|[HA for DROKU] Scott Yoshimoto: Movies and Music|
Yoshimoto first gained interest in filmmaking as a high school student,
inspired by the three filmmakers of Wong Fu Productions: Ted Fu, Philip
Wang and Wesley Chen.
“I asked my friend to tell them I really wanted to meet them and to wait 15 minutes until I got there," he says.
Delightfully surprised that trio actually waited for him, Yoshimoto was even more shocked to learn that they have heard of him through his short films on YouTube.
"They told me to keep doing what I was doing, because they liked [my videos]. That really inspired me to keep making videos for everyone," says Yoshimoto. Since meeting Wong Fu, he has stayed connected with them and are now good friends.
The 22-year-old, Japanese American filmmaker and musician took Wong Fu’s advice, and recently graduated from the University of California, Irvine, majoring in Film Media. According to Yoshimoto, however, UCI was not exactly the place he developed his film-making skills.
“All the classes given at UCI are mainly theory classes," he says. “I had to learn everything on my own."
Yoshimoto took the initiative and sought out internships, even landing one with MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew." He also created his own projects; the first music video he filmed was for YouTube sensation AJ Rafael’s “My Soldier” in 2009.
With each new project, Yoshimoto’s skills as a filmmaker continue to improve, especially when he compares past projects to his current ones. Yoshimoto has made successful music videos for not only AJ Rafael but for also Kris Mark, afterschoolspecial, Randolph Permejo and Cathy Nguyen.
He also filmed his own music video for his self-written Christmas song “The Gift," which featured many amazing fellow artists, like AJ Rafael, Andrew Garcia, Cathy Nguyen, Lydia Paek & Ramiele Malubay. Coincidentally, his latest music video was AJ Rafael’s “We Could Happen."
Not only can he see the progress of his developing skills, but spending time with good friends and having fun while doing what he loves, says Yoshimoto, has been his constant motivation.
"My sets are always fun," he says. "I don’t mind fans around as long as they are cooperating."
As an up-and-coming filmmaker, his experience watching professional filmmakers has also given Yoshimoto more confidence in himself and his own abilities and resources.
“I once went to a Lloyd and The Game music video filming, and they used just one camera," he says.
Besides his growing film resume, Yoshimoto is also a talented musician. Yoshimoto says he gets his musical talent from his father, who is in the band “Music Company” (along with friend Casey Nishizu’s mother). And his father often composes the music to Yoshimoto's songs.
His sister, Alexa, is also a singer and started posting videos on YouTube two years ago. She also showed off her talents at Kollaboration Acoustic 5 and wowed the fans with her original music and great voice. Yoshimoto, who despite only having one song cover together with his sister on YouTube, made sure to be in the crowd showing his support on her musical journey.
Making full use of his diverse set of skills, Yoshimoto is currently working on his online musical series, “My Own Show," which includes self-written music and the music of friends, connecting them together to make a story.
Some fans may complain that there is too much music and not enough written script, but Yoshimoto says, “It’s a musical, the songs tell the story.”
Starting “My Own Show” was his way of expressing his passion for both film and music. Inspired by the TV show "Glee," Yoshimoto wanted to show his own skills and talents instead of just performing covers of popular songs.
So far, the filmmaker has released five episodes of his series. Episodes One through Four are loosely intertwined, but starting from Episode Five Yoshimoto plans to have a different concept and theme for each episode.
Yoshimoto admits that his filming schedule for “My Own Show” is sometimes sporadic because he has to focus his attention on the music writing process first. Friends Carissa Rae and Casey Nishizu help him on-screen as actors and around filming as assistants; but most of the work is done by Yoshimoto himself.
“Why do I need to choose one over the other?” Yoshimoto replies when we ask whether he would rather be a singer or a filmmaker. And his conviction in pursuing both arts is clear.
Yoshimoto has formed the group "Request Line" with good friends Casey Nishizu and Emily Yoshihara. An EP with Nishizu is currently in the works, and an album of his own is, he hopes, in the near future.
Past internships are clamoring to have him back, but Yoshimoto is determined to create his own career path using all of his passions and abilities. Yoshimoto can sing, he can act, he can write songs and scripts, and he will document it all on film. As a musician and filmmaker, we’re excited to continue seeing him display his amazing talents on-screen and behind the camera.
Be sure to check out Yoshimoto on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Check out his company, MOVeMEDIA PRODUCTIONS on Twitter, Facebook and also on YouTube.
Interviewed by: Michelle Nakaji
5 Random things you don’t know about Scott Yoshimoto:
-Has a pet dog
-Holds the mile time record in Middle School (5:17)
-Played Basketball/Soccer for 12 years
-Has never been out of the country
-Big Lakers fan
Scott yoshimoto TOP 5 songs
-“September” - Earth, Wind & Fire
-“Yeah 3x” - Chris Brown
-“Down” - Jay Sean
-“Red Roses” - AJ Rafael
-“Slow Love” - Michael Alvarado