Thoughts from the Director

5 Jan



Here we are in Tokyo, ready to shoot a film that we’ve spent the last four months prepping for.  Countless hours have been put in on both sides of the Pacific and now both teams will come together for the first time in just a couple of hours.

As professor, I couldn’t be more proud of these students and we haven’t even begun production yet.  Just getting 13 students overseas with the RED and loads of other equipment is a monumental task (not to mention getting through customs and packing an undersized Japanese bus), but our producers Ellie and Rachel handled everything with incredible competency.  I am proud of the preparation each member of the crew has done to get here.  It’s been so rewarding to work closely with them to get this film ready.

As director, I am so excited (and grateful) to be doing this again.  We have another great script by the writer of Jitensha, Yu Shibuya.  We have a solid cast, led by the brilliant Yugo Saso and featuring two seasoned actors, Masayuki Yui and Sakae Kimura (who both starred in Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams).  And we have a talented and ambitious crew with a strong visual design.

With that said, this doesn’t always spell out a recipe for success.  We may have increased our chances by seizing this opportunity with such preparation, but in the end I believe that it comes down to our hearts (and God’s mercy).  This is all a gift, which needs to be received with humility.  When I say that it’s a privilege for us to be here making this film, I don’t mean it in the trite way that people often say this.  I relish this time and won’t take a single moment for granted.

We are in the business of making films that move people.  If you have no investment in the character, the film will never resonate emotionally with you.  You will walk out of the theater without it moving some part of your soul.  It’s been my own personal preparation to break down the beats of the script and work with Yugo to create a character who will arc as the story arcs.

With that, I leave you with a quote by master filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick:

“A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.”

Thank you for following our journey.  Stay tuned.

Dean Yamada


Inspiration from master filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu.


One Response to “Thoughts from the Director”

  1. Sandi Nicolaides January 6, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    What an exciting endeavor you all are on. I loved reading your post and can’t wait to see how God is going to use you all. I am truly praying for you all as you do the job God sent you there to do. Enjoy the experience!

    Sandi Nicolaides

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