How many jabs and knockdowns can you take before you throw in the towel...and give up your dreams?
How do you know, even then, if you should give up...instead of fighting on, and going the distance?
How do you keep your dreams alive...when your well has "run dry?"
Jack grew up in the UK with a deep love and passion for football. His lifelong dream was to play professional football for his favorite team...his hometown team of Bradford City AFC. In fact, he cherished this dream so much that when he was in grade school, he told his teacher he would rather play for his beloved hometown team for a day than be king for a lifetime. It wasn't long however, until his teacher, and many others around him told him that he was simply chasing a crazy pipe dream, and pressed him to abandon his lifelong dream, and choose a more conventional career path. Jack then decided to "score goals" on the business pitch.
With a deep interest and fascination with the Far East, he set his sights on Japan. Jack arrived in Tokyo seven years ago, full of hope, excitement, and enthusiasm. He was determined to make a difference by winning a particular big account...the most difficult account which had eluded his team for years. Jack was determined to win this "big one" for the team. However, after a string of disappointments whilst extending his assignment three times, Jack was running low on faith and hope...and growing increasingly weary and tired. Little does Jack know that as the sun sets on his last Tokyo assignment, a series of unexpected cosmic and mysterious events involving a dark secret throws his life into an unforgettable tailspin...which would change his life forever.
'Dear Jack' is a film which I wrote, directed, and produced in this Spring of 2012.
The genesis of the idea behind this project was I wanted to make a tribute film for an awesome and cool former boss, Jack, who informed me in April 2012 that he would be returning to the UK. As a British expat working for a large Japanese company, Jack was one of the few western expats who willingly ventured and immersed himself within the deepest realms and inner working circles of corporate Japan. I also knew that Jack had a deep love and passion for football, and always dreamt of playing professional football for Bradford City AFC. My original plan was to make a documentary, where Jack would share his experiences in Japan from a first person narrative. Just as I was about to start writing the script, at the start of Golden Week,
I was struck with a different idea. What if I created an original fiction story, a sort of modern day epic (albeit
on a indie guerrilla film-maker's limited budget and resources) starring Jack, but would also involve a cast comprised of mutual colleagues and even some of my relatives? It would be a unique experience where Jack, our colleagues, and my relatives could immerse themselves in the world of interesting, complex characters...real heroes, loyal mates, and cunning, treacherous villains. They would also experience for the first time what it feels like to act in front of a camera. I wanted to create a film with a deeper and important message that would resonate with viewers and audiences from various cultures and countries.
I would like to thank all those involved who helped make this film a joy to write, direct and produce, including a wonderful crew. I would also like to give very special thanks to a fantastic cast, comprised of my awesome colleagues and relatives! Each and every single cast member delivered wonderful, memorable "wow" performances which brought smiles to those who watched! In fact, some performances are worthy of a career on the big screen! The whole creative process was an unforgettable experience which further reinforced within me the importance and power of story, improvisation, collaboration, and "sticking to your vision."
The best part of all? The film turned out to be a really nice way for wonderful colleagues to come together, and participate in a unique community project where all involved could take a pause from their ordinary daily lives to star in a film...a have a lot fun doing it!
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