Yoko Yamanaka (Amiko)

On Dropping Out of Film School to Make Her Film

I wasn’t well-adapted to the film school environment. In less than a year I quit university. I stayed at home instead for around another year and watched a lot of films. There was a lot of input during that time, but I was also spending a lot of time alone. So I was pushed by myself to do something.

The most important thing is to shoot until the end, of course. When I watched the footage at home, it was quite different, but then different ideas started coming to me. After shooting my first film I understand more.

Yoko Yamanaka at a Q&A for Amiko. Photograph by King-Wei Chu, courtesy of Fantasia Film Festival

On Working With Actors

I found and cast the two main characters by Twitter and Instagram. I didn’t choose based on whether they were a good actor or not—I chose their faces, and my impression when I met them. It was more important that we could share something. We rehearsed at my place and read [the script], and sometimes I would read the role of the other character in the scene. We did a lot of rehearsal.

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