I’ve been non-stop, bananas moving since touching down from SF a few days ago. The busiest week ever, but it’s a good thing when it’s all super fun!
A producer from The Travel Channel emailed me last week– turns out she’s a reader (!!) and there’s a crew in Tokyo this month shooting for a new special. They’re filming loads of stuff all over Japan, but they wanted to interview a few expats about their experiences here… would I come to Roppongi for an interview? Um. Yes. Yes I will.
They were really cool and it was a very informal deal– just the basic questions I get asked constantly. Why am I here? (Because, why not?) Will you go back to SF? (Sure.) When? (How the heck do I know?) We talked about stereotypes (both Japanese and Western), living as an outsider, and fun stuff like onsens and awesome food everywhere. Once I know when the show is coming out I’ll post a link. Fun, right?
I want to eat this picture every day.
In other news, any actor will tell you… auditions come in fits and starts. As soon as I got to SF, the Tokyo agencies were blowing up my inbox with appointments I couldn’t make (SUCH a drag). But I was able to reschedule a few and got myself in front of some new producers and directors this week. Because it’s Japan, I can’t name names, but the spots are for food, drinks, and underwear. Tell me to break a leg!
Even if you’re not booking, go go go. NO REALLY GO. Getting in front of the right people is so important when cracking into a new market. Making connections, giving out your website info, handing the meishi: TV and commercial work relies heavily on community (I’ve recently decided that I dislike the word networking– it’s fake and no one likes doing it.) Don’t just fake it… really meet people and try to build a real foundation.
I finished the week with a sexy rocker shoot with my shooter friend (who’s also a visual genius) Alfie Goodrich and his stunning model pal Shinyong Lee. We set up at her amazing flat in Shimbashi and scouted locations… and just played! These shots are just from my phone– but the clothes are pretty good right? Which leads me to… a few tips for creative shoots:
Tell a story: Interesting photos have a creative direction in mind– this comes across in the wardrobe and the locations. When you can “see” the story, you’ve done something special.
Wardrobe: Texture, layers, quirk. Anything shiny, leather-y, fuzzy: Texture photographs so beautifully. I picked up some lace shorts and a few velvety pieces from a thrift shop that I’d never wear in my daily life– but I knew would reflect light and as some interest to a plain street scene. That said– we didn’t use any of that stuff because Shinyong had a super sick black negligee and fuzzy black coat for me to wear. We foiled the sexiness with my black biker boots (my old friends– I wear them every day) and BOOM. Hot without being super in your face. Plus I had to be able to walk around town.
Keep props minimal: Too many props can make a cool shot turn into stock photography. The executive girl with the curling iron in one hand and the cell phone in the other is a bit much these days– there’s a more interesting way to tell that story. The sexy girl covered in… well, anything… it’s been done. Sexy is awesome, but subtle sexy PLUS a cool story is way better.
So so fun, but more on this shoot later when I get frames. Right now, I need bath, tea, and bed. Whew!