Sunday, January 17, 2010


Repercussions is the latest short film by director Michael Shu who last directed the Samurai feature short War of the Wolves Reunion. This Yakuza genre film is shot entirely on location in Los Angeles and features Yoshi Ando and Sonny Saito who both appeared in Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima. This film also features new comer Alvin Lam in the lead role of “Ken” and also stars Kazumi Zatkin who had previously costarred with Yoshi Ando in War of The Wolves Reunion. This is a short violent film with a mesmerizing score and memorable performances by the cast. Awkwardly enough, we didn’t know about the screening until director Mike Shu had asked me if I had received the evite. So just for prosperity, Mike sent it again and all was well in the land. Well almost. This came to us at the last minute. We had previously been engaged to attend a function at the Koyasan Temple in Little Tokyo at 5PM that night. Oh Boy! I hate double booking but sometimes as the Japanese say Shigata ga nai - it can not be helped. And sometimes it is worth it. This occassion was no exception.

Well after doing some creative time micromanagement we managed to attend the Koyasan Temple long enough to enjoy the wonderful Taiko performance by Asahi Sensei and members of the Temple Taiko troupe but had to leave early to make it on time to the 7PM screening across town at USC. We had told them that this was for a film that we had worked on. We also told them that this was a Yakuza film and that if we failed to make it on time to the screening we might lose a finger! Ok, so we exaggerated a little and got a few laughs with gimmick but luckily for us we didn’t lose any fingers and made it on time to the screening over at the Robert Zemeckis Center for the Digital Arts – Ron Howard Screening Room at USC.

Up until last year it had been close to a decade since I last worked on any film. I didn’t think I would ever get to work on a film again until Mike Sensei from the Shinkendo Honbu Dojo had asked me for some technical advice during his preproduction phase. I had previously mentioned to him my history working on small films as both a art director and set dresser. I then offered my services to the aspiring director. Mike Shu gave me an opportunity to work behind the scenes as a set dresser for the Yakuza Office set. Many of the props in the scene were from my own home including one of my antique Japanese wall scrolls. We even snuck in a portrait of our Sensei Toshihiro Obata in one of the main shots. The Obata’s kids couldn’t help but ask if they were seeing a picture of their parents up there. We filmed this feature short last May of 2009 while I was in hiding. Being back on a film set was a very healthy diversion during the most stressful of time of my life. I plan to write about filming of Repercussions in my future novel Gulagula. What can I say other than it was good to see my name up on the credits after being cheated out of so many film credits during my brief acting career. It was a lot of fun to work again and to see the finished results up on the big screen.

I look forward to future collaborations with Michael Shu and many other members of the cast and crew of Repercussions. Great Job everyone!

Left Sonny Saito & Kazumi Zatkin
Right Kizumi & Yours Truely

Left Louis Rosas & Yoshi Ando
Right Yoshi Ando & Director Mike Shu on Set

Group photo from left to right:

Kazumi Zatkin


Louis Rosas

Sonny Saito

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