Filming MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI in September 2014. When you move an interview outside you have to contend with the variables. It was summer, which means cicadas, and there was a park nearby, which means people shouting, but I wanted to capture the light between the two buildings. We had a terrific crew from DEEP CO., LTD., based in Tokyo, including two skilled directors of photography, Tohru Hina (sitting) and Yasuyuki Ishikawa. It's amazing how smoothly a film can go with a good crew.
At the end of a long day, the musicians and crew for APPROXIMATELY NELS CLINE, which we filmed over three days at Fantasy Studios in December 2009. L to R: Steve Yamane (production assistant), Jason Cohen (producer), Mark Kohr (camera), Jeffrey Wood (producer), Nels Cline (guitar), Yuka Honda (keyboards & electronica), Jesse Nichols (sound engineer), Devin Hoff (bass), Carla Kihlstedt (voice & violin), Dan Krauss (director of photography), Matthias Bossi (percussion), Ron Miles (trumpet), and me. Seated: Jim Choi (sound recordist). Not in photo: Scott Amendola (drummer), Bart Nagel (camera), and Adriano Bravo (sound recordist).
At some point during the making of WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN, we realized we ought to take some production stills, so we faked this one with Sakue Shimomura, a hibakusha in Nagasaki. This was one of my favorite film crews because we were small, mobile, got along well, and everyone did exceptional work. Co-producer/interpreter Taro Goto was on top of everything and i had so much confidence in the crew -- Masafumi Kawasaki (director of photography), Yuki Fukuda (sound) and Ryoichi Ishibashi (camera assistant, not in photo) -- that i rarely looked at the camera monitor and had them shoot a lot of stuff on their own.
Cast and crew for the Curly's Coffee shop scenes from LIVING ON TOKYO TIME shot in North Beach in 1986. FRONT ROW; Ken Nakagawa (the star), THERESA McCORMICK (actor), CHERYL YOSHIOKA (gaffer), AIKO MURASE (production secretary), ZAND GEE (director of photography). STANDING: NELLY NARVAEZ (extra), LANE NISHIKAWA (actor), DIANE YEN-MEI WONG (actor), AMY HILL (actor), FAY KAWABATA (actor), RAND PALLOCK, (extra),CURLY (great guy, ran a wonderful Hawai'i-style coffee shop), DENNIS HAYASHI (producer), GIOVANNI DI SIMONE (sound recordist), me and LYNN O'DONNELL.
TOKYO TIME was more than thirty years ago! Making a low-budget indy was actually fun. People joined in, let us use locations, donated stuff, just to be a part of something creative. Great memories of working with everyone. Easy-going, humble KEN NAKAGAWA was the most unlikely person to build a film around, I had so much fun hanging out with him in Hawai'i and Tokyo when the film was done. GIOVANNI DI SIMONE, always thinking about the perfect place to hide a second microphone, is the most conscientious crew person I've ever worked with. ZAND GEE had and still has the "up for anything" collaborative spirit that makes this kind of project possible. She gives everything she has, never asks what the job pays, only if it'll be interesting. LYNN O'DONNELL, one of my dearest friends, was the best producer in the world. Brilliant, rigorous and funny. I miss her, think of her all the time, and continue to be inspired by her.
This is 1984, during the filming of UNFINISHED BUSINESS. What a great crew. I knew KIM COSTALUPES (camera assistant) from San Francisco State, a good friend and a great filmmaker. ROGER DANIELS (advisor, interviewee), from the University of Cincinnati, is an academic with soul. JANE KAIHATSU (associate producer) came out from Chicago to work on the film. Sharp and thorough, I couldn't have done it without her. JOE KWONG did everything -- set up lights, ran sound, made fun of me, told us where to eat.