The Caught My Eye section of Indievisual has been the place where I write about movies which have… “caught my eye.” It’s my way of drawing attention to works past, present, and/or future which seem interesting. I first learn about each movie through word-of-mouth, social media mentions, write-ups by other sites, film festival lineups etc., and after gathering as much information as I can, sum up what makes the work appealing to me. I have recently uploaded four new movies to the section which includes a documentary from 2013, and a narrative drama slated for a 2019 release. However, as I was preparing and writing up these articles, I realized they were only the second set of movies I have written about in 2018. My pace compared to 2017 had slown down. Producing these articles takes up a lot of time which often is a luxury. Yet the list of movies earmarked for an article continues to grow constantly. In order to keep up with this (to be honest I will be playing catch up for while), I have to write more frequently and this has sparked a rethink of how I write articles for this section.
At present, the articles have averaged around 300-400 words, but some of the more recent articles had ballooned to approximately 600 words. For each movie, I have attempted to touch upon the themes it seems to be addressing and in addition to a summary or translation of the synopsis, provide some background about the filmmaker. The process of researching all of this, outlining the structure of the article, and writing the piece itself sometimes rivals any of the other feature articles of the magazine. Furthermore, I have also begun to realize the length and nature of these articles have sometimes led to Japanese filmmakers mistaking these for reviews of their movie. Of course, this is not the case. They are meant to introduce the movie and provide the initial impression for attracting interest from abroad. Though I am not concerned about being on top of the latest developments in the Japanese independent film scene, I do believe staying consistent and relevant is important.
Therefore I have decided that moving forward, the articles for the Caught My Eye section need to be boiled down to their basic function: inform the reader of what the movie is about. This will entail making the translated synopsis the primary focus of the article with a few additional notes about the production and/or filmmaker plus a trailer if available. Barring the length of the synopsis, I hope to keep these under 300 words. I would caution against expecting a sudden barrage of articles into the section. As I’ve often stated my paid work does take precedence over writing for the magazine. Nevertheless, simplifying the editorial focus of the Caught My Eye section should allow me to produce an article whenever I have some extra extra time during an ongoing project or between jobs.
Feature photo by: Vlad Sargu