Thoughts from the Key Grip

7 Dec
Japan has always been this place that I felt was calling me. Like some kind of necessary beckoning, the land of my heritage has always remained the unknown island holding secrets to identity and shrouded in a mystical void of communication, given that America doesn’t seem to have a need to have anything to do with the place, except cast Tom Cruise as the last samurai and remake the Karate Kid in China. Now that we have less than sixty days until flying over, I can’t help but feel an unusual sense of duty, now that we are making a film about Japan instead of merely visiting it.

There was one event in the film program that I told myself I couldn’t miss, and that was this project. Since hearing about it early on in my freshman year, I knew three things: that it was unlikely for me to get on the project given my experience, that it would be impossible financially, and that somehow it would happen. Now that it has, I feel another layer of duty to fulfill this position that God clearly gave to me as a gift.

I’m the Key Grip and I move things around and make sure things that should stay still don’t move around. I didn’t write the script, I won’t shoot the visuals, but I’m helping to make the message happen. As the people who are making this film, we are collectively the only thing standing between the story and the world, so our relationships become directly tied to production. I think we’ve been working on this quite well. Listening to each other in class and trying to be open about ourselves as real people dealing with a stark humanity may not seem like a film related activity, but if we can’t relate to each other in the classroom, it’s not going to magically happen on set. The exciting thing is, our crew seems to have been not only a special group to begin with, but we have grown together to become something more. Professor Yamada told us he thinks that we may be onto something very unique. I could talk about the technical preparations we’ve done so far, and the progress we’ve made on inventory lists, airfare, scheduling, concept art, and a dozen other steps of progress we’ve taken, and they are important, but this electric anticipation is the only thing that feels worthy of reporting. This raging buzz in all of our hands, the quiver in the air as time plummets down as we try patching up our parachutes. The years of promised longing for the soil of this island country, and the whispers of something exceptional waiting to be made by our trembling hands, guided by the invisible. We are praying so hard.

Gravity is now pulling us forward.

Jordan Nakamura
Key Grip


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