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Friday, August 17, 2007


PJ and I worked a 16 hour day yesterday shooting a corporate gig in Rochester, so, today, we were a bit disinclined to get out of bed, rush to the computer and start on Tokyo Cowboys. But, after returning equipment and a nice walk back to our neighborhood, a coffee and some leisurely paper reading, we were finally ready to give it a go.

This is the first time we've watched the whole film through without the voice over, and, my God, it's working. There is still loads of work to be done, but it is really coming together. We both made more notes, and PJ is incorporating them into the cut.

We also compared the order of the scenes to the chronological order. PJ was expecting some kind of revelation, but nothing was forthcoming. We're swapping a few scenes around to see what happens.

The ending is still eluding us.

Got asked the question the other day "Sooooooo...what's happening with Tokyo Cowboys." Normally I don't mind this question, but I detected a hint of pity in the questioners voice. Like we've been effing about this whole time and why is it taking us so long and the like. I just want to set the record straight now...neither of us gets paid for any of our work on Tokyo Cowboys. I'm not saying this to bitch about things. It's my fault for not budgeting properly in the first place. It's just that sometimes things move slowly because we actually have to stop occasionally and earn a living. And, as all of you know, earning a living takes a lot of creative energy. No matter how much you love your labor of love, it is difficult to get your ass to the editing suite when you've just worked at 16 hour day. That's pretty much why we are taking so long.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Well, here we are my birthday, and it's actually quite depressing. If I got the idea to shoot this thing in March of 2002, then this is my 6th birthday spent working on this film. But, some of the footage is home video stuff from 1997, do the math.

Actually, it's coming along wonderfully. The new direction devoid of personal voice over is like a fresh new start. But, there is that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that if I've spent this long on the film, I should really pull off a masterpiece. The pressure is tremendous. I try to release some of it by thinking that I've done other things in the mean time...I've produced a few shorts, published a few things, worked on a couple of features, etc.

Must not let any of this negativity get in the way of finishing this thing. to writing, and off to re-visiting interviews, which, by the way, make me very home sick for Tokyo and how easy it is to get by there. I'm a bit fed up with the whole money situation. It's not funny anymore, and I'm getting too old to be living hand to mouth. Enough all ready.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Constructive Criticism

MG came over yesterday to give us feedback on the film. She basically picked the whole thing apart and left us bleeding on the floor (but in a nice way). We were devastated at first. But then... slowly...during a twilight walk along the Thames Southbank, we started to digest her about it...formulate ideas of how to carry on. And, you know what, it's gonna be alright...better than alright.

Getting criticism is difficult...especially when you think that you are almost at the end. But, all of this has been good for us...not just with regards to Tokyo Cowboys, but as writers/directors in general. It's good to be able to take criticism and use it for all its worth...for the betterment of your art. And, we've been lucky so far. None of our critics have been mean. They've just told it like it is.

Patrick says that, in a sense, we are going back to some original concepts that sort of got lost during the long cutting process. So, we are stripping out all of the voice over, which was problematic anyway, and going back to basics. MG says "Trust the footage," and that was genius. Let the guys tell their own stories. We are not getting rid of the voice over entirely, though. From very early on, we had these sort of post card style voice over bits...bits about Tokyo and her relationship with gaijin. Those will stay and serve as breaths in the film. But there will be only about six of them and probably recorded by a professional voice over artist. My first choice, of course, would be Alexandra Stewart...the most sublime voice of Sans Soleil. But, that might be just too much to ask for...