Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Thursday night and I'm sitting at Shisha again with my buddies Mike and Paul. Kind of a cold day in Shimokita. I went out for dinner with my friend Motomi, and that was really good. Japanese food... Yakitori... Very tasty. One thing that really hits the spot in winter is "Atsukan," you know, hot sake. Warm feeling. Raised spirits... Kind of a fake euphoria...

I finished the Kow Otani video today. He and his singer, Aika, were really pleased with the final result. I'm especially happy with the main menu. It's the band's symbol floating in a bubble over a highway in the California desert that then pops when the viewer hits play. The background shot is one I took back in 1993 just before I moved to Japan during a camping trip I took with band mate Geoff Notkin. That's was a terrific trip. We spent days in the desert dealing with cold nights and hot days. Only down point was Geoff's veggie leaning. All we could eat was god awful bean right out of the can. But I got some amazing photographs on film, which today would be caught on digital film, resulting in a probably more accurate image yet lacking in that pathos found only in film.

One of these days I should get the best of those shots on-line for the whole world to laugh at. Or enjoy. It's up to the viewer...

Mike's engrossed in his recently hacked PSP, playing Nintendo games from the 80s on it. Some really great graphics made only possible through the limitation of 8-bit technology. His favorite film is Karate Kid and he found a tie-in game. Looks nothing like the film, but that's the point. You have to fill in the gap with your imagination.

Now that I'm done with the Otani film, I'm going to start on a new screenplay. I'm planning on taking my Macbook over to Aoyama and sit in a cafe during the afternoon and try to organize my thoughts, which I'm brimming over with, and try to get them into shape. At the moment my main character is named "Rinka," but I might change that. A character's name is important, you know. This is why I often feel that a person should be given the right to change their name upon reaching adulthood. I mean, you parents name you before they even know who you are. As a writer I find it best to imagine the character and then find a name that fits them. This is why I often start a story with one name and then change it later on. For example, in my film The iDol, the main girl started life as "Miyuki," which changed to "Mayuko" and then in turn changed to "Mayuka." It's an interesting evolution.

Christ! I still don't know what a blog is supposed to be about. Do I write about what's around me when I'm writing? If so, let me explain... I'm sitting in "Shisha," which in the US is called "Hooka". I guess that's how you spell it. I prefer Shisha, which I guess is related to the naming situation I was describing above. There are 10 others here, mostly non-Japanese. So it's "gaijin" night at Shisha. But sometimes it's all Japanese. The white girl to my left is playing on a DS, while Mike is on his PSP. In a moment I'm going to get on my cell phone and send a text message to my friend Miho in Yokohama. This Saturday is the premiere of my friend Shusuke Kaneko's new film PRIDE. I saw it last month at Toei Studios for a screening of the first print, which is struck to check the colors. In Japanese you call this kind of print "0-go". The director and DP make some comments and then a new print is struck, which is then called "1-go." So, I'm interested to see where the colors have changed, although to be honest, I'll probably be hard pressed to tell the difference. I suppose it if was my film I'm be attuned to those small changes.

Anyway... back to the real world...

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