konoyo

Why I Cut Some of my Favorite Scenes?

The first part of editing is very tedious, it really just involves organization. Once you move past that point it is rough cut time. I was lucky enough to have two editors Martin and Anka, both are great. I began the project with Martin, he laid all the shots down all the shots according to the script for a rough version. The obvious tendency is to want to lay the story down in the sequence which has been burned into your head from the inception of project. However, you quickly realize the time for honesty has come. You have to evaluate the strength of actual footage that you have shot against the script you have poured your heart into. In other words, the task is to make something that still says your vision in most elegant way possible with what is in the can.

In my case the process of honest cutting came with the help of my editor and some great tutors we have at the Edinburgh College of Art. They basically helped me kill my babies which was not an easy task. Nonetheless, the whole process was very illuminating and tough at times. There were at least 3 scenes that we worked so hard on that we had to kill. The fact that my editor was not on set made him that much more objective about things to cut.

Konoyo Short Film Production Dairies

On Set Day #1 I arrived early around 8am in classroom location, we used the old library in the University of Edinburgh Geosciences building. I had bit of a nervous feeling in my stomach as this was the big day and really didn't know how it was all gonna to go. I hear wheels and footsteps getting closer coming from outside the classroom, in walks my production designers dragging a huge suitcase full of props. Immediately they diligently started rearranging desks and putting things in order. From there things began to get hectic with the entire crew arriving and soon after our 12 extras.

I can remember the elated feeling on the first take when I saw the camera roll across the dolly tracks as I peered into the monitor at the crisp image.I finally started to settle down after we got into a rhythm with the camera team and crew. Despite all the chaos going on around me I was very happy doing what I came here to do - direct. The Sushi arrived and I saw the whole team kick back and relax, it was also nice to see some of the extras mingling with the crew. Overall, the first day was a brilliant success.

Rehearsals with the Actors and DoP

On a student film your resources are very limited, however you usually have a  little time to play with since the film is your main focus at school. The process of rehearsals was very new to me. I was very happy to have onboard Alex Gray (Cobb), Eren Fukushima (Aya), and Vera Badida (Japanese student). On rehearsals we meet and did a few read throughs and meet with our great director of photography (Laura Shand) for some camera set ups as well. Working with Laura was awesome, she really knew what she was doing with that RED Camera. All and all it is a great chance to refine the script with your actors feedback and flag up any potential issues.

Notes on Building the Ultimate Team

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The Konoyo project really started the day I stepped on stage in front of the college and announced my idea to the student body. It was a very nerve racking day to say the least. There were probably over 200 people in attendance that included our peers, professors, and industry people. The format was simple: get on stage and pitch your idea and whoever is interested will ask to join - very much like the real world. Afterwards we had a reception party to mingle and talk to interested collaborators. I felt very privileged to have a high level of interest in my project. I think it helped that I pitched a Japanese supernatural genre project, which set me apart from the start. So I used my pitch/ concept to recruit, motivate, and build a skillful project team (first acid test for your idea). One of the most critical members of the team is the producer. My producer, Gianna Arni Andrea came on board a little later but as soon as she did the whole project really started to hum along. Gianna is super organized and really knows how to manage a team. The first thing she did was to create a private Konoyo Facebook group to communicate with our team.

Soon after we began have regular meets up at the college sometimes twice a week to discuss all aspects of production. In the end we had over 29 members on the production. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is put all your time and effort in to select a great team. In others, make sure they have experience or ability to do what you want do and that you get along with each other. My production team is the engine that makes the film hum and I owe a great debt of gratitude to all of them.