(If this is showing up on your RSS reader and you're wondering why, it's because I had it saved as a draft for the last 2 years. Man, I am ABSENTMINDED sometimes on these things. No wonder I couldn't find the post. I felt a little embarassed about this afterwards, to be honest.)
A few days ago, my buddy Michael Westbay was interviewed for a documentary about Japanese baseball, called Land of the Rising Fastball. The director, Lance Miccio, was looking for someone he could talk to about the fans here, and Westbay was like "You have GOT to interview Deanna, she's crazy about baseball here and she spends all of her time out in the stands with the crazy fans."
So this afternoon, since I didn't have classes until 6pm, I wandered down to Shinjuku and met up with Lance and his staff (ok, just two guys, a cameraman/producer and an assistant). We went to a shrine near Chuo-koen for filming, because he wanted something "Japan-like" as the backdrop, if not a stadium itself. They explained to me a bit about the project; he already had talked to Bobby Valentine and friends, and some people like Sachio Kinugasa and Masanori Murakami and Junzo Sekine and all. The cameraman, Azuma-san, is a Japanese guy based out of California, so his English is flawless, and the assistant, whose name I forgot, is a Hiroshima Carp fan, so I chattered with him about the stadium and whatnot.
And well, they filmed me talking for about an hour and a half. Lance just asked questions and had me ramble. The strange thing is, I guess I talked about the fans and the ouendan and all for about 20 minutes, and then the rest of it, he just had me talk about Koshien, the Olympics, the WBC, Soukeisen, various other stuff. He wanted me to talk about Yu Darvish and I probably should have refused, but didn't for some reason. In all honesty I can't remember everything I talked about, but it was just a ton of random baseball stuff. Not what I expected, but not bad.
They had asked me to bring a bunch of baseball gear, so I brought my Fighters cheering props bag, complete with signboards and wristbands and towels and whatnot. I showed off the lyrics sheets, sang the Hichori Morimoto cheer on camera, and also showed my scorecard book. The Japanese guys were just floored, like "WTF do you mean you have only been living in Japan for one year, how the hell do you know so much? Why can you write such good kanji?"
I hope I don't look too stupid in the movie, but Lance said that he was glad I said a lot of the stuff I did, he says I'll save him some narration time later. We'll see, I can't imagine my segments will be interesting enough to take up a big part of it. I may help him again when he comes back to Japan, I offered to help them breach a fan section for footage if they want. Oh, and oddly, they were in Fukuoka for the Fighters game on Tuesday, the day after I was there. WTF!
Assistant-san took a bunch of photos before/during the shooting...
The guys figure out a good way to set up my cheering stuff for some shots.
Me with Lance-director.
I'm on candid camera!
The most difficult parts of this were:
1) Looking at Lance instead of looking at the camera -- I guess it gets a good angle
2) Repeating his question in my answers -- apparently a documentary thing
I don't know when the movie will be out, and it's just a small-scale documentary as far as I know, and obviously I'm not one of the famous names on the project, but hey, it was an interesting experience. I was trying really hard not to be nervous; this seems to be yet another step in the right direction.
I just hope I didn't screw anything up too badly...