Still Life Hakkoda!

The yearly “Still Life” feature has been released on! Check it out. A double slide show feature from our trip to Hakkoda at the end of January and beginning of February. and Detz always make the coolest design and layouts and I love being a part of the Still life trips! Thanks guys!


Hakkoda Garage event pics

A few more pictures from the Hakkoda Garage event over the weekend.  Although the weather was a little wet and rainy, it was still a fantastic event and I was really pleased with the number of people who showed up to watch the live performances and stick around to see Car Danchi on the screen.  I love showing the movie outside and in the mountains!  Look forward to doing this event again next year.  It was my first time visiting Hakkoda outside of the winter season.  It is beautiful and well worth the effort to take a trip there.  Do some hiking, soak in the legendary Sukayu Hot Springs and enjoy the hospitality of the Aomori people!

Car Danchi NO.5 teaser!

The Car Danchi NO.5 Teaser went on line today just before lunch. I put it out to Facebook and Twitter right away and it has been fun watching people get excited to see the teaser drop! Thanks to everyone for all the retweets and likes that have been flying around the web! Appreciate the support, it makes all the long editing hours worth while!

So here is the official blog post for the release of the Car Danchi NO.5 teaser. I have added some other viewing material below the teaser. Clips from some of the artists featured in the movie. Some are different songs from what is being used in the movie, but you can get a taste of the music styles.

So here it is, after a two year break the Car Danchi crew is back!

Riders (Nekosogi Family)
Haruki Takeuchi
Hayato Doi
Hideki Takeda
Hiroshi Fujiwara
Katsushi Matsui
Kazushi Yamauchi
Ken Shibuya
Masanori Takeuchi
Motoki Shimomura
Shinya Nakagawa
Shunsuke Hoshino
Takaharu Nakai
Takaku Tomoki
Takamasa Imai
Yoshinari Uemura
Yuusuke Mino
Yuta Kiyohara
Yuta Kobayashi
Yuu Nishiyama
& Terje

Music by

Hiroshi Fujiwara
Higashida Tomohiro
Kuniyuki Takahashi
DJ Sebastien aka Seboo
Pampas Field Ass Kickers

Keep your engines running, we are keeping the dream alive! The ultimate snowboarding lifestyle powder movie is back, after a two year recharge! In this year 2011 even natural disasters and nuclear meltdowns could not stop this crew of determined dreamers. We drove, found and filmed the best powder spots in Japan, and we want to share it with you. A snowboard movie like no other, showcasing the “Art of the turn” in glorious powder definition, enjoy 50 minutes of winter bliss, and keep on dreaming!

車団地が帰ってきた。しかし今回は何をたくらんでるいるのか?それは根こそぎにちがいない。最高のパウダーを遠慮なくいただく車団地の住民。北国北海道から青森の八甲田や秋田の田沢湖まで滑り残しはない!その夢のようなスノーボードlifestyleを生きるメンバー達。今の厳しい現実を横乗りで脱出できるのか。彼らが求める夢の世界は、もちろん最高のpowder snow、世界平和、再生可能エネルギー、そして燃料リッター¥100以下。その日がくるまでみんなで力を合わして滑り続けましょう!夢は叶うものです!!!

The Car Danchi Crew is back! What have they got planned this time? They are taking no prisoners and leaving tracks everywhere they go. The crew has no mercy for untracked Powder from the North Island of Hokkaido, to Aomori’s Hakkoda and Akita’s Tazawako. Never satisfied until every course is tracked out, these guys are committed to keeping the dream alive. Will they be able to escape from the harsh reality of todays world? Follow the crew as they dream of a better world. One with Powder for everyone, World Peace, Renewable Energy, and Gasoline prices under a ¥100 per liter! Until that day arrives lets all stand sideway together and keep on riding. Dreams do come true.

Now enjoy some music!

Higashida Tomohiro PV

Hiroshi Fujiwara

Not the song I am using in the video, but this is a classic remix check it out.

Here is a track that you will hear in the movie. Sapporo local artist Tokky

I am using a different track but this is a good one too.

Still Life short movie

Check it out a totally new type of collaboration happened recently!

If you follow my blog very closely you will remember that I was filming with Hiroshi Fujiwara at Kiroro Snow World about a month and a half ago. I was shooting video for three days hoping to get some footage for the upcoming Car Danchi 5 movie. Each day I gave a copy of my footage to Hiroshi to watch on his laptop computer. Well by the end of the three day trip he had already edited a nice section to one of his original music tracks! That is how fast he works!

So check it out an original short movie filmed by Neil Hartmann, editing by Hiroshi Fujiwara and composition by Detz!   Thanks guys!

You can watch the whole movie live on

Still Life on

New edition of Still Life is live on right now. All photos by Tochi-san legend camera man. I was there for the trip shooting video, so you can look for that in the upcoming Car Danchi 5 movie. In the mean time check out the nice photos! feature Still Life brings a miracle!

Hiroshi and the team arrived yesterday and brought with them a miracle snow storm.  Woke up to 30 cm of snow in the front yard and knew it would be a good day!  Amazing conditions at Kokusai.  Not too much wind and the snow kept falling all day.  Tomorrow is going to be even better!  Hard to shoot photo’s in the snow, but got a few shots.




Nice to see the snow everywhere again!  Hope it keeps snowing like this, no more rain please.


Second day in Hiroshima

Today day went by really fast. The first day of a trip always seems exceptionally long, then the second day flies by so fast. Why is that? Anyway, today began slowly with a lunch time start, then off to the band rehearsal. I decided to really shoot a lot at the rehearsal because I had a feeling it would be hard to shoot the concert with a lot of people etc. So I set up my remote flash and shot as much as possible while the band warmed up. Was able to get a couple of cool shots with the flash.

The stage was a terrace on the side of a hotel facing a public walkway along the river. Perfect place for an outdoor concert. It rained right up until 2 hours before the performance, then the sky cleared! the band was covered by an awning, but the crowd would have gotten pretty wet. Thanks to the awning I had a place where I could tape my two flashes. One on each side set to  different channels. With my pocket wizard I could choose which channel or flash I wanted to pop off! I could not move or adjust the flashes after they were connected and I was setting them up in daylight so there was no way to really check to see how they would work. Such is life.

I replaced the batteries right before the concert and just left everything on standby mode. The flashes worked out well in the end, but I actually wish I had a third flash to illuminate the crowd. When shooting from behind the crowd it was too dark to see the size of the crowd. It would have been nice to have a third to throw a little light on the audience. Speaking of flashes, when the special guest Kiyozuki-san appeared on stage the audience went photo crazy and started shooting like it was a press conference. I saw people with both hands in action, cell phone camera in one and video in the other, try to get the “Shots”. There are probably already a bunch of shaky videos up on Youtube right now. Amazing how people are so into recording everything these days. Everybody was so busy trying to capture the event, I wonder if anybody actually got to see what was going on.

The concert was quick, lasting about an hour total, maybe less. I am glad I shot a lot at the rehearsal, as time seemed to go too quickly during the actual show. I’m not really sure how much I was able to capture. After the show the VIP on the 10th floor was filled with Moet and good catered snack food. I downed a few glasses of the bubbly acting like a fashion photog then Detz and I headed back over to the FIL store to take some shots of the interior without any customers inside. With my cheap travel tripod I set up and did a few stock shots of the inside and outside. Then we packed it up for the night and headed to the after party, which was a sit down dinner Japanese izakaya style. Nice food, a lot of grilled vegetables and then a few meat and fish dishes, good healthy stuff. I hit the bed at about 2am, but Detz and the rest of the crew went on for a few more hours ending with another Okonomiyaki meal at 5am! Nuts.

Now for the interesting side notes. Did you know there is a “Mafia Lawson” in Hiroshima? Lawson is a chain of convenience stores like 7/11. The store is known for the super bright blue and white sign that wraps around the front of the building. The fluorescent lighting in the sign is ridiculously bright and inside the store as well. So AK told me about the Mafia Lawson that is located on the first floor of a Mafia owned building in Hiroshima. We went to check it out. The building was very suspicious looking, blacked out windows and all curtains drawn, but the Lawson sign was the best part. They had actually blacked out the sign itself, leaving only the word Lawson lit up. We went in and I found a DVD sale rack right by the counter, guess what movie was on top? “American Gangster!”

OK next. Did you know there is some kind of ring, probably Mafia related that buys and sells limited products on the Internet here in Japan. Stores like F.I.L and Head Porter specialize in making limited products in all categories, from T-shirts to shoes. So this group has set up a system where they hire homeless guys to stand in line outside the shop before these items go on sale. The homeless dudes don’t mind sleeping outside overnight waiting in line. They are given a list of the things to buy and the cash to pay. The items are prelisted on the Internet auctions and sold to the highest bidder. Yesterday at the opening of the F.I.L store in Hiroshima a huge line formed from early in the morning. The first 20 guys in line were all homeless people! The next 15 were all Chinese buyers, then after that it was a mix of normal people and more homeless buyers. I have heard about this and seen it at a “Babe” store in Osaka, but never really had a good look. Check out these dudes in line waiting to buy stuff yesterday.

Interesting underground culture!