Campaign Week 1: The Campaign Begins!


Some film students believe in order to be successful at most of the popular films schools you need money, talent, and an obsessive hunger to be a storyteller. Sounds about right, right? Or is that a little too simplified; a little too idealistic, maybe?

I found out, very quickly, what you really need is support from your family and friends, an open mind, patience, to check your ego, to develop thick skin, some luck, and (yes, absolutely) a lot of money or access to lots of money.

In film school, you are taught film history, film theory, and how to do most jobs that exist on a real film set. No one teaches you about life or the politics of the world and it’s micro-chasms.

You have to figure that part out on your own.

My personal “clapper/slate” that has been used in multiple web, tv, and short film productions.

Professionally, I work as a freelance camera operator and cinematographer. I have always had a passion for visual art and have had formal training in the fine arts. In concert with my love of photography is my passion for story telling. I love the cinema.

I want to tell stories that inspire me, stories that make me think, and stories that are just fun. It doesn’t matter if it’s scripted, reality, or a documentary. I want to tell these stories and share them with anyone who will see them.

Back in film school, a producing instructor once told me, “Don’t wait for someone to let you direct. You have to take control of your own career. Nobody is ever going to let you do anything. You’ve got to hustle for everything you want, yourself.”

I took those words to heart.

Promotional still from the short film “American Hikikomori”

I realized he was also telling me, “talent” and skill don’t mean anything outside of film school. It always comes back to who you know and who they know, every time. Relationships. Flush all those ideals down the toilet and buckle in for a hard ride.

When my thesis film was rejected by the school for a DGA (Directors Guild of America) screening, I was devastated. I thought my potential career was over before it started because I had nothing to show. But this same producing instructor came back and said, “This school is bullshit. And no one cares about what you did in film school.” he continued, “If you’re hungry for what you want, you’re not going to stop until you get there. Always stay hungry.”

And I have.

I am.

Film school challenged me in ways I never thought possible that made me a stronger person. It also gave me meaningful relationships with people I still keep in touch with to this day.

I’ve worked on major network shows and a lot of cable shows you’ve never heard of but they’ve all been fun and the people I’ve worked with through the years have been amazing in their own right.

I’m still here working in the industry and writing my stories because I’m still hungry.

I’m making this short film because I’m still hungry.

Who wants to eat with me?

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Author: hikikomori78

American Hikikomori is an upcoming short film that explores the emotional struggles of a Japanese teenager named Isamu Fujihara, when he moves to America.

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