Tokyo Reality

Sometimes it requires an outsider to give an insightful view on a city. Like this wonderful footage of Tokyo

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Frenchmen Florent Porta and David Michaud created this clip of the Japanese capital as a collaboration. It was shot in just three days.

Feeling that the clip captured the feel of Tokyo really well, I became extremely curious, so I decided to interview Florent and David:

Q. What kind of work do you do?

F: I’m a freelance video editor and graphic designer.

D: I’m a photographer/cameraman, journalist and author.

Q. Are you based in Tokyo, or were you just visiting the city?

F: I live in Lyon, France. I wasn’t in Tokyo for Tokyo Reality. We did everything through the internet.

D: I’m based in Yokohama, and I go to Tokyo everyday for work.

Q. Which places did you visit, and why did you select these?

D: In fact, a lot of the places are on my way to work, while I visited Odaiba and Yoyogi Koen on the week-end. I choose Yoyogi for the human approach of Tokyo, and to contrast it with the image of salarymen and work. Odaiba just offers the best views on the city.

Q. What did you want to express and show in Tokyo Reality?

F: We wanted to show people that with this camera anybody can do movies with a cinematic look.

D: At first it was just to show what can be done with the Canon EOS 5D MkII (at this time we were the first people to use the video under real conditions). Canon offered the beta version of the camera for a 5 day try-out. I had to test the camera for my work, but when I saw the quality of the video I decided to make a short clip about Tokyo in my personal time before returning the camera back to Canon. The goal was to show a normal day in Tokyo.

Q. Do you feel that you succeeded?

F: The video has been seen by more than 600k people. I think we succeeded!

D: The time was to short to make a real story, so it’s look more like a video clip than a short movie like I originally had in mind. But we succeeded in transmitting the Tokyo ambiance and the emotion of the city. And those were the real goals.

Q. Which are your favorite spots in Tokyo, and what are the aspects of this city that attract you most? Why?

D: My favorite spot is the view of Akihabara from the Ochanomizu Bridge, because you have all of Tokyo City at this one point: a bridge, trains, roads, a canal, old houses, modern buildings, temple, nature, sakura… I really like this contrast between modern and traditional ife style and architecture.

F: Like David, I also really like this paradox between the modern and the traditional in Japanese culture.

Q. Can we expect more of these insightful videos of Tokyo from the two of you?

F: I did some movies of the island of Shikoku in October 2009 with the Canon 7D.

D: Yes! We are working now on a concept for a TV show about Tokyo. But Florent already shot some great footage of Shikoku.

Kjeld Duits About the Author

Inspired by the stunningly creative street fashion that exploded on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990’s, photo-journalist Kjeld Duits launched JAPANESE STREETS in 2002. This makes JS one of the first fashion blogs on the net, and the very first to cover Japanese street fashion.

Recent articles by Kjeld Duits:

Comment (日本語もOK)

KD, I agree with your footnotes. Great clip, thumbs up to Porta/Michaud.

Jul 24, 2010 (4316 days ago)

@nonsibi: Thanks!

Kjeld Duits (author)
Jul 24, 2010 (4316 days ago)

Thanks for this interview Kjeld ;)

You forgot to credit our websites :)

Jul 27, 2010 (4313 days ago)

Ooooops my godness you credited us with link on our names ! Sorry ! ;)

Jul 27, 2010 (4313 days ago)

Oh my goodness I love love loved this video! Particularly the park scene; my favourite! I loved the way you captured the circle of people sitting, the children, and the artist! This makes me want Japan even more.

Jul 27, 2010 (4312 days ago)

This movie actually forced me to move back to Tokyo. I lived there for 10 years until 1996 but after being gone 14 years this video just opened feelings of longing to get back I couldn’t ignore. It turned out to be the right time and i was able to get a great job in a building overlooking the Shibuya crossing.

Dec 21, 2010 (4165 days ago)

@Greg: I find that very inspirational, Greg! What kind of work are you doing?

Kjeld Duits (author)
Dec 21, 2010 (4165 days ago)

Very nice video ! I didn’t watch it before and that’s great ! Thanks for the interview as well.

Planete Maneki
Oct 22, 2013 (3129 days ago)

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