reflections on Finding Azusa and Extraordinary Life / by Sarah Kakusho

Any thoughts and feedback are welcome and greatly appreciated.

Upon reviewing the characters for Finding Azusa and Extraordinary Life, both featuring Japanese-American protagonists, an interesting idea came to me: to bring the two stories together.  

Finding Azusa: Two friends pursuing their dreams in different countries, searching for who they are and where they belong.

Extraordinary Life: What makes life extraordinary? A life lived for every joy, every sorrow, every moment.

Career, identity, friendship, life, music.  These are the similarities in these two projects (especially the music part).  What bring people together?  What is the very thing that allows people to associate with others.  These two projects celebrate life from two different standpoints.

I think as I thought more deeply about the connection between these two projects, the more I thought about the nuances in life.  Everyone has some association to career, identity, friendship, music and life.  What makes us unique though are the actions we take, the experiences we encounter, the feelings we feel in the moment.  

Finding Azusa is originally a project based on two friends, but the telling of the story itself is told by only one of the characters.  I grappled with this issue, how to bring in the other voice of her dear friend and her life.  This is where Extraordinary Life comes in.  The life of Azusa’s friend was very similar to the character in Extraordinary Life that I couldn’t help, but merge the two characters into one, that is Ayu in Extraordinary Life.  

With these two projects (now practically decided) complementing each other, it expands the capacity of the two films, I feel.  As one begins with the flourishing of life, attaining of a career and slowly gaining a sense of identity, the other starts at the end, the ritardando of a life well-lived.  These two very different stories, I hope will somehow connect and convey that even the best of friends can live the most opposite lives.

Both screenplay completion deadlines have been pushed back to early 2011.  I’ll keep you posted.  Synopsis and character details to be posted soon.