In Japanese

Its the last day of donations! Please do your best to spread the word! Instructions on how to donate are also available in Japanese http://www013.upp.so-net.ne.jp/dankato/mukaiyamaletspop.html. So tell this link to your Japanese friends.

プロジェクトのindiegogoのチャレティーは最後日ですよ!日本語で説明があります!どうぞ。http://www013.upp.so-net.ne.jp/dankato/mukaiyamaletspop.html 日本人と友達に教えてください。お願いします!

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Last Chance

I’ve formatted half of the book now. The traditional section is actually very long. The movie section is quite short, Most movies are by the two animation greats of Japan. Do you know who they are? If you don’t you should definitely buy our book, and if you do, you should buy our book to check!

There’s only 3 days left on our Indiegogo campaign! We’ve raised less than a quarter of the meager target!

So I don’t know what else to say except PLEASE share this link like crazy: http://www.indiegogo.com/letspopculture

If not for me, who has, by the way, worked so hard for this project I might seriously have depression if it completely fails, then do it for the students who desperately need help but don’t even realise it, and all the disaster victims who need new homes.

Please! Just two seconds of your life can change so many others for the better.

20121129-102734.jpg if you don’t help, this cat will hate you forever, and probably die horribly cursing and screaming your name…

Have a nice day!

Countdown

This is it! Or rather, tomorrow is it. Tomorrow the IndieGoGo page will go go live! In 24 hours you’ll be able to start donating to our project, and we sincerely hope that you will. All the teachers and students here at Mukaiyama are counting on you to help them and those people still struggling to rebuild their lives after last year’s earthquake.

Full information can be found on this site (hint: try the links above) but to donate, and watch the awesome video, you need to go to our IndieGoGo page at http://www.indiegogo.com/letspopculture

Please, please please tweet this link, Facebook it, tumblr it, anything, just spread the word, especially if you know someone interested in Japan, helping charities or teaching. This project really can make a big difference, but only if more people know about it.

So tweet away, my friends. What would you have me do in return? I’ll do it! I promise.

Premiere

Hey there, normal people. I’m a movie star now. Haven’t you heard? We made this great film telling people all about our project and its just so fantastic that people have propelled its stars into outer space. Literally. They strapped us to a rocket and now as we float through space our heads are popping…

But enough of the bizarre imagery. There is some truth there, and that is that we have made a video. It even tells people about the project, but I doubt it will propel anyone to fame. It’s online, on YouTube, you may even be able to find it, but I’m not advertising it yet because I want my select audience of beta testers to have their premiere so they can inform me if there is any problem first.

I don’t think there are any major problems. In fact, I think it turned out really well. Some parts surprised even me. However, it was a little rushed as I only had just over a week to film and edit it, ready for the Indiegogo project page’s launch on Friday. So it is a little rough, but I really tried hard to make it much better quality than my usual YouTube efforts and the students put in a great performance too, after a little persuasion.

So this is it! We are only 3 days away from starting the funding drive! Now is the time to start telling people about our project and the all important soon to be open page at www.indiegogo.com/letspopculture.

So what are you waiting for? Go! Tweet! Facebook! Tumbley tumblr…!

The making of the introduction video

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Hey viewers and welcome to another exciting edition of “It’ll Be Alright On The Night”. I’m your host, Matthew Rowe, and… I guess I got carried away with the whole video making thing.

I’ve been filming clips for the Indiegogo project introduction video. It’s been fun but harder work than I imagined. Now, I try to make a short video on YouTube about my daily life every day, well, five times a week, but I don’t spare much time for production because I don’t have that much time every day. However, for this video I want it to look good so I’ve been practicing lines, setting up shots, dressing the set and patrolling security too.

The results are quite good, I can’t really tell until I edit later, but there have been a lot of bloopers. I never realized how hard it is to remember and deliver lines correctly, and then it’s even hard to remember what you are supposed to say after a difficult bit. So, if there is enough room on my iPhone and iPad to save the clips, I might make a bloopers video as a bonus later. It’ll be nice to post on Indiegogo.

Slowly, I’m getting there. The wrapped footage – ooh, look at me, I used a proper filming term – is piling up. I just have to work out a few location problems. Basically, I want to do a walk down the corridor as I talk through a few points, but they keep having lessons in the extra lecture rooms so I can’t disturb them. Hopefully, in today’s last period I will have the space I need.

Very soon, I’m going to visit the classes to instruct the students who want to appear in the video. Due to permission problems and personal safety, students will be appearing wearing masks, but still I have only had a handful of volunteers, and all boys! I want to get some girls interested for the sake of balance! So I’m also thinking of how best to use students in masks. I might get them to do something else funny. We’ll see what happens.

And that’s it, production continues.

Cultured

Howdy-doodly-doo!

We are like in the middle of the schools culture festival. That means that everyone is very busy. However we’re having lots of fun. All the classes have designed a particular event to raise money, play games or just have some fun. I joined the English club today at the other school. I had a display of English comic books, English movies, TV dramas, English food and English books. I think people enjoyed it, but there weren’t many visitors. I think all of the Japanese public are afraid of English. Tomorrow I have the event again and I am at Mukaiyama high school. I have the whole day in the media room to show videos, the first grade skit project as well, so it’s going to be so fun. The screen in that room is huge and the sound system is fantastic. So basically it’s like having my own cinema. Wonderful!

Some attention has been taken away from the project for a little while. However, last week the second grade students had some class time in which to finish writing the first draft reviews. As I said, some of them I’ve marked and returned them. I made a few corrections but they were really much better than I expected. Whereas some reviews were too short, I asked questions and when I felt an important point had been missed too. So I encourage them to write more and most of the students responded quickly with a longer review.

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That said, still about half of the students have not handed in the first draft. They have until Thursday – that’s the deadline. It was good to see the students working in class. I didn’t get a chance to see them working over summer. So this was my first time. They work really well and personalities of each class are different, but generally they help each other and chat about the subjects.

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Now, the students aren’t thinking about the reviews. All of the school is focused on the culture festival. It’s one of the few chances for the high school students to really have fun. They create shops or events in the school and many of them dress in costumes. You always find boys in schoolgirl uniforms and maid costumes. They like to do funny performances. Quite often there will be a group who will perform an AKB song. That’s the local idol group. The girls group.

It’s a good time and I’m tired from today. So, I must sleep before returning to the chaos.

Bye-bye

Return

Hello there! Long time no see. I’ve been on school vacation, so it’s been hard to keep track of progress with the project. As of today though, I’m back at school daily. So regular reports will resume.

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I was pleased to see that many first draft reports have been handed in already. I really thought the students would wait until our first lesson. There are still many to collect, but I’m going to give them a week to get the first draft in.

My task now, is to check this and prompt them to write more. I’m going to ask questions to make them give me more information. Then the reviews will be even longer. I’m pleased with how long they are actually, but we are publishing these, so the more the better.

After they are checked, I shall return them to make a final draft on paper, then it will be off to the computer room to type the final draft! The students are doing that, of course! If I typed them all up, we would never get to release this book!

Take care, and I’ll report to you again very soon.

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Fundraising ends!

The EndDecember 1st, 2012
Our big fund raiser is coming to an end... Here's when. Thank you for all the support! We all really appreciate it.

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