Ape Huchi Wacka Ush is an original song written and performed by Madi Sato. In it she honors her Ainu ancestors. Her performance, the setting, weather conditions and documentation all come together in this music video, which is the most recent OCC HD project. It has already been shared across the Pacific to the relatives in her Ainu homeland. Now we are applying to festivals.
The experience of making this movie was exceptionally rewarding. It began when cameraman Kevin Jones told us he was going to rent a Sony FS-7 and do some test shooting for a couple weeks. Fortunately, at that same time, our friend Madi had been recording her latest album. Rather casually, we dropped the suggestion to both parties that perhaps the timing is such that they could help each other out. Everyone was ready. It came so easy, like the planets were aligned for it.
Pre-production was minimal, consisting of a locations scouting session, a walk through and agreement to commence shooting the very images that Madi was dreaming up on the spot. So, contrary to the way we usually work, there was neither script nor storyboard in print when we commenced our two-and-a-half day shoot, up in the mountains in winter.
The simple premise of a medicine woman praying to her ancestor and her ancestor answering in a parallel dimension , was what we tried for. The ceremonial prayers, chants and gestures provide adequate content, and the humble grace of the celebrant is inspiring. Earth, wind, fire and water are the elementals through which this mysterious contact is transacted.
Frequent collaborator James Becker made his skills and experience available for assembling the footage, in-sync with Madi’s singing. In the process he also created a host of marvelous dissolves that convey the parallel universe perspective effectively.
David Jean Schweitzer was generous with his skills and experience in the fine cut and color grading. It was David that bore the majority of the brunt of our abbreviated pre-production period consequences. David has been a frequent OCC collaborator. We honor him for all his many contributions to our movies over the years.
Couple Studios in Boulder is another frequent collaborator. Ed Kaufman has engineered our final output to optimum industry standards with a personal touch that comes from long experience.
We look forward to its premiere at a film festival near you.