Director Bethany Rooney

Bethany_RooneyKnowing I will only make my own mistakes as I continue to grow as a filmmaker, I try to absorb as much as I can from anyone willing to share their experiences.

From her website,

In a field where longevity is rare, the long-term success of Bethany Rooney’s career has defied the odds of Hollywood. Rooney has been at the helm for over two hundred episodes of prime time television for over thirty years, including many critically acclaimed series such as Desperate Housewives, Ally McBeal andBrothers & Sisters, and the American long-running classics NCIS and Criminal Minds.

Her reputation as an actor’s director who leads with gentle command has made her part of an elite group of television industry leaders. She serves as the co-chair of the DGA’s Diversity Committee, as well as the Women’s Steering Committee, and shares her knowledge of the craft by teaching the intensive Warner Brothers Directing Workshop. Her book (co-authored with Mary Lou Belli) Directors Tell the Story: Master the Craft of Television and Film Directingis being utilized at multiple studio and network directing programs, and in directing classes on many university campuses. The second edition of the book will be released in June 2016.

I saw this interview and thought I should share it.

After seeing the interview I read a couple of post on her website. This one stood out:

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As well as this one:

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As a freelancer, this gives me comfort. I’m comforted in knowing someone else thinks this way.

Now if I could only surround myself with more people like this…

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The Best Shorts Competition

American Hikikomori recently won an “Award of Merit” in the Best Shorts Competition!

We are honored by this juried award and are absolutely grateful for the opportunity to share our story.


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American Hikikomori DVD’s are here!

Everyone who donated $50 or more to our Indiegogo campaign gets a copy of our short award winning film!

Thank you for supporting us!

We are truly grateful that you believed in us and wanted to help us tell this story.


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American Hikikomori @ the Indie Night Festival


A big “Thank You!!” to Dave Brown for showcasing our film, American Hikikomori, in the Indie Night Film Festival last Saturday!! We are grateful for the opportunity to tell our story and meet other filmmakers.

Discussing the film
Discussing the film

We also give Dj Q-Nice a gold star for making several attempts in pronouncing the title of our film.

Akiko Shima talks about her experience working on the film.
Akiko Shima talks about her experience working on the film.

From the Indie Night Film Festival website:

INDIE NIGHT aims to elevate the craft of artists while giving them an avenue where they can be
recognized on a bigger platform, network and exchange info with new & established Hollywood

To learn more about Dave Brown’s Indie Night Film Festival follow the link.

In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates on future festival screenings and progress on our next film!


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American Hikikomori is going to New York!!

Hi everyone,

If you are in Ithaca, NY on Wednesday, April 22nd stop by Ithaca College for the Ithaca Pan Asian Film Festival and check out our film, AMERICAN HIKIKOMORI!

Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival

The festival is free and open to the public so check it out and watch some great films!

DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival

Also don’t forget, if you are in the DC/Baltimore area, April 18th stop by the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival and watch our film there!!

We are so excited and grateful to share our film!

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American Hikikomori: The End & The Beginning


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Japan: Collectivistic Culture vs. Individualistic Culture

You can help at our official INDIEGOGO page

We’re one week out from closing our first crowd funding campaign so there’s still time for you to help us spread the word or contribute to our campaign.

Remember, if you can’t donate, you can still help us by telling five of your friends to tell five of their friends about us and follow us on our social media sites below.

Thanks for your help and have a great holiday!


Part of getting to know my wife, was also getting to know the cultural differences she had to adjust to when she assimilated to the American lifestyle for college. When we decided to get married, it was my turn.

We chose not to live in Japan but when we visit her side of the family, there are many unspoken rules I have to follow and certain ways I must conduct myself when interacting with… everyone.

We chose not to live in Japan, partially, because we enjoy our cultural individualism. For my wife and most of her friends, they’ve been “Americanized” so much that re-assimilating into their native culture would prove to be extremely difficult, but not impossible, for them.

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To help you wrap your head around this a little better I found this web entry:

“Cultures are typically divided into two categories: collectivist and individualist. Individualist cultures, such as those of the United States and Western Europe, emphasize personal achievement at the expense of group goals, resulting in a strong sense of competition. Collectivist cultures, such as those of China, Korea, and Japan, emphasize family and work group goals above individual needs or desires.
Collectivism and individualism deeply pervade cultures. People simply take their culture’s stance for granted. In the U.S., everything from ‘self-serve’ buffet tables to corporate structure to cowboy movies reflect the deeply ingrained individualism.
Both collectivist and individualistic cultures have their failings. People in individualist cultures are susceptible to loneliness, and people in collectivist cultures can have a strong fear of rejection.

Traits of Collectivism
▪ Each person is encouraged to be an active player in society, to do what is best for society as a whole rather than themselves.
▪ The rights of families, communities, and the collective supersede those of the individual.
▪ Rules promote unity, brotherhood, and selflessness.
▪ Working with others and cooperating is the norm; everyone supports each other.
▪ As a community, family or nation more than as an individual.

Traits of Individualism
▪ “I” identity.
▪ Promotes individual goals, initiative and achievement.
▪ Individual rights are seen as being the most important. Rules attempt to ensure self-importance and individualism.
▪ Independence is valued; there is much less of a drive to help other citizens or communities than in collectivism.
▪ Relying or being dependent on others is frequently seen as shameful.
People are encouraged to do things on their own; to rely on themselves.

Attribution is the process of understanding the actions of others based on limited information. Since the process is inexact, large errors often creep in. In individualistic cultures, there is a strong bias towards attributing a person’s behavior to the characteristics of that person, instead of to the situation that person is in. This is called the fundamental attribution error. People in collectivist cultures have this bias to a much lesser degree.
Personality Types
The stereotype of a ‘good person’ in collectivist cultures is trustworthy, honest, generous, and sensitive, all characteristics that are helpful to people working in groups. In contrast, a ‘good person’ in individualist cultures is more assertive and strong, characteristics helpful for competing.
The idea of the ‘artistic type’ or ‘bohemian’ is not usually found in collectivist cultures. However, collectivist cultures usually have a ‘community man’ concept not present in individualist cultures.” –

In Japanese society, collectivistic culture is partially responsible for the Hikikomori phenomenon. I would never claim to be an expert but the research I’ve done on this subject suggests that, typically teenage, men become Hikikomori because of overwhelming pressure to be successful AND part of the group. When they have a mental break, they reject all of these values and retreat from everything and everyone.

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Despite our cultural differences, there was a reason Eminem wrote, “The Real Slim Shady”. Pop culture thrives on collectivistic tendencies.

Every country has its flaws and my point is not to say one country or culture is better than the other BUT different.
Keep an open mind and you might see how much we actually do have in common.

I try to everyday.

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