Long-Distance Runners: A Cross-Cultural Love Story
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Long-Distance Runners: A Cross-Cultural Love Story
Jeff M. Giordano
2014, 66m, adventure, documentary, romance
A moving, low-def collage of a long-distance relationship cut together (in poetic fashion) from years of home video footage. Two unique personalities and the challenges of their long-distance romantic relationship, with moments of ecstasy throughout Japan, Australia, and USA.
The film chronicles the roller coaster of emotions that define young love: passion, heartache, and exhilaration. Jeff and Tomoko are like two young lovers on the run, and take us on a whirlwind tour via intimate home videos.
10 questions with Long-Distance Runners: A Cross-Cultural Love Story director, Jeff M. Giordano at the half-way mark.
Friday, May 27th, 2016
1Hi Jeff! Thanks for being a part of our 2016 Spring Festival. First, what was it that made you decide to make this film? Thanks for inviting my film!
My fear of death caused me to make the film.
2This was your first feature film. How did you know you were ready to tackle a feature and what prepared you? I've been ready since 2004!
Directing many short films prepared me.
3I actually lived in Saitama Japan too! What are your thoughts about Japan after living there? What do you miss most about Japan? Right on! Saitama's wonderful!
After living in Japan, it feels like I was Japanese in a past life...most likely as a monk or female samurai. The culture suits my personality and Japanese food is my favorite.
I miss the beauty, kindness of strangers, tea, stray cats, karaoke, carrying the mikoshi, and helping drunk businessmen get across busy streets.
4This film is put together with so much home footage. I remember when I was younger I used to record everything. Now I rarely even take photos. Do you still record everything going on? No, it becomes too exhausting! lol
This reminds me of a recent trip to Los Angeles. It was the first time I actually experienced the city as a tourist and soaked it all in. At first I wanted to record everything. But I got tired of interrupting the moment and didn't document so much, for the last half of the trip. Or maybe it was all that driving in LA.
Whenever I take a picture or video, I try to determine: "What's this for? Research? To get 'Likes' online?
Am I afraid of never being here again? Is there some hidden meaning only I can see in this moment? Who else will appreciate this? Am I just hiding behind my camera, to feel less alone?" In my opinion... some experiences should just be lived -- without recording anything...such as comedy shows, live concerts, and museums (just a buy a book focusing on an artist you like).
5I thought this was such a lovely little doc. How difficult it is it for you to watch this film now that this relationship is now in the past? Thank you.
Whenever I'm single it's difficult...just kidding.
6What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? "Persona" by Ingmar Bergman.
7What was the biggest challenge making this film? Biggest: the Editing!
2nd Biggest: deciding when the film was finished, in accordance with where I was -- emotionally and psychologically.
8How long did it take you to edit this film? How many hours of footage did you have? 2 years to edit.
1,000 hours: liberal arts college I attended,.
13 hours: Tomoko and I.
200 hours: Southern New Jersey, and trips to visit friends.
9What's your favorite scene and why? It has to be everything filmed on Hi8 video at the liberal arts college when we first met. It has this surreal quality that's lyrical and dreamlike.
That analog texture looks the closest to how I think of memories that have no photo or video documentation. For example, the way it looks in my mind when I think about the comedy show I experienced in LA, or the last time I walked on a beach.
10What's next? 1.) For the past year, I've been working on a feature-documentary about a novelist in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are finishing the film this summer and will be submitting to festivals in the fall.
It's going to be a fun, sagacious movie to watch, and my best thus far -- exploring the impact of life on art, and contemporary issues we all face. This is my second feature-documentary about a novelist.
2.) I'm also writing a feature-screenplay. It requires a bigger budget and deserves A-list actors. The plot is inspired by my experiences as a sanitation worker, riding on the back of garbage trucks.
3.) As I type this, I have 2 new shorts (one narrative: "Caress Me" and one doc: "Into the Light") under consideration at film festivals.
4.) I have co-written a romantic comedy TV pilot that takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area. I want to take it to the next level. Netflix and Amazon Original Studios, contact me.
5.) To finish writing a poetry book and paint more frequently.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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