the notebook of life

I’m coming down off of a long weekend of sorts… Thursday I got to sleep in a little bit before heading down to Morioka for our quaint little conference thing. We thought it would be funny to try to have one in Tokyo, but… maybe a bit harder to justify.

They had 南部美人 (“Southern Belle” sake) at the place we ate on Thursday, which I think must have some amphetamines in it or something, cuz I start rolling on that stuff like nothing else. Friday was Tiff’s birthday thing, which was nice, but they seemed to be short of anything other than tofu and chicken… served them fifteen ways each. I met a railroad man that was going to be an extra in a film shoot on Sunday, so I invited myself along of course. Saturday I woke up and made the mix for our dance class, and went to that, which was good good fun. The location pulled a stubborn j-style c-block on our using the sound system, so we had to use a boombox, but other than that it was cool. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull it together somewhere better next time.

As the IGR man’s guest I didn’t feel like a complete bum hanging out on the movie set. He introduced me to the making-of guy, who introduced me to the producer, who introduced me to one of the ADs. They were all young and happy to try out some English on me, and open because I studied film. The producer was awesome; she had studied film in Philly, and couldn’t have been more than 26. The making-of guy invited me to go play in Tokyo, I think I’ll have to take him up on that. The producer didn’t invite me anywhere (;_;), but she did ask if I knew any distributors in the states. Of course I do! It would be cool to get something like this out in the states to show a Japan beyond the Last in Translation Samurai images that are all many people know of Japan, I imagine.

The story is loosely based on a true story. A shopkeeper in Kotsunagi has been writing back to travelers that leave messages in the guest book at the station. The movie weaves some of those stories together. The IGR man introduced me to the real heroine, and she sat us down and fed us like we were family, shooting down all refusals like only an おばちゃん can. Everybody, from her customers to the producer, calls her おばちゃん (“Auntie”). She had some rushes playing that they had given her from scenes shot in winter. They are shooting on a digital camera that there is only one of in Japan, and the rushes look pretty good. Look for 待合室:命のノート (“The Waiting Room: The Notebook of Life”) early next year.

Not much is done film-wise in Iwate, so it is way cool that they are involving locals as extras and stuff. I know my interest in film was partially sparked as an extra in Heavyweights back in the day. The AD said his interest was sparked in the same way. Being on the set all day reminded me of that, and student films and student tv… and inspired me to get the ball rolling en serio for my Kagura music video (coming soon).


I think I’m identifying with Shane in The L Word more with every ep… less amplitude in the success and breakdown cycle, but some of the same ideas.


In kneeling down a man will lose the fourth part of his height. – DaVinci