I'm Taro Imai, a micro budget independent film producer from Osaka, Japan.
This is my first blog posting in my life, and I'm going to blog about how far I can go as a micro budget independent film producer from Osaka. Let me start from introducing who I am.
I was born in 1979 and grew up in Kobe. Dragon Ball and video games such as Super Mario, Dragon Quest, and Final Fantasy were big among kids in 80's and 90's, but I was away from the scene as my parents prohibited watching TV and playing video games.
I started to watch many movies in VHS when I was 13 as my parents allowed me to watch video somehow. I remember that Hollywood action stars such as Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis were very popular at that time.
When I was 14, I visited a town in Washington State which looked like a town in Western movies and stayed at the local family's home for a week. That experience influenced me a lot as I decided to go back to the States in the future.
Two life changing events happened when I was 15. I watched Pulp Fiction at a theatre and had a different feeling from watching other films after watching it although I didn't understand well at that time. That was the first time I thought I wanted to be a filmmaker in the future. Before watching Pulp Fiction, I was just enjoying the movies without thinking much. After watching Pulp Fiction, I started to think more about films. A massive earthquake attacked Kobe killing more than 6,000 people a few months after that.
After graduating from high school, I went to LA and studied film production at Los Angeles City College. I made some short films in Super 8 and worked as a boom operator for some independent films such as A Ribbon of Dreams directed by Philip W. Chung and Uneatable Harold directed by Ari Palitz. Since my parents were not rich, I worked very hard as a sushi chef too in order to pay for the tuition and rent.
I came back to Kobe when I was 25 and started to work for a car company Daihatsu Motor as an exporter of the car parts all over the world as I couldn't find any job in film industry. Actually, there was an offer from Toei Studio in Kyoto to work as a production assistant, but I turned down the offer as I couldn't pay for my debt with their small salary. That was my biggest mistake in my life, and I still regret that I didn't take that offer.
I started to work for Mitsubishi Corporation as a yarn trader when I was 28. Then I started to think what I'm doing and started to go to a screenwriting class in Osaka around that time. I made some short films such as Not Boiled Enough directed by myself and Smell, But I Love You directed by Kazuo Nagai with the classmates and left the company last year to concentrate on filmmaking.
I produced feature film Yamamoto Eri becomes Recoverability Zero directed by Yuki Kuwazuru in 2015 and won the second prize at the New Directors Film Festival 2015. Then I produced feature film Eriko, Pretended directed by Akiyo Fujimura in 2016. It was premiered at Osaka Asian Film Festival 2016 and won SKIP City Award at SKIP City International D-Cinema Festival 2016.
I hope you understand a little about who I am. I'm gonna organize this bio and put somewhere in the homepage.