Thanks for reading the 2 Criminals blog! We appreciate your interest. This week’s blog post is a Q and A (see below). If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask. To get in touch, click on the “connect” menu item and send us a message.
Q. What is the theme of the film?
A ruthless hit man and an arrogant thief for the yakuza (Japanese Mafia) volunteer in Japan’s radioactive disaster zone and find redemption.
2 Criminals is a story of finding beauty in the ruble of disaster. It is a rare story of hope and transformation within the deadly yakuza world, based on interviews with former yakuza members.
2 Criminals Film Poster “Letting go…”
Q. Why are you making this film?
Stories connect with people. They influence our thinking and our behavior. They change us and they change how we live which means they affect culture. There are many examples of films shaping culture.
In Japan, the film “Sister Act” made gospel music wildly popular. Today it is an established genre in Japan. Thousands of Japanese want to sing Black Gospel so they join local choirs.
Hula Girls is Japanese film based on the true story of a group of girls who learn hula dancing to save their small town. This popular, award-winning film made Hula dancing popular in Japan.
Credited by historians as a key factor in the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, the silent film Birth of a Nation had a very negative impact on culture.
The filmmakers want 2 Criminals to bring healing and hope to the great nation of Japan. We want people to watch our film and realize, “If there is hope for those two men, there is hope for me too.” After seeing our movie, we want to hear that yakuza have quit the gang. We want people from all walks of life to find hope.
Q. What have you accomplished so far?
We have a wonderful core team (two full-time staff, three part-time staff and two interns) and numerous volunteers. We also have a long list of people who have expressed interest in being part of the crew that will shoot the film.
We have raised over $120,000, completed five versions of the script, created a bi-lingual 2 Criminals website, and we have prepared high quality printed material. Printed material includes flyers in Japanese and English and a 12 page “Film Presentation Booklet.”
We have held many meetings in Japan and around the world which is building grass roots support for the film.
Q. Why is it taking so long to get the film made?
I sincerely apologize that we are taking much longer than initially indicated. Frankly, we were way too optimistic with our timeline drastically underestimating how much time and effort it was going to take to make this story into a film.
We are committed to getting the film made.
We have made a great deal of progress, but we have a long way to go. While it is impossible to know for sure when we will finish the film, it is our goal to have it done by the fifth anniversary of the disaster.
Q. How do you plan to get the film done?
We are constantly sharing the vision and asking people for help and advice. We will continue reaching out to those who care about Japan and believe in the importance of telling redemptive visual stories.
Collaboration is key. A university in the USA has expressed strong interest in collaborating with us on the film. If this moves ahead it will be a big step towards completing the film.
We are preparing a crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter.
Shinada & Doumae in Tokyo
We have engaged a PR firm to help with promotion of the film.
Q. What is a highlight of making this film so far?
Getting to know the two remarkable men who are the inspiration for our story.
Q. What are some of your challenges?
We have made two promotional videos that took a great deal of effort and time. However, due to lack of permission to use a small portion of the footage in these two videos we have not been able to release them on the Internet.
Preparing an excellent script is very challenging. We have made a great deal of progress. The sixth draft promises to be a big improvement.
Finding 100% of the funding we need to finish the film is another huge challenge.
Q. What about distribution of the film?
While we would like to secure a distribution deal now, it is more likely that we will be successful after the film is made. With the goal of getting noticed and landing a distribution deal, we plan to enter 2 Criminals into key film festivals. We will have the option of making DVDs. There are other ways of getting our film in front of people including online and touring with one of our former yakuza men.
Q. What is something you are thankful for?
The hundreds of people who have helped in one way or another with this project. We are — more or less — half way to our goal of getting this film made. That is amazing! A huge accomplishment.
Q. How can I find out more about the film?
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! Please use the contact form on this website to reach out to the filmmakers.