Alone in Tokyo

This is an edit of the rest of my footage from my week in Tokyo. I had hoped to get out of the city but due to circumstances I didn’t make it.

Alex Kubalsky came with my again and also Dean Harrington joined up with up with us one afternoon too.

I wanted to create a personal piece about the city, capturing it’s feel without being too obviously “touristy”, more the stuff down the side roads, or the people you walk past but still with a little bit of the old beauty and cultural side. A lot to fit into 6 minutes!

I used the mizar motorized mount again for the timelapses. Most of them were 180 degrees with one 360 degree one at the end.

Everything bar the the slow mo was done in 1080p 25. Section one was all done on the Extreme, most of section two was the ultimate and three back to the Extreme. I had a problem with a piece of dust on the ground glass which I didn’t notice on the LCD monitor but it came up like a strange watermark. I disguised it as much as I could in the edit. Lesson to remember, always check to see it is spotless before filming. I was so used to the Ultimate which isn’t bothered by dust the same way that I forgot to check! There are a few night shots done without any adaptor but I hope it is difficult to spot which is Ultimate/ Extreme/ clean as I tried to blend them all together in the edit.
The music is from the Album Talkie Walkie by Air and is called “Alone in Kyoto”, hence the play on the title like a couple of my other shorts. It was spot on for this. Just a shame I never made it to Kyoto. Almost, but not quite!

See the fim here.


  1. Why were you using both the Extreme and Ultimate?
    Nice footage.
    The unmistakable Philip Bloom trade mark, makes a cameo appearance.

  2. Wow. You did an INCREDIBLE job of capturing Tokyo from an outsiders perspective. I love the stuff from Meiji Jingu and Shibuya. My girlfriend (remember, you met with me at NAB) grew up in that neighborhood and worked across the street from Meiji Jingu for years. Small world. Awesome stuff.

    By the way there is a shot in an alleyway with a bunch of tiny bars. Was that right next to Shibuya? If it is I got in trouble for shooting in that alley!! Theres a big sign that says no television cameras. Hahaha oops!!

  3. Very nice Philip. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan so this is a real treat for me. That motorized mount does a pretty good job on those time lapses. The framing of all your shots is great, as usual. Excellent work!

  4. looks pretty as usual. you captured tokyo in a beautiful way, makes me wish i could go back really bad.

    wouldn’t necessarily call this a film though? more like a montage set to music? a music video even. i guess i wouldn’t really call most of your videos films, they are ‘phillip bloom’s’ by this point.

  5. When you’re doing time-lapse in the intersections how long are you having to camp out to get those shots?

    It’s nice how you did the pans.


  6. Spiro. Magic Bullet Looks

    Travis. i have the Letus rails but the Zacuto rails are much better

    I have a redrock follow focus but rarely use it as I switch lenses very quicky and it gets in the way. For narrative work or docs with more time i would use it.

  7. Hey Philip,
    I have to ask, how many SxS cards do you own, or go through on a shooting day such as this? Has to be quite a few.
    Beautiful work!

    Peace and Blessings,

  8. I’m wondering the same thing – how many cards? Are you constantly downloading onto hard drives?

    Some of those shots – you seems to be right up in people’s faces, like on the subway, the baby, the homeless man. Do you ask permission, or just start shooting?

    Again, really beautiful work.

  9. I shot most of them on a 200mm lens so I wasn’t in their faces. On the subway i just sat there with the camera on my lap picking off people. i was very subtle.

    I have 4 16gb cards and 9 8gb cards so am fortunate not to have to keep offloading

  10. Hey Philip, hope you’re ok!! You’ve set a dangerous precedent being prolific for so long…now you admiring fans (read as camera nerds if you will) get a little worried when you haven’t posted in…good lord it’s more than a week!

    Hope you’re getting some rest and recreation away from the record button. Thank you for all the hard work you have done in the last 12 months sharing your experience and expertise. I know it keeps a few of us down here in the nether regions of the world (yep – Austrlaia) excited about making stuff!

    Keep on rocking (or should i say rolling to refer to the much quoted “rolling shutter issue” with a certain camera?) Phil.

    All the best


  11. Hey Philip,

    Just curious – did you have to organise permission to film in these locations? If so, where did you go about getting it? Might be going to Toyko in near future and would be useful to know… Thanks

  12. I live in Japan and work in Tokyo. I would love to do something like this on a GH1. You’ve captured Tokyo very differently from how I see it everyday!

  13. Dear Bloom,
    Would you please go bit deeper with mizar motorized mount concern ?
    I am looking for purchase one off it , but there is not that much info about it
    How is it with the weight ?
    Is it really enough to support EX1+Adapter(SGBlade)+lenses+big batteries?
    is it easy or quick go back to normal Tripod?
    How long can be use it before change the batteries?

    Any advice will be very welcome.

    Grüße aus Berlin.

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