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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A pile of shit

Tried to write today, but nothing was forthcoming. Sometimes I just write shit for hours and hours. Shit, shit, shit. The thing is working without hardly any narration, which is really good. But, that means the narration that's in there has to be perfect. And, here's me writing a load of shit.

Saw "Running Stumbled" last night at LFS. It was made by a native Louisianian...a documentary about his fucked up family. He was there to give a Q&A, and I had a brief chat with him. But, I was so tired that I couldn't do proper networking.

I am certain that if guys had periods, weed would be legal.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fighting it through:

Patrick and I are fighting every day now about the film, so I guess that means we're getting close to finishing. Today we pretty much finished Cloudy. There are some tiny details to work on, but he's basically finished (for this cut, at least).

I think I mentioned before that, after the last feedback session with Martin, Francois, Claire, Barney and Val, we cut out all of the V.O. to see if we really needed so much. It turns out that we hardly need any of it at all. This prompted Patrick to ask the question that's been on both of our minds: Do we need voice over at all? I kind of think we do. But, I'm thinking maybe we don't need it for exposition. We need it for the poetry. That tells a story as well.

Friday, July 20, 2007


tried, tried so hard to write some new voice over for Cloudy this evening. Patrick has re cut Cloudy's bit, and it is really working. It's more like a story now instead of some bizarre collage. We've removed all of the V.O. from his bit as well, and there was a lot of it. It just needs three bits. The first bit is already written, but I want to re do tired, I'm not making any sense....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Yesterday we had an editing meltdown. Patrick was all "This fucking thing is driving me insane." And I was all: "Shut up and get back to editing." The thing is that, after the last round of feedback, we decided to put the film on the table, slice it open and take everything out. Once all of the guts are out on the table, though, you start to worry if you are every going to put everything back together.

Today was better. Went to the day job and chilled out. It's funny. Most people get stressed when they go to their day job. But mine is like a vacation. I don't have to think too hard, the people are cool, and there's usually lots of free biscuits and coffee. Sometimes they give us liquor. Where was I?

Oh, yes....the edit. So, Patrick calls me up at the day job and says: "I have an idea." He luanches into it, and, yes, it is the most brilliant idea on how to re-cut Cloudy. He's the one that our test viewers are having the most trouble with. They like him, but he doesn't have an story arc. It makes people wonder why they are watching him. Patrick's brilliant idea gives him an arc.

The beginning is still problematic, but we've left it for now. I like what Patrick has cut for it, but I need to re-work the Voice Over a bit. It's a more personal beginning, and that is making me a bit uncomfortable. It's not that I have a problem with laying my life out for everyone to see. That's what I do with my filmmaking and with my writing. I just have a problem if it's stupid and self-indulgent. But, I guess that's what the test viewers are there for. Trusted people who will tell you if you are being stupid or not.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Random unrelated Thoughts

Naoko says that Patrick Harlan is the most famous gaijin on Japanese T.V.
Gagan says he saw my post on Fucked Gaijin.
In the background, Patrick is recording my memories off the TV screen.
My voice is so annoying.
Note to self: get rid of some of the voice over.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Time Tripping Again

So, I'm time tripping through the latter part of the late 20th century. Patrick has suggested that I look through old tapes from my time in Japan before coming to London. He's doing an experimental cut now using footage of those early years for a beginning montage. I'm not convinced, but, as the judge says, I'll allow it for now. He's thinking that, instead of the wall of text at the beginning of the film, a montage would be more appropriate.

It's a bit freaky and sad watching the footage...especially the stuff with Mark and myself. This was all before we knew things were going to break down between us. On an interesting note, there's a bit of Mark and me in Kansas city. I was talking about making films...Mark would make porno videos and fund my more "legitimate" films.

Pretty trippy.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pictures from Brent

Here is the lovely Brent who we shot for Tokyo Cowboys. Brent is not in the final cut because, honestly, he is just too big for film. He will, however, feature on the DVD special features.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cutting and Trimming

In the past few days, we've gotten great feedback from several viewers. One big thing is that the film is too long. I think we knew that, but we were just so in love with everything, that it was difficult to cut. But, it definitely needs to be cut down from 1 hr. 53 mins. to 90 mins.

There's also way too much narration, so we did an experiment and took all of it out. Patrick is trimming now, and we are going to watch the whole thing without VO tomorrow. It's quite exciting. We had a peek at the first 5 minutes without VO, and it was startling how little you can get away with. I think this shakes things up a lot, and it's infusing us both with excitement.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tokyo Cowboys Summer Update

Hello from the Tokyo Cowboys homestead. Hope you are all well and ready for the hot summer months ahead. Work progresses on the film, and we are getting very close to finishing. Below is the summer update. Please get in touch if you need further info or just want to chat.


Daneeta & Patrick


2) CUT 4.0






"Tokyo Cowboys" is a wholly independent feature-length documentary shot over a two year period. The film provides a fascinating insight into the lives of ambitious Westerners trying to make it "big in Japan." The film was written and directed by Daneeta Loretta Saft. It was photographed and edited by Patrick Jackson. And it was co-produced by Saft and Jackson.

I (Daneeta) have consolidated all of my email addresses from various accounts to compile this master list of interested parties. If you still do not know how you got on this mail out and want to get off this ride, please let us know. Or, perhaps, you'd like to know more. If so, then email me or visit our website at or our blog at, and read on brothers and sisters, read on.

2) CUT 4.0

It's hard to believe, but we have made it to cut 4.0. We are presently distributing this cut to our merry band of test viewers for feedback. Our random sampling of viewers includes fellow filmmakers, film technicians, professional critics, keen cinema goers, and a couple of Joe's off the street.


As you might have guessed, after we lock the picture, we will be turning our ears to sorting the sound. Sound is extremely important in a low budget documentary. It can make or break the sale. We are therefore looking for a super talented Sound Editor to come on board. We have our sources, of course, but if any of you would like to nominate a friend or colleague (or yourself, even), please email me with details.


For those of you reading the blog, you know that obtaining clearances has become the focus of my life. We have issues ranging from people singing Karaoke to music playing in the background at a party...from TV footage to home video footage. There are 67 separate issues to deal with.


As all of you know, we are wholly independent. That means we were funded by investors, angels and lay people, most of whom are not in the film industry (a big thanks to all of them). We are not attached to a production company or a broadcaster. Because of this we are free. We are also responsible for our own marketing. Online marketing will be key to our strategy to get the word out, and we hope that we can count on you all to publicize the film on your blogs, websites and through the power of email when the time comes. We need you to create a buzz. Your voices are our biggest asset!


We will be sending the film out to the first festival in September. For Tokyo Cowboys, the festival year will kick off in January of 2008.

Thank you all for your generous support over these past 5 (count 'em 5) years. We are almost at the end of our journey, and we are so happy that you have all elected to come along. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. And, as always, you can visit us at the blog for day to day updates. We have been blogging since this whole thing began in March of 2002.

Hugs Again,

Daneeta & Patrick