Being half-Japanese, I’ve always been proud showcasing my Japanese / AAPI culture and storytelling. I’ve been putting it out into the world for a while now to tell more Japanese / AAPI stories -- whether it’s writing half-Japanese scripts set in the US and Japan, Almost Asian web series w/ my sister, or directing a piece w/ Ayumu Hirano for the Olympics, but after COVID hit and Japan closed its borders, it became that much harder to tell those stories, or get anything done.
Luckily, this year I’ve been fortunate to have been gifted opportunities again to help tell Japanese stories w/ the most talented people.
I spent the first six months of this year in Vancouver shadow directing two episodes and working on an undisclosed Japanese remake, and recently, being able to direct this piece in Tokyo for Apple Music with Japanese music legend Eikichi Yazawa. Yazawa was not only the the first solo Japanese rock artist to perform at Tokyo’s legendary Nippon Budokan arena, but also holds the venue’s record for most performances—more than 100 throughout his 50 year career.
I’m beyond honored and grateful to been able to collaborate with Yazawa-san and Apple Music.
*BIG BIG THANK YOU to JULIANNA BARWICK for going above and beyond creating this wonderful original score �
どうもありがとう & お疲れ様‼️
Client: Apple Music
Director: Joel Kazuo Knoernschild
Producer: Shin Kinoshita (Tokyo) & Joaquin Poblete (Los Angeles)
Executive Producer: More Media
Director of Photography: Andrew Goldie
Steadicam: Gima Shingo
AC: Mikael Senninge
AC: Tomoyuki Hirahara
Chief Gaffer: Ken Owaku
Gaffer: Mina Hatayama
Gaffer: Takuya Orita
Gaffer: Kenji Fukuchi
Gaffer: Yuta Shibata
DIT: Carl Albright
Production Assistant / Grip / PA: Kentaro Normal
Grip: Kevin Hammontree
PA: Date Aya
Sound: Rob Mayes
Original Score: Julianna Barwick
Editor: John Michael Powell
VFX & Rotoscope: Randal Kamradt
Colorist: Nathan Pena