New music video: Seven Days in Japan
Watch the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvn1asg5PjY
A personal trip I took to Japan in July of 2013.
Everything was shot by me in Tokyo, Japan.
Song: “All I Want is You” by m-flo (m-flo.com)
This short was inspired by my previous short film Chapter Three. I wanted to make another film about Japan and I had all this left over footage. I didn’t know what to do with it so I decided to make a music video instead. I chose “All I Want is You” by m-flo because the song is about missing someone you love. In my case, my trip to Japan was my first experience out of the United States. Still to this day, I miss my trip to Japan and I long to go back. I love the country and in a sense, the song represents my feelings very well.
The places that I visited include: Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno, Akihabara, Asakusa, Harajuku, Roppongi, Odaiba, Narita, and Yoyogi.
Post Credits scene explanation: Kaori dropped one of her sushi rolls into my tea on accident
A MashUpStudios Production.
"Hikari" - Utada Hikaru - Remake Music Video
Watch the mv: https://vimeo.com/78702358
Watch the original and inspiration: http://youtu.be/kOSNIIx5u_U
When I first watched Utada Hikaru’s “Hikari” music video, I thought it was the most ridiculous music video I ever saw. It was a static camera angle of the sink and a one take of Utada just washing dishes while singing to herself.
This was three years ago. After watching it a couple of times, I wanted to make a parody of it somehow, someway. I asked one of my friends at the time if she was interested in playing the part of Utada however our schedules did not match up and we ended up not being able go through with the project.
Fast forward three years. After several music video contest entries, hearing the song and watching the music video again sparked my interest in the concept once again. I watched the ridiculous music video over and over again. I kept thinking about the concept and why the director of the original music video wanted Utada to wash dishes while singing. I read somewhere that the whole reason why they didn’t make a more complex music video is because the director didn’t have enough time to make a more complex video. That and the whole concept is based around Utada’s joy of washing dishes at home…. I know. A ridiculous music video concept just because the director didn’t have time. It seemed lazy and thoughtless but somehow it was simple and meaningful. A little Rie Tanaka flavor with some Utada Hikaru is pretty good in my opinion.
Thanks for watching and enjoy the music video :)
Don’t forget to check out Rie’s official film debut, After Tomorrow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeIDo9u0zTA&feature=youtu.be
New CMF Short - “After Tomorrow”
Watch the short: http://youtu.be/xeIDo9u0zTA
It’s been one year since my last short film entry into Campus Movie Fest (CMF). My friends and family have been the biggest supporters of my films and I can’t thank them enough. My ideas have always been a little ambitious and this one is no different.
I was inspired by the opening Bioshock Infinite, the Bulgarian film Just The Wind, and stock footage of WWII air raids from several of my film classes. The idea came to me a few months ago when I was still enrolled in my summer class. Every Tuesday at 12:00PM in my school, there is an air raid siren that blasts for at least ten seconds. The message that repeats after that is, “This is a test. This is only a test.” I always came up with this concept in my head, “What if the message said, "This is not a test. I repeat, this is not a test." This lingered in my mind for about ten months before I finally came up with an idea.
My idea was simple: What if a couple was living off of fear of an imminent bombardment of an air raid. This fascinated me and I eventually drew up a script in June 2013. That July, I went to Japan and I was highly inspired by my experiences there. However, the concept of my idea still lingered in my mind. When school started for me in August, I finally wrote the script but I needed to find my actors to portray the roles the way I saw fit.
I remembered that my friend Lucas was an actor and it just so happened that he was attending my university. I politely asked him and he obliged. Next, I needed to find his partner. I was recommended by a friend that there was a girl who was interested in acting. I met her at a social event during a weekend and she seemed interested. A week later, we started principal photography.
The film is about a man and a woman and how they overcome an almost tragic event. The couple is surviving an air raid as they only have each other left. Lucas plays a character who is selfless and a bit pessimistic when it comes to dangerous situations. He cares more about Rie’s character than himself however he can’t come to terms with reality. Rie is a more positive type who is more confused that Lucas is. Despite this, they still persevere and do their best when they have close to nothing left. It’s a film about having the only important thing you have left: each other. It’s a reflection on how people act in the worst of times, especially out of their comfort zones when they don’t get what they want.
As my last CMF Film entry, I’m proud to release this film to everyone.
A MashUpStudios Production.
Review Rating: SMILE (2009)
Hayakawa Vito has a Filipino father and a Japanese mother, but he was born and raised in Japan and has never visited the Philippines. The ever-smiling Vito works at Machimura Foods during the day, and at night, he works a part-time job trying to make his dreams come true. One day during an incident at a book store, he meets a girl named Mishima Hana, who lost her ability to speak due to an accident. But even though she can’t speak, Vito is drawn to her beautiful smile. However, Vito becomes wrongly suspected by the police for a crime, and after meeting the lawyer Kazuma, the issue begins to grow… Together, Vito, Hana, and Kazuma will go through challenging times and have to overcome many obstacles
I first heard about this drama through my dad who had given me all the episodes. I actually started watching it back in August shortly before school started, however I was unable to finish it due to personal projects, school work and various other things.
I recently finished the drama and now I can’t stop smiling. (No pun intended.) This has seriously been one of my favorite dramas that I’ve seen this year (not released this year). My favorite that was released this year has to go to Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi. It’s a close tie with my favorite dramas of all time. Smile is definitely one of them. I’ll admit, it had a warm beginning but a rather shaky middle but a very much satisfying ending. After seeing this drama, I’m pretty much in love with Aragaki Yui. I got mad props for Matsumoto Jun but Gaky is so perfect. I loved Ito Sensei as well. His character really transformed the series for me. I don’t know if there will be another drama that will warm my heart as much as this one did, leaving me with a warm smile.
Fun fact: a list of a few of my favorite dramas of all time, in no particular order -
- Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi
- Densha Otoko
- Switch Girl
- Mop Girl
- Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu
- Rich Man, Poor Woman
- I’ll Still Love You Ten Years From Now
- Boku to Star no 99 Nichi
New Short - “Chapter Three - Home”
"No matter how far away we are from home, home will always be home. Daichi and Kazuya are two exchange students from Japan. They have been studying in the United States for four years."
It was always a dream of mine to go to Tokyo, Japan. Three years ago, I planned a trip with my brother and two cousins for the trip of a life time. We planned to save a lot of money and spend it all in the biggest city in the East. Two years went by and people started to lose interest. I, however, kept that dream in the back of my mind. I saved and saved and eventually, I achieved my dream. From July 20th to July 27th, I was in Tokyo; Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Asakusa, Odaiba, Akihabara, and Roppongi became my home, the trains became my mode of transportation and the food became something my stomach got used to. Everything was different there. The smell, the sights, the people and even the sky was different.
This short was inspired by those experiences. I couldn’t put everything I wanted into the film but it’s an accumulation of everything I did and experienced during my short stay in Japan. Kazuya represents someone who has lived in the United States and has grown up breathing the American lifestyle. Daichi represents someone who has just arrived in the US and is trying to adapt to the American lifestyle. Each person likes and dislikes something about the US but in the end, it will never be the same as their home. Fun fact, neither of the actors were from Tokyo.
Chapter Three - Home
Written and Directed by Jeremy Santiago
Produced through MashUpStudios
Special Guest appearances:
Shot on location in Tokyo, Japan
Featuring music from “Hula Girls” (フラガール) Dir. Sang Il Lee with music by Jake Shimabukuro
A MashUpStudios Production.
Review Rating: Always Sunshine on Third Street (ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日)
I recently saw the Japanese film Always Sunshine on Third Street (2005). Set in post-war Tokyo, Mutsuko, played by Maki Horkita, is a young student who decides to work for Suzuki Auto while an ensemble cast of characters make up the rest of the story. The cast includes Maki Horikita (Mutsuko Hoshino, the apprentice), Hidetaka Yoshioka (Ryunosuke Chagawa, the writer), Shinichi Tsutsumi (Norifumi Suzuki, the mechanic), Koyuki (Hiromi Ishizaki, sake bar owner), Hiroko Yakushimaru (Tomoe Suzuki, the mechanic’s wife), Kazuki Koshimizu (Ippei Suzuki, the mechanic’s son) and Kenta Suga (Junnosuke Furuyuki, the abandoned boy). The film’s lighthearted tone really shines on the characters. The writer, Ryunosuke is very caring towards the boy, Junnosuke. It’s moments like those that really make the film shine throughout. I still need to watch the rest of the films in the trilogy. My expectations are high for the other two films.
Tokyo bound in two weeks
Starting pre-production on a secret film project set in Tokyo.
Summer Movie List
The following is a list of films that are being released or have been released after before summer, during summer and at the end of summer. Underlined text indicates that I’ve seen the film in theaters and crossed out text indicates I will wait for the DVD release. Bold indicates my favorites.
GI Joe: Retaliation - March 28, 2013 Oblivion - April 19, 2013
Iron Man 3 - May 3, 2013
The Great Gatsby - May 10, 2013
Fast & Furious 6 - May 24, 2013
Star Trek: Into Darkness - May 17, 2013 The Hangover: Part III - May 23, 2013 Now You See Me - May 31, 2013 After Earth - May 31, 2013
This Is The End - June 12, 2013
Man of Steel - June 14, 2013 World War Z - June 21, 2013
The Lone Ranger - July 3, 2013
Pacific Rim - July 12, 2013
Red 2 - July 19, 2013
The Wolverine - July 26, 2013
White House Down - June 28, 2013
Elysium - August 8, 2013
Kick-Ass 2 - August 16, 2013
Inspirations: Akira Kurosawa
Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 – September 6, 1998) has had a profound effect on my filmmaking career.
The first Kurosawa film I saw was Seven Samurai (1954). The plot, characters, era, action and emotions all drew me in to watch the film over and over again. I went so far as to buy all seven dvds of the anime Samurai 7 which is based on Kurosawa’s film. I watched Rashomon, and Yojimbo in my film classes, both of which I find aesthetically pleasing as well as visually enjoyable. The thing I learned about Kurosawa as a director is that he made films for his own country. He only made films that were about his own culture because he felt that he shouldn’t have to make films about things he didn’t relate to. It makes sense however all filmmakers should be open to the possibility of making films outside their own culture or language. For example, this year, three South Korean directors are directing Stoker, Last Stand and Snowpiercer. They are making these three films without the comfort of the Korean language. As a filmmaker myself, I’ve shot films in Chinese (Mandarin), Korean and Japanese and I feel comfortable filming in those languages. I think it really depends on how you want to shoot it and how much you feel comfortable shooting in the language.
In the end, I can say that Kurosawa isn’t wrong, it’s just his preference that he made films in Japanese.