I have had the most amazingly busy week helping a very professional and inspiring Swedish film team do a documentary here in Tokyo. Their emails turned into phone calls and then increasingly - concerns/joyful requests/questions/whatnot.
The team that made The Planet will now go further to talk to some very special people around the world, trying to find out what we all can do to change things.
If you are familiar with Thomas Kuhn/Paradigm Shift-kind-of-thinking, this will sound familiar.
There are moments in history when great changes occur. An old epoch gives way to a new, shifts in ways of thinking or paradigm shifts, as the philosopher Thomas S. Kuhn chose to call it. What is it that drives forth and triggers these changes or sudden shifts in our lives and in our minds?
Yet, somehow, it all boils down to logistics. I found a truly marvellous driver, Mayumi-san, with a Toyota Hiace van big enough for the five of us and tons of gear, including a brand new camera that is good enough to light up your movie theatre. There was a lot I could not help them with, so they had to rent Kino gear from expensive Tokyo firms that I had no idea even existed. Oh well...
Getting permission (許可 をとる, kyoka o toru) for filming in Tokyo is not impossible, if you are shooting a real feature film, like Lost in Translation. Talk to Tokyo Location Box - you had better do it formally through the Tokyo Metropolitan people, who will help you sort things out properly with the police department. But for us, with Mayumi-san kindly watching our backs, setting up the camera on a sturdy tripod on a busy west Shinjuku corner was actually not so bad. We even made some friends with passer-bys who stopped by to admire Anders, our Norrland (far northern Sweden) cameraman and his novelty-yet-to-be-released Red.
Filming in Akihabara was fun, but we failed to get any of the cosplay Licolita girls who are trying to get every otaku in Tokyo to get into carbon offsets to join us. We also failed to go all the way to Uenomura in south-western Gunma, where the mountain roads are not so easy to navigate this time of year, in spite of Mayumi-san's fancy superior (and talkative) Panasonic GPS system!
I loved the evening we spent at an ancient shinto shrine in Chofu. Tonight, we rode the Yurikamome line back and forth to catch the billions (?) of lights of this huge and important city, glowing so bright in the night. Did you know that the Winter Illumination in the Marunouchi district near Tokyo station is all powered by renweable energy and low-energy LED lamps this year? Finally, tomorrow we have a party in Harajuku, courtesy of greenz.jp and Treehouse Network.
The Plan? I hope the team will keep asking the difficult question - what is your plan? How do you intend to change the world? What can you do? What are you doing? What will you do?