A badly needed progress update 進行状況の更新

Every once in a while I hear from someone who would like to know how the documentary is going. Each time this happens I feel compelled to answer that everything is fine, kind of like when someone asks you how you’re doing. And then every once in a while I’m asked, as one of a handful of people in the world who might be considered a “subject matter expert” on the topic of the Japanese fascination with Anne of Green Gables, to contribute an opinion for a media story, as happened a few days ago for an article written up by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation entitled “Abandoned Avonlea: Anne theme park in Japan now like a ghost town”.

It’s at moments like these that I remember that I still have to account for a long period of what must seem like inactivity to the relatively small number of people waiting to see a finished documentary called “Anne of Japan”.

The good news is that the film is nearly finished. All of the footage is shot, both on Prince Edward Island and in Japan. The jigsaw puzzle pieces are all there, a few of them still in the box, and most of them are assembled into something that looks like a picture.

The bad news is also that the film is nearly finished. The cliché phrase used by filmmakers is “hurry up and wait”. When it’s time to work, the work is quick and hectic with very little time to think twice about the actual physical process of making a film. And then there are the extremely long and frustrating times when you just have to wait. The waiting happens basically as a result of needing to clear the next obstacle standing in front of the film, usually involving payment for some element that’s out of the filmmaker’s control, such as licensing fees, music, or translating Japanese to English.

There aren’t that many remaining obstacles, however, which leads me to hope that the film can be finished and screened sometime before the end of 2017. This won’t be the first time I have given myself a deadline of “this year”, though, so we’ll just have to hope that luck is with us this time around.

I’ll try and provide more updates as progress is made, and hopefully we’ll be watching a finished documentary sooner than later. Thanks for your patience.

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