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“Floating Weeds” by Yasujiro Ozu

I’m Dean Yamada, Biola prof and director of this film, Mujo No Kaze. What an amazing privilege to be combining so many passions (traveling/teaching/filmmaking) into 12 days abroad!

A little bit about myself: Japan holds a special place in my heart, having spent a summer as a missionary in Osaka and then a year as an ESL teacher with the JET Program. After Japan, I did some traveling which took me from Hong Kong to London by ground (and underground). When I arrived back home to California, I continued teaching—this time as a ski instructor for 4-6 year olds up in Tahoe. God then led me to film school, where I received my masters in film production. My graduate thesis project was a narrative film called “The Nisei Farmer,” which became a tribute to my late father.

Now I teach film at Biola University. This past fall was my first semester as a full-time prof and it truly exceeded my expectations. It was such a rich experience, interacting with vibrant students who are passionately sharpening each other’s creative and spiritual endeavors.

Last year, Mike Gonzales, a fellow prof at Biola (and also a former prof of mine at USC), thought to bring a class to Japan to make a film. Well, over the summer, his daughter got engaged and the best date for the wedding turned out to be in January…

He then asked me to take his place, and now I stand humbled to have this opportunity to lead ten American students on a quest to make a good film and give of ourselves to the people we meet in Japan.

I can’t wait to get off that plane and soak in the air.

To take a line from “The Shawshank Redemption:”

“I find I am so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it is the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain…”

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Sometimes the Impermanent Winds of Inspiration blow on Biola students. I felt this wind a few days ago, and was inspired to build a guerilla SteadyCam.

Please forgive the picture quality. Thats what bad flourescents do to you.

Steady

It’s only a couple pounds, and does a marvelous job taking the shake out of handheld footage. I think our camera op will have fun with it.

See this page for video of it in action.
SteadyCam

-Will

Hi all,
Will Crawford here. I’ll be doing Special FX, Stunts, Continuity, Script Supervision and some translation as necessary.
Today I began testing some special effects and I have some pictures to share.

*Some pictures are very graphic in nature. If you are sensitive to such images, you may not want to see these pictures. Everyone else, enjoy.*

First up are the herbal cigarettes our friend Kaz will be smoking. They’re healthier than regular cigarettes, and contain absolutely no tobacco or nicotine. We can’t give our friend cancer. But I wondered if they put off as much smoke as regular ones, so I did some tests…
Smokes

I think it works quite nicely, don’t you?

My next test was the blood that will ooze from the two boys who are shot in the parking lot. It was home-made by yours truly. The recipe is much like many of the professional SPFX blood recipes out there, but with one key difference: About half the price.

Take a look.

From a bit of a distance…
Blood1

Up close and personal…
blood3

This mixture is the perfect viscosity and color for slightly congealed blood. It’s non-toxic and photographs very well. However if we want it freshly oozing from an actor, I’ll need to water it down a tad, and perhaps ad just a bit of milk for texture and color. For the mean time this mix will do what we need, and look darn good doing it.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come. Tonight I’ll be working on Michi’s barf gimmick.

First, I want to thank Alyssa for setting up this blog. I am Paul Nethercott, TEAM missionary in Japan and Director of CAN. It is a thrill to be one of the producers of the short film Mujo No Kaze which will be filmed on locations in and around Tokyo.

I am looking forward to seeing the ten students and one teacher (Dean Yamada) here in Tokyo soon. It is now Tues. afternoon Tokyo time and the group arrives on Thursday evening (December 4, 2007).

I am also looking forward to seeing what is going to come out of our film project. I think it will be a catalyst for a lot of good things.

Warmly, Paul

http://worshipandthearts.blogspot.com/
A missional blog focused on the arts, worship & Japan