I recently got a chance to visit with Award Winning Producer, Daniel Furukawa. His film "What Showers Bring" won the Best Film Award at the 168 Film Festival 2014.
"What Showers Bring" garnered ten nominations including:
Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress (2 Noms: Kelli Goss as Rachel, Paige Spara as Leah), Best Screenplay–Drama, Best Scriptural Integration, (use of foundational scripture), Best Sound Design, Best Original Score, Best Production Design and Best Hair and Makeup.
"Showers" Won for:
Best Film: Daniel Furukawa, Producer
Best Actress: Kelly Goss as Rachel
Best Original Score: Sean Massey, Composer
Best Original Score: Sean Massey, Composer
JDW: What is your level of experience in the industry?
DF: I have very little experience on a film or television set. Most of my experience is in shooting and editing for churches, missions organizations, and corporations. A few of our teammates on the project have had some experience in smaller television productions, but for most of us this project was our first attempt at creating a narrative.
JDW: How did you get started?
DF: Actually, one of the first video projects I worked on, aside from high school class projects, was a tribute to a friend who passed away in college. I started shooting and editing consistently about 10 years ago for the church where my dad was working at the time.
JDW: What was your goal in producing for 168 Film?
DF: Our original goal was to find something to do that would challenge us as a group and stretch us creatively. We had been meeting together for a while and knew that we needed a specific goal to set our sights on. The 168 project provided that point of focus. As artists, we recognized that we had the tendency to plan and brainstorm, but rarely make it to the point of actual execution. By entering 168 we had guidelines and a goal, but most importantly for us, we had a deadline. I think deadlines are the necessary evil for artists. We hate them and need them at the same time.
JDW: How did you organize your team?
DF: We had been meeting for a while prior to the 168 project. A group of about 8-10 of us, each with our own individual skill sets, had decided about a year ago to meet and create projects on our own. Our hope was to create projects from the ground up, for the sole purpose of practice and perfecting our skills.
Best Film Team 2014
Daniel Furukawa, Producer
JDW: Did you have everything you needed when you started out?
DF: It depends on how you look at it. We had a camera, a microphone, a crew ready to create and work hard, and luckily, an extremely talented group of actresses and actors who were willing to give up their time. So yes, we had everything we needed, technically. We shot on a very small budget (less than $1000), so we made decisions to shoot everything in one day, and mostly with natural lighting. We also made decisions to shoot in locations that we had access to for free, like our own home.
JDW: How did you get the actors that worked on your film?
DF: Our Casting Director, Genevieve Penn, is very good at what she does. She is an excellent evaluator of talent and potential. We trusted her completely and it paid off.
JDW: How did your faith impact the production?
DF: Our faith impacts everything. I know that sounds like a Sunday school answer, but its true. We hope that our faith dictated the process completely. Our intention was to make a film that would impact people. We felt that it was important to create a story that people could relate to, and in turn, find hope in its message. We didn't want to necessarily wrap it up in a "Jesus Bow," but we wanted people to see that redemption is real, and Jesus is offering it to us. We experienced God's change of plans many times. He has a wonderful way of taking what we've done (or set out to do) and remaking and renewing the plan into something we never thought possible.
JDW: What are your plans for the film?
DF: We want to make it available to as many people as possible, especially as an encouragement to couples struggling with the desire to have children naturally and harsh realities of infertility and other issues relating to conception. Adoption is a wonderful alternative.
JDW: What are your plans for the future?
DF: We hope to make more films. The 168 process opened our eyes and lit a fire in us to continue to create. We were encouraged not to limit ourselves with our budget and equipment excuses, but to allow the story to drive what we do. My dad always used to tell me when I was young, "the equipment doesn't make the man." That couldn't be more true than in filmmaking. Don't get me wrong, we love gear, but we won't allow the lack of it to prevent us from pursuing excellence in what we love to do.
JDW: What would you like people to know about the production? About you? About your team?
DF: We are young and inexperienced, but we are wide-eyed and excited to learn and better ourselves. We know we have so much to learn and we are thankful to 168 for contributing to our journey. Ultimately, we hope that in our team you see a glimpse of our Creator.