Thursday, June 9.
Ten luminaries of the Japanese cinema industry gathered high above the humid haze of Tokyo—in the New York Bar of the Park Hyatt Hotel. What better place than the bar location made famous by Lost in Translation. The conversation was unmistakably more animated than the squirmy, Pinteresque pauses of that movie. Our cast of characters consisted of manufacturing and rental house executives—ad hoc board members of Film and Digital Times Japan (FDTJ). This Dream-Team helps translate and plan our Japanese language editions. They were certainly not lost in translation or at a loss for words.
The Dream-Team cast of characters included:
Angenieux: Yasuhiko Mikami
Blackmagic: Sachiko Arai
Canon: Yoshi Onda
Fujifilm: Keitaro So
NAC : Yas Mitsuwa
Panasonic: Sae Nakatani
Sanwa: Masa Yasumoto
Sigma: Shinji Yamaki
Sony : Jin Yamashita (flew in directly from New York)
ZEISS : Arato Ogura
FDTimes: Jon Fauer
After cocktails/happy hour/magic hour, the group descended from the breathtaking heights of the 54th floor New York Bar to Kozue Restaurant on the 40th.
We agreed that “what happens in Kozue stays in Kozue.” The spectacular Sake surely contained Harry Potter’s Obligate charm and obviated any need to sign NDAs. What can be said: Japan continues to be the 3rd or 4th largest motion picture producing nation in the world (400 to 500 live-action films for cinema release each year). Like everywhere else, rental companies complained about producers unwilling to pay fair market value. But rental houses always complain and producers always seem to find a way to afford the latest and most innovative camera equipment. Could the producers possibly borrow from another line-item, perhaps by finding a cheaper, two-foot shorter, slightly less expansive camper for the star? Rental houses in Japan see a peaking in the trend of using vintage lenses. (Storaro used Cooke S4 primes on his 1940s period piece Cafe Society and Deakins used ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphics on his 1950s period piece Hail, Caesar.) There was great interest in Full Frame/Large Format: the Panavision 8K DXL Camera unveiled at Cine Gear, RED W8K (same sensor, different body, OLPF, LUTs), Full Frame cameras and lenses, and Anamorphic lenses.
The next topic and main purpose of the FDTJ Meeting was to plan the next, bigger, better FDTimes Japan Edition for InterBEE. It will be translated into Japanese by the same stellar team that was now slurping Shabu-Shabu at Kozue. Paper FDTJ copies will be distributed once again in the Makuhari Messe from the FDTJ booth and at the booths of all FDTimes sponsors.
At the conclusion of the evening, Arato Ogura commented, “It was really a rare occasion in which manufacturers and rental houses — friendly competitors — joined together at the same table, established great friendships, and shared ideas.”
Yas Mitsuwa said, “It was really a rare and great opportunity to meet people from different companies through Film and Digital Times and a good start for the upcoming FDTJ InterBEE edition.”
Yoshinari Onda emailed, “It was great to have conversations with the ‘All-Star’ team of this industry.”
Keitaro So wrote, “This was a great opportunity to make connections…we appreciate the passion to move our industry forward.”
Danys Bruyere emailed from TSF in Paris, asking about the topics and, of course, the menu. Products will be revealed in the coming months, and introduced during the September Trifecta of IBC-Cinec-Photokina, and at InterBee in Tokyo this November.
As for Kozue, I don’t know of any other restaurant in Tokyo to match its style, soaring views, modern design, and sublime cuisine. Fauer’s second restaurant rule “the higher the altitude, the worse the food” (which explains airline fodder) — is easily refuted at Kozue.
Chef Kenichiro Ooe prepared an artistic and delicious kaiseki of:
- Hassan assorted appetizers
- Tuna, squid and kuruma prawn sashimi
- Yonezawa beef Shabu-Shabu with vegetables and noodles
- Loquat, strawberries, melon jelly
FDTJ Slideshow. Click on any image for full size.
Photos by Arato Ogura. Click on any image for full size:
Yas Mitsuwa Photo Gallery: