Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday night. Rainy Tokyo. Had a decent week. My friend Ed Godziszewski (did I spell that right?) is in town. I've known Ed since 1999 when I met him in LA and we've been good buddies since. The thing that started our friendship was a mutual interest in Godzilla, Japan's most famous "actor." But fringe interests such as that can only sustain a friendship so long, and I've found Ed to be knowledgeable in a great number of areas. He's also one of the most patient people I know. Not to mention a good listener, which anyone who knows me, knows is important as I tend to run off at the mouth a lot. 

I've written for Ed's excellent Godzilla / Japanese monster mag, "Japanese Giants" and that was always fun. Ed's a good editor and a decent guy to write for. Our relationship really jelled when we made the film "Bringing Godzilla Down to Size," which he wrote (along with Steve Ryfle) and produced. Although hardly a seasoned producer, he knew enough to let me and my staff do our job and not impose when out of his field. One of the worst things that can happen on a film is when people who don't know what they are doing insist on things, as if simply watching films gives you expertise in making films. I'm thankful for Ed (and Steve) for giving me the opportunity to hone my filmmaking style further and for giving me the chance to apply to film some of the things I'd learned from the hundreds of days I've spent on the set of the past several Godzilla productions. 

Last Sunday Ed and I got together with my friend Shusuke Kaneko, who directed the 90s Gamera series, the Death Note films and the Godzilla epic GMK. When the three of us get together it's a non-stop romp through film history, with each of us praising or condemning as many films as we can set our teeth into. Our main topic was the 1965 film Doctor Zhivago, directed by David Lean. Although nominate for an Oscar for Best Picture, I feel it to be a hooky film with questionable sentimentality. Kaneko's new film "Pride" just opened and Shusuke went over various aspects of the production and the recent PR tour he did. Ed and I hope to see the film (although, as mentioned earlier, I saw it at the Toei lab back in December). 

I spent the day today (and the rest of the coming weekend) working on my new script and starting to think on how to approach my next film (not the one I'm writing). I really want to take my filmmaking style to the next level. Man... if you only knew how tough it is... But that's cool. I like the challenge and I know that no matter what I do, someone will not agree with my choices. But that's life. I'm fine with it.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa, nice big photo of you, Ed, and Mr. Kaneko!

    First, yes you did spell "Godziszewski" correctly. Or atleast, according to my sources. Second - since you mentioned it - thanks to you and Ed and Steve for making "Brining Godzilla Down to Size". I got the DVD in the mail 2 days before it's street date and it is the best kaiju documentry I have ever seen.

    And in your conversation with Shusuke and Ed, did you mention the film "Satomi Hakkenden"? Film is a little cheesy, but Hiroyuki Shinada (who would later start as Doson in Onmyoji AKA Ying Yang Master) is a knock out preformer and Sonny Chiba is good. And the direction by Kinji Fukasaku (RIP) is great, especialy when you have Kadowoka being the producer, which always brings in large scale productions (Imagine what Shusuke can do with that! The budget of Toho but the resourcefullness of Daiei).

    And good luck on your new screenplay!