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USA DoP has HD doc job coming up in Japan, seeks info


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#1 Jean Dodge

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 12:33 PM

USA cinematographer seeking general info on shooting in rural Japan and major cities - anything is appreciated.

I've been given a heads-up by a director friend to prepare to shoot an HD doc in rural Japan this summer. This will be my first trip to the East, but I have lived and worked / shot in USA, EU and South America. I speak English only, and will be working with a very small doc crew of fellow Americans for the most part I think besides an interpreter.

This is a festival-bound doc with indie roots shooting mostly on canon vDSLRs with nikkors and DIY small package, natural lighting, cinema verite less-is-more aesthetic but many shoot days and medium amount of travel for Japanese standards. Bulk of shooting is with an artisan in his remote studio attempting to coax out his personal philosophies as he creates in his home workshop. Intimate interplay of his words and hands... discussions w his wife apprentices, visitors etc.

At least three cities besides Tokyo, some stops in museums and libraries, universities, etc for archival and interview shoots. The usual travelogue of shrines, temples and monuments along the way. Longer rather than shorter schedule I am told.

We have interviews, scenics, the usual but also are interested in at least two days of High Speed, possibly more. Currently interested in the Phantom and Weisscam but don't know what is available in Japan. Might be wise to hire a local camera crew for this portion but unsure of what is available locally.

What's it like to rent a small lighting package in japan? What's the used gear market, what is car hire like, where should I post more networking info, etc? Some shooting will be based from public transport it seems. Seeking out a bilingual sound mixer who is semi-local seems wise, etc. Maybe a PA and a grip or two... students or ex pats, etc? Just getting started so anything helps. TIA

FWIW I also have a possible shot at a DoP gig on an indie feature in Taiwan shot back-to-back with same general camera package - less-is-more approach to a road movie. 500k or less budget... Y Tu Mama meets Withnail and I on the beaches backroads of Tiawan.

jd
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#2 Paul Bruening

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 01:02 PM

I can say, "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto." Can you use that?
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 02:08 PM

Country style food in Japan isn't what we're used to in Japanese restaurants over here. Check whether you'll need to take along things that you can both enjoy and digest for the rural part.





-- J.S.
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#4 Jean Dodge

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 03:50 PM

Good advice. Two months in and about halfway through the BEFORE SUNRISE shoot in Vienna, we ran out of tortillas and mexican peppers, which we had packed into every available inch of the equipment cases back in tejas.

We cried. All german-style food is brown. Great if you like sausage and chocolate, not so good if you like salad.

And yes, this is exactly the type of advice I appreciate. Thanks
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Visual Products

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Ritter Battery

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rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS