Search This Blog

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Tokyo Story

Tokyo...flipping 5 a.m. We start on the trains so that we can record the Tokyo squash...millions of people trying to cram into a tiny cars...sardines. Only these aren't the commuters. They come later. These are the party people catching the first train home.

From here we cross the length of the city three times to chase up our characters, stopping on the way to shoot impressions of Tokyo. No lunch. It's genki drinks and a.m./p.m. onigiri with a side of ebi flavored crisps.
9 p.m. and we haven't stopped. We're meeting with a potential investor and his rich wife. Maybe they will give us £500. Maybe £4000. You never know. We spend hours...obsequious, just this side of begging. OK. I beg. They say they still need time to think about it. Goodbye, they say. Our flat is just around the corner.

Emerging from the smoke-filled bar, I realize that it is past last train. It is Friday night in Azabujuuban. Getting a taxi is difficult enough for the locals, but, for foreigners like us, it is impossible. Well-dressed Japanese couples line the street, waving their hands in the air. Mr. Taxi-man is not stopping.

"Let's walk a ways," I say to Patrick. "After we clear the crowd, maybe we'll get lucky."

We walk up Gaien Nishi Dori...all the way to the Haagen Dazs shop. Couples still line the streets, and it is 1 a.m. We stop off at a favorite izakaya of mine on Aoyama Dori. It is shit. I realize this is the first time I've been here sober. Food has a different quality when you've been drinking.

We start our walk again, turning right on Omotesando Dori. We are carrying all of our equipment, lights, camera, tripod. It starts to snow. We walk all the way up Omotesando Dori...pass Harajuku Eki, pass Yoyogi the corner at the top of the park (is it Komazawa Kosaten?).

Finally we make it to Sandra's house. It is 2 a.m. when we stumble in. And, even though she needs to be up for work in 4 hours, she makes us tea and asks us how shooting has gone.

As I drink my tea, and warm my toes, I think about filmmaking. It is my absolute favorite thing to do, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out why.