Notes from our Rough and Final Cut

Our Core Concept – Finding Happiness

What worked:

1. Clear Central Character

2. Great B-Roll

3. Photos of her past really helped clarify the story. 

What didn't:

1. Needs subtitles and or narration 

2. Clarity in story and footage.





Final Cut

Finish Sub titles….

Good Transitions…

Title for pioneers music good

Good story

Good camera work

Personal perspective, of how we met Hatsuko?

Good b roll

B roll of her house in the begining

7 min base line

Tighter job of editing would explain
Dramatic development of music needs progression matching the story.

Needs flipping of the story


Core Concept

  • What's the narrative spine of your piece?

Hatsuko's life story is the narrative spine.   From her youth to young adulthood in Japan, to her life in America. How she immigrated, and settled in America, eventually alone.   


  • What are your main characters?

 Hatsuko, and her family. Story of her husband, and her brother who is now 82. 

  • What are your plans for getting footage besides boring talking head shots?

We have access to photos.  We can film her at her favourite restruante, her day to day living.  Running errands, working out, going out.  



  • How is conflict driving your story?

Life has never ending struggles, the conflicts will be that of the past, leading up to her life as it is now. 

  • What kind of change do you wish to unfold within your piece?

Through her life what how she has lived, we wish to unfold a new understanding within our viewers perspective. 

  • What's the inciting incident and point of entry in your story?

Hatsuko coming to America in 1969. 

  • What issues do you foresee making your piece visually strong?

None unless we suddonly loose all access to a computer.  All of our images. and footage move the story forward and since the story is compelling, we will supply the clear images of Hatsuko to match. 


“Pioneers” the Documentary


“While it is important to win, it’s even more important to remain undefeated no matter what happens.” – Daisaku Ikeda





Living with freedom and happiness by overcoming the obstacles of racial and socio economic oppression in a post war world. 


Keiko Daniels and Hatsuko, live in Alameda. It would be easy to interview them in both their homes.  There is also a Buddhist community center in Oakland that will be a lovely balance for location. 


This is a story of a woman from Japan who immigrated to America where she became a citizen, learned English, and raised a  family.  Post war America was not a time that was too kind to Japanese immigrants.  They both overcame a lot of social oppression. 

She is a vibrant woman who actively participates and performes in a chorus called "Sounds of Unity Chorus" with a very diverse group of singers in Oakland,CA.  


Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 9.51.45 AM

 Hatsuko and Keiko Daniels.  They are the main people that I will interview, if their husbands and or children are around, I will ask their perspective too.  I will also try to schedule a time to record their Choir practice. They usually hold the rehearsals at the Oakland Community Center on 38th and Opal.


Their personal homes in Alameda, and The SGI-USA community center on 38th st and Opal in Oakland.


Pioneer is defined as a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area. These Japanese women are definitely "Pioneers" of a new area of a more socially conscious America. 


This film explores the time span from the 1950's to present day.  I will discuss America's change in view of Japanese Americans. 


This film is for youth. To show the generation that lived through tougher times than we ever knew. This is to show who paved the way for people who are ignorant of the clear path ahead of them.  We need to document the valuable experience of our elders so that we all can learn from their lives, and their struggles. 


I think I will approach a very relaxed approach where we interview the subjects in a conversation.  I want to take two cameras from the front, and on from the side. Have a cup of tea, and ask a series of questions and just let them tell their stories.  


History repeats itself. Unless we learn from both the mistakes and victories of our elders, we will loose and never develop. These women also have an indomitable spirit. To learn how they have overcome obstacles is very inspiring.