Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blog - Back on the Radar.

I decided to take my blog down for a couple of months while I work on various projects, deal with various assignments, and enjoy the various things that I enjoy in my life. And, honestly, blogs don't make that much sense to me anyway. At their worst, they are promoters of narcissism; at their best, they are a quick way to let friends and family in on the goings-on in one's life, sparing the writer (in this case, me) from having to repeat themselves over and over in customized letters. So, there you have it. My thoughts on blogs. Meaning, I'm back for the moment... Lucky you.
With that said, I couldn't possibly cover the past few months of my life in one entry. Too much going on to do so. Some of the highlights were, for starters, being a guest at TPG (Tokyo Project Gathering) at the Tokyo International Film Festival at the end of October, 2010. As stated in a previous entry, TPG introduces select film projects to various people and companies who can help see said project to fruition. Although only 3-days, it was an intense whirlwind of day meetings and evening parties. I had a great time, and met many interesting people in the film world, as well as saw a number of people I hadn't seen in many years. My project associated with TPG is still chugging ahead, albeit slowly... I'm actually not at liberty to talk about it publicly...

I spent the holiday time in Tokyo, working on my writing: scripts, a book, articles, poetry... The days of writing go so fast, as enjoyable days unfortunately do. I did take the occasional break to visit some movie sets. One was a low-rent vampire action film, which on hindsight was kind of a waste of my time. The other was the film "Messiah" directed by my buddy Shusuke Kaneko. That was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful day out and with the production close to Mount Fuji I was able to get some great photos of the mountain. Oh, and the shoot, too, was a lot of fun. 

I also directed a sequence for Haruka Orth, a director / actress I met at Yubari Film Festival last year. There is a scene in her film where two of the characters reach gargantuan size and battle it out in a city landscape. As I have vast, on-hands experience on many giant monster film sets, Haruka asked me to put the scene together. Unfortunately, there wasn't the budget to build a miniature city, so the shoot was done green screen and the actors are to be dropped digitally into the Tokyo cityscape. But even on films with budgets this seems to be the norm today. The shoot was a lot of fun and went very smoothly. We even wrapped up almost two hours early!

My budding career as a subtitle writer / creator has been picking up steam as well. I completed two major releases this winter. One is the Nikkatsu film "Karate-Robo Zaborgar," which premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival and will show again at the Yubari Film Festival. Another was "Bakamono," a film by Shusuke Kaneko. The "Bakamono" gig was really tight. Nine days to turn in a complete script. However, the company was impressed enough to offer me more work, subtitling major, mainstream movies / TV shows. It's great! I love this work, love bridging the cultures, loving finding the phrases that allow non-Japanese viewers the chance to see and enjoy Japanese cinema. Moreover, I look forward to the chance to develop my skill and apply my philosophy on what I believe constitute good subtitles. 

Speaking of Zaborgar, I had a hell of a time over at the Nishizo end of year party. I admit everyone there is slightly “odd,” but in their way they are great people, and their work is quality stuff. I’m proud to be associated with their films. So, getting drunk, and standing around screaming with Nishimura, Iguchi, Chiba, Yoshiki, Shimizu, Taiga, Kishi, Maki, Nana, Emiko, Yumemi, Asami, Sarasa, Alex, Mimoto (no, he did not kiss me), Yui and even Nakoshi (in small doses) was a lot of fun. It was a hell of a year working on both HELLDRIVER and ZABORGAR.

And speaking of Yubari Film Fest, I've decided not to go this year, although I did subtitle 5 movies playing there this year, and I act in two films. I'd like to go, but I'm still tired from the one last year. Ha ha ha ha...

Oh, yeah... and my movie, The iDol, played in Santa Fe the other day. It would have been nice to go, but I was just to busy with work. 

Of course not all of life is great, and I did have to deal with the loss of someone very close to me. Life is a very fragile thing and most of us live thinking the friendships and relationship we have will never end. But they do. In the end, none of us are immune to The End. All we can do is make each day count, giving special attention to those who go out of their way to help curb the hardships of our lives. Anything less will bring nothing but regret later in life. Trust me on that one.

Until I find the time for the next entry... Be cool!

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