About a week ago, I got a call from one of the Production Assistant from Zazou Productions. Asking me if I would like to attend a "Private" screening of "Sushi Prince Does New York" (The name changes from Goes to Does and back and forth).
I was told not to spread the words, and I could only bring ONE guest.
At that time, I was like, freakin' out. Who should I invite. My gosh. Who. Who. Who.
Definately someone who is Japanese - because, after all, this is a Japanese film, produced by a Japanese company - I thought it'd be a great oppertunity for my friend to either do some networking, meeting people, get some exposure, or just to enjoy the movie. (I wasn't sure if there's going to be subtitles or English-dubbing). The first person that came up in my head, is the VERY talented actress Julie Jei (http://juliejei.com).
Julie and I have worked on two films in the past, and I have involved in two of her productions as a PA (Production Assistant). I enjoyed working with her very much - she's very professional, and definately has trainings that put her ahead of many other actresses that I know. Of course, I'd love to her to come to the screening.
It was not until April 26th - Saturday morning, Zazou Production called me again, and told me that they can open up more seats and asked how many *more* people that I can bring. I told him that I've confirmed with ONE, but I can send out more invites, but I cannot gaurantee that all of them will show up. So, they ended up saving 3 more seats for me.
I invited my manager, Makalina. Who, never confirmed my invitation and wasn't able to attend the screen.
I invited another excellent Japanese actor, Jun Naito - who, couldn't make it to the screening due to schedule conflicts.
And I invited a Producer/Director/Actor Friend, Bo Centeno, who right away, wrote back and confirmed his attendance.
Bummer that I couldn't invite more people - otherwise, I'd love to ask Julie to bring her boyfriend along, as well as Jan, Chika, Seiko, her husband, Chiasui, Celia.... *sigh*
I mean, who wouldn't want to see a FREE movie?
Anyway, they server Sushi and Soft Drinks at the reception - it was very nice. The sushi were DELICIOUS.... And there were a BUNCH of people there. Mainly the people who worked on the film, Zazou Production staffs, Family and Friends - and the Casting Director for the New York talents, Bruce of Eastwood Talent. (They sent me to the Audition, after all)
*** Did I mention that they are taking everyone's camera away at the front desk? Our bags got searched..... Or else, I would have taken more pictures to post here ***
After the reception, we were all invited to enter the theater. We took our seats, and waiting for the screening to start.
A lady dressed in white, introduced herself as the Host of the evening. We were told that she's a Japanese reporter based in New York. She also served as the translator.
We were first shown a video footage of the director, Yukihiko Tsutsumi, welcoming us to view the movie. In the video, he was talking while circling around the camera - so I was getting very dizzy while watching him. But I could tell that he was very sincere and VERY FUNNY. MY GOSH, He's SO FUNNY. He make funny faces, does the SUSHI PRINCE Post several times.... He's SO FUNNY!!!
Then the hosting lady started to giggle, and giggle and then said "Let's welcome our Special Guest! From Japan!!"
And Mr. Koichi Domoto walked out from the back, onto the stage.
He was wearing a nicely fitted black suit, white dress shirt, and a GOLDEN TIE. GOLDEN TIE - My gosh. Who would wear GOLDEN TIES?!?! Only Superstars.
All of us were asked to move our seats up, so the front of the theater will look "packed." - we were told it is for the Japanes Press, and the photo needs to look "full."
Kochan is very polite, and very - hrm, I felt he's very sincere and was happy to see us attending the NY Premiere. He even said (through the Host Lady) that having to be able to premiere a Foreign film in New York, with the large number of people in attendance, he was very happy - and hope all of us would enjoy the film, and Japanese humor. Oh, yes. He said that he was very surprised that we New Yorkers are so Helpful, and the production team was amazing. (Yes. I summariazed the entire 15 minutes interview into one paragraph. That was pretty much the entire point of the interview.....Ms. Host lady, you're funny and very lovely, but your translation and intervewing skills needed more work...Or, you were just nervous?)
After the brief interview, they took out a huge sign (Sushi Prince goes to New York), Kochan stood in front of it, while all of us did the SUSHI PRINCE pose. S E V E R A L Times. It was kinda fun, but I dont think any of us got in the photograph, since the Japanese Press only focused on Kochan and the sign itself.
Then Kochan went back - and never came out again... (I thought he would came out to take more photos and stuff... but nope.)
After that, it was MOVIE TIME.
Over all, I really enjoyed the film. It's very fun, very fast pasted - Julie and Bo enjoyed it too. I didn't want to talk too much about the movie, incase *YOU* haven't seen it. But all of us enjoyed Kochan's performance. (And the actress who played Bruce Lily is really really really CUTE!!!!!!!)
So, where was I in the film?
Our scene got cut very short... It was like, barely a minute long... It was after 5 minutes into the movie, the very first Japanese Restaurant that Kochan visit - you can hear my voice, and see me standing behind the sushi counter.
On the date of the shoot, we had a lot of funny shots, especially with the Indian customer. (in the film, you can barely see him....) Him eating the sushi, the tea, and the semi-argument that we had were all cut in post-production.
So, if you're watching the film, MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOUR EYE LIDS OPEN when you see Kochan crossing the street of New York, to the first "88" Sushi Restaurant.
(A mysterious 3-D Woman, Myself, and Bo striking a post after the show)
I'll have to get the DVD when it comes out in stores later this year.
Ah, did I mention, only 5 actors are hired in New York?! (I even got credited in the credits - despite my less than a minute scene) The rest of the featured Non-Asian actors are all Japan-based Talents!!!!!