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Talking Images

Episode 35 · 1 year ago

Interview with Adam Torel, Head of Third Window Films

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we sit down with independent Japanese cinema producer and distributor Adam Torel, the Head of Third Window Films, to hear about his upcoming films, his work with Shinya Tsukamoto and Sion Sono, and what it takes to get people to watch independent cinema in Japan. The answer to the latter in particular may both shock and entice you.

You are listening to talking images, the official podcast of ICM Forumcom. Welcome back everyone. I'm Chris and, as always, I'm doing by Saul I am so, from Australia and Tom Hi come from England, and in this episode they have a bit of a treat for you. We're joined by Adam threell, the head of third window films, to talk about their upcoming releases, film distribution and their impact on contemporary Asian cinema, and at the end we'll have a bit of act Qa with questions from her listeners. But before all of that, welcome Adam, so happy to have you here. Thank you for having me. Several of our listeners likely have a few third window films on their shelves already, at least the ones in the UK or, like Saul, in Australia. They may even have some films on their shelves without even realizing. So why don't this start with a bit of a sales pitch? What is third window films and why should people pay attention to your releases? Well, the whole point of third window films actually. I started off distribution, working for taught and films which people of a certain age will certainly remember as being one of the forefront distributors of Asian cinema in the the United Kingdom, but also, I guess, in the world. They moved to distribute an America as well. And you know, they were all about making Asian cinema extreme and they brought so many films that I'm sure you all know about, like audition and battle Royale and always. Yeah, so they I'm sure the entry point of the many people's lives of for Asian cinema at the time. But their whole point was making Asian Cinema extream. It was all like, you know, as much Gore and horror and I think for people in the the UK their idea of Asian cinema was either the extreme side or like could have so our and o zoo and I wanted to show everything in between. So that's how I started third window films about sixteen years ago so, and it was, you know, the points of third window is to show those films that you wouldn't see otherwise. So the films that won't make it onto streaming platforms worldwide, the probably will only go to film festivals. And you know there are a lot of interesting films I mean in Asia and nowadays what I'm focusing on in Japan. But there's so many great films that I think people really are missing out on, and that's the whole point of third window films is to get these films out there. Also really good bitch odd. So we say that your personal taste and interesting film is a large part of what the drives what you decide to relief. Yes, it's only my taste. So if people don't like my taste and then they're not going to out like a window films, to be honest. But I've got a quite a very taste. But I always like films that are unique and interesting and original. So, you know, I I try to find films that are, you know, a bit off the off the beat and track, and directors like Shon Sono or seniors to Comoto, and also like to focus on so quite young and upcoming directors. But yes, it's my tastes. You know, third window films is just a one man company. It's just me being running it for this long. So anything I do and I do it for myself and I'm not I don't try to, you know, release films just for the sake of I don't know making money or I'm not a business in that way. So it's I'm not very business like, unfortunate. I wouldn't release some of the films that I have. To be honest, that's great show them. So would you ever consider releasing a film that you didn't particularly like but you felt that there was big viability for fair whender films, you know, in order to you know, just releasing tiny Japanese independent films by themselves? Yes, the third window films will never become more recognizable. So there have been times that I've released films that, no, I do love, but the basically, for example, you know, I want to release films that haven't that will not get released and that and I want to make it sure that these, for example, maybe some some amazing small films have a chance to get out there. And if, if it wasn't for me or a company like mine, they wouldn't. I find that to be a bit sad for the directors and the people who have involved in making the films put in in order to do that. For example, like you know, Takashi Gaetano is is some one of my favorite directors without a doubt, and fireworks is one of my favorite films of all time. But I didn't actually really want to release those Takashi Catano films that I did release some, but I release them because everybody wants to see those films. Everybody wanted to see us from some BLU ray which at the time they're not being released, and obviously that would help me able to release some of the smaller titles on the back of that. You know, it's, I do love you, done without a doubt, but I didn't feel the need to release those films because there's somebody was go going to lease them anyway. If it...

...wasn't me, every someone else, and I fifteen lots a bit of pointless to be honest. You know, I always feel like I also DJ and I'm a record collector and I think you know, when you're Djing, you can't just pay like songs that no one has ever heard of your whole set like. You sometimes need to throw in a bit more of a wellknown track so that people come on the dance and then you can play him a minor track afterwards once they're already there, and then they'll they'll be more open to listen to that. So you know, I've worked on films like Takashi Kutano, films that allow me to get those like minor films in immediately after. I see that's an excellent analogy about the DJ. I love that, Adam, and I appreciate obviously that you need to push for some of the the large releases and it allows you to shine a light on some of the stuff that would perhaps go on hed ever undiscovered, and that's great because we are talking images all love and learning about films that it's gone under the radar. Usually put my most obscure films immediately after a major title release. That's usually how I schedule things. Balance like a big one and a small one. It's otherwise of a but too many small ones. People just you know, people have very short attention spans nowadays, so you really need to balance things out. But at the same time, it's not like I'm going to release some you know, major studio film just for the sake of it. I mean, I still need to like the films and that's why, for example, like Takashi Kitano, I still love those films. I just you know, I thought that it was a bit pointless to release them to be honest cerainly, and I could understand me the passion there, because I think if I was responsible for it distribution completely, like yourself, I'd want to make sure that, you know, everything reflects my taste and I suppose that we change the integrity of what you're doing. Is that right? Yeah, I guess you know the whole point I mean, and I did sort of learn this, you know, when I was working in a company like Tartana and before that when I was a fan of films. You know, I we're all. I mean it depends on how old you are, on what generation you are in terms of being a film collector, but they're all, whether it be music or film, their labels that you're drawn to because of the films that they release, obviously, and obvious example would be criterion or you know, nowadays you've got companies like Arrow, and it's the same in the in the music industry where, you know, it was a little different back in the past because there wasn't so much information about films written on the Internet and obviously there was time service before the Internet and Vhs, which is it's a bit of my time, but I'm you know, you would buy the next film by that label because you trusted what that lady will be. It was bringing to you and you'd buy it because it was the next criterion film. Whether you knew what the extra film was, you are buying in a hundred and twenty four is. It also an example of that nowadays. But you know, it was important also with with third window films, that like, even if you didn't know the title, which you obviously probably wouldn't, because it was a very small Japanese minor title, that you got into what the type of films that I was I was releasing as third window films, and that's why the reason actually I did this is because of Tartan films, because Tartan obviously got us all of a certain age into Asian cinema with films like Battle Royale and audition, but as they kept on saturating the market with just crap longhaired ghost films, story Derivative Horror Films from Asia, you would and we were buying all these titles that at the time, obviously they were expenses as well, I mean, and they were bare bones disc depend like twenty pounds for a dvd with it that had very poor quality image and just a trailer as an extra and you every time you'd fork out twenty quid and the films will just get worse and worse than you thought. You know, I don't want to trust this company anymore. I think that's one of one of a million reasons why Tartan went under. But it's very important to me that people buy into the brand and and will take a chance on film. So they don't know. I think that's a very interesting point about brand Ross, because definitely things like the criterering collection and when they're releasing my at Michael Bay films like the Rock and criterion, it does sort of make think was a really such a great brand? Is it? Just because it gets a criterion release? Isn't necessarily a good film? Like all like wiz Anderson films like automatically come out and criterion, regardless of Howell received they are. I think when it comes down through it, the difference between criterion and me is that because I'm a one man company, I can continue to do these things, but criterion and obviously now our or because our have been taken over by the hut, which is one of the biggest companies out there. You know, they end up being corporate, whether or not they try, their staff are anti corporate or day they try not to eat, they do end up becoming corporate because they need to pay all the staff that are getting that they need. I mean, he's the bigger the company gets, the more stuff they need, the more stuff they have, the more money they need to do so, therefore they release the rock and Armageddon. So you know, yeah, that that's the difference. You know, when you give any become a corporation or a big company, you need to do these things. And because I do so much in house, I've never wanted to. I mean, you can't say sell out, but I've never wanted to become bigger.

It would just become it would I gui'd lose any passion that I that I had left, which is which is vaporate. Yeah, I totally agree with that because, yeah, a third window name does seem to be really good in that regard and, like you say, with like criterion, the just trying to like meet the our demands of the market and therefore the releasing anything else going to be popular. I did a question, though. Could you did talk about that? With like a lot of films you're releasing like wide and known films, which lets you then release lesser known films. So I'm thinking particularly with sucermoter and they tets, who are films because they are of course available, and other labels. Compared to some of he is rarer stuff which it can only really get on third window. I was just wondering how the sales of, like Supermoto is better known films go compared to his lesser than films, given the lesson no films can only come from you really, whereas the better known films can be bought from other brands. Well, the thing about the Sucomoto titles and one of the abilities that I have been based in Japan and being able to give me. I mean actually Ted Sou I released on Blu Ray ten years ago, but I think people are only finding out about it being on Blu Ray through arrows release of last year. So I'm you know, obviously they are bigger company, but I'm you know, those Tucomotor titles. Obviously they're very big and they were their big sellers for me, all of them for the most part, but yes, mainly that the major ones like Ted Suo and talk to your fist and bullet ballet, but whether or not they were on other formats. I think they were only available on Blu ray for a long time and many years only only through me, and that did give me an advantage. But then in yes, if you're looking at is his sort of less popular titles, if you were to say, like cotta goal, they haven't been in fact, Couta Ga, I never even recoup the money it cost to buy the film in the first place. So, you know, when it got does come down to it, I think people everywhere just want to watch films that they know about ahead of time, and that's the the the classic to Comote of films like Ted. Sure, though, in fairness, I think CORTACO is, without it that one of his best films and is really quite criminally underseen, considering he such a wellknown director and people love him so much. So maybe that's changed a little within the last year or two because of our or putting it out in the in the US, but I'm you know, for so many years, I would I the only release of it in the world outside of Japan's, and it didn't sell in that's such a shame because you I've really, really, really got into Cucamoto this year, like I saw highs last year, which is a fantastic you know closed, you know room, you know what we're in. Earth is he type of thriller. But I've really really got into like beyond Ted Suo this year and this one would lot great stuff, like even that Goblin film. Corent the exact hile of it, but that's just such an amazing creative imagine of film and you never gets talk about as much as it's other films. Do you walk to Gobblin just hasn't been more widely available. One of the reasons why a lot of companies some in the world don't distribute so many Japanese films is because Japanese studios are very hard to work with. They're really a pain to work with. And those other titles from from Sucermota, other than Heroco, the Goblin and and, to a part, Gemini, all the Copyright of those films are owned by Supermoto, so they were very easy to remaster, very easy to get out there, and that's probably one of the reasons why those films are more seen than something like hero could the Goblin, which was handled by a studio for a very long time and and just this year that studios relinquished the rights. So now, from this year it will be released by myself and a lot of other companies worldwide and therefore now will start getting talked about a lot more. But all in all, I think supermoto is without a doubt the best contemporary film director from Japan because of his consistency. If you he's does, he's never really made a bad film. I mean unless you think teds who or three is not that great, which it's not that great. But he's made since one thousand nine hundred and eighty five, or so, you know if you've or did with dn'tchukozo or eighty six. Well, mid to late s to now, he's made what fifteen films or so, and they're all, you know, a seven or above in terms of their quality and they're all nineteen minutes or very easy to watch. They will look great, they all stand the test of time. They're all unique because you know, he's a fantastic, unique director. And then many the Japanese directors out there, like she on son over one, who have that sort of unique originality to them. But they're consistency in some of the filmmaking is all over the place. I mean she on son knows made a lot more films and Supermoto, and yet he's made a lot less good films and Supermoto. So and I think cucamot was just really he's an amazing, amazing, amazing he's a director, he's a fantastic person, he's got so much passion to him. He's a great actor on top of it. You know, he's really one of the...

...people that I respect the most in the whole entire Japanese film industry. And it's interesting comparison between Circumoto and Schian Sonno, because they both tend to really extreme, really interesting, really out their films. I haven't seen, I guess, a lot of Sono films. By comparison, are probably only seen seven or eight because he's just done so many of them. The ones that I have seen have been a fairly high consistency of quality, but I guess if I saw more of them beyond the ones that have been promoted and maybe my opinion of that would change. But you know, just stuff like tag is just like an amazing, mind blowing film to me. But yeah, getting back to Circumodo, I'd probably agree with quality, even though there some like vival, which I didn't really get into too much, or, I guess, the Third Tetsuo Film. I'd say, yeah, none of them really bad as such, being the worst ones for me maybe be a little bit mediocre. It is interesting about the third tetsuo because I don't know about other countries, but in Australia it's hasn't been whilely available and I couldn't actually stream it through your website, so I have to stream it through spam flex, which is a Portuguese streaming service. So I don't know if you've had any issues with availability or whether that's one selling a bit better because it's less wide. They released worldwide the third Ted so I didn't take on the rights to it because I don't really like it that much. And also the reason why the third Ted sue is not as readily available worldwide is because it's a film that's handled by a foreign sales company. Are Going back to my points about sales agencies. That's the reason why a lot of films are seen or not is who owns the right and who's selling it, and they're many examples of Japanese films like that that are handled by foreign sales agents, as in sales agents of films that are not based in Japan, and therefore they could be more expensive and they can be a little harder to work with as well. Another example, for example Shian sons, why don't you play in hell, is handled by a big French sales agency who ask for a lot of money because of the company they are. So you know, a lot of people always say, why don't you put this film out or why don't you put that film out? But it's not as easy as that, to be honest. Is a lot of messy you have to deal with and you know, I think the reason that the great thing about Supermoto is with the majority of his titles, obviously not tedsue or three, but with with a majority of touts, he owns the rights and therefore it's very easy to distribute them. Yeah, I've got I've got one more question. Really want to if but I don't know if there's a good point to lead into or not. But just with the distribution, you know, obviously and based in Australia, and the titles that are available stream any web so I mean it's awesome whatever. Like whenever I search for a filming. You know Google that comes up with a viewing o link. I go awesome, like a streams one line, but then it says, well know, you go extremely if you in the UK or islands. So I don't know this is the right place to ask in the PODCAST, but I am sort of interested in the issues that are going on with that because obviously I've got an extensive kind of I'll be having to rent most of the films that are available from him, but the option isn't really there if you are outside the UK or island. Yeah, this is also another, another point where I think a lot of a lot of people around the world, especially on forums and film fans, are saying why, why is this disc region lock the why is this film only available to stream in this country or not? And that's the whole point of distribution, especially for smaller films or independence companies distribution, so not studios like Warner Brothers. So I'll also talk about this because I'm I produce films and before I started producing films, working just as a distribute I was also saying, why can't I release this film, you know, all region because then more people can see it? But when I'm looking at it from the point of a producer, if you make a film, it cost a lot of money to make a film and you need to obviously try to make that money back, which means you need to sell it to as many territories as possible. If you sell it to one country, they will buy the the rights to that film the at the cost in comparison to sort of the size of the country and how much films usually sell there, and you know how many people are in their country and what sort of country it is in terms of film loving fans and this and that and the economy and all that. So if I would to sell a film to to England and they would pay only a small amount, which would be the amount that an English company would pay for film, and they were to release that disc make it available unlocked and available to the world and then available on their website to stream worldwide, then I, as a producer or if I were a sales agent of a film, would have only made a tiny bit of money and then that film would be available worldwide and I wouldn't be able to sell it anywhere else. It's the same with with film festivals and like. If you were to have nowadays in the online film festivals because of the pandemic. If a film played in a film festival, those online and open to the world, then that film wouldn't be able to go to any other film festivals because it's crucivity is gone. As a distributor, when I'm buying rights from a Japanese company, I can...

...only buy rights for the territory that I work in, which is the England. Is. I'm a UK based company and third window films is UK based. So if I were to buy worldwide rights it would cost a lot of money up front, money that I wouldn't be able to recoup. So I can only buy my territory. Shouldn't requires it to be locked for that region, which is, you know, be or for Blu Ray and to for DVD. So that's the reason why many people in overcut and other countries can't see the disks and why I always say just buy an origion blue a player because they're not bad expensive and you know, if you really want to see all these different films that I'm going to be releasing your country, then you know spend like fifty quid or fifty dollars to, I the buy a BLU ray player that can easily be hacked to a remote control or buy a Norwegian player and therefore you can watch anything you like, or you can all use a VPN or something. I mean, you know, obviously I shouldn't be saying these things, but you know, it's not that hard to legally if you want to see a film from my site or buy a BLU ray. You know, it's not that hard to get around it in a sort of semi legal way. You heard it here. Used the DPM or Hack Your Blue Ray. It's it's you know, when I was an I obviously first started off in buying video tapes because of VHS. It was obviously before DVD, and that was the only way to see a film was to watch a third generation video tape, especially for Asian films that want that accessible at the time. And I was living in America and there was a company called video search of Miami and they would send you these massive like handwritten catalogs or typewriter catalogs, which is film titles on it, and you would choose the titles are sounded the most interesting and then mail them your money in the post and they would send you some like dodgy vhs tapes because it was the only way to see films and they looked awful and did most of them didn't have subtitles, but that's that's all you could see. And then, you know, things change with VCDs and then DVDs and you know, at the time, still living in America, I just bought a DVD player off Amazon that I could crack with a remote control press three numbers and therefore I could watch all the films that I wanted to see around the world and buy them from, yes, Asia to get Asian films or, you know, different other places, Benson's world in England, if anybody remembers that. But you know, if you if you really want to see films, you know it doesn't it's not that hard to get on a region play or user VPN and watch them. I mean it's still supporting films in general and and it's not like you're having to result of piracy. So I think there are ways around it that. I'm that expensive. You know. Sure, yes, thanks for the responsor I do. I do have a region aim, a region B players, so that's not the issue for me. The issue, who me, is probably just the important time and importing it from overseas and the time it takes to drive me and I don't remember. Haven't really added much to my physical luroy collection of the past few years. We mainly excuming. But what you've said there does sort of make sense. If the producers don't want to sell the rights to more than one company or only going to Sart of fun expensive amount, then I really need a contact. I guess the film produces themselves at one an Australian release rather than, you know, trying to lobby your company to have have it available here. Yeah, I think buying Australian rights, you know, probably wouldn't be that much more expensive, but I don't really obviously I'm not set up in Australia to have a sort of logistical set up and to sell things as easily over there and you know, I don't think it would really increase the sales of to a point where I could cover the cost that I would be asked for in Rod to go Australian rights. To be honest, you have bigger companies like our and or, if you're looking at studios like Warner brothers and all that, that are worldwide rights on films they buy English Language Territories and therefore they can get them out of this country or not. But unfortunately I don't have those resources, being just one person on my computer, so it's unfortunately I can't help. But you know, I think VPN's are a great piece of technology if you want to stream something from I'm not going to root try. I'm not going to say too much about it because I maybe I'll get in trouble, but it's a it's a useful tool. Definitely useful to let him and I'd also say that I love that you went through the kind of same history with getting into films as perhaps I did with their mail order and just taking a punt on films where you're not really sure what they're about. Put the sound interesting and I can remember when I used to browse the aisles in HMV and one of the first tart in age extreme films that picked up was Tetsuo the iron man, and it was based just purely on the cover artwork and the description on the box. I'd heard nothing about that and the film whatsoever and it just blew me away. It was brilliant and I often wonder if some of that magic...

...is lost today because a lot of films are just readily available for streaming across the world, you know. But I'd like to see more about gun. So if you had some into I really I really wish so more people that are the same mindset. I think that it's too easy nowadays took just click on a button and learn about any film and and watch a film. And I think people don't even give films attention anymore because they could just click on another button and watch a film for free. And I think people of a certain generation. I mean, I'm not even that old, but I just was from that from that generation. I don't start saying like, you know, like think of the good old days or something like that, but I'm yeah, you know, as somebody who who works in distribution, does this for a living, you know I really don't like working nowadays because it's is no fun in it. You know this. This the audiences complain. I don't create myself too much, but I think people, you know, used to just be like watching a film was great, and now it has to be like K or new HD or has to be it's this quality and it has to have be in this box or it has to, you know, be available here and there. And you know from my time. Yes, you you'd have to. There was no way you could find out about a film. I would have these massive encsyclopedia books and you just have to like browse, zoom and if you, if you didn't, all the film and then all this film, and and then that was only obviously from major films as well. So when you're dealing with Asian cinema, the time it was. Yes, it was just like buying it because the title sound is good or the pope that the artwork look good and and films are a lot more expensive to buy back in those days as well. You know, it's not like nowadays you can get like a BLU ray for like five pounds or something like that. You know, then it was like, you know, in the DVD time it was definitely twenty and twenty pounds for a DVD with with poor quality and no extras. And before then it was even harder and more expensive with with the VHS tapes as well, and even worse quality. But it was about it was that that time and effort that used to put into discovering something and you felt sort of connected. I mean it's also similar with with other things like record collecting or if you collect the mango or something like that, that the time and effort you put in to finding something or discovering something you didn't know about, and then you know maybe crapper, maybe good, but that that that time has gone into it, that you feel a sort of connection to to what you're you're watching and it. You know, I think that's gone nowadays in this Netflix. I really sound like an old man, which I'm told, but you know, it's really that that magic of is gone and people, you know, it's really hard to look at message boards and look at forums nowadays when people are complaining about one thing for another. But it's just disappointing, to be honest. You know, it's all about in my way, it's all about watching films, and it's for one of the reasons why I moved to Japan, because in Japan there still is that old fashioned structure of having hold backs and go into the cinema and and not being available to rent on DVD for for six months after, and then it would be on rental first and then buy afterwards and then no video on demand and all that. And if you wanted to see if you have to go watch in the cinema. So I think Japan is one of those few places left in the world which it isn't about the format, it's about the film. So it's why I enjoy living, to be honest. Yeah, that does sound great, and it's all about that mystery of not no matter what you're about to watch, whether it's going to be any good or not. And that's why I love going to film festivals where you've just got a slater brand new films and some of them premieres and you have new idea, new preconception if every going to be any good or not, and I love that sense of discovery and espose. So when you first got into cinema, it was that sense of discovery that that you loved and did that. was that one of the main reasons that saw you take their career path that you did? Yeah, for sure, because, like I said, I lived in an American I lived in a bit of a nowhere of America and in Florida when I was a teenager, and there was a luckily, in independent cinema there and an independent video store and and that video store actually I don't know why. It was in this note small town in Florida, but it was probably one of the best video stores here in the world. They had about fortyzero films and I ended up working there for many years. But, you know, being in places like that, the whole concept of distribution is really something that made me want to to do it because, you know, films are not like like nowadays, when you have any film available that touched the bottom worldwide or available in some way or form. It was all about distributors that would find these films and bring them to your local cinemas and then put them out in physical formats, whether it be vhs or DVD, but that was the way that your connection to watching these films because it wasn't...

...available otherwise. And I lived in this small town where there was this independent cinema and I saw when I was about twelve years old, I saw like a Ringo lamp film in I think it was a city of fire or prison or fire, one of the two sword in the local cinema that had a local film festival, and that got me into Asian cinema. I was into to our art house and foreign, my general time, foreign cinema at the time and that madness of Ringo lamb and Hong Kong cinema in the in the late s and early s was really something that the blew my mind because if you'd been watching, even if you're a big film fan of the time, watching that heroic bloodshed of of you know, John Woung Lamb and Choi Hark, was something so new. I mean obviously it's unique and its original because it's a completely different culture. You know, Asia was so different and so less accessible, I mean especially places like Japan. I mean during the time it's seemed so much further away from where we were in Europe or America, and watching those sort of films, like you could never imagine a film like that getting made in in America or in Europe. And then, as things progressed with Hong Kong and Korean cinema, you saw films and then you come on to like, you know, the battle royals and all that sort of stuff, but these films that were so over the top and so unique and it made me really, really love Asian Cinema. That that whole time, I mean, but at the time time with the only way I could see those films was like Tye saying VHS has and then obviously Tartan came in and made it a little more accessible to when DVD's came in and I thought, you know, distribution is something that the you know, is something's something that's just necessary to get these films out there. I had studied film production and television production in university and but I didn't want to make more films because there's so many films out there that are not getting seen. So I thought getting into distribution would be the perfect way to help films, especially Asian films that one making it over to the West, get out there. So that's yeah, that's really how I got into it. Now it's excellent. I don't what was the first project that you really got involved with in terms of distribution. So when I when I got into Tartan, I was still I moved back to England and I'd love Tartan because I as a fan and I knew somebody who who was a producer in England that he introduced me to the boss of Tartan and I started working as an intern there and I think like all companies that you look at from the outside. I mean I'm sure maybe even these companies like criteri and maybe an example. When you're a DVD collector or film Fan, you look at it, you think it's amazing and when you go in, you work for these companies, I could end up being cletely opposite, like the end up being quite corporate words and you ent and a lot of the people that work there in fact don't really like me. Also, they don't really watch films or it's just what do you expect? I mean, like, I think if you had offices of people that were like real film dogs, you know, the companies of who I just go under, because they'd be like buying these films they all loved and nobody would really the audience wouldn't get into it and therefore the company wouldn't wouldn't make any money. So I expect it. Before I moved it came in the task and that everybody would be like me. They're and the only person who's like me there. Was it another inter but that you obviously stay afloat. Don't even staying afloat for a very long time. So how do you manage to do it? I managed to stay for because it's just me. Like I said, you know, if you the more people you have working, the more money that it cost to run a company. You know, the size of the offices and the rent and the electricity bills and people's salaries, like you need to do things that you you wouldn't want to do otherwise to pay all those people. So literally, I've I've never had an office, I've never had any staff. You know, initially, when I first got into it, obviously I there was a lot of things I didn't know how to do, for example, you know, subtitling or post a designer or or editing or a lot of these things that I didn't know how to do. And over the years, so I would I would initially outsource them, like post a design or any of this sort of things, like marketing, press, that what else, ors and to people, and obviously that cost money. So I just thought like outsource things once and then I'll learn what they've done and then I'll incorporate those things so I can do it myself. So if I outs those to a press company, I would just D who reviewed all the films and then try to get in contact with them and make make connections with them so that I could go to directly to them next time. Or if I outsourced, they post a design, I would see how they I...

...would ask to lay it out artwork and I would see how. I would learn how to use a photoshop on all these things by looking at reading books and then learn how to design myself. Or if it was subtitling, I would outsource for a company and then afterwards I would sort of take I would break down what they've done and then learn teach myself how to do it. So I've spent all these years learning how to do things myself so I don't need to out spend the money to somebody else to do it. So it's become a yes to all myself. And if my computer broke, I don't know why I do, to be honest, because everything is either in my computer or in my head and if I were to get ill then I'd be in trouble. So I have to work nonstop and hope that I don't get ill. This is to be clear. You do absolutely everything yourself. When we go to your website, all the poster are, if you all of the advertising for it is you do incredible. Some of the the illustrated posters I can't illustrate yet. I need to learn. So I do outso somebody illustrated posters, but if you're looking at them, you know the layouts of posters. I mean most of the time it's mostly just the the Japanese posters that have been altered in one way another. So I do that or and then said the layouts out and and yes, obviously do all the facebook and twitter and website and any mails or anything comes in it. So it's just to me and then you know if it in terms of the now the DVD bonus features, I intil all the interviews is see on the discs are unless that they were initially done when the film was made by the Japanese company. They're all done by me, usually in my house. The audio commentaries, I'll go to the director with my with my computer and we record the auditor according to commentaries, and then I'll subtitle and myself and I add a lot of basic editing as well, as much as I can. I do it myself. I'm but then when it comes to, for example, getting my titles onto Amazon for so that they can be sold, that's where I need a company like our films who can actually work as a middleman to get my titles on to Amazon. When I was based in the UK, would post stuff out myself. I which go to the post office every day and post stuff out, but because I'm also producing and doing lots of other things in Japan, I need a company like our films to actually handle the the physical distribution of my titles to Amazon. So that's the only thing I sort of don't do myself on the speaking of physical distribution, I'm just curious because I've never been on the inside of this. So, in terms of like getting your films out on Blue I, do you like make one master of it and then send it to a factory that produces the BLU ray and the plastic for everything? Yes, and obviously that's another reason why I need a company like our films, because if I were to go to Sony and say, like, can you press up like one thousand copies of this Bluray, would cost a fortune. And there are ways nowadays that even, I think Amazon and some of these companies do that, like sort of very small scale distribution. Like if you want to put out a CD or a book or something, you can go direct to these companies, but it cost a fortune because you're only making limited runs. So for many years it's now our used to be metrodome and he used to be World Cinema Company called Word Cinema, who are now owned by cousin. I needed to get my titles handled by a larger company. Who Were you? Usually making like tens of thousands of discs to Sony so that I can get there for a vastly negotiated rates, and therefore I ask Arrow to place an order with Sony to to print up a thousand discs over tight of it, over a master that I've just sent over, and then Sony send those discs onto a warehouse which Arrow then handle the the sort of back and forth between that warehouse like you know it as an independent distributed it would be impossible for me to do these things myself. Would it would just make the cost per discs so high that I would need to put the the sales prices up a lot and therefore nobody would probably buy them, to be honest. So I do need these sort of figure companies like Arrow to act as those middlemen. Arrow. That's been coming up soral times in the Silver Sists so far. Well, is your working relationship with them, especially coalty doing how they seem to be releasing many of the same films as you in different markets. For the years I've been switching through these these middlemen, distributors. I mean there aren't as many as they used to be and because obviously distribution is dropped, dying up and physical distribution is dying there aren't that many of these companies out there in the initially it was a company called Metrodome, who are a distributor on themselves, and that company, Metrodome, ended up going going bankrupt years ago, but they would handle they would have a mind and over the years yet to change. And a few years ago I went to Arrow because they are quite similar company in the fact that there are Boutique label that work on sort of more out there films and they...

...had a very solid fan base. So I thought it would be a very good company to work with. But they're not. We're not officially connected, like they don't finance my films and we don't work together in any films. In fact, when they release at Ted two or films, despite the fact that I was a person who resinally remastered all of them with Supermoto, I didn't know that they were going to release them to they were released. People think that, you know, we're connected in that way and I thought that they at least, you know, ask me or say we want to release the films in in the US, but I didn't know it about it until them, until they release them themselves. So there's no actual connection to us other than the fact that they are a middleman between me and Amazon and they allow me to sell my titles through their their website, which, obviously, considering their huge reach, is a very good thing for me. But at the same time they are a big corporation now owned by the hut which, if you don't know about them, they own Zavvi and also they were supposed to be the sponsors for Manchester United Football Club this year. So they're very, very big company and because of that they do charge me an awful lot, to be honest. So it's not that it's not as Nice as as I wish it was, to be honest, and actually used to be nicer, but ever since they got taken over they've really up their prices. I'd love to know a bit more, Adam, about how you picked your films. I mean, do you seek at films, at Film Festivals. Do you have companies that contact you directly? We got a new releases. So what kind of avenues do you have to take to and acquiring new films for you label? Well, initially, yes, I would go to a lot of film festivals and in a maze, a lot of the big film festivals, I can you have the film festival where they just screen the films and you have these things called markets where there are loads of big auditoriums and there's loads of film companies selling their films to buyers like myself. And in those places you'd see all the obviously every all the companies, including all the Asian companies, and they'd have their boots and then they'd be trying to sell titles that weren't released yet or their catalog titles. And in those places you'd go to these people and the sales agents and they would say we've got this new title that we think probably suit you and then they'd give me a DVD to watch it and if I liked it, then obviously I'd asked them about acquiring it. So that was one one way of finding out about a lot of films before anyone else. And Film festivals over see another way, because the audience reaction can be a big part of of also buying a film. It's not just that I like the film, but lots of people seem to like it and therefore it's probably a good film worth acquiring. But when you're dealing with all these middle men like sales agents, you know obviously the prices. These things get more and more expensive. So over the years I've started to work closer with directors and producers so that I can get in at the very beginning. One titles that are still I could acquire for either very cheap or I could take four for three in exchange for, for example, handling worldwide film festivals. So my job is sort of change not just from from distribution but also to international sales myself or be also getting into production. So, for example, films like one cut of the dead was a film that I had got in at the very beginning and took the worldwide rights and then distributed in England myself and then sold the rights to to other countries lying companies like shudder as well. And also, obviously, I brought that film to film festivals worldwide. So yeah, that's one way of getting in early but I think, being said, based in Japan nowadays allows me to see films at a very early age, especially for independent films that probably wouldn't even go to film festivals. You know, I think people really with ate with with Japanese films in particular. They only seeing a very small amount of Japanese films that are getting out there compared to the amount of films that are actually made him release. Each year it's over six hundred films that are getting released it and, to be honest, most of them are awful. But what I would do is I would, speaking, being able to speak Japanese, I would go to the cinema in Tokyo five times a week and see everything that I could, and it's awful because they're really shit a lot of the time. But my custom here thinks us so. So, yeah, the very theory that's really really shit a lot of these films. But you know, one in a million films you you're able to grab a either see potential and the director like Shinizo DA, the director of one kind of the dead, who I saw his short films that are small screening here and therefore followed him to be able to get one of the color of the dead early or you you see a very good independent film and you can get in there before anyone else and therefore gives you exclusivity and makes it very cheap to buy. But I'm watch, yeah, a lot of, a lot of films, and I...

...also, as I work as a film festival program as well, I watch the studio film so I'm connected to a lot of the Japanese production companies that. So, yeah, you have to really it's a lot of work to try to find anything good because, yeah, the most are awful. But, as you know, back in the day's used to be a lot different because when I was really doing my best in terms of releasing was probably around two thousand and ten eleven, and there were a lot of really, really good Japanese films at the time, and nowadays they just they're just none, and that is it is really hard because, you know, I want to release films, but there's just no films to release. So in that case I need to go and maybe focus more on catalog titles, all the films that haven't been released before or haven't made it to blu ray or something. So it's personally, I'd love to release some more small Japanese quirky comedies like I used to, but they're just none around. Why do you think that this? Yeah, like, I mean, I don't know, I don't know. I mean I think, you know, Japanese cinema has been dying for a long time. You know, the Japanese film system is really crap. They have this thing called a film committee system, and the way the Japanese films are made is that, I mean this has been going on for quite a long time, you know, but Japanese films, even independent films, are made in a way that, like, in order not to put risk onto one companies, so that in case the film bombs, that one company goes down, they have lots of small companies make a film together. But the problem is is that all those companies are basically not film related. I mean they're like Music Company, a Publishing Company and a film a Model Agency and a musician agency, and they put it, put all these companies together and make a think called a film committee, and that Film Committee makes a film, but it because they're all these people involved with it. They all are there for a reason. So they want their new song to be in that film or they want their Manga to be adapted to adapted or they want some tie up by putting their new model or new idol into the film, and it's sort of very old fashioned, like American type system. And the problem with Japanese is that, if you know anything about Japanese salary man culture, it's quite robotic and you have all the these suits that can't decide themselves. It's a very Japanese don't like to take on responsibility. So you have all these different companies, all these different salary men for each company in meetings, but nobody can make a decision at all and anything, even if you want to change the color of something, every single salary man has to go back to the company and then ask the person above them, who asked the person above them and then above them and then comes down and down and down in back these meetings. And here's like three weeks to change, change, change a color of our website or something. So the creativity obviously gets gets it gets lost in that way and you know it can be very, yeah, very hard to make anything decent. Also, I think you know Japan is too, if you've lived in Japan, if you've been to Japan, it's it's have you guys all been here for a lot, a long bit of time? Never been to Japan? Sadly, I'd love to you, but I haven't had the opportunity yet. No, I've never been chip and let me neither. So we're all out of look a bit. Japan is a very clean, very organized. It's fantastic to live. It's a really great but it's, you know, it's too clean and and and too nice and too you know, there's no stress. I mean the stress of like the robotic life of going to work long, long hours. It's very tough to live in work in Japan because of the long hours you have to work and the company structure. But this there's no there's no troubles. It's it's like, well, you can have like a five year old, you see. I mean when I first came to Japan, coming from from London, and and you know, London is a pretty decent place to live and in. Yet you wouldn't have like a five year old going to school by himself on the train. I mean it's even ten year olds, I mean taking the night bust homes, something you'd be pretty scared but in Japan, like even in Tokyo, like just kids like five years older like go to school themselves on the train. I mean it's insane. So you know this. It's such a safe place that you know it's I think it's a bit boring, to be honest, in terms of you know, I think the reason why we're seeing a lot of good cinema from from, for example, Korea, is because Korea has so much. You know, it was a military dictatorship until the late S L s. So you know, within a generation you had, you know, this this list, this life of like no democracy, and then you have this constant threat of war with North Korea and then, at the same time, this heavy influx of of American pop...

...culture and all these young kids today and the next generation is completely opposite. And you know, there's this so much that breeds creativity there, and in Japan they don't have that. So I think Japanese cinema just is showing that there's there's not much going on in life. I mean, if you watch any Japanese dramas, they like some guy broke up with his girlfriend or something, and then it's like really depressed and and like that's about it. I mean, for the majority of Japanese dramas. They've got no stress points. But then if you look at them Japanese cinema of the S, like a Sogo Ishi Films, a senior Tu Comoto, Sonoshi on, all those people came from a time in Japan that was like pretty crazy, like in the in the early S, there was like drug culture and there was like there was like a Yankee. It's the sort of like gang cultures, lots of fights, lots of good music, lots of craziness like that breeds goods creativity, which which, through filmmakers, breeds interesting films. And really there's the young kids in Japan and nowadays are very apathetic. They don't have that Punko or passion. There's no passion, I think, in the younger kids nowadays and coupled with this sort of film committee system of like suits making films, I mean it's like a double bad like you know. So yeah, I think that's why you know what you guys are and myself. We're talking about SUPERMOTA, Shinia and and son of Shem but like they like, you know, fifties and sixty year old people. I mean there's no young people nowadays in Japan, unfortunately, compared to you know, Korea or other places in Asia. Yeah, it's kind of interesting because when you think about contemporary Japanese films, usually think of anime films and the studio Ghibli ones, the ones that come afterwards, things like a whisker away, but of course that's not really the hard hitting, you know, really out their dramas. That's, you know, more fantasy. That seems to be, at least for a lot of you know, Japanese filmmaking gets concentrated these days on the fantasy rather on the are down to Earth, that grilliness or something like it. So well, I mean Ted's it was fantasye them in this cultitude don't do it. Well, they're down to Earth, as in like more like every day type of thing. I know it's quite fantastic with all the metal things, whatever happens to him, but you know, it's an every man's tail or whatever. It's not. It's not Um, you know. You know, animals can talk and whatever, like leaping through time, whatever. You can like all the anime films that come out root, that come out in the recent years? Well, no, actually, I think there are a lot of because you just thought they're just not released overseas. But you know, Japanese human drama tails are a diamond dozen and they don't get seen over these because they're not very good. And you know, you see those anime films and those fantasy films. You know, I think it's all about our image. I mean whether, like you said, if you're in Australian you don't see that many Japanese films. You only see the films that are being distributed by there and therefore those are the films that are the either the big studio films or the anime and therefore your idea of Japanese culture, on Japanese cinema becomes that. And it was the same with Tartan Asia extremes, that people were thinking, like Japan, like they're killing school kids every day and like, you know, they're every person's got this longhead ghost everywhere, and but it's, you know, that that's always see. So that's all we think of as part of that that culture. But you know, Japanese human drama films are really like they're like four hundred of them every year and they're awful because they're boring as hell and they're they're incredibly poorly made in the fact that, you know, Japanese don't put a lot of time into post production of films, so they're very flat. They don't have you know, they don't look good Japanese dramas for the most part. I mean maybe you see the Korea films, but that's that's, you know, very different. You know, their big budget films and Creator is obviously very talented, but he also has a lot of foreign input in terms of the way that he makes and releases films. Honestly, yeah, you know, maybe it's for the best that a lot of these Japanese films aren't distributed. To be honest, there they are really not so good. That unfortunately, and that's only one of the reasons why. Also, I got into production here and I you know, being a distributor, you can only distribute what's out there, and if there's nothing out there, then what can you do? So I think taking that step into film production myself is allows me to make something more interesting and or in the terms of, for example, handling international sales for films, finding those smaller films and getting them out there when they might not get seen. I think in this day and day of of Netflix and video world wide Internet distribution. I think there is slightly a small space left in in in film distribution, especially in countries like Japan that have so many small films that...

...don't get released. A lot of the consistency there because as a teenager your thought was that you didn't want to get into production because there were so many films, and now, some day gets later, you still have more or less the same view, but it's you want to get into production because there aren't that many films anymore. Yeah, exactly, I mean, I think obviously also, you know when you're just I talked to some other distributors similar to me a lot about this, but you know, when you're distributor, especially with Japanese companies. Japanese companies are really hard to work with because of this film committee system you have in Japan. There are every actor and every body in Japan, whether directors, are their own by talent agencies, and these talent agencies are very controlling and there if you look up, even for one example, Johnny's entertainment, who are a music talent agency who own all the big Japanese bands, and they're so controlling, not only of their of the talent, who they don't pay much and they put under these big contracts so they're not allowed to quit and have to work nonstop. But they're also controlling about how they let the media access what they've done. So this Johnny's entertainment company, for an example, is they don't allow for photos of their actors or their singers to be used on the Internet. So, for example, if you if they had one of the actors was in a film and I wanted to distribute that film, I wouldn't be allowed to publicize any part of that film that that actor had been in. The like. I wasn't out to like use a photo all that actor as like as like on the on the cover of the the DVD, or I wouldn't be able to on the website use any photo that had to do with an actor. I mean it's like it's insane when you think about it. So these like insane rules that I'd have to abide with the distribute. It means that I, like you, can only distribute the film as we've told you. So you can only use this poster, even if it's like a fucking shit poster. You know, you can only use this trailer, even if this trailer doesn't at all make this room look any good, you know, and if you look at a Japanese trailers, I mean they're all for I mean you can't imagine anybody outside of Japan will want to watch these films. But not being able to adapt those makes it very hard for from for myself as distributor. So I think getting into production allows you to have more control in in the way that a film gets out there, and I think that that is, you know, it is very important because, you know, if you are told you have to release a film in a certain way, then it's just no fun, to be honest, and if it's no fun, then you don't really want to do it. You know, you lose the passion involved. So I think that's how I sort of, yeah, got into production and also, yes, some being able to help some of these Japanese directors get their films out there when they might not be able to in Japan, because actually a lot of these directors, like sn so, nots Comoto Shinya, all the directors that we know as Japanese or Asian film fans, are not popular in Japan. In fact, there's always is always a correlation. If a film bombs in Japan, it will probably work overseas, and if a film is popular in Japan, it probably will bomb all the skis, because the the films that are popular in Japan are are are awful. there. There always television spinoffs. They look like they're they're made for television, no matter that what you have the budget of. They they are based on Manga. You know, people overse these may not know about. You know they have pal idols who players the lead roles. They're acting is awful. You know they're they're really, really bad Japanese studio films. I mean, and yet these films from directors like she on son. No, like know, Weill think of like she and son was like this big Japanese director, but up until very recently, and that was not until he made like a studio film in Japan, like he was just all its films lost money. I mean it's also like, if you look at people like kin ky duck as well in Korea, like he can't even get theatric Qui couldn't. He's dead now, but he couldn't even get theatrical releases of his films in Korea. And yet overseas. He's his big name. So Japan is quite weird like that, and I think getting it put to being able to work with these directors who are more popular overseas than in Japan allowed me to sort of, you know, help them get films made which they couldn't get the made. I mean I made a film with Shei on Sono because he couldn't get it made in Japan, so I to coment over and help him. So I think, yeah, that was a sort of like obvious route into into production it. It's gonna be my next question because it's impressive that your very first productions with the Solo and that it's one of his probably more straightforward feels with it's a great one, very emotional ones. He tell us a little bit about your experience working on land of hope and just working with the ONSONA and...

...how you continued the producing? Yes, I obviously worked as on us, a distributor of Suns on of films would love exposure cold fish, and he means all the time, and I was a big Fan and he was obviously very popular overseas, when those films obviously won't actually popular in Japan. And Sion Sono is a very in the moment type of type of person. He's very creative and he does things now and only now, and he doesn't look back at his films. He only wants to make new things. And Land of hope was at a time, obviously, when the earthquake in the nuclear power planted a Fukushima had happened in Japan. He want to make a film about that, but because he was sort of critic, world critic, quite critical of nuclear power and Fukushima, no Japanese companies wanted to to help him. So one of the producers of the film, who was Japanese, had had of had a very international mindset and I'd worked with with hers. It was a woman on some other on other films of his, as a distributor, and she said like you know, Joanna, come over and help, and I came to Japan and helped with the with the financing and this and that, and that's actually how I learned about this film committee system, because that was also ended up being a film committee, Film and and I thought myself, I mean going back to the point of like looking at things from the outside in terms of like, you know, companies like tarten like wow, she on son was going to be like super independent and you know we're going to have so much creativity. And when you come to Japan like you end up in the system like this, it's just like like anything else, like it's it's a complete opposite of what you expect. And she on some of himself, of of course, and his set is very creative and wild. But then behind it, you know, it's still a Japanese film and it still has this film committee system involved and this nonsense about waiting three weeks to change the color of something, and it was so disappointing because I wanted to help shon. So No, you know, maybe I was quite naive actually, and maybe thinking was more independent than actually was, but it ended up being quite a sort of Japan's film committee type film and You know, I worked on it and but it, you know, me and and Sono wanted to do a lot more that the the the actually a lot couldn't be done because of the way that the structure was involved in that, in that setup, which is the way that all Japanese films are made. So you know, I learned a lot about that, but then I also learned to do things more independently, like I always do, you know, I watch other people and then I learned how to do things myself and I went on to making full, completely independent films after that. So with Uchida Age, who we were talking about earlier, the director of grateful dead, and Netflix has then make a director, we made a couple super, super independent films. So the intact that case, like everything gun, I did everything myself. I nearly killed myself working, you know, doing absolutely every single aspect of that, from shooting the making of I mean obviously crowdfunding to raise the money so that no companies would get involved, and having to sell all my record collection and my clothes and everything like that to to raise money. Wow, and then crowdfunding in multiple countries in Japan and and overseas, and then even shooting the film in my and my house and because we needed more locations, moving apartment during the shooting so that we could have extra locations, and then shooting like a having to shoot in my local bar, but because my bar will only allows the shoot the very in the morning but they close at night, I'd had to go there in the middle of the night after after everyone went home for shooting. The last days shoot and then wait there until morning with the keys so that I could open it up and shoot the scenes in the cars. And then and I didn't sleep for the whole entire film shoot, not one second. And then afterwards having the handle the international film festivals and the International Distribution and then distributing the film myself in Japan. And in Japan the way that a film is distributed is for an independent film, in order to get people to come to the cinema, you have like events every single night, like you hide, you you bringing other film directors or actors and you do talk shows after the film was played. So for like six weeks, every single day in the cinema we had like talk shows that I organized and did the MC and invite the guests. And then after every talk show you have to drink with the directors till the morning. So I would drink till morning and and then go home and then see for like an hour and then go back to the cinema. And Yeah, that was the director ended up with the last day of it going to hospital for about a week, and so I was gonna say that they're all its own. That sounds like an also be experience, but if it's your job and it's repetitive and it's every single night, that must be a nightmare. It's a nightmare on your body, that's for sure. I mean it's fun because you know...

...the whole it's like running a film festival at having like a red topic for me, but for like six weeks, you know, and it's great because because I think you know, going to the cinemas is obviously such an important thing if you're into films. I mean, I know nowadays anything could be watched by click of a button, but you know, being in the cinemas is not just great, but I think in Japan with independent films, where we do this is we make it an experience. Like every Japanese super independent film, in order to get people to come to the cinema so that they experienced the film in a cinemas, they do these like these talk events every single day that their film is playing, and it's amazing to see. If you get you what to come to like Tokyo and like any evening show of any independent film, like they'll be like the cast and the crew will be there on stage and you know, it's really it's like it's like a real like being at a film festival. And but in order to get different customers in every night, you have to like have a lot of varieties. So you'd be like, so I'd have to get like a different director, a different talent or something, and even just trying to find like strange ways of like getting strange people that weren't connected to the film to come and do a talk, because you don't want to have like the same directors every day, because then the same people come and watch the film. So, like, I think one time, like I got like a wrestler, I. Female Wrestler and a male wrestler, one of the guy called lady beard. He's lady. He's quite quite famous. Like, no, no, he does like it like heavy metal. He dresses like in a in like a sort of Japanese cause play, but he has a beard. He's an Australian guy actually, and he lives in he works in Japan and he does things like like heavy metal, but also does like wrestling with like this female wrestling idol. Means it's and I would get my people like that come to the cinema and do talk events so that we get like different audience to come to watch the film, because the people who were interested in that would never watch our film. But you know, it's a way of me people to come and watch the film that we'd made. So every single night, you know, I'd have to think every time, I have to think of what sort of guests and then be able to schedule that guests and and then get them to the cinema and then to talk events with them and then bring them out to eat and drink after every night. So it's for one person. It's quite hard, to be honest, and quite tough on your body, but it's a definitely an experience to look back upon, I guess definitely. I mean I wout spend a lot more time in the cinema. I knew that it was going to be getting crazy events like that's actually film sort of going to watch that does so brilliant. Well, it depends on the films. That means get for that like a boring drama, but it depends also on the people involved. I mean, if you were to see like a, you know, Nishimurda film like you know, these are me ball machinal that you know, I think they invite pretty crazy guests to do talk and and I tried to bury it up as much as I could. But but whether or not you know it's a crazy event or not, you know, I think a lot of people that are losing their their passion for going to watch movies in a cinemas, mainly just because you know you can watch it at home anyway, at the click of a button, for a lot cheaper. But if you were to be in a cinema with the cast and the crew and be able to talk to the cost and people involve with the him after the screening, I think it would really make you want to go to the cinema and make you paying that Nima charge of fifteen pounds or whatever, or whatever it is wherever, you know, make you feel give you a lot more value for the money. So I think that experience itself is important for everyone involved and I think Tokyo really has that, not just talking many cinemas and many places in Japan have has that. And and that's really why I love working distributing in Japan, because in England, you know, I could barely get any of my films, even like Thims, like one kind of the dead. It's like impossible to get in the cinemas there because they're just showing like just studio films and in even if if it's odd house, it's just the can films. But in Japan you can have like the most so super independent films get played in cinemas for like three weeks. I'm not just talking like a one off screening, I'm talking like three weeks for like a no budget film. Yeah, we didn't have enough for that over here, sadly, but luckily that you know, there are enough festivals and independent cinemas ship have enough interest in films on for people who want to seek out the more obscure films. I've got to say I do a love they kind of grassroots approach you've taken for your career with the twin their films, in all the different roles that you've taken upon yourself to learn, and I'm kind of curious as to which is your which is the most favorite part of if you're a job, you most rewarding part of it? I think, yes, the most rewarding part is is doing something that I can feel that if it was if I hadn't have done it, then, for example, that film might never ever be seen or that film that this director wanted to make might have...

...never been made. Or those are the film things that reward me. So, like I said, going back to Takashi Kitano, films, I love to catch you get tone of more than anything, and I love films like bioworks, but me release them is a bit pointless. To get any joy of releasing them, despite the fact that fireworks is one of my favorite films of all time, I didn't get a joy of releasing it because if I hadn't done it, somebody would have. But the films like, for example, legend of the startus brothers, if I hadn't have big find that found that film, than it would have been to this day and for the next how many years, been lost. And it's such a crazy film and unique film and and a wonderful film that I would be such an awful thing for a film like that to have never been being released. And you know, I think that that I get a lot of I feel really happy and excited and it brings back my passion to doing this because obviously, doing this sort of thing for so long you lose a lot of the passion that do you have and a lot of the will to live half the time, to be honest. But if it wasn't for them, for the work I did, then they'd never, ever, ever be seen. then. You know, that really makes me feel happy, even if that movie doesn't make any money in the end. You know, it's just I feel like it would be a waste and I feel it would be so disappointing for like, you know, a film like the legend of Stardust Brothers to never get out there and that for thirty five years it never been seen overseas and in Japan it wasn't even known of. So, you know, I think I do feel so, so happy that that film is now starting to reach a large audience worldwide. You know, I put years into to it and and and that's yeah, that that's really one of those things that rewards me. That's such an amazing segue too, because you shared the two films with us from your vimeo streaming service. That we could talk about a litt bit today, and obviously it legend of the star Wok does, but there's is one of them and it's think it's pretty good example of what you talked about earlier, to about the directors coming up in the s and the drugs and the music and the weirdness, because this one feels a bit like not sure if the acid trip is the best description, but it's it's a mad film, it's a crazy film, it's creative film. It mixes up to many different esthetic expressions just has so much fun with all of it. So maybe you could talk a little bit of about what made this film so special to you. That film is is. I mean when you talk about cult cinema, I think a lot of people in the world all that's such a great culp from rocky horror or that, you know, but a lot of the time cult films only become cult films, as we know, when their mainstream. Most of the cult films nobody's seen O and can you it's like if a tree falls in the in the wood, does doesn't make a sound. You know, it's like you see, it's not really a cult film until its main stream. And I think you know the the the legend of the starts brothers is my idea of what a real cult film is because of the fact that that film should be massive. The people that involved with that film. It's insane. First of all, it's the directorial debut of tessaical or Sammu's son paysaical Sammu. Maybe his name nowadays doesn't have the pull that it used to, but anybody knows of astro boy or Kimber the lion, I mean physical or Sammu was in essence like Disney, the Walt Disney of Japan, and if anybody watches anime or or reads manger like that's somehow connected this Guy Tessa go or Sammu. I mean it's really unfortunately, you know, everybody nowadays knows of me as a key and Studio Ghibli, but I'm taysaical. Salmon tezica productions was the most important aspect of anime, why anime is big nowadays. And his son made this film as his debut film. So it's you know, we're talking one of the biggest names in Japanese culture. His son makes just like crazy, like acid trip type of a film with and the people that involved with that like other than the fact that you have all these massive Manga artists like Monkey Punch did loopan the third and you're seeming Aganki, who did like a sailor moon like that, a startle, starring this film, and then you other people like could have Saur Kyoshi can film festival Winn I could have so Kyoshi in the film and that I had to see, or sheets in the film, another big Japanese director, and all these massive names are all Zachuq Hiko, who's WHO's one of Japanese most famous singers of the time. Everyone's involved with this film and it's from nobody knows this film, even in Japan. I mean you think maybe those people like Teza go Sammu or like Oh was like here come, might not be so so well known overseas. But like, even in Japan, this film was was completely a bomb, and I guess that's what makes a sort of cult film in espence like anything, not just like a tiny, superindependent film that nobody's ever heard of...

...that you know, becomes cult because, I don't know, it's so bad or something like that. Like a cult film in essence, in my opinion, my opinion, should be something that should should have been something that everybody knew of and for some reason it didn't, because it was too crazy. And you know that. That's why I think this startus brothers is so interesting, because it's there's no reason why everyone in Japan shouldn't know of this film, but it just did. There was so many different aspects that came around it at the time of its release and it just bombed. And it bombs so bad when it was released in Japan that everyone connected the film didn't want just completely forgot about it. They were all traumatized by it and the director didn't want to make another film afterwards for years. So it's sort of all these things led it to becoming more and more forgotten. and Luckily I was able to see a thirty five millimeter screening of it, like a a one off screening in Japan many years ago and I thought, why is, why is does nobody know of this film? Why is this you never been released overseas? And I spoke to the director and I said just let me remaster this film and let me bring this to the world, and he led me, so I we we cleaned it up as best as we could, considering it was short on sixteen millimeter, but a lot of the original film have been lost, so we had to piece together thirty five millimeter theatrical prints of it and we cleaned it up as best as we could and then I had to bring it to film festivals and and start to create a word for this film that hadn't been unknown of. So it's not like you could look it up on on a book somewhere, because nobody never been released overseas. So I had to generate word of mouth by bringing it to about thirty film festivals and then that selling it to some companies worldwide, distributed it myself, put out the vinyl myself and then sold it to like company like movie, who played it worldwide and therefore made it more and more wellknown. So it was a real passion project of mine, to be honest, and think in me in a few years time that will be thought of was like the cult Japanese Phantom of the paradise or rocky horror picture show, and I think, you know, once it becomes mainstream, it will be known as cult. It's fully that you mentioned fun to the Paradise there, because that's what it kind of reminded me of when I was watching it. You know, it's just got all these bizarre musical numbers and these brilliant strike and set pieces that straddle of variety of genres. You know, there's lots of comedies, elements of horror as well, and what was it that really made you fall in love with this from the scene jam? Well, I think the most important part of any musical is the music, and the funny thing about that film is a very strange way that the film was made. Is the film started off as a soundtrack that was made by a guy who wanted to make a musical film but he couldn't make a film. So it made a soundtrack that accompanied this music film that didn't exist. Wow, so this soundtrack, the legend of the status brothers, was actually made in nineteen and eighty the film itself was made in one thousand nine hundred and eighty five. So the music was made first and the music was made as if it accompanied the film. So, like I said, the music is a very important part of a musical and the music was very, very good. Having that great music, I mean he's sort of like lots of music videos put together. I mean it's like a sort of MTV film, if MTV want to make a film in Japan at the time. But you know, I think that music with so many different genres of things, from anime to just like crazy car chase sequences, and I think it just came from the fact, like all these like they were all young kids who made their film. Tasia himself, a director, was only twenty two at the time and just a the naive passion of just like doing anything they wanted to, like, let's just put everything we can to this film, whether it sticks or not, and that's what made it sort of so so energetic and so charming. I think, you know, the main two actors in the film are not actors there. I mean I think it's quite obvious by they're they're acting, but they are musicians themselves, and it was just like let's just like all get together with our friends and make this a crazy thing. And actually talking about Phantom of the Paradise, the director and the other guy who made the original soundtrack with big fans of Phantom of the paradise and all those films like rocky horror and, you know, American culp films of of that generation. I think they put it all that. They were like just like dogs, you know, like deeks, and they put everything, all these extrange inspirations from from what they've seen into like their own mixed it up with their own culture and made this film out of it. And if you watch the film, to the end of the credits, which I know a lot of people don't watch nowadays. The film actually is dedicated to win so Leech, who is obviously the main character from Phantom of the Paradise. So you know this. They they put, they put a lot of Omas in that respect. Is it's a very interesting film and the fun of the Paradise Connection Does make ends. When I saw...

...a little people comparing it to UN letter boxed was a hard day's night, the Beatles film. It does have that sort of energy when I watched it, and the comparison that came to mind of me was pink floyd the wall meets Scooby Dooo, just that combination of sort of like an elongaged music video like pink forward the wall, plus some of the craziness of Scoobydoo. But yeah, it's also just a borderline surreal film as a part where they're eating each other with different forks and like even a small version of themselves. And yes, completely bonkers, but like in the best possible way and like it's downright hilarious at times. Like they performed these songs and his super saturated colors and then you have cut the this black and white audience reaction shots of the audience that we not getting the music. So yeah, and a completely awesome film which has like so many references from like, yeah, American stuff, but also yet UK stuff. I think like a hard days night would be an inspiration. Yeah, I think a lot of those people, obviously the the involved from that time. I mean also monty python and things like that were really big in Japan at the time and I think that's sort of like surreal aspect of British culture and that respect also really found its way into what they were doing creativity ways, and I think that's why you get a lot of those directors from that time who make made that those sort of energetic and creative films now. But you know, the thing about that film is, you know, it's a product of its time involved and they actually all got together, direct in the cast and the crew and made a new version of it a few years ago and it awful. For the first thing that comes to mind there is when MIA Saki Hio watched his son goodles first film, that he just walked out the midway and have a smoked. But but it was also be a little bit out before you because obviously produced this UCAS Barbara as well, so that there's a long process of not speaking about this movie. Yeah, I mean Barbara itself was also a very troubled production and and you know, I'd spent a few years working as this completely fully independent film with with like the UCHD age, of films like low life, love and other colts and the Bob it. It was a film committee film. But I'm because, unfortunately, of the startus brothers, I was so excited and so passionate about that film than when Tessaka asked about me coming in to help him make Barbara, I thought so, Oh yeah, of course, you know, I I must, because this guy gave us the startus brothers. But I'm I should have actually spent a little more time thinking about the brand new legend of the startus brothers and realized that maybe he wasn't the Tsuka of old. But I think the film barber is. It's a bit disappointing, speaking very frankly, because there were a lot of problems that we couldn't a lot of things we couldn't do creativity wise because of the film committee system and also because of the massive names that are involved with the film. That the big actors. So I don't I can't speak so so funny about the film because it was a three years of my time that I feel was really a bit dis bit wasted, because I think the film could have been something a lot better if there hadn't been so many big names involved. To be honest, I think Christopher Doyle, especially as a somebody who likes working off the cuff, and when you have massive idols that are that are playing the lead roles. So I think it really kills the creativity on set and it doesn't allow for any any off the cuff, passionate work, and Tays it himself, I think, also had to work within that. So it's a bit I don't wish to talk about the film so much, and I even I should, because I do obviously want people to see it and it distributing it. I'm distributing it because I need to make sort of the money back loss on that. I mean, yeah, I mean, you know, hopefully people don't listen to this, people that buy it. Let but you know, it's it's yeah, it's not a it's not that terrible of a film, but it's just maybe I think you know, I'm overly critical as well, especially of films that I produce, because I'm quite a controlling person. I put so much into things that I'm if it doesn't turn out the way that I wanted to. You know, I do feel a lot harsher on it and I'm very harsh about all the films that I've produced, including land of hope especially, and of this I know that a lot of there are a lot of fans of barber and and it's it wants some awards and played at some big film festivals and there are some people online that that like quite a lot. But personally, I'm looking at it in a in a very strict and very harsh, harsh eyes, and I'm looking at it in a way of what if, you know, what if we had done this and that to it? And it's quite hard, I think, doing these big things, and I should have learned initially with the problems with land of hope and also Fuku Chan Google flats, and I need to go back into super, super independent films, where I think my wife will kill me if I spend like six weeks in a cinema again. Maybe I wasn't married at the time. I think, and you know when I was doing those films and...

...in the cinema, talked and drinking till morning every night, and I think especially I had a kid recently and I think it has made me realize that I can't do those things as much, and maybe it's maybe I become a normal conservative and my back huts and all these things that you when when you get a bit older, I guess. Well, Cong reslations anyways, thank you. But you also shared one more film with us, and it might be a film that puts a more positive spin on what we were talking about earlier regarding the lack of great new Japanese films, because this is a brand new film. It's beyond the infinite two minutes, and I mean at least me, this was such I found ride. It's obviously the done on a shoe string budget and just with a very unique concept, and I mean on the face of it, it's a very different film from the legend of the starters brothers, because of which it is sarch brothers is over the top. It as all of these effects. It's so crazy and beyond into the two minutes. It's essentially set in one or two locations. It's like a very shoe string, but they both had this kind of wonderful energy about it. You can really feel that we're having fun making it. So maybe you can talk a little bit about why you pick this film, what really spoke to about it and how we are distributing it right now and how it's doing well. The best can come film to compare it to is one kind of the dead, and that was on a film that also I handled worldwide film festivals and international sales and distribution and everything else in the same way that I'm doing with this film. Beyond the infant two minutes and it's the one cut of the dead of two thousand and twenty one, even though it was released in Japan in two thousand and twenty and it's when on the same trajectory of one kind of the dead in the fact that it was a debut film director was done on as a sort of workshop film. In Japan you have these films that are sort of like super independent films that are made for like schools or made for like film festivals. One kind of the dead was made for a school. It was actually all done by actors who paid to be in the film as part of a process in which they learn to act and they make a film at the same time. It's quite a common thing in Japan, these these workshop films, as they call them. That's a very little very financing your films, for sure. Yes, exactly. And unfortunately one got of the dead. All those people are paid to be in the film that ended up grossing thirty million dollars in up in Japan off a twenty five thousand dollar budget. They didn't get paid for it at all. I mean, that's not not if it was me, I would have definitely paid them, but that I was only handling the film for the international side and I unfortunately couldn't do any of that. But one kind of did. It was made for this school and it was released. The way that this this workshop worked was that they would make it for this school and then they would screen it in this cinema, the same cinema for every one of their workshop films for two weeks and every day the cast would go into the cinema and it ended up being this film that's sold out in that cinema for like three months and then got picked up by the the Japanese cinema chains and played nationwide and all the big cinemas and beyond. The infant two minutes was made for a very, very local film festival called the Shimokitas our film festival, and it was made. They this film festivals done in a cinema called Hollywood, which is about a thirty seat cinema in in Shimo Kias our in Tokyo, and they made this film just for this small cinema and the small film festival. And this film also, like one kind of the dead, sold out in that cinema for like three months and got picked up by the the big toehole cinemas chain and went on to becoming this nasty, massive nationwide hit. Not to the same extent of one kind of the dead, because it was during covid so this is last year. So it only obviously that that really affected the amount of people that could see it. But considering it was made for like twenty fivezero dollars, it's still got over twentyzero admissions forum during Covid and during all these cinema restrictions. So it's quite big film. But yes, I like one cut. I got in there very early and took the worldwide rights and had now bring it to a film festival. So it's only just been starting to play film festivals. It's only played four or five peel festival so far, but it's already won six awards in those four or five film festivals and it's booked in, I poked it into film festivals all around the world. So will we being by the end of the year, I'm sure to be a very big film, and then I'll distribute it on BLU ray and DVD and of such afterwards. One a big part of the film's Peel for me was the fact that it's done in one shot, or given the appearance if one shot through some clever editing quite similar to to one question of the dead as well, and we also did it episode podcast, episode focused specifically on films that we're done in one shot. So it's a shame that we...

...hadn't seen that before we did that episode, because it definitely would have been included. I'm curious to find out if you've seen an influx of these kind of one shot filmed approaches done in Japan since the successive one cut to the dead and obviously that we now know that beyond the infinite two minutes has been a success in its native country as well. So have you been quite a few copy cut approaches trying to emulate that success? Yeah, they've been a few that I so I'm popping to mind at the moment, but I know that they have been a few. One could of their similar one cup films and obviously the workshop. I mean they're this concept of workshop films obviously has been going on actually for a while in Japan, but because of the successive one kind of the dead, obviously you know it's a big way to make a lot of money. So they have been a lot more of these workshop type films that have been coming along, I think, beyond the infant two minutes. Is the reason why it's also it's done in one shot is that the film is actually made by a theater troupe called the Europe Kikaku, and there are as are a theater company. They used obviously to one shot because theater is one shot. I mean actually, one kind of the dead was based on a theater play and that's why it was had the one cut, because it's based on a onecut theater player. So, you know, I think that allowed them to use small locations and make it one cut to too, because it's how they probably be doing it anyway if they were doing it in the theater. But yeah, they obviously, like anywhere in the world, when something hits, you know, their copycats. And it's no different than Japan. I mean they always try to do things like one cut films that are similar to one color of the dead and because everyone in Japan knows a one clad of did, because it was such a one in one hundred years type film. I mean you couldn't even you, I mean Blair, which project is some sort of an example, but I don't think there which even is that comparable to one kind of the den. I mean one kind of did is so much smaller and you know, also being a foreign film, to make it so much internationally. And you know, the director of the artist is just remade one kind of the dead. So it's Academy Award winning director is made a remake of it already. So it's it success is unparallel. That's brilliant. I don't know. Punky, so much for bringing it to our attention, because we all absolutely loved beyond the infinite two minutes. So I can't wait to, let guess, a general release over here and I can hopefully buy a physical copy to add to my collection. Yeah, it'll get even one kind of the dead. I mean that film. I brought it to over one hundred film festivals and fryfest played it three times sold out. And then when I went to the Prince Charles Cinema saying, like we all were, one kind of did had played three times sold out at FRY fast, and said can you play this for a week, they were like no, we'll give you like one day in the afternoon. It's just so hard to get a theater qual a general release and in England. So I don't really I hope that what beyond the infinite two minutes can get out there in the way the one cut did. But even one cut only played like twenty cinemas and and each cinema to only played for like two screening. So and I don't really think it'll get out there in the cinema, which is unfortunate because it's a good film to watch in the cinema with people. But you know, at least you know it'll get out on diving in Blur and I'm sure in Australia. I mean I'm talking to some film festivals in Australia right now about the film. So I'm sure you'll get into a few cities in Australia towards the end of this year and then hopefully and can get picked up for distribution, so you can. So it's more accessible than some of the minor film said that I've handled in the past. Okay, so thanks ad and that's really good to hear because I did really enjoy beyond the infinite two minutes, especially like the whole like paradox notion and they're scared of things that we give into the future in case they break. The paradox remind me a lot of twelve monkeys, the Terry Gillian film, but like on a smaller budget. They are very interesting film and yeah, I'd love to see it playing one of the film festivals over here. Yeah, hopefully more people see that because, yeah, it's not you know, the ending does fizzle out a little bit and it's not. Obviously it does have some problems because of its minor budget and sort of a amateur approach, but you know, I think that does add to its charm and it's all things are. Then it's seventy minutes, so it's a very easy and fun and I think it's a fun film to watch with an audience, to be honest, you know, I think it's really something that people will enjoy at film festivals and people will talk about because it's something different. I think people want to see something, you know, in this chaos of covid in the world, you know, some people want to see something a little short and fun and different and something they can talk about afterwards and makes them feel a bit cheerful. Yeah, completely ague. I mean, yes, it might fits love a little bit that the end and distilling to meet it ropes to put the plot love. But if the basic concept is so unique, it's so in interesting, it does is a dea that you have a loop from two minutes in the future and that's all and you can make a full movie out of it and it's so much charm and excitement when you really don't see that many...

...films that then as just get that core concept and just build on it and have so much fun with it and it's just absolutely amazing to see. And it's also amazing that it came from such a low budget play. So do you think that this type of film so either the workshop film, or does these very low budget festival films might be the future for really interesting creative films from Japan. Yeah, I mean I you know, the whole concept of workshop films. They have very, very bad and they're very, you know, plus and minus points. I mean the minus points, obviously, are these examples like one, kind of dead where the film ends up going becoming very successful and that the people who started in the film have essentially paid for it to be in it. And I think, you know, if you would explain that to anybody in the West time so they get, they'd be pretty pissed off, you know, for the people that are involved. At the same time, it's the energy, and you know, yes, I energy, I guess. So of all these people that are that are passionate about making something, and I think not having a lot of money sometimes can give the best creativity because you don't have to answer to anybody, you can do whatever you want. The films that I've done, like lowlife love, I mean they were just really no budget films. I'm really not hadn't had no budget whatsoever, and I think that allows so much creativity, even though if it's a lot of work because you have barely any staff and to work with it. Just a few people on set and it's tough but it's fun and allows you to do so much. And I think because of the success of those films like beyond the Infront two minutes and more could the dead, hopefully we'll see a lot more energetic and also, I think entertainment is something that it's a funny thing to say for when we when previously we're talking about Japanese missing out on human on human films, are having only fantasy films, but actually Japanese, Japan don't make that many entertainment films. They make a lot of boring human drama but not many entertainment films. So they're very poor about making fun film. Of course they have the few Rooni can seen films, but those are big international productions by major studios like Warner Brothers. But in terms of independent films, they don't make entertainment films in Japan. They make human dramas. So due to the success of one cut and be on the infront two minutes, I think hopefully we can see more Japanese independent entertainment films and that I think will be really interesting. If it does come to come to lie because, you know, I want to see unique, entertaining films, you know, believing in Japan and going to the the local independent cinemas and watching boring dramas all the time. I mean I love dramas, if say good, but most the time they're not, and I think it'd be nice if they could make some more crazy films like they they did in the past. Definitely I hope so too, and I think with that we can go out to our QA section because they have a few questions from our forum members. So part of don't ask the first question. Yeah, sure. So we have a question from Bevis, who's a fan of S A, mainly to punk cinema, and he wants to know did the supermato box set do well and, if so, is there any chance of seeing more box sets from this scene? And he says anyway, Sun, no box set. Same thing, and proper release of noisy recquim would be Havn't sent the sucermote box. That is not my it's our release. So I think they is quite a common misconception. I released all the supermotel films, but I release them individually over the years. Since ten years ago so the book said. The our released, I think it did well. But it was also convenient because all the rights the film was were handled by one person and it's easy to make a box of films that are handled by one one rights holder. And box sets can be very complicated because if you're dealing with different companies that are on the rights, it's very hard to negotiate on a film by film basis for films that are in a box itself. So you know, for example, the Sion Sono films or handled by many different companies and on top of that, if you want it on Blu Ray, the films need to be in the correct definition. And, as I said that supermoto films, I had worked with him to remaster all of them because he owned the rights and I was very easy to remaster them. But the Sun Sono films, the rights all over the place. There's no eight high definition materials. It's you know, I couldn't have a thought to do even if I could have fought them. I don't think it be possible, because of rights, to remaster everything myself. I mean you do still need the Japanese companies or other people involved in the actual remastering process because it's expensive. I Know Shun Sono had a box which I have myself on DVD, the early is...

...box. It was released in Japan. But they're all titles that don't have high deficient materials. And the thing about Sian Sono himself different Supermoto, is that Sion son no, as I said, is is living only in the past, in the press story, in the present. He lives only in the present and in the future. He doesn't want to look back at his old films. So he doesn't want to remaster them. He doesn't care if they if they get re released. And sometimes you need that, you know, like with with stutus Brothers to Ts Aka, you know had a wheel and he had the rights to allow me to do it, and with the supermoto films he also wanted to remaster them them as well. But if the director is not interested in if the rights are a problem, then it's not easy to do that. So I don't think that'll be a Shian Sono box, unfortunately, and I don't think a lot of those she owns on films will be able to get out there in Blu ray because of all these things. But I guess you know, for the some of the other pier directors of the time. You know, I think maybe there was a thing recently called the Hatchi millimiter eight, millimiter madness series, which will remastered films from Pia Film Festivals. That included is she SAGO, to Comoto, Yam Tamasa, she swanna Si on all those things, and that also brings a rights issue. I wanted to re release that box because they had been remastered, but the problem with a lot of Japanese films of that time is the music rights. They because they were they were done as independent but they didn't clear the worldwide music. So I think a lot of things will connected to that. Hatchi Millimi to madness, to pay. They were allowed to play international film festivals because I cleared the music for that, but they weren't allowed to be solved for distribution because the music rights. And the thing about status brothers is that has it got own the music rights because he on the soundtrack. So it was able. But if we look at, for example, to Comoto Shinia's film, Dhantom of regular size, which was part of that pier and a millimiter generation, that was not the rights are not cleared. So all those films from that time because music rights, they can't be screened, they can be distributed overseas. So it's sort of killed that. I mean I know one for is, she saw goes crazy thunder road, his debut from one thousand nine hundred and eighty. I've been trying to clear the music for that for like years and I've just managed to clear them. So it cost a lot. So that is one from from the era that I will be bringing out on Blu Ray maybe later this year or beginning of next year, but that would be the first time the film has ever been distributed overseas because we finally could clear the music rights at a high cost. So it's yeah, it's it's there's so many issues to do a distribution, to be honest, especially for all the films. You know a lot of people. Can you put this some of that film out? But it's it's not as easy as that. That's so frustrating and it also more or less answered the vis is follow up question because he had a lot of post about the how we really want to do to actually release that the exact collection of films. But it did also ask if you have any intention of diving even deeper into, you know, the Colt or even experimentals in my scene from the S as well. That's also yeah, comes down to materials, you know, I think a lot of the films that were made, I mean going back to Skomoto and also start us brothers, you know those films. They were independent. They just happen to have directors that held the rights. I mean a lot of those films are in reppendent. There's still the rights are issues, because some of them were made by companies that have gone bankrupts and therefore the rights become very complicated to deal with or, you know, the the masters get too damage. It's a lot. It's yeah, it's not easy to get those films out there, to be honest, and that's why you only tend to see the major films like that, especially teds, who go and all that, because there's also a market out there. If you're going to spend all the money to remaster them, which is not cheap in Japan. Japan is very expensive to remaster things. You know, you need to have at least titles that are big enough that people will buy. I mean having to remaster like some very, very cult films that nobody's really heard of. It just a bit of a point as even if you were to get the rights and get the materials, at the cost involved in remaster and them where nobody really wants to, when you can't really sell them, it's just not possible. But then if you look at, for example, the pink films that I did, the pink films actually have came about because there's a company in Germany called rapid eye movies and they bought a scanner. They were able to get the masters to Germany and they remastered them themselves and therefore I was able to release them alongside with this rapid eye movies company. But in most the majority of cases, Japanese companies won't allow the prince to go overseas. I mean I've tried so many times with with speaking of companies like you know, let me have the print and I'll bring it to Germany with my friend owns a scanner, will scan it and and therefore you will have a brand new master of the film and you can use that to rerelease in Japan. But they won't allow the printer go overseas. So it's really it's just...

...it's just frustrating for me, as it is for a lot of people that are written in. I think. Okay, we've mostly got a question here from mature or chap rock is one about French uses. He's written clearly. Third Window has a pretty clear brand identity. But how cent sure do you think it is for a smaller distributor to focus on a niche? Have you any plans of expanding your niche? If anything, my niece is probably gotten a little more narrow, to be honest, because I was doing Korean and Hong Kong films in the past and I've ended up focusing solely on Japanese films. I think it's just because I live in Japan and I be Japanese and I am so connected to Japanese culture that it's become like this, though, in essence. You know, though, you know I do actually have a variety of films that I'm releasing nowadays that are a little more mainstream some respects and therefore maybe slightly nest niche, and that I mean I'm not just handling, for example, just experimental Japanese films or just horror films. I mean there's quite a variety of films released. So it's nice in the fact that it's only Japanese cinema, but within that there is a quite a variety of films. I don't think it's going to open, so I think this is this is about it. Our next question is from Lone Wolf, who is a very big fan of your label. In says, I owned several third window films and I have a dozen questions about what we would mad release or not, but I'll try to refrain from asking them. However, I'm interested in hearing about your pink to box sets and if they're it was any kind of backlash to them given in the aminnement of perhaps seeing these films as sexist of controversial today? To be very frank, those films, as I just mentioned, came from a company called rapid eye movies and they are the owner really loves pink and Experimental Cinema. To be honest, actually, I'm not a big fan of I when I was a teenager, I was really interested to learning about pink cinema because it was so interesting in the way that it was in its relation to Japanese film history and that many directors that came from pink cinema and the many political aspects of pink cinema. But as I got all the US I think I became a little more conservative and I don't watch pink films nowadays and in fact that my videos. I'm quite shy when it comes to any sex on screen and usually fast forward it. So I didn't think myself I would have released any pink films because of, yes, any sort of backlash and also because they're not really my taste nowadays. But this rapid eye movies company, I really respect and love the owner and always try to help him out, and he had remastered them but he needed to sell the rights to raise a little more money. So I said, look, I'll help you out, of course, you know, and I'll release these films in England and I that that's that's what I did. So they're probably less personal films compared to any other films that I've released. And in was a backlash? Yes, I thought maybe there could be, but then, I think, you know, having surprisingly, places like the BFI took them on to their their video on the man platform and then Moobe took them worldwide and I think you know, yes, there could be a backlash. But then again, I think if you think about it, I mean I know a lot of people don't think nowadays. They just blow up on the Internet and write on twitter and all that. But if you think about first of all, they're not that bad and they're not that overly sexist, and yet they do. They are quite important in Japanese history and especially in history of Japanese cinema, and pink cinema in many aspects is as well. So, you know, I think first of all you if you have one film directed by the person who went on to do shall we dance? You know there's a lot of importance into his film, early films with their pink or not getting out there. So yeah, maybe I think I was a little surprised how how wide they went in the end. That's great, Adam. So I've got a question from under hunt and he answer. Know How streaming is faring in Japan. So one time it look like a dream solution to seeing more Japanese films in the West, but it hasn't really materialized yet. We think about Japan and going back to the the point of dealing with Japanese companies and how hard they it is to deal with them as as an overseas a distributors to Japan. The reason why a lot of Japanese films don't get over season, the reason why the distributors have found it hard to work with Japanese companies, is Japanese films make their money back in Japan. It's very rare. I mean it's like Indian films and Bollywood, you know, they are made for Japanese and they make their money back in Japan. So they don't really think about the international aspect of their films because it's really pocket change to...

...them. You know, if it was, obviously directors themselves might want their films to be seen a film festivals and get seen worldwide, but directors don't make any decisions about how film is released overseas or even within within Japan because of this film committee system. So think, you know, because the Japanese mindset of companies is thinking of Japan and because Japan is still old fashioned in the way that people go to the main financial aspect of a film is to to cinemas. They make their money in cinemas and then rental, video rental and video on demand. This is just a it's not big thing here because it's not a big thing here. They don't think about it being as big thing overseas and therefore, you know, they don't really it's hard to deal with with Japanese companies if you were to want to buy video on demand rights. So that's why I think a lot of Japanese films aren't making it onto video on demand worldwide when, yes, they're, they're there should be an opportunity to but I think recently there are the Japan Foundation, who are a sort of government connected body that are located in Australia and in England. They run film festivals and they promote Japanese culture, including Japanese film. Recently they've been trying to run their own platform to promote Japanese cinema worldwide. I know they've done it through Covid by doing online film festivals and now they want to do it on a permanent basis and I think that might be one way, because they have a lot of money and their government connected, that they will bring more Japanese films streaming worldwide through their own platform. So, following on with the ore streaming questions, we had another question actually from Lone Wolf, and what he realized, and a few other users of pointed out, is a lot of our third window films are also showing one movie, which is a service that he has. I have a lot of us on the forum have a movie accounts. So it was just interested in what the story is about the Partnership Between Your Company and movie and whether more of your releases will be popping up a movie. The only partnership is is only in the fact that they are a video on the man service, like like a Netflix, and they buy films and as somebody who owns the rights to films, obviously I want to make some money back from those films by selling them to companies like movie. For Sy movie don't really pay much for the films because of the fact that they need to put so much money into getting the films out there in terms of subtitling them in many different languages, is and marketing and all that. So you know, I've had a few films that I've managed to sell to movie, but there's no real sort of like official partnership in that respect, just like maybe films that I bought the rights, I mean in terms of worldwide rights, like startus brothers was one that I had the worldwide rights and they were interested in it and they bought it to play on their platform worldwide. But I'm no, sort of depends on the films because they're also quite selective about what films they play and they like to Black Netflix. They like to buy worldwide rights on films because it's not really worth then buying per territory. So there are many films that I worldwide rights on and therefore there are that many that I can get on there. All right, thank you have I'm sure some people will be sad to hear that. So I another question from mgf three one for who asks past Turbin the films, ever considered expanding to TV, especially for Japan? He says there's a lot of good TV dramas that haven't been released with English titles yet. It would this be something you'll be interested in putting out? Not In not especially, to be honest, I think first of all the costs of making I mean, maybe he's talking about them dreaming, but then again it's not easy to negotiate dreaming rights for Japanese anything. As I previously mentioned, it's very hard to deal with Japanese companies in terms of streaming, but in terms of physical the costs of subtiling all the episodes, the cost of putting them on multiple discs and the cost of the BBFC is a big problem. In America you can release a film unrated, but in England you have to release a film certified by the BBFC, and the BBFC are charged by minute of screen time, which is why I always try to buy short films and I don't like buying long films because it costs thousands of pounds to for them to certify a film. It's insane when you think about big in its in essence. Could be stopping many films from getting out there because we're talking thousands of pounds. It could be for a long film like love, exposure or something. So it's really if it's a TV series, you know you're talking hours and hours and hours and that's thousands upon thousands of pounds just to get a certification. It's insane costs and yes, something that I definitely won't do the sunlight. This is a lot of work in over that so didn't buy me at all...

...out. Got A fascinating question here from Niles. When you produce films, do you give the directors called Blanche, or with the times when you intervened as a producer and, if so, what were those moments? Usually it's in the post production that I interfere, or I have interfered. You know, I think the problem with Japanese cinema is post production is a very small thought in Japanese films because of this the the the culture of this film committee system. You know, it's all about getting the sales points into the film. So, as I mentioned, the Music Company get the music in there, that the talent is just you get their stars into it and therefore they're just really making sort of that film. Those parts are added in the film and whether the film is good or not is a bit of an afterthought because it doesn't have to be good if those parts in Japan because you know, if you have a very famous idol in the film, you can you easily make money whether the film is good or not. So I don't think they put so much effort into making a film look good or to making a film tight. I mean they they never get involved in the post production and because I think the Japanese directors don't really they're not very good about post production either. I mean, I think the one big problem with Japanese cinema is that they're all the films are too long, including, for example, Shon Son. I mean, with exception of love exposure. Surprisingly, a lot of Japanese directors beat because nobody's sitting by them because and telling them maybe you should make this tighter, maybe this scene is irrelevant, etc. Etc. They just put everything that they've shot into the film because they don't want to cut out a scene because they had there was a card seen the shoot or or this and that. So you have a lot of sea. I think most Japanese films could be made much better if they, for one, were better edited and if, two, they had more work done in them on post production in terms of making them look better. So the work that what I've done as a producer is a lot of of making the film's tighter in editing and making them look better in terms of grading them and sound design and these sort of things. I mean usually they're exactly aren't so interested in that and that all the darkness that I've worked they're not interested in the post production side of things, and I am. So I've really done a lot. But love another cults I took out one hour of it actually, because it was like became very overbloated. But I usually what I do is I'll the director will have the film as he wants. If you tell a director saying cut this or that, you make you make them get a bit too emotional and whether or not they think it's probably a good idea to cut it or not, they might not think in that way. And if somebody's telling them, like anybody I who tells they don't do something, they they they won't listen to you. So what I do is I take it and I re edit it myself and then I show it that to the director and I say, what do you think about this? Do you think this is better like this? Or maybe we should we should put your version of my version and we should mix it up and we we talk and we make it better in that way. So that, yeah, I wouldn't tell a director like you you have to remove this or not, but I sort of hint in a very strong way maybe at some point. Okay, we have a final IQ and I question from shared with us what really says. Are you most proud of whose? I forget a lot of the films that I've done, because I'm doing so many, and you know, I'm sure there are a lot in the past that I'm very proud of, like confessions was one that was a big hit in England. It played a lot of cinemas and it's sold a television, so I'm very proud of that, obviously, and fish story is with another one, and love exposure is another one. But then again, I think probably, yes, the films that I've put in a lot of time and effort like that as brothers and low life love, are probably ones that I'm more proud of. But maybe that's only because they're in my recent memory and I forget what I've done, what I want, what happened in the past. So yeah, I'll stick with those for the time but I'm sure if I would have think in a few minutes I'd probably say something else. It's a pretty good list anyways, Adam. So thank you so much and thank you so much for sitting downe with us today. And they have any last shoutouts? Or even now to just have our listeners all to your self is ending. Would like to tell them before you finished interview. I just have to apologize the fact that I ramble on a lot and I go on very tangents and I said, I'm I wonder sometimes if if people really can follow what's what I'm talking about. Our people have probably got very bored a long time ago and I apologize ahead of time always and I always think that I'll try to be a little more concise and never actually happened. So that's all I say is a I. If there's anything you want to or anybody wants for the clarification or have any questions on anybody can email me at...

...any time any but and I will speak to anybody. I'm always replying to anybody by email and if it's if you send by twitter or facebook or Instagram, any messengers, our reply immediately. So if anybody has any questions or wants to hear a little more any time I'm always available and I thank everyone for trying to understand what I'm talking about. Absolute light that and it's been very easy to follow and it's been just this great listen to you. I'm sorry for Drug D dragging on and I hope you can edit, you can make this it doesn't last for so many hours. You could run a marathon listeners. I think but I don't think you will need much anything. I think this is a pretty much perfect as it is actually that it's been an absolute light. Well, I thank you for setting it up and I thank everyone, I also sa had any questions for having interest and being excited about third window films, because it's such a small personal thing that I'm always excited that anybody gets finds out about it. That's brilliant. I don't thank you so much. You feeling absolutely wonderful. It gets two into you. It's been a real pleasure this morning, so thank you again full of your time. It's much appreciate it. Thank you and, yes, enjoy the rest of your Sunday. You have been listening to talking images, the official podcast of ICM for umscom.

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