Back from Japan

Sorry for the delay in this post. You might notice that I’ve changed the layout to something a bit more minimalist for the homepage, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I got back on Saturday from my very cold, exhausting but amazing trip to Japan – my first time to join an official film crew out on location. Being with a great cameraman and some other very experienced crew, I was able to learn a lot through observation and participation. Our itinerary for the 3-week period was really busy plus were stymied by the weather – being subject to an usual low pressure front giving us the largest snowfall of the winter so far, thick fog, and another snow storm that didn’t move for 4 days.

By the sea

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The extent of our trekking didn’t go much beyond moving kit in and out of the van for a maximum distance of about 50 metres (it seems that shoots either require a lot of heavy lifting, or not much at all… disregarding the fact that your baggage is about 500kg and consists of 30-odd cases). There were four of us on location plus one local contact – a large crew for natural history filming! Most crews don’t consist of more than the cameraman and director accompanied by a local ‘fixer’ or scientist – the more people, the more hassle and more disturbance to whatever you’re aiming to film (budget aside).

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My trip was suddenly extended by a week, which gave me the opportunity to work one-on-one with another cameraman as well as a day off in Tokyo. On that day I ended up walking for about 2 hours around Shinjuku and Shibuya, along roads I walked frequently back in 2011 before I moved back to the UK, and walked again when I visited briefly mid-2012. It seemed like every time I go back, I’m one step closer to achieving my dream.

Tokyo old vs new

Only 4 weeks now before I go back again, by which time the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom! Lots more Japan talk to look forward to.

Cherry blossom postcard

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