Thursday, May 23, 2013

'Ian's Kitchen' closes

For the last two years, I have been hosting a show on cable television.  In Season 1 (July 2011- March 2012), the show was called 'I'm Home, This is Ian' (loosely translated), and was an interview-based documentary program (more about that HERE).  For Season 2 (April 2012-May 2013) the producers changed the format of the show into a cooking show (!) called 'Ian's Kitchen' (that story is HERE).  

The documentary-style cooking show was extremely fun, and the cooking segments were peppered with interviews with the farmers that grew the ingredients for the dishes.  (One memorable episode is from last autumn about which I wrote in an entry called "In the Pumpkin Patch", part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE).

For Season 3, there had been talk of me getting a small plot of land and working with local farmers to grow the food that we would use on the program.  Unfortunately, however, I was informed last month by the producers that our contract was not being renewed for a third season.  It seems amid the down economy and budget cuts, the TV station had decided that funding local programming was too expensive and that they would start "buying in" more ready-made programs.

The last episode of 'Ian's Kitchen' has now been filmed and will air shortly.

But as they say, "when one door closes, another one opens" and I am looking forward to seeing what new adventure is just around the corner.  

I will close this chapter with some photos from a few of my favourite moments on 'Ian's Kitchen'.  In January of this year, I filmed two episodes on which my dad appeared as a special guest.  He brought with him a cookbook complied by my sister that contains recipes our family has enjoyed dating back to the time of our great-grandmother.  My dad also brought with him some photos of me cooking when I was so little I had to stand on a stool at the stove (!).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Working Vacation

I do lots of odd jobs in order to "pay for my habit" of documentary filmmaking.  I've made promotional videos, filmed backstage documentaries for DVDs of live music concerts and have even been known to step in front of the camera from time to time.

For the last three days, I have been so grateful to have been on one those rare jobs that feels more like a vacation than work.

Here for work, but the view and the fresh air are a much appreciated bonus!
My new friend!
My new edit suite... I wish!
Morning Coffee.
Good night, sun!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bring in the Clowns

In the more than two years since the nuclear meltdown, nearly all of my focus has been on documenting what is happening in Fukushima; and although I was aware of the weekly anti-nuclear demonstrations being held in Tokyo, I had never documented one.

Yesterday, I photographed the anti-nuclear rally held in Tokyo.
Actor Yamamoto Taro gives a speech
Banner reads: "Protect children from radiation"
A shopper watches as the anti-nuclear demonstration passes by

Headline from the AP News:

There was a strong police presence at the rally.

And this is my favourite photograph from yesterday:

Monday, May 13, 2013

Freshly Pressed

The preview screening and press conference of my feature documentary 'A2' (WEBSITE) was held today at the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Japan (press release HERE).

There were a total of 88 press club members and their guests in attendance.  It was an immense honour to have my work screened by my colleagues, and an additional honour to have the opportunity to receive their questions during the press conference that was led by journalist Tetsuo Jimbo.

Photo: Chiemi Takahashi

One of the highlights of the press conference was when Mr. Mitsuhei Murata (pictured below), the former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, stood up to speak.  Last year I had the honour of hearing Mr. Murata give a press conference, and I have followed closely his work in trying to bring about transparency following the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima.  Mr. Murata complimented my film and then asked an interesting question:  Given the continued precariousness of the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima, do you think the government should be bidding to hold the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo?

Photo: Chiemi Takahashi
After the press conference, there was time to exchange business cards and speak freely with those in attendance.  There was talk of featuring my work in news articles, speaking at a local university and even of bringing the film (and me!) to Switzerland as part of an educational program.

I am so humbled and honoured at the interest in my work and am thankful for all of the support and encouragement I have received over the past two years.  Peace.