A vulnerable girl hiding from her monstrous Step-father; finds herself in the arms of a real monster. She has four nights to Conquer them both.
Some places have a unique feeling - magic, voodoo, electricity, or whatever you want to call it. Africa and Japan are two places where I have witnessed that magic firsthand and I wanted to capture some of it in my debut feature.
I wrote a script that was set in Japan, about a Monster who falls in love with a foreign girl. The moment the script was finished, I booked a ticket to Japan and then went looking for a team, comprised of people who would do it for the adventure - if you want to swim, then jump in.
While rehearsing, storyboarding and researching, I would occasionally hear rumours about how difficult it is to shoot in Tokyo, and a month later, as I watched the sunrise over Tokyo from the back of a police car, I realised those rumours were indeed true. While the police listed the various bureaucratic rules that we had broken, it became clear we were not going to be able to film in Tokyo if we behaved like a normal film crew, instead we would have to behave like ninjas; scouting in pairs in the day, shooting in the night as a skeleton crew and disappearing before anyone even knew we were there.
In contrast, on our other adventure in South Africa it was the complete opposite - we could film anywhere and everyone wanted to help. Instead, it was the environment and the wildlife that opposed us.
Lugging heavy film equipment along the edges of cliffs and through narrow ravines, negotiating with troops of baboons (who climbed into shot), blistering cold nights, boiling hot days, poisonous snakes and sudden torrential rain storms, falling in ancient caves and holding up sets being blown by powerful winds.
As I write this I ask myself did we capture the magic I set out to find?
I remember watching Alice through my little monitor, as she walked slowly down a narrow neon alley, florescent signs reflected in the windows and puddles dancing in her big blue eyes. When suddenly, a black cat appears out of nowhere and walks across her path, lighting cuts through the Tokyo night sky, the air is charged with electricity and chills run up my spine. I found that magic.