Sell Out! director Yeo Joon Han's Q and A session.

I felt a sense of nationalistic pride when I went to catch SELL OUT! at TOKYO FILMeX on the 24th, last month. Took me quite a while to finally catch the film since I wasn't around during the film's local theatrical release in Malaysia couple of months ago. I enjoyed the film, though I liked the satirical, comedic parts more than the musical parts. SELL OUT! Lead actress Jerrica Lai, who had a great voice and was awesome in the film, would later give another wonderful performance at the stunning WOMAN ON FIRE LOOKS FOR WATER, produced by, well, me.

Difficult to sleep because of another new project

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I've been having problems sleeping again. The past week when my family were around, I had my most normal sleeping schedule in MONTHS. Sleeping around 1am, waking up around 8-9am, it was healthy. After finishing my latest THE WHITE FLOWER (I now have the film in screener DVDs, but there will still be some minor tweaks here and there before it really premieres), its month-long post-production leading to some of the craziest, most irregular sleeping time for myself (I would take a brief nap from 11pm to 1-2am, wake up, orchestrate net meetings with Niklas the cinematographer and Woan Foong the composer, getting materials for them to continue the progress of the film, and then updating them by uploading some footage online for them to view etc.) I started having breakfast before I sleep at around 9-10am. still from THE WHITE FLOWER The best thing is that I get to skip lunch (which isn't served for free in my dorm, haha) since I often sleep through the noon and wake up around

The Eibunren Awards Ceremony 2009

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I went to the Eibunren Awards Ceremony yesterday morning with my family (who came to Tokyo for a 1-week visit). As I've mentioned before , KINGYO had won two awards, the Semi-Grand Prix and the Best New Creator award. The Eibunren Awards is organized by the Japanese Ministry of Culture and the Japanese Association of Audiovisual Producers usually to honour documentaries or other videos dealing with sociopolitical or ecological issues. KINGYO is the first ever independent narrative short film to receive a major award from them, so they gave me the new individual award called the New Creator award.