A-RATE FRIENDS, B-RATE MOVIE POSTER - studiomakishima

I hear a lot about photographers who come home after work and don't even want to look at a camera.  I just don't understand this, if you know me well, regardless if I am working or not, it is not unusual to see me carrying around a pelican case and backpack of lighting gear.  I am obsessed with photography and taking photographs. My friends are used to me bringing my gear even to birthday parties.   

As the birthday party is coming to a close, as well as my mind which is swimming in whiskey thanks to my good friend Eugene who has an peculiar gravity which attracts to his orbit, bottles of whiskey which are never more than an arms reach from where he is.  I am at that  point in my drinking where I am becoming deeply introspective, my eyes rolling back in my head, reciting in garbled English some rhetorical questions asked by my intro to philosophy professor some 20 years back, "who are you?"  "where are you?"

Well, where I am is in a room which by the looks of it is more of an aresenal filled with well around 1000 replica firearms.  I am very familiar with firearms, the real kind, and I am astonished how some of these impotent firearms are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.  I am looking around at my friends in the room: Eugene, Akane, Winton, each person with larger than life personalities.  My ADD mind is wandering off as it normally does though with a bit more singularity in its scope,  "I am seeing a movie poster in the making."  I was born in the 70s and raised in the 80s and was deeply steeped in B rate action movies, especially the sort advertised in small print above the main feature in large bold print at drive-ins or second run movie theaters that cost a buck to get into.

I am not sure if it was a product of me growing up in the suburbs where my only exposure to culture was the shopping mall hedged by me watching PBS on channel 6, but I have a strong appreciation for all things kitsch, especially Japanese showa era kitsch.  Sometimes my taste is so poor though I have to admit I might be a redneck, but that wouldn't be a surprise as I grew up in a working class neighborhood on the poor and often dangerous part of town which both friends and family would joke about me for living in, though when you are a kid, you have no choice.   

Perhaps I am running away from my childhood stigmas, I live half way around the world from where I started in an area of Tokyo often associated to affluence, but it was never a goal for me to be here.  As wrtier and cartoonist Allen Saunders first write and John Lennon sang, " Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans."  I wasn't planning this shoot as with various other shoots with friends.  Though as my friends began to enjoy these shoots more, we began to create themes, plans things out more but still for the most part improvising most shots and just having fun.  

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