I have co-authored a paper with Dr. Craig Batty on The Academic Screenplay, published in the Writing in Practice journal from National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE). You can access the paper here.
I will give a presentation at the Liberlit conference in Tokyo on 'Transnational Screenplays as Literary Texts for Intercultural Awareness'
There were many powerful narratives to be enjoyed at YIDFF2015 . Highlights included Toto and His Sisters (Romania), My No-mercy Home (Korea), Dreamcatcher (USA) and A Young Patriot
Three Days in Kamakura was awarded an Honorable Mention at Japan Serbia Film Festival 2014.
The trailer for 'I Am Alison' is now online. The film is written and produced by me, directed by Martin Burns. You can watch it here.
Three Days in Kamakura will screen in Scotland in September 2014, and in Australia in November 2014. Details here.
Three Days in Kamakura will screen in Competition at the Serbia Japan Film Festival 2014, being held July 4-5 in Belgrade. A link to the festival site can be found here.
I will give a presentation on 'Screenplay as Literature: Pedagogical Implications' at the 5th Annual Liberlit Cofnerence in Tokyo on February 10, 2014.
Three Days in Kamakura will screen at two festivals in September 2013, one in Japan and another in USA. Details in the screenings section.
The UK premiere of 'Three Days in Kamakura' will take place in London on August 30th. The film has been selected to screen at the Portobello Film Festival, the UK's oldest independent film festival for short films. Details of the screening can be found here.
I will be attending the Screenwriting Workshop run by Phil Shelley and Phil Gladwin in London on July 13 and 14. Phil Shelley's newletter is consistently informative and entertaining, especially for writers looking to work in British TV. I've heard only good things about these workshops, so I am greatly looking forward to this event. The workshop will cover such topics as characterisation, how dialogue really works, creating industry networks, maximising story potential, and pitching.
On Saturday, July 6th I will attend a Seminar with Yoko Narahahsi, Japan's foremost casting director. Yoko is also an active producer, with films such as Babel, Emeperor, The Wolverine and Empire of the Sun on her CV. She also heads up, one of Japan's most presitigous acting schools. Details of the Seminar (in Japanese) can be found here.
On Friday, May 24th, at 7 PM, 'Three Days in Kamakura' will screen at an event in Saitama in support of the launch of a new film by Martin Burns. Martin, the star of TDIK, has moved behind the camera to helm 'Opposites Attract', a short film about two daydreaming commuters who find the lines between their dreams and their train journey beginning to blur... I was Script Consultant on 'Opposites Attract', and helped out on location peeling tangerines and brewing tea one day last year.
Martin's film will premiere at Edinburgh Short Film Festival, no doubt the first of many festival screenings.
The event, to be held at MediaSeven (next to Kawaguchi Station), is free and open to all. Hope to see you there.
On Saturday, April 27 I attened a seminar given by Keishi Otomo, director of 'Ruroni Kenshi' and 'Platina Data'. When I went to see the latter in the cinema last month, I was surprised by how many high school girls were in attendance. The draw for that demographic was Kazunari Ninomiya of boy band 'Arashi' in the cast. The same phenomenon seemed to be at work yesterday, with only a handful of men in the 300-strong audience, and only one Western face...
The director is as entertaining as he is informative, and he has a wickedly infectious laugh. Lots of his comments struck a chord. He pointed out that while Ninomiya's idol status draws in certain audience members, it also repels other demographics who do not take the actor seriously because of his 'idol' label. Otomo seems keenly aware of the need to balance the pull an idol can give to his film with the need for an individual like Ninomiya to work harder to be taken seriously because of the way he is marketed. I must admit to feeling the need to be more convinced when someone from SMAP, Arashi or V6 is cast. The director's explantion of Ninomiya's methodical process has me re-thinking my own biases.
The comment that stuck with me most was how the best actors are often those who have known pain. I agree, and in fact would suggest the comment applies to directors and writers, too. The trick is how to utilize that background in a performance, and Otomo's astute comments on that aspect of a shoot were educational.
Lots of audience members wanted to ask questions, and in that situation the fact that as a gaijin you stick out like a sore thumb has its advantages. I squeezed in a question at the end, curious to know if, after two huge hits from script adaptations, he had an interest in pursuing original screenplays. He answered yes, and even gave an indication of genre and budget range that could work. I'll be following up!
Three Days in Kamakura will screen at film festivals in Spain and the USA during May 2013. See here for details.
On April 27th I'll be at a Seminar with director Keishi Otomo on 'Acting.' The director is on a roll with last year's large-grossing 'Ruroni Kenshin' now doing the internatinal festival circuit, and his folow-up 'Platinum Data' achieving healthy box office domestically at the moment. Both films display admirable performances from the actors so it will be interesting to hear the director's thoughts. And as both films are based on previous works (manga and a novel, respetively), I"ll be probing him on how he feels about directing original screenplays...
In December I will be crew on the Japanese film 'Tenshin,' a biopic starring Naoto Takenaka (Shall We Dance, Waterboys) about the Meiji scholar Okakura Kakuzo / １２月中竹中直人主演「天心」っていう映画にスタッフさせて頂いています。