søndag den 22. juli 2007

Monday Nov. 20 - Photos, Interviews & Filming

Monday Nov. 20

The promised rains stop about noon, just as well, because I have to ride downtown for some more photo ops. The journalist that interviewed me in Chiba has a photographer, who wants to shoot some pictures where I actually ride out there on the stilt roads. Fine, we’re done in about an hour, and I leave the editorial office with a lot of photo copies of the magazine’s Nimbus articles. Even a recent one written by Yori Kanda, the journalist who visited me a couple of times over the summer.

Interview # 2 is a slightly longer affair than the two hours I had figured beforehand: A whole film crew greets me as I enter Simon Godden’s office, including a director who reminds me about his equivalent in ‘Lost In Translation’ (turns out he used to be a rock guitarist in L.A. a long time ago). Anyway, we have to go somewhere with not too much police, as otherwise they’d need a permission for doing the kind of filming they’re up to. So we go down towards the harbour, in direction of Yokohama, to a somewhat quiet piece of road, which in any case is not easy to find in this town.

Making films is notoriously time consuming, and doing it this time is no exception. Around and around I drive, shots from all angles, heights and directions. At least I get myself a personal translator, Aida (named after the tragic princess in the opera of that name), of Ethiopian origin, so the instructions are not hard to understand. Off I go behind the van, where the director gives all sorts of hand signals and I change gears over and over and over again. The camera man and his camera are roped to the van, just for safety, as he is filming out through the open back door. Things are working out fine, and then they want some kickstarting shots and some more turns, until darkness approaches and the rain comes back.

Back at the office we start a regular filmed interview, with now a total of nine guys involved with camera, microphone, lights etc. Riku Emoto (half Indian), whom I met at Fuji Speedway, asks me about Danish motorcycle culture, about Nimbus, about my feelings for motorcycles and life in general, Aida translates back and forth, there are takes and retakes – the hand shake at the end gets 4-5 shots before I’m happy with it. By 7.30 everybody is happy with it all, after which we go down to take pictures of the Nimbus bobber, in the dry comfort of a garage across the street. Another 1½ hours everybody is even more happy, and it’s a safe bet that my bike is the most photographed Nimbus in all of South East Asia.

It’s dark outside, everybody’s stomachs growl, so it’s time for another large serving of raw fish and other Japanese delicacies, at the crowd’s favourite restaurant right around the corner. Except for one, everybody in this company understands English, which nicely compensates for the days when I got all misty-eyed by just hearing a few comprehensible sentences from the TV in some hotel room. While I finally have a chance at getting answers for my thousands of questions about the local bike scene and other things Japanese, and I of course have a great time with the crowd, the chef comes out and does magic tricks. Something I happen to love to see, when it is done so well as he does it. Not until midnight do we return to the garage.

Which is locked.

No chance to get my bike out, the man at the other end of the phone line says, but my time schedule for tomorrow still allows me to carry some of the luggage down here by train in the morning, and then continue on to the warehouse in one of Yokohama’s 7-8 large harbours. Most of the things I intend to send by ship – tent, side bag, transport crate, helmet – are already strapped onto the bike, so it could look as ‘authentic’ as possible when they filmed it. One of the main people of the company (half Korean, grew up in Italy) and one of the photographers (half French) drives me up to Tepui Bar, where the former gives me some knowledge about Japans drug laws, and about the potent marijuana, which a lot of old people out in the countryside still harvest and smoke. Marijuana was a common recreational drug here, at least until the Americans took over in 1945, but apparently not everybody thinks it should not be smoked, much less be outlawed in the first place.

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