Gifts: Photo-print T-shirts

First and foremost we’d like to thank Vanessa Smith and Tony Shaff for contributing to our INDIEGOGO campaign!

While we don’t believe this short film will break blockbuster records, we do believe there are people who will connect with our story and continue to share it.

By supporting this film, you are adding another voice to the on going conversation about diversity, tolerance, and acceptance amongst our peers in our ever shrinking global community. We are not changing the world but are whole heartedly trying to tell stories people feel are not being told.

ありがとうございました, Vanessa & Tony!

Your gift deserves one in return.

Because we know money gets tight and inflation is always on the rise, we want to make sure you know how much we value your support!

Along with the tax write-offs for your donation, you’ll get a gift from us as a token of our appreciation and as a momento for helping us make this film.

Check out this video update to see how we’re personally hand making one of your potential gifts!

The actual photo ink we’ll use is made by a company named Lumi Co.

Our Prototype from the video!
Our Prototype from the video!

From Jamie:

Step 1
Step 1

“I came across Lumi Co by accident while perusing the internet. I found them through a Mend’s website. They’re based in Africa and they were using Lumi’s Inkodye to put images on their handmade canvas tote bags. As resources in Africa can be difficult to find, the Inkodye made it possible for them to add these images with little impact on the environment.

What I like about inkodye is the process. It’s light sensitive ink that soaks into natural textile fibers. It doesn’t sit on top of fabric as does screen-printing. Therefore the image is preserved for as long as the textile is in tact. The image, once set into the fabric, won’t even fade or crack over time as screen-printing does. The inkodye also has low toxicity and environmental impact. In fact, the only chemical you have to be concerned about is ammonia, and that’s in most household cleaners. As long as it’s being applied in a well-ventilated area, and you’re wearing gloves as a precaution, it’s super safe.

Step 2
Step 2

Here’s how our campaign shirts are made. We create a negative image of the logo on a 11×17 transparency film. We take our desired fabric, in this case a t-shirt and put either foam core or a wooden board between the front and back. We then apply the Inkodye to the fabric (which must have mostly if not 100% natural fibers) in a room; which is well-ventilated, but has little to no sunlight. The transparency is placed over the treated fabric and pinned or taped to the board that’s under the image. Once that’s done, it’s time to be placed in the sun for 8- 15 minutes depending on the sunlight. If it’s cloudy, the exposure time will be longer. Direct sunlight is best and fastest.

After the shirt has been exposed, it is brought back indoors in no sunlight for the negative to be removed. The shirt is the thoroughly washed so any and all unexposed dye is washed out. Then the shirt is dried, packed and put in the mail for you! The whole process takes about 20 minutes per shirt.

Step 3
Step 3

Fun facts about Inkodye uses:

It can be used

  • With a negative transparency of a photo image
  • Shadow art (by placing objects on Inkodye treated fabric and exposing it to sunlight)
  • As a tie dye. Bind your fabric up, add inkodye and put it in the sun!

We chose to use Inkodye because it allows us to apply the images ourselves. Each image will have it’s unique properties. Therefore, it has that handmade quality that can’t be found from mass produced screen-printing. It gives our shirts a personal touch.”


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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?

Check us out on our Website.

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Production Blog #7: Our 1st Casting Session!

So a week or so ago we had our first casting session!

Casting Flyer
With over 300 submissions we managed to schedule 22 actors for parts in our film.

Twenty-two actors and actresses were invited to our small audition in Hollywood and, overall, we were pleased with the turn out and performances. I was, at first, nervous but then immediately excited to watch certain scenes from our story come to life. To me, it’s always surreal listening and watching something I wrote come to life.

We think we may have to do a follow up session (also known as “Call Backs”) to see certain actors along with some fresh potentials but I really can’t complain so far. We’re already prepping for the next round and I can’t wait to see who we get the next time around!

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New Years in Japan

Spent the holiday seeing some family in the land of the rising sun.

I took some pictures when I could…

New Years Temple01
New Years at the Local Shrine
New Years02
On our way out of the Shrine… I love Japanese lanterns at night.
New Years Money
New Hopes for a New Year

Yokosuka is a small city thirty minutes south of Yokohama and about an hour or so south of Tokyo. Kamakura is pretty close as well. There’s a US Navy base here also and sometimes, unfortunately, they (enlisted men) do cause problems but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the local eats and what not. Just use your common sense and be polite.

Saw this… whatever it is, thing.

Yokosuka is a small town but beautiful town.

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To Fresh Beginnings…!



My wife made this candle, fyi.

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The LA Eiga Fest

Yesterday, I went to a few screenings at the Los Angeles Eiga (映画 / Film) Festival in Hollywood at the Egyptian Theater.

Flyer pic
Inspiration to keep moving forward with this film.

I watched the new Toei anime “アシュラ” (Ashura) and the Short film, “Mo Ikkai” before that. “Mo Ikkai” was very calm and cerebral while “Ashura” was very violent and gorey but yet, thought provoking and beautiful in the end.

Afterwards I stuck around for the shorts competition and had no idea I’d be participating in the audience award selection. I enjoyed all six films. “Sacrifice” was very thought provoking and eye opening about the seemingly forgotten victims of the Fukushima radiation fall out while “Battle on the Underground” and “Edo of the Dead” were both fun films to enjoy a sillier side of everything. “Yukuharu” and “Nuku Nuku” (love the cast and cinematography in this film) were very strong and well done dramas but the audience award and competition winner is definitely “Famiry“.

Famiry is just a stand out fun short film that is full of twists, turns, and surprises. The lead actress is brilliant along with the director’s choice of shots and editing. There are some predictable story elements but the director still plays with them enough that I didn’t really care. I don’t want to sound too much like a critic but I really enjoyed this film and look forward to seeing what the director and cast do next.

I enjoyed myself for the most part but everything seemed a little disorganized. I was under the impression that the LA Eiga Fest had been around for years but it turned out this was their second year. So with that, I expect great things to happen in the coming years.

Watching every film inspired me to keep going with my own (American Hikikomori) so that I, too, can showcase a story that has meaning to me, and possibly, other people around the globe.