While Japan in Melbourne usually focuses on Japan-focused events, restaurants and interviews in Melbourne, we like to shake things up every now and again, so this time we’d like to focus on a story that is the complete reverse. This time we’ve got some Melbourne in Japan for you.
As a kind of DIY fame experiment in Japan, ‘Big in Japan’ is a yet to be released documentary that explores the concept of fame, what fame means, what is it that attracts people to it and an ordinary man’s quest for fame. The documentary was produced by a Melbourne-based production team named Walking Fish Productions.
View the teaser here:
There is this phenomenon in Japan where a foreigner, who may be just an ordinary student, worker, or—in other words—completely unknown to the talent and fame industries, can go from being a ‘nobody’ to being known just due to being a foreigner in Japan.
“It’s a playful meditation on the nature of fame and how far we’re willing to go to become a celebrity,” Elliot-Jones said.
The Big in Japan team ship their lives over to Japan for two years and try to garner fame for Melbourne-based presenter/guinea pig David Elliot-Jones. Along the way, they meet with other foreigners who have similarly found fame over in Japan, and hear their stories. Each star is at different points in their careers as “gaijin tarento” (foreign talent/celebrities) and each have their own story of their climb to fame, what that had to do to get there and what the lifestyle is like for them.
The featured members include Australia’s very own Adelaide-born sensation ‘Ladybeard’ who is currently taking Japan by storm with his cross-dressing, rock god antics. The other two members include Canadian-born Kelsey Parnigoni who is aspiring to make it big as a J-pop idol in Japan, and finally Bob ‘The Beast’ Sapp, and American fighter and TV superstar in Japan.
We hope to reveal not only the perks of fame, but the nitty gritty reality of the celebrity experience.
Director Lachlan McLeod, editor Louis Dai and presenter David Elliot-Jones self-funded the trip, working part-time as English teachers in Tokyo.
Although the team takes a light-hearted approach to the exploration, they came across some more serious issues amongst the fame industry in Japan. The world currently holds a strong focus on social media, where the amount of likes one holds determines your fame, and social media influence the way we present ourselves to the rest of the world and interact with it. The meaningful message embedded in the documentary is all the more reason to give this documentary a watch and your support.
The documentary has been fully filmed and the Big in Japan team are currently seeking post-production funds to complete the film, hopefully aiming for a VOD (iTunes, VHX and Pozible’s Screen Connect) and cinema release of the documentary around October 2017. They hope for it to be screened in Australia and overseas as well.
With less than a month to raise $25,000 to cover expenses such as archive rights (for example, foreigners appearing on TV shows), music and studio costs like sound and colour grades. They’ll need your support to bring this documentary to life! Any amount helps!
You can find the link to their crowdfunding campaign here.
Thanks to David Elliot-Jones for the press images and information, we’d like to wish you and the team the best of luck from all of us at Japan in Melbourne!