News Sushi #105: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond

Hamish keeps serving the best News Sushi!
Hooray! More News Sushi for you to enjoy!
Editor Note:It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you (ありがとうございました) Hamish, for your insights.

こんにちは!Which means “Hello”!

I hope everyone has had a good week in the great pause of 2020. By the time you’re reading this I will have shot my first music video in over 5 years (as of writing it is still in my future). I’m really looking forward to working with Felicity and John today, and I’m excited to work with some concepts that I’ve been desperate to film for a long time. We will be a small crew (three) and be keeping covid safe.

I’m also excited to announce that my film has achieved picture lock, and we are on the home stretch now. I had a fun moment with a font company this week as I inquired about the broadcast rights to use one of their fonts in my film. Well, that turned out to be very cost prohibitive. I feel like the moment people hear “feature film” they think they’ve hit pay dirt. Not always the case.

Did you have a fun Halloween? I went on a socially distanced hike on the Takedao Train Trail, which goes through 6 tunnels, and features beautiful waterfalls and gorges. Plus, my friend turned me into a movie killer with this photo inside the tunnel:

View this post on Instagram

It's me, not Jack the Ripper! Photo by Michele #halloween

A post shared by Hamish Downie (@hamishdowniewriter) on

I promise you I was smiling! Maybe that makes it more creepy? Haha.

Learn more here:

More for Halloween later. For now, here’s an interesting video featuring LVMH’s General Manager of FRED Japan, Motoki Okochi, sharing his views about how diversity helps drive business and makes the company a fun place to work.

I hope this is something other Japanese companies will follow in the future.


The leader of the Folk Filmmaker movement has recently announced a major project, and you can be a part of it!

“After the immense success of our first video on the 12 features project I wanted to follow up and give everyone concrete advice on how we can all work together. I was blasted with facebook messages which are really hard to follow haha! In this video specifically we follow the casting process and what we need you to do in order for you guys and gals to get cast in these roles.”

Some of you may know that I do a little podcast with a friend of mine called “Pop & Fizz” where we talk about movies, and recently, we do radio plays! Well, we finally recorded one of these radio plays on zoom, so you don’t have to listen to the podcast to enjoy the plays, they are here on youtube to enjoy.

A Pop & Fizz Radio Play: Like a Bump on a Log

Radio Play by Sestatcial Staring: Sestatcial, Scott Lien, and Chris Rodriguez of the Let me draw that podcast, who we interviewed recently:

It is somewhat based on the fact that one of my favourite expressions is “like a bump on a log”. I hope you enjoy it!


Boo, a short film directed by and starring the amazingly talented Rakefet Helene, is out now on Alter. Go watch it.



It’s not easy for a movie-star to age – especially when you’re a stop motion animated skeleton monster. Phil, once a terrifying villain of the silver-screen, struggles to find work in modern Hollywood due to being an out-of-date special effect.

Written and Directed by Michael Shanks


Anyone looking for a little 5 min Halloween thrill, my friends and I got this new Scary Endings in the can before the pandemic hit and post was done over the last few months – we’re pretty proud of how it turned out. Written and directed by John Fitzpatrick, check out ‘JACOB’…



And that’s it for this week… I hope to bring more interviews from next week, but, perhaps there will be more News Sushi… see you next Friday!


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