Beauty is an intangible thing; can not be fixed on the surface, and the wear and tear of old age on the body cannot defeat it.


-- Robert Henri


It’s been 3 years…..

Posted on Tuesday 11 March 2014

I’ll be having my annual Artists Help Japan fundraiser starting tomorrow, the third year mark of the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan. 100% of the proceeds will go to non profit Peace Winds.

There are still more than 200,000 people away from home in the affected area. We think(or would like to believe) things got better by now but there is so much left to be done.

I know this is a very small contribution but hopefully this can let those in the area that I’m thinking about them.

Original Watercolor
Limited Edition Print of my illustration
signed Sketchtravel
signed children’s book I illustrated
signed comic book I did a story for

I will share the eBay link once it is up and running

あれから3年がたちました。

未だに震災の影響を受け、毎日を戦っている人たちが沢山います。
自分が絵や本を売ったなけなしのお金を送った所で、雀の涙だと言う事は百も承知ですが、自分が東北の人たちの事を忘れていない、と言う意思表示として、今年もファンドレーズやらせてもらいます。

3日間のオークションです。
よろしくお願いします。

http://www.ebay.com/usr/artists_help_japan

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dice @ 4:38 pm
Filed under: Announcements
The Dam Keeper Official Trailer

Posted on Thursday 6 February 2014

We just released the official teaser of our independent short The Dam Keeper
We will premiere at Berlin International Film Festival next Tuesday!

dice @ 8:51 am
Filed under: Announcements
The Dam Keeper at Berlinale!

Posted on Saturday 25 January 2014

The world premiere of our indy short film,The Dam Keeper will be at Berlin International Film Festival! Before we started submitting for festivals, Robert Kondo and I said to each other, “it’d be great to open our film in Berlin.”
We cannot believe our wish came true!

We are coming to Berlin next month to attend the festival. Not only will we share our film with audience for the first time, but we would be watching lots of films from all over the world. It’d be a lot of fun with a tremendous learning opportunity of the international film industry.

ロバート・コンドウと共に作ったダムキーパーのワールドプレミアがベルリン国際映画祭で幕明けする事が決まりました。 選り好みする身分ではないと分かっていながら、ベルリンが初舞台となったらいいなぁとロバートと夢みていただけに、なんとも嬉しいニュースです。

2月の6日から16日まで開催される映画祭の招待を受け、ロバート、そしてプロデューサーの二人と皆で参加してきます。 あまり寒くないことを期待して、、、、

 

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dice @ 3:40 pm
Filed under: Announcements
R.I.P. Frédéric Back

Posted on Thursday 26 December 2013

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We lost one of the most respected and beloved artists in the world of animation.

My single source of inspiration, Frédéric Back passed away in the morning of Christmas eve.
That morning, I woke up with an early phone call to hear the devastating news.  In the past several months, his declining health has been a heavy concern over the hearts of animation community.
For many years since I was first introduced to one of his master pieces The Man Who Planted Trees, I had been a huge fan of his work.  It was only back in 2010 when I first met him in person through Sketchtravel project, thanks to our mutual friend, animation historian Charles Solomon.
We all know of his incredible craft as an animator and painter, his ability to bring poetry to his storytelling.  But when I met him in person, it was him as one beautiful human being  who touched me beyond his craft.
I have never met anyone as giving and loving as Frédéric Back.   He truly believed in the well-being of nature and all living things.   He believed in the role of artists beyond entertainment or business.  
 
“Do not hesitate to give your talent if you have the ability to bring light to the world of darkness” 
Frédéric told me with such conviction.   I still remember I was completely overwhelmed by the bright sparkle in his eye..
A few years after my first visit, I took my 5 month old son to Montreal.  It was my son’s first travel experience.  I wanted my son to meet Frédéric more than anyone else in the world so he could remember who inspired his father.   
That is also when I decided to make “something.”  Something beyond my comfortably paid job which eventually lead to the project The Dam Keeper with Robert Kondo.  It was my dream to show the film to Frédéric to respond to his generosity.
 
We finished The Dam Keeper too little too late.  By the time I sent the DVD to Frédéric, he was already fading away.   That is my big regret. 
If every artist shared even a small part of Frédéric’s soul, I am certain the world would be in a much better place.
We may not be able to become Frédéric Back.
But it is not too late that we follow his path as artists.
Rest in Peace, Frédéric.
僕にとって心の師であるアニメーション界の巨匠フレデリック・バックさんが24日の朝亡くなられました。スケッチトラベルというプロジェクトを通じて知り合ってから本当に良くしていただきました。 多くの手紙のやり取りをしたり、悩んでいる時に励ましの言葉をいただいたり、、たった数年でしたが、大事な事を沢山教えていただきました。
バックさんはアニメーターとしても歴史上に残る巨匠でしたが、本当に彼がすごいのは彼の人間としての大きさでした。 僕はあれほどに寛大で,素直で、純粋に世界の全ての生き物を愛する勇気を持っている人と出会った事がありません。
「自分の才能を使って世の中に光を照らす事をためらってはいけない」
そう言った彼の目は子供のような素直な輝きを放っていました。
今の世の中、自分も含め、素直な人はなかなかいない。
素直でいる事はとても怖い事だから。
バックさんは死ぬまで、その素直さを貫く強さと勇気を持ち続けました。
残された者がバックさんになる事は不可能です。
でも、バックさんが照らしてくれた光に向かって歩く事は可能かもしれません。
ご冥福をお祈り致します
dice @ 10:18 am
Filed under: Announcements
The Dam Keeper DONE

Posted on Sunday 22 December 2013

Finally, this indy side project is complete. We were done with the whole animation more than a few months ago but there is so much work involved after the picture is done. Every step made this film better and every step was a great learning experience. Now, it is in the can!

This whole journey was all about “learning from doing what we don’t know how to do.” Both Robert Kondo and I have been art directors in animated films and we would have never learned this much if we hadn’t broken out of our comfort zone.

I know many of you our friends have been looking forward to watching this film. This is the tricky thing about indy shorts. We are only showing in festivals for now as many festivals will disqualify us once this is screened in public before. So there will be a bit of a waiting game though we are anxious to share this with as many people as we like

Keep your eye on The Dam Keeper page. As soon as we get lucky enough to show our film at festivals, we will let you know. While we have a challenge of our film being 18 min.(too long for most festivals), hopefully it will travel to your city eventually!

AND we have a lot of fun stuff coming up. We will share a series of the movie trailers, making of footage, interviews, fundraising events and more secret DK projects in 2014!!

For now, we are laying our pencils(tablet?) down.

The Dam Keeper “movie” is complete.

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仕事のサイドで作った自主制作短編映画ダムキーパーですが、昨日、無事、完成しました。アニメ映画のアートディレクターであるロバートと僕の二人が、何を血迷って脚本、監督をしたかと言いますと、「自分ができないと思っていた事に挑戦する事で学ぶ」という事をしたかったからです。

自分ができない事をすると言う事は、沢山の壁に当たり前のようにぶつかるということでした。この道でやってきたいつのまにか芽生えていたプライドも捨てなければならなかったし、恥ずかしい思いもいっぱいしました。 そして今までないほどに映画作りというものの、基本を勉強しなければなりませんでした。

だからこそ、そこから生まれた達成感がありました。
自主映画といえ、70人以上をまきこんだプロジェクトになったことで、沢山の出会いも生まれました。

サポートしてくださった多くの人にはやく観てもらいたいのですが、
商業用に作っていない作品の難しいのは、ある程度映画祭を回るまでは簡単に一般公開できないというルールがあります。
日本の映画祭のどれかひとつにひっかかればいいのですが、是非、日本の方にも観てもらえる日が早く来てくれるよう願ってます。

その間、映画の予告編、メーキングオブのドキュメンタリー映像、ファンドレーズのショップ(なにせ自主制作なので、大赤字!ーー笑)など、2014年もダムキーパーの旅は続きますので、皆さん応援よろしくお願いします。

とにかく今は映画製作が一段落しましたので、餅でも焼いて正月を家族とむかえる事だけ考えております。

dice @ 12:29 am
Filed under: Announcements