Tag Archives: Magic Hour

Eat The Frog – Production Stills

Yokohama, Japan. March 2014.

I mentioned a while back, that I work with a group of student filmmakers–The Filmeisters–after school. Last year they made one 42 minute zombie epic called Diploma. This year the group almost tripled in size, so we are making more, shorter films.

The first, “The Bureau of Broken Hearts and Faucets” is written and directed by Jun Sekiya, who wrote and directed Diploma last year. It’s the story of young man who wants to sue Love for the five disastrous relationships he’s had in the last year. Another project is a music video, and we have at least three new scripts in development. The last project is this one, “Eat the Frog,” a film about the fragility of those first moments of attraction. The script is here, in an earlier post.

I wrote the film almost seven years ago, as an acting exercise for students who wanted to play something more emotionally sensitive than the big musicals we do as school productions. Then I used it to help new screenwriters understand screenplay formatting. Last year, a couple of students filmed part of it, but lost all of their footage before editing. This year, the students helped me to rewrite the script and bring it up to date a bit. They insist that the fact that characters talk on the phone makes it too implausible, but I stuck with it. You gotta dance with them that brung ya.

It is difficult to teach filmmaking and direct a movie at the same time, and I’m afraid the film will suffer for it in attention to detail, but in the bigger picture, I hope there are some more students now who have fallen in love with the process of filmmaking. And there are still a lot of beautiful moments to savour, in the filming, and in the film.

These are production stills from the footage we shot.

Skylines

Yokohama, Japan. Fall 2012.

When we started apartment hunting in Yokohama, we had some criteria about space and number of rooms and location – proximity to work, to the metro, to grocery stores. When we rented a place facing away from the bay, we thought we were giving up the view. We were told that we would have a view of Mt.Fuji in the winter, but we couldn’t see it in August. What we didn’t count on is the beauty of Yokohama’s atmospherics. The clouds over Yokohama are exceptional, and the magic-hour twilights imbue even the dreariest of urban landscapes with something near sublime.

These are photographs taken from our balcony. It’s the clouds that get me. They look like they spun up out of a Lawren Harris painting, or else it’s the colors of the sunset, the impossibly dramatic combinations of steely blues and greys with burnt pinks, the glowing embers of a sky on fire somewhere just over the horizon. We can see Mt.Fuji, by the way, but that’s another story.