Ya-man web site

I want to share with you the web site of good friend and amazing photographer Hiroyuki Yamada. My first trip to Alaska was with Ya-man and I will never forget it. This guy is a true artist photographer. He also shoots 16 mm and right now is making a film about Sasaki Daisuke the freeskier. so check out his site all in English and there is a teaser for the Daisuke movie which is very cool.


Calling in the help!

At the end of any project the best thing to do is call in the help! Make sure you have a good team backing you up right? Well I am pulling in the whole crew and family right now for the final adjustments to the new movie. Have been making some trips to DJ Sebastien’s studio recently.

He is making a lot of new music these days of which I am using about 7 songs. He is also helping me produce the whole soundtrack. He is doing a lot to really sweeten the voices and add effects etc., It is going to make a big difference to the final product! Check out his studio.

He has a full weight set up and nice decorations with classic album covers, plus the massive Japanese writing in the back, I have no idea what it says, forgot to ask.

Then I had to call in my Dad for the proof reading of the titles and subtitles.

I have been known to make glaring errors in the past, so trying to avoid that this time around. We spent an hour fine tuning the subtitles and there are quite a few on this movie. Hopefully it will be a pleasant read for those who don’t understand all the Japanese.

I am hoping to be able to have a set up page on the DVD this time. That would allow you to turn the subtitles on or off as you like. Never was able to do that in the past so the subtitles are burned on there forever. Hopefully I can work it out in time …

Season starts!

The start of the snowboard season always comes with the first issue of the snowboard magazine.  In Japan that means the catalog issue, packed with info about the new gear coming out for the next season.  Well the season must have already started because the Snowboarder catalog issue has just arrived! I was expecting at least another month before the catalog issues started arriving, but snowboarder got the jump on everyone.  The other magazine here in Japan are just celebrating the wrapping of the editorial process and probably are going to print right now.

Pretty nice cover photo for the Snowboarder magazine!

Precious Time

Did someone shorten the length of each day without telling me about it? The days just seem to fly by when your forehead is stuck to a computer monitor! The summer equinox came and went and I hardly even noticed!

Right now I am doing a very important backup of my hard drives right now. Don’t want to lose the work I have done up until now. I always start to get a little nervous at this stage in the project. If I lost what I have made up to now, I don’t think I could ever replicate it again. Editing is so like painting, you can’t seem to remake something again exactly like you had it the first time. So the computer is working away for about an hour which gives me this precious time to make a blog update.

The only thing I did apart from edit this last week, was meet and drive Goma-san to Niseko! That was Sunday, pretty good weather and was a nice break from the editing to get out and see the country side. So all the photos below are from that day trip. People have been coming around the office to check on the video progress, but I have been to preoccupied to even take a picture of the guests.

first lets start off with a picture from yesterday.  The was a spectacular Sunset last night which I missed most of.  Aparently there was a huge rainbow over the city as well.  I ran outside for the last few minutes of this display.

Ok now off to Niseko with Goma.  Check out his new Album called Cyborg that is out now.  This is a solo project of Goma’s.  He created all the beats on the album as well as the Digderidoo.  The album is very danceable.  Kind of a mix between Techno and trance styles with the earthy Digderidoo on top.  Great stuff and look for one song on the Car Danchi 3 soundtrack!

Goma broke some bones on his hand recently so he has a cast on.  Guess he is glad he is not a guitar player!

Took a short walk around the Niseko Hirafu area to check things out.  I saw about a hundred for sale signs and at least five construction sites.

Look at this they are even selling this tree!  Poor bastard.

Wonder how much a “shirakaba” tree is worth in Niseko these days.

Police bus in Niseko


And this was the amazing find of the day.  I love old building and old cars that have been left for dead.  Check out this classic snow cat!  Seats only four people!  Super cool.  Would love to fix that up and just put on display in front of my house!

Now that I come to think of it, this was about the only thing in Niseko without a for sale sign on it!


So this week is final crunch time for me to wrap up the movie.  Should be finished with the actually visual editing by tomorrow night.  From there have to step to the graphics work.  Subtitles, titles etc.,  While doing that DJ Sebastien is remixing the sound.  Then on the weekend will put it all together.  Fingers crossed.


George Carlin!

Sad news came in today, one of my favorite comedians passed away! George Carlin. I am lucky enough to have seen him live for one performance in San Diego. I remember going with my juggling partner at the time. Was a great show, a lot of comedy that actually made you think a little!

“Why do they lock gas station bathrooms?” he once mused. “Are they afraid someone will clean them?”

LOS ANGELES – Acerbic stand up comedian and satirist George Carlin, whose staunch defense of free speech in his most famous routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” led to a key Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, has died.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. He was 71.

Police academy!

Was starting to lose my sanity after a marathon of editing yesterday. So late in the afternoon decided to take a short break and do some cross training. A cross between editing and trail running! There is a small mountain near the house here called “Sunset hill” with some good views of the city.

Decided to try and get there for the sunset around 6pm. Which brings me to the title of this post. Jozankei village has been totally overrun by the Japanese police. Everywhere you look, every parking lot is full of cars and buses and trucks all police.

The city is crawling with officers from all over japan. I heard there are close to 4000 police in our little town right now. Why? Of course the build up for the G8 summit in Toyako next month. You would think these guys were here to train for a marathon, they are running all over the place. In groups of two to ten they are running all over. They even were running up the trail i was on and that is not an easy trail head to find. If there are any ladies out there that would like to meet Japan’s finest this is the place to be right now. I also hear that the police don’t let anyone clean the rooms while they stay at the hotels for close to a month. I guess they must leave their guns laying around the room…. Since the only people with handguns in Japan are the police and a few Yakuza I guess you could say right now Jozankei has the highest concentration of guns per square kilometer in the country.

I remember when Jamie Lynn was here two years ago going around making some graffiti art under the bridges etc., I am glad he is not here now, would get busted by 4000 cops straight away!

Editing continues, coming along at a good pace now. Trying to get to the titling and sound work by early next week.

Tochi Sato exhibit

Got this info from a friend in Shizuoka. Looks like Tochi-san is going to be having a photo exhibit with live performances from some amazing artists. Wish I could be there for that event. Congradulations to Tochi-san one of the legendary snow and surf skate photographers in Japan! If you are nearby try and check out this cool event!

Click on the images for larger version if you want to read the details.