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A summer with Christopher Doyle

Still from Happy Together

Happy Together 『ブエノスアイレス』

Last summer, I had the pleasure and honor (and perhaps some stress and headaches) of working with the renowned, infamous cinematographer Christopher Doyle. His work with Wong Kar-wai in the 90s blew my mind (especially Days of Being Wild, Fallen Angels and Happy Together). His immediate impact was evident in the spate of Asian films ever since that have mimicked his iconic style, not to mention the countless number of Doyle-ish submissions I saw while programming for the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. When I was presented with the opportunity to interpret for Chris on two different projects that were being filmed in Japan, I didn’t hesitate to accept. They turned out to be two of the most challenging interpreting jobs of my career, but also the most stimulating.

The two projects couldn’t have been more different. One was an extremely low budget, softcore porn musical, Underwater Love: A Pink Musical (Dir. Shinji Imaoka), that was filmed in just six days with a tiny crew. The other was The Grudge director Takashi Shimizu’s CGI-laden 3D horror film, Tormented (aka Rabbit Horror 3D), with a bigger budget, bigger crew and a three-week-plus shoot.  (more…)