Over the course of pre-production and shooting this film, I have seen what filmmaking can be. I was surrounded for 5 months by a crew that nurtured creativity, loved and feared God above all else, and made it the easiest thing to become like family with one another. I cannot praise these friends enough.
And now that my role in the film has come to an end, the experience of making Persimmon has prompted me to take a break from filmmaking for the next half year.
I racked my brain over this, and I can’t compare this God-centered approach to Persimmon with any other filmmaking experience I have had in my entire career as a film student here at Biola. Prayer made this film, and I saw God working and moving every step of the way. Where there was strife and conflict, Jesus’ nurturing and healing hands were there. Where there was anxiety, prayer and the Holy Spirit’s unifying peace were there. In being a part of this tangibly divine production, the shortcomings and misconceptions in my own views of God and film have come to the surface with more poignance and conviction than ever before. It’s prompted to work in turning film from an idol into a blessing, tool, and gift that God has given me. I’m taking time off to reinvent filmmaking in light of Jesus Christ and to place God in his rightful place as Creator above the creation of the creation. Through the making of Persimmon, God has shaken me. He has shaken me to my core. And now begins His work in rebuilding me for the better. I love this film’s cast, I love the crew, and I love God’s mysterious way in which He has brought me to my knees.
I wish the best to Persimmon in post-production and pray that God gives His children the heart and stamina to bring to fruition the great work that has been started here. Thank you everyone for the experience that was and is Persimmon. It has truly been something life-changing for me.
School has officially started again, but it feels like I’m going back to pretend life. After working on Persimmon, going to classes and eating at the cafe just feel weird. I keep waiting for Ellie to give me my yen for lunch. I keep asking people for kohi o kudasai and they just stare at me blankly. What’s wrong with this part of the world? Why doesn’t anyone wear anything from UNIQLO?
The point I’m trying to make is that going to Japan changed everything (not to sound melodramatic). I will always miss the people I was able to work with (will I ever get to attend the wedding of Yu and Ai?). I will always miss the surprising beauty and diversity of Tokyo. Even though I still get to see them, I’ll miss working with the best Biola crew ever assembled. Oh, and most of all I’ll miss that time that En Yama sang All Star at the karaoke place from Lost in Translation.
That’s a wrap!
Alicia Gaynor – 1st AD
As we enter the post-production phase for Persimmon, reflection upon the last few months is definitely appropriate. Back in September, when the Biola crew met together for the first time, all of our preparation and planning was hypothetical. We planned and planned down to the detail, as much as we could, but knew in the end we would have to be flexible when we arrived in Tokyo. Being prepared for the unexpected is hard! But with the Lord’s help, we managed to pull things off.
I cannot say enough how proud I am of our crew. We shot for six days straight, putting in roughly 15-17 hour days. We figured out the metro; we mastered turning a mini van into a grip truck; we took off our shoes every time we entered a house; we survived freezing cold conditions; we survived extremely small conditions; and of course we branched out in our food choices J
Now that we are back in LA, the post-production process will begin; where we take all of our hard work and fun experiences, and shape them into a finished product. I cannot wait for everyone else to be able to see all of our hard work. I am so excited about the footage; it looks in credible. I believe the film will be very successful, not only in festivals, but also in spreading truth and wisdom to those that see it.
The Lord has taken us this far in the making of Persimmon, and I cannot wait to see what happens in these next months.
(one of the producers)