*Disclaimer : This is a LONG post, but it does have lots of pretty pictures*
Yep. 2015 all done bar the throwing up so it’s that time again – my annual roundup. More for me than any laboring under the impression that anyone would really care that much, but always interesting to look back and see what I have achieved this year and maybe get a few pointers on where next year is heading.
One things for sure 2015 will be my last full year living in Japan – Enough is enough. (more on that to come I’m sure).
A large part of my time this year was taken up with a project that I believed in deeply and was incredibly proud of only to have “creative differences” (for that read -‘can’t bear to be in the same room as each other’) throw what looks like a fatal spanner in the works at the final hurdle :(
It was and is one of the biggest disappointments of my career to lose almost 2 years of work.
Because of that some months look a little sparse in this review, however they were in fact so busy that I didn’t have anytime to do anything but work on the ill fated project.
The takeaway is never ever – EVER! work on a long form project with ANYONE without a written contract from the beginning.
I definitely won’t get bitten again.
You live and learn.
Once again to all the friends new and old and new colleagues I made this year, Thank you and best wishes.
And so, as dear old ‘Enry said “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more”…
My dear friend, Eiichi “Scart” Miyamoto took the portrait of me above on expired 8×10 Ektachrome using a lens from 1945. The first documentary I was Director of Photography on “Twende Berlin” became available to view in full on them there interwebs. A piece I worked on with the fantastic Danish journalist Thomas Davidsen about Kyubei Sushi was published in Jyllands Posten. I also built a website for another dear friend Sean Lotman’s amazing design guest house in Kyoto.
The really great site CFYE.com which stands for “Crack For Your Eyes” interviewed me and profiled my work. I was very flattered.
I was deep undercover……
I was playing with time displacement in After Effects, though not in the video below – Sean Bonner always looks like that.
He was in town for the Safecast conference, which was informative and fun, as always met some crazy intelligent people and had a few glasses of wine.
And it was my lovely wife’s birthday…….
Sean Bonner (yep,him again) and I released our collaboration music/art video “DIVISIONS” inspired by the dangerously addictive mobile game Ingress.
I was lugging so much gear around town that I even wrote a blog post explaining what exactly I need to wear a back brace for.
I also managed to fit in a portrait shoot for a corporate client and some additional shooting for my pals over at Postfuel.
It was as it always is…..
Oh and I finally bought a lightsaber to celebrate moving fully to the dark side :)
Had to rush back to the UK in May due to my father having a quad bike accident whilst racing my uncle, resulting in him being unable to walk and having major knee surgery – 80% worried sick, 10% annoyed (quad fucking bike racing? seriously) and 10% impressed (quad bike racing? dude!!).
Earlier in the month before the Dad’s knee trauma one of my oldest friends was in Tokyo with his family and we had a few lovely days in the sun….
Did a portrait shoot for the Asian head of a big worldwide company and D.I.T.’d for my colleague Keiichi Kondo at an event for the fashion brand Saint Laurent with some lovely views over Tokyo…..
It was my birthday, though I stopped talking about those a few years ago (total bullshit, I still lay it on thick for weeks before hand:)…..I did have a nice evening with my lovely wife at one of the few edible Mexican restaurants in Tokyo tho (shout out to Junkadelic in Nakameguro), Pitchers of Margaritas? don’t mind if I do….
Was editing A LOT for various clients :) and on the ill fated documentary :(
Helped to produce a BIG photo shoot for a client from Hong Kong.
Topped off the month by tripping going into my bathroom one morning, landing on the toilet which broke the water pipe, flooding my bathroom and the apartment downstairs :( #FML
July definitely got a bit intense, started good but ended terribly….
Shot the first of 2 concerts this year for JAGMO (Japan Anime and Game Music Orchestra) for my friend Keiichi Kondo.
The awesome cameraman and all round excellent fellow Jonas Schönstein came to visit for a few days, had problems with his visa and ended up staying way longer than planned, so as punishment I took a pic of him eating oppai (tits) ice cream, not much of a punishment I know….
Then suddenly things took a turn for “Oh fuck” worse. My wife collapsed at work and was rushed to hospital with trouble breathing.
A 10 day stay in hospital on an antibiotic drip sorted her out to much relief.
Was a bit of a struggle to not knee cap her boss who sent her a message on day 2 asking when she was coming back to work because she was “letting down the customers” !!!!!!!
*brief interlude while I swear and use unpleasant words thinking of the culture that thinks this is ok behavior for an employer*
Was amazed at the self delusion of some people…..
Bought a new hat as Tokyo was as it is every summer – “hotter than a set of twin babies In a Mercedes Benz with the windows up When the temp goes up to the mid 80’s“
Of course in a civilized country I’d just go swimming when it got that hot, but…….
Went up to Seki in Gifu to shoot the amazing zen monk and calligraphy master Shinzan Roshi with the very lovely Tam Solo….
Finally got my left forearm tattoo finished, the second of my father’s green man designs I now have :)
Had a nice day in Kamakura and took this awful clichéd picture of green tea in a bamboo forest – shoot me now :)
Did an interesting shoot at a laboratory that makes fragrances and flavors for products most people in Japan use everyday….
It was officially the end of summer and time to cross the river…….
Got to eat baked beans on toast for the first time in ages, courtesy of Eric Jason Hall…..
Generally though everyone could just….
Got a shinny second hand new phone from the ever generous Sean Bonner and shot loads of slo-mo with it just because I could.
Did all the product shots for fashion label Strangers new online shop which also features some other look book shots by me ;)……
Did a test shoot for a project for the BBC but it didn’t get picked up :(
Produced a very interesting 360° video shoot for 3spin from Germany, who were lovely and I got to go to loads of places in Tokyo I haven’t been for ages….
Was shooting the Japanese Anime and Game Music Orchestra again, this time in charge of 5 cameramen and about 10 cameras, causing me to start drinking in the intermission to calm my nerves :)
I thought I had a cool shirt…
’till I met this guy
This guy had hands down the coolest Halloween costume…..
And Tokyo couldn’t decide who it belonged too, one things for sure though – I don’t want it, I KNOW where it’s been….
The very interesting site Empty Kingdom interviewed me about my work, super cool questions that really made me think. Even if you don’t want to read an interview with me check out the site because there are some amazing artists featured over there.
Exactly a year ago I was at the Mooneyes custom car/motorbike show in Yokohama shooting for Postfuel and Influx. The first part of a triptych we shot is up now on the influx site. Pretty drool worthy if you like cars.
I was shooting another project with Hiroyuki Nakajima for an upcoming exhibition of his that I’m very excited about.
Managed to escape the megalopolis for a day…..
Did a spot of cross dressing to help my wife with her kimono practice…
And to no-ones real surprise, least of all mine I was…….
Edited some videos for a large international company, one of which involved subtitling Prince Charles in Japanese – that’s a first!
Finally upgraded my trustworthy old Canon 5DmkII to a shiny new Sony A7SII – 4K video here I come! (Now to find the cash for all the extra hard drives I’ll be needing and this iMac seems a little slow….)
The always inspiring Michael Fordham was in town and we had a couple of boozy nights….
Hiroyuki Nakajima the fabulous calligrapher I’ve worked with a few times this year made me a new 宇宙人(Uchujin) logo which will be adorning my online presence as well as my business cards and a T-shirt or two…
Spent a while putting together and end of year review blog post that no-one will get to the end of and working on my 2015 showreel.
And that, as they say, is that.
If you made it all the way to here, Thank you. Hope to see you again in 2016.
Happy New Year!!!