Tag Archives: Canon 70D

Memories from Japan enclosed in a new music video for CWNN

11 May

“Would you like to take part in a music video?”- I asked a random couple, Rie and Katchi, on my first day in Tokyo. They had been kind enough to walk me from a bus stop to a pub I was looking for, after I’d asked them for directions. Despite a language barrier, we managed, with a smattering of goodwill (alongside a translating application on my phone!) to arrange details of the shoot. We agreed to rendezvous a few days later at 7pm… at the same bus stop we had first met. At the time, it was the only place I knew I could find again!

I’d been planning to make a music video for CWNN for ages. The concept was very simple. It seemed obvious to me that a band mischievously commenting about being “not so big in Japan” should have their song sung by Japanese people. With no budget, I was entirely reliant on the kindness of strangers. However, despite my extensive search, I couldn’t find any London-based Japanese people willing to perform in front of a camera. So, when I had an opportunity to holiday in Japan, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to upgrade my camera equipment and finally make the video!

By the time I met Rie and Katchi again, I’d acquired a second-hand Canon 70D, a zoom lens and two more performers. The next two and a half weeks was full of adventure, visits to fascinating places and random encounters, which were all captured on the camera. I shot people everywhere I could, from Tokyo to Kyoto, Osaka to Hiroshima, in Mijajima and finally at the smallest and cutest of them all-the fishermen’s village Tomonura, near Fukuyama. The video became a moving photo album; my own souvenir from Japan. I was humbled and remain forever grateful for the generosity of everyone I met. The video is very personal to me but it also, I hope, captures the dreamy sense of this truly beautiful song.

Katchi and Rie on the night when I met them.

Katchi and Rie on the night when I met them.

My lovely cast from the first day of shooting the music video

My lovely cast from the first day of shooting the music video

Koyasan buddhist temple where we spent a night and filmed the monk

Koyasan buddhist temple where we spent a night and filmed the monk

Entrance to the temple and our accommodation in Koyosan

Entrance to the temple and our accommodation in Koyosan

Jizo Statues in Kyoto: Jizo are believed to look after dead children in the afterlife

Jizo Statues in Kyoto: Jizo are believed to look after dead children in the afterlife

Dancing gejko (young gejsha) at the Comb Festival in Kyoto

Dancing gejko (young gejsha) at the Comb Festival in Kyoto

Japanese say

Japanese say “A woman’s hair is her life.” Kushi Matsuri is a festival presenting the best hair styles wore by young girls dressed as Geishas. After the presentation old combs are being buried during an official ceremony

Yui and Manami at the Bamboo Grove, Kyoto

Yui and Manami at the Bamboo Grove, Kyoto

This man helped me so much. He not only showed me around Miyajima but also drove me from the Island back to Hiroshima hostel and from there to my next accommodation at Hazumi sisters'.  Sadly, I lost his email address.. :(

This man helped me so much. He not only showed me around Miyajima but also drove me from the Island back to Hiroshima hostel and from there to my next accommodation at Hazumi sisters’. Sadly, I lost his email address.. 😦

Nazumi and Murakami, who I stayed with on my second night in Hiroshima

Nazumi and Murakami, who I stayed with on my second night in Hiroshima

Beautiful and whimsical Tomonura at 6am

Beautiful and whimsical Tomonura at 6am

My generous Tokyo friends threw a birthday party on the last night of stay in Japan. How sweet is that?

My generous Tokyo friends threw a birthday party on the last night of stay in Japan. How sweet is that?

Ayako and Nachi waving good bye on my way to the airport.

Ayako and Nachi waving good bye on my way to the airport.

Arigato Japan! I hope I’ll be back one day!

A dinner after the first night of shooting CWNN music video. Arigato Japan, I hope I'll be back one day!

A dinner after the first night of shooting CWNN music video. Arigato Japan, I hope I’ll be back one day!

About the band:

East London post-punk electronic balladeers, Cult With No Name, (Erik Stein and Jon Boux) signed to L.A. label, Trakwerx records (founded by Jackson Del Rey of Californian punk legends Savage Republic) in 2007, becoming the label’s first international signing. Legendary UK music critic Mick Mercer made them his discovery of 2007. In between releasing five critically acclaimed albums, Brett Anderson (Suede) invited CWNN to open for him, they collaborated extensively with Kelli Ali (Sneaker Pimps), and BBC 6 and Radio 1 Wales amongst others regularly spun CWNN tracks.

Not So ‘Big in Japan’ is a track from their 6th release, entitled ‘Another Landing‘.

Please check their website: http://cultwithnoname.net and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cwnnofficial