About seven months ago, I booked a flight to Japan. All I had was a script that took place in Japan and a dream to make the damn thing. I wrote well above and beyond my means. Above and beyond my means even in the United States. I wrote so far above and beyond my means that I need to go to Japan to even attempt to make this film? What the hell am I thinking?!
For the longest time it lingered and sort of sat there. I devoted some time here and there to rewriting the script and patching it up here and there. I cut about twenty pages overall and probably added in an additional five from the original draft. But, I wasn’t focused on it. I would work on it from time to time and then it would sit as my life took over. I as moved into the new house. As I spent my summer with my kids. As I cleaned the dog up off from the road after her head had been popped by a farmer with a pickup truck and a wagon. Yes, a story I am not going to go any deeper into because I am actually quite traumatized by it and… well. There was shit I can’t ever UN-see.
Life moved on over the last seven months. The script is solid and it did it’s job. It sat there patiently waiting for something to happen. I knew from the beginning it would kick in sooner or later. I just wasn’t ready at the time.
So last week after I posted my self pitying post I realized it was time to do something and I again attempted to assemble a production crew from my previous gang… the most of which are scattered across the world. This week, we had our first Ashio pre-production meeting, which really was nothing more than a confidence builder and just a mutual assurance that I was on the right path.
I am doing something NOBODY has ever done before. And that’s what makes it fun. It’s a ridiculous challenge, but if there’s no challenge to it, I’m not going to do it. Sure, i could sit here and make backyard movies for the rest of my life, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be satisfied or happy. Cold Winter was the pinnacle of backyard movies. I filmed that movie on a $500 budget and it was shot on pure faith in my abilities by all involved. My cast, my crew, they trusted me implicitly, based on my sheer passion for the project. And that’s how the movie got made.
And that is how Ashio is going to get made.
From the meeting we decided we needed a few things. Concept artwork and a test scene. So yesterday the hunt began.
Now, I don’t know if it was the meeting that got me fired up or the fact that suddenly my inbox was being flooded with submissions of starving artists ready and willing to hop on board for the greater good… well most of them. I immediately dismissed the ones that started out with “Hi, I am blankity blank, how much is the compensation?”
If you’re in it for the money, you aren’t working with me. Sorry. No one gets paid, until I get paid. …well, I take that back. I did set aside some money for these artists, because, well, a very small handful of them were fantastic. While most of them were douchebags with photoshop and manipulate a photo and call themselves an artist. While it is an ART for a selected FEW. For the most it is hack bullshit lazy people who call themselves designers when in fact they are just not that. they are lazy. Lazy designers are the worst. Especially the ones who think they are amazing and you can see the pompousness in their work.
Here’s a clue. I am a fairly decent artist and designer in my own right. But I don’t have the time to devote to it. If you have the time, then bless you, take charge of it and own it. But if you aren’t better than me, you sure as hell aren’t going to work for me. I would drop the time just to not drop the dollar on insufficient work. I think that’s a fair statement if you ask me. If your work is so hack, how the hell do you not see it?
So anyway, with the sheer dedication of one person at the meeting, it truly helped transform me from the busy day to day guy to, fuck all y’all, it’s Ashio time! And, I thank you for your sincerity and reckless abandon to follow me to the flames in this project. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a creative counterpart to bounce off from and mentally spar with. See, it’s not enough for me to simply have the idea. I need to say the idea out loud. I think through my mouth. And if there’s no one there to hear it it’s just me talking to myself. I find the thrill of the brainstorm as a collaborative group to be the greatest thrill in a project.
I hope you can hack it, cuz I am a needy bitch when it comes to fleshing things out.