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Screening report 20.6.2009

I had a screening on Saturday at MediR (citizen media centre) in Takada-no-baba. The screening was organised by Video Act.

I arrived at the centre half an hour before the screening. Then I met Video Act members. I only contacted with the organiser via e-mail, so it was my first time to see Tsuchiya Tokachi san. He is also a director of the film; A Normal Life, Please).

The screening started at 4pm. There were 10 to 13 people at the screening.

After the screening, I did a post-screening talk with Tsuchiya-san.
Dsc03355_re

"Why did you make the film?" - I think this is the most popular question for me so far. I was asked this time, too. Then I answered as usual, "I got my video camera for fun before studying abroad in the UK, the I learnt how to make films through uploading videos on YouTube. Normally, people don't seem to be impressed by this answer, but this time people were interested in the fact I'm the filmmaker from YouTube!

I think that YouTube (or other internet media) is popular than TV or film, so I am not surprised there are new filmmakers from YouTube. But when I saw their reaction, I changed my idea, probably there are not so many YouTube-based filmmakers in the professional field yet.
Dsc03359_re

I learnt a lot from making YouTube videos. I repeated filming, editing, and uploading videos from Brian to my flatmates. Looking at the videos, then I realised I needed to film buildings or other different scenes when I go to film some events or something. I was thinking "I need to film the event from beginning to the end!", and I didn't think about the entrance scene or audiences. So, now I have to be careful to film everything related to the event. Another example, I used to chat a lot when I interview someone. But when I looked at the footage, I really hated I spoke to the interviewee and talking my opinions!!

Audiences asked me "How did you make relationship with Brian and other protesters?", "How about toilet?", "Did you interview withy pro-war people?", "How did Brian decide to start the 24/7 protest?", etc.

The post screening talk was finished around 6pm, then we had a mini-party in the same venue. Tsuchiya-san bought some beers and snacks. Video Act members, MediR people, and three audiences joined the drink.
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People started talking more frankly than the post-screening talk. Since I made the film, I have a lot of opportunities to meet Japanese peace campaigner and independent filmmakers. When talking with them, I realise I don't have that background. This is good and bad. Some peace campaigner said my film looked unique, because most of anti-war films they had seen were dark and negative.

I started to be interested in peace campaign and making film through Brian. Before going to UK, I had never joined any peace activities in Japan, of course I was against wars though.

At the drinking party, some people started to talk about the Japanese flag I used in my film. I used the image when I talk about Japan and Japanese protesters. I used the flag with the image of mass people walking the Shibuya crossing. I intended to express Japanese society's oppression. But the Japanese flag is very controversial background.

The Japanese flag and the national anthem are considered a controversial symbol of the militaristic past of the country.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinomaru

I edited my film in the UK. Because the history of Parliament Square is very long and complicated, and I had to understand all the dialogues in the footage, so I needed the help from Paul and other people. I was the only Japanese who watched the film before its made. When I was making the Japanese part and the flag, I was thinking about the shape of the red circle (it was a bit ellipse in the beginning, so modified it to the perfect circle), but not about the background history!!!!

I think of myself, I am the person who prefer not to reveal the story until it done. I don't want to show the procedure of the making. But I started to think it may be a good thing to show the un-completed film to different people who are familiar to the issue and get advise from them. I have seen my film well over 100 times, but lots of things I didn't realise until I showed to other people! I'm sure I would not realise even watching it over 1,000 times by myself!!!

Director Kamanaka Hitomi san has a style of making video letters and showing them before completeing her final films. I think it is a good idea. Because she can get people's comment and reaction, then continue her filming on the issue. I think there are not so many filmmakers who can have a long-term filming budget, but I definitely think I want to get a lot of advise during making a film in future!!

About Video Act (English page)
http://www.videoact.jp/english/index-e.html

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