New Short Film - The Last Minute
Currently working on a new short film. Production will begin on Friday, February 28th. Stay tuned for more details!
2013 as a Filmmaker
"You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae." - Paul Walker in Flaunt Magazine, July 2001.
So another year has gone by. Another year, another set of films. I’m pleased to say that I’m very proud of the work I’ve produced, directed, shot and edited this year. 2013 has been a good year to me and unfortunately, I have to see it close. I’m so glad to have met so many talented people with a passion for filmmaking. Here’s to 2014, may it be a good year for the film industry. I present to you the Mash Up Studios 2013 playlist. Please enjoy!
"Tomorrow" - Tablo ft. Taeyang - Music Video (x)
Chapter One - Family (x)
Chapter Two - Friendship (x)
Snack to the Future (x)
Still Water - (x)
Making Tea (x)
After Tomorrow (x)
Utada Hikaru - Hikari FMV Remake (x) - Password: hikari
Seven Days in Japan - (x)
Thursday Nights - (x)
Going Home - Goodbye, Rina - (x)
New short film: Thursday Nights
Watch the short: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sj1H1-abvo&feature=youtu.be
This short was inspired by a true story. For weeks, I just wanted to meet up with my friend to study in my school’s library but she always bailed out last minute or she would not respond on time. So I decided to make a movie out of it.
It’s been two months since I shot this film and I’m releasing it way past it’s due date.
The concept behind the film is, waiting. I’ve always believed that waiting for something good will get you somewhere. In a sense, Kazuya’s character represents me. In the film, he waits and waits for Shiho’s character to return but she doesn’t. Despite not showing up on their agreed time, Kazuya’s character continues to wait for her, knowing she probably won’t come due to her character’s lazy and easily distracted demeanor.
Although waiting may be a good thing, you should always take action for what you want, even if what you want seems like the most minuscule of things. Go out there and get it!
Until Then - Goodbye, Rina
Watch the video: https://vimeo.com/82472498
A little goodbye video that a couple friends and I put together before Rina goes back to Japan.
Goodbye, Rina. I hope you had an amazing time here in the United States. I was so happy to have met you on my birthday and I’m happy to be your friend. Thank you for everything and I hope you have a wonderful time back in Akita. Have a safe flight and never forget about your friends here in the U.S.!
Kinetic Films - December 9 and 11, 2013
This week, I had the fortunate pleasure of working with Hawaii’s own Kinetic Films, the creative minds behind the indie film Hang Loose, a comedy about a vacation gone wrong. The film stars KevJumba and Dante Basco so check it out when you can!
So how exactly did I get a small gig like this? Well, one day in November, I was surfing Reddit for AMAs of interesting people. It turned out that Dante Basco was doing an AMA while I was searching. In his description, he mentioned that he was part of a production company called Kinetic Films. “Now where have I heard that name before…?” I clicked on the link and a picture of Hang Loose was on their website. Having seen the film a while ago, I quickly remembered who Kinetic Films was. I decided to email them about an internship, despite their distance. In a few minutes, I was emailing someone named James. We emailed each other back and forth about the internships they offered. Due to the distance, of course I wasn’t able to participate however he mentioned that Kinetic was going to SF in December to shoot a commercial for Levi’s Jeans/Dockers. I kindly asked if I could join them and James agreed. I looked them up after our emails and it turned out, he was the CEO and creator of Kinetic. I was speaking directly to the CEO! I couldn’t have been more excited.
Fast forward to the week of December 8th. James informed me back in November that the shoot was going to be from December 9th to December 13th. I emailed him back on the 8th to re-confirm our meet and if I was still able to help them. He allowed me to and last minute I decided to meet them at the SF Exploratorium at Pier 15. Finally meeting James, he was an extremely nice man who let me into the building after closing hours. He showed me around and I met Jay and Mat, two guys on the team for the commercial shoot that week. There was a huge party hosted by Levi’s being held at the Exploratorium complete with a full bar and DJ. I was so excited I didn’t know what to do so I just kept asking James what he needed but I didn’t want to sound too annoying. I helped pack their gear for the most part and ate the fancy food that Levi’s provided. It was a good night but I was exhausted after that.
December 11, 2013. I woke up at 5AM to meet James and the crew at the Levi’s Headquarters at Levi’s Plaza, across from the Exploratorium. After a huge cup of coffee, I was ready to start the day. It mostly consisted of a presentation about Dockers pants/semi-fashion show. The rest of the day consisted of B-roll and finally wrapped after a quick lunch.
I had an amazing experience with them, learning new things, re-learning old things; but most of all, I was inspired to become a better filmmaker.
Lesson learned: If you look hard enough, you just might find what you’re looking for.
Mat, Jay, Me and James
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.