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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Thinking about Roger

Cut Nice Guyjin at the Fish Market yesterday. It was the first time we shot all three of them together. They were like a breath of fresh air. And they started to turn things around for me. They reminded me about some of the great things about Tokyo.

I'm thinking about how to construct scenes. There are so few scenes where the characters are not talking to camera. It's just the way it is, so I have to use that to my advantage instead of moaning about it. How can I used that in an interesting way? How can I use that to communicate to the audience. I have to think like the audience is along for the ride. The characters are always talking to us (Patrick and me). But we represent the audience, so it's as if the characters are talking to the audience directly. I need to experiment with that, find the rhythm and the poetry in that. It has something to do with making each person in the audience feel like they are sitting in that room with us, or walking in the fish market with the Nice Guyjin. They have to experience it like we were experiencing it when we were shooting.

Why did I go back there? Why did I want to make this film? What did I want to communicate? What was my intention? In Tokyo, things seemed to happen to me...that's how I felt. I felt that I had no control. But there were people that did have control...or they seemed to. They were the cowboys. They had money, they had lifestyle, they had a life that was like a dream...a fantasy. How did they do it? What was it about them? What qualities did they have? they looked like average normal guys. They were average normal guys.

I had to find out, so I went to Tokyo looking for the cowboys...and this is what I found. Now that's sort of the beginning (not to say that it has to come at the beginning of the film). I went to Tokyo looking for the cowboys...the Tokyo cowboys. then I have to define a cowboy. Then I go through all these guys looking for that. And, in the end, do I find it? Him?

Back up a bit...define a Tokyo Cowboy. Western guy, arrives in Tokyo while still quite young...looking for opportunity, adventure, a new start...a start as they are young and don't know what they are looking for. The post modern urban frontier. It's different from the other frontiers where there is nothing but wide open spaces. The PM urban frntier has broadband and...well everything. And, it's sitting on thousands of years of recorded history. All that choice, all that opportunity, all that freedom. Only the strong survive.

In the end, Tokyo is the star of the movie.

I knew this guy in Tokyo...gaijin. He started up one of the first ISPs in Japan. I met him at the beginning of his adventure. He became so successful--beyond his wildest dreams. When I left Japan, he was about to retire at something like 42. I remember the last time I saw him. He was so happy. He was about to start the rest of his life.

A few months later he was dead...murdered. He'd gone back to America...Los Angeles I think. He was looking around for opportunities. That's where they got him. I don't know what that means, but it means something.

Over there it's safe. It's like a dream. And here...that's like the real world. It's sometimes too real for people.

Monday, December 19, 2005


I want it to feel like the audience has gone on this journey with us. But, doesn't that mean they have to be coming from the same place as us? They have to begin where we begin. Actually having trouble with the beginning. I have most of the assembly in place...that's all of the middle bits. I have an ending...but beginning. Isn't that always the hardest part?

Start with words then find the pictures. They are surely there.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Good things Brewing

Been transcribing again. Looking forward to finishing at the film school on Tuesday of next week. Then off to Sweden on Wed. to do a recky for the Rockhammar short we're doing next October. Back on Sunday. Then I can dedicate full time to Tokyo Cowboys until about the 2nd week in January when I have to go back to work again. Patrick may get a good gig early next year which would mean I could work full time on Cowboys until July. Cross your fingers for us everyone.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Back in the Saddle Again

Finally settled back into London, and Patrick has started cutting again. I went back to work at the Film School to bring some money in. Patrick is getting gigs here and there. A one-day gig for Patrick yields one week’s worth of wages I get from the Film School, but the school is steady work.

We are very close to an assembly with some 57 sequences cut, but not there yet. It’s all going to come together with the writing, so I’ve got to find time between working full time and taking care of the production side of things to get in some quality writing.

What is clear, though, is that after taking nearly a month off from the footage, I can objectively say that the stuff is cutting together very nicely and we have something special.