Japan 2018 by Aleks Sakowski

Last year in October my partner and I traveled to Japan for the first time. We had a blast and can’t wait to go back. We traveled to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. 2 weeks was just enough to get a glimpse of it all but left us wanting to see more.

Tokyo: The city is a Godzilla but beautifully organized. Amazing public transport, coming back to Auckland was like returning to a small village. Tokyo had some of the best french pastries I’ve ever had. Shibuya crossing is like a roller-coaster ride. Our best food experience was at Kaikaia by the sea, a culinary experience I will never forget. We managed to see the Ghibli museum which I highly recommend, working in animation my self, I loved it and walked away with some great books.

Kyoto: The Zen Zone. We stayed at a beautiful hotel with some of the best lighting I have ever seen; Hotel Kanra, I highly recommend it. Our legs were feeling it now from all the excessive walking, there was just to much to see and not enough hours in the day. Nishiki market, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the beautiful Kamo river, not to mention the myriad of temples placed throughout the city, it was beautiful. We also had a kaiseki In Kyoto, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, absolutely incredible.

Osaka: The trendy hipster american part of Japan. the Markets are packed, and the takoyaki is endless. We went to Universal Studios JP for a whole day and had a great time; the VR Evangelion ride for me was a big highlight, but going on the Jurassic Park 5 times was the icing on the cake. Osaka Aquarium was amazing, one of the biggest in the world. I was on the look out to find a great knife shop searching for a beautiful Japanese kitchen knife to take home and stumbled across Osaka tower, I should of clicked when the shop was called, Tower Knives, great service and bought a beautiful Damascus steel knife that should last my lifetime.

Back to Tokyo: Bullet trains are the best, I wish we had them in New Zealand, super smooth and fast. On our last few days before flying out we checked out the Edward Munch exhibition which was in town, and off course in true Japanese style there were Pokemon branded Munch collectors cards on sale.

Overall I found Japan to be an ultra-mix of styles from all over the world. They some how manage to be influenced by many cultures and add their own touch of Japanese style making it their own. They have immense pride in everything they do no matter how small the job maybe, their uniforms are immaculate and their hospitality was second to none. My only regret was not having more time to explore. We will be back.

Shibuya Stream in Tokyo

Shibuya Crossing

Kamo River in Kyoto

Kamo River in Kyoto

Wandering the streets of Osaka

Osaka Tower

Tokyo from the top of our Hotel in Roppongi. The nocturnal lights of Tokyo lit up the low lying cloud

Akimbo Munich Wrap by Aleks Sakowski

For the month of June I was in Munich, Germany completing the second block of Guns Akimbo as 2nd Unit Director. It was an epic journey working with both NZ and German crews getting this project done. For the most part of the German shoot we spent our time in a decommissioned paper factory. I believe most if not everyone on that shoot will be walking away with a story to tell about the paper factory. I took a lot of set and crew photos and in time I will share more picture and information about the project. Congrats to Jason Howden the director for getting the job done. Now onto the post production. 

May Update by Aleks Sakowski

It's been a bit quiet on here lately but that is because I've been super busy. Mukpuddy is well under way on its new TV show "Quimbo's Quest". We are currently in production and have 52, 11 minute episodes to complete this year. It's been great to see Mukpuddy go from 15 staff last year to 40 this year. Everyone is getting into a good rhythm and producing some great work.  

Last year James Cunningham approached me to be the cinematographer on a new 3d Feature film "Pandamonium" being made here in Auckland.  Of course I accepted and we have been working on story boards for the past few months. The production is in progress and also features Linhan Ye as Production designer. Linhan illustrated all the assets for our project "Atheums Way".  James and I have been using a process of photographing toys to block out scenes, we then pass that information onto the storyboard artists. We have a great team working pre production for this. Looking forward to showing more when it goes into full production. 


And finally last month Jason Lei Howden Asked me to direct his 2nd Unit/Splinter Unit on his new film "Guns Akimbo" staring Daniel Radcliffe. We have been shooting for 2 weeks in Auckland NZ and have another 2 weeks to go. The production then heads of to Germany to complete the second block of shooting. As the film nears release I will be able to share more information about it.


Right now I am working 7 day weeks so I do not have much time to work on my own projects but I hope to return to the Mecha_Genesis Vol 2 very soon.