That was a rush. So much in 48 hours, I can still remember it one year after:
I took the early morning flight back to Manila from El Nido, the day after an unforgettable April Fool’s day wedding there. (Well, the wedding was real and very much heartfelt. Nothing about it was a joke.) I only had a few hours at home for a shower nap — I mean, power nap — and to charge my lenses, clean my batteries - ha! see what I mean! - and double-check my already pre-packed gear before my late evening flight to Tokyo.
Enter, April 3: our shoot starts 2 hours before sunrise. I’ve always wanted an “empty street night city shoot” for quite some time now, and because of schedule constraints, by hook or by crook, I had to start shooting just a few hours after our plane landed. By 2:30AM, we were on our way to downtown Tokyo. After what was a lame excuse for a good night’s sleep - a blasphemous abomination of your usual 8 to 10 - I found myself shooting Che & Dezzy in the empty alleyways of Shinjuku, then, straight to Meguro River for sakura sans tourists shots, followed by a quick mid-morning break (I was too excited to sleep!) then off to Shibuya then Roppongi for the late night part of the shoot. The Vimeo video player is set to repeat indefinitely. The first frame of this short film is the same as the last - beginning from the end - blurring the line between early morning and utter evening darkness. Is it 4:00AM? 11:30PM? Shortly before sunrise or way after sunset? That’s how I felt that day. Welcome to urban oblivion.
Che & Dezzy’s engagement session slash save the date film has been out for months now, but it took me a while to come up with this - the Director’s Cut. I really want to take it slow, sure and steady whenever I do pet projects. (i.e., Director’s Cut versions of films that you see here). Passion projects are more of "when I want to/how I want to", and not even a hint of "have to", even if it takes a full year. It also took me some time to come up with the right musical score. I wanted to stay away from the convenient trap of an uberurban Tokyo feel, analog synths, appregiators, drum machines and all. This musical score, an almost blatant Birdman rip-off entitled “Avian XX or The Underrated Trait of Stupidity” (OK, OK, music inspired by…), is actually the 5th version, the one that I’m finally happy with.
Che & Dezzy’s Tokyo engagement session. Shot and filmed on location: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Meguro River, Roppongi. Tokyo, Japan. Original score: “AvianXX or The Underrated Trait of Stupidity” (c) redsheepphotocinemusic 2018 All Rights Reserved.