I started as an actor when I was 15. I always loved films, but seeing many of my favorite actors started from theatre, I thought I should have started from stage too at first. I joined a theatre company in my hometown, which was known as one of the most avant-garde theatre companies in Japan. Under the name of “avant-garde,” our scripts themselves often did not make sense. But when we actually put them on a stage, the audience started to bring their own interpretations to the plays. It somehow started to make sense in their own head, and our play became a reflection of the audience’s own imagination instead of projection of our own stories. That experience definitely shaped my philosophy as a writer, that my story itself sometimes does not matter, but what matter more is that the space in the story that stimulates audience’s imagination.
Eureka - Official Trailer
This was my first filmmaking experience. I neither have written nor directed a movie before. I moved to NYC when I was 18 to get acting training in a college, and then got fascinated by delivering my own voice instead of carrying someone else’s. I started to write plays. It was challenging for me to write in a second language, but I learned how to merge the beauty of my native language and English. Eventually I started to direct my own pieces, because I could not find directors and also I wanted to embody my vision on my own.
The process of making Eureka was definitely nerve wrecking, but more than that, it gave me immeasurable pleasure that I was finally doing what I have dreamt to do. It was never-ending circle of challenges after challenges. With little knowledge of filmmaking, I enlisted people’s help everyday to make my movie happened. The biggest challenge presented itself when my lead actor left NYC, unannounced, before shooting had concluded. I contacted him worried one day (he had not been communicative for several days leading up to this next shoot), and he answered me that he went back home to the West coast. I found this out a week before wrapping. With no producer to lighten the load, it was my responsibility as a director and a screenwriter to change everything to accommodate this change, including the adjusting the plot, locations, and schedule. Fortunately, we caught up with the original shooting schedule and I could submit the film before the deadlines. People who knew my original script also liked the unforeseen changes of plot.
I hope that you see pieces of reflection of yourself in this movie. Nothing makes me happier than that as a creator.
I am very grateful for all people who have supported me to make this movie come true. I'm also extremely honored and thankful to Top Shorts Film Festival for including Eureka among many wonderful movies from all over the world.
From Japan and NY, with love.