MEMBERS NOTES: a place to share news, thoughts & ideas
 Richard Fricker continues to make it happen in OZ
Asia-Pacific Documents the building of Edo
 Asia-Pacific Opens in Oregon
Yves Simard joins the PRN
Humor, A Cameraman Decides on his Eternity
Diary Author Praises APP For it's Documentary Work
Asia-Pacific Productions at the Nagano Olympics
Wide Angle T.V. Joins the PRN!

Laurie Gilbert  of L'Image Cinematography has been the most prolific contributor to this page.
So much so, that I have given him his own page. Check THIS out!

Now in Forth Season
By Tom Hopkins
(2010 Portland)

In November of 2006  Asia-Pacific Productions teamed up with Brainstew Productions to produce an hour long educational program about sustainability. Sustainable Today has grown tremendously in the four years since its inception on Portland Community Media and other public access outlets in several cities.  We are now seen across Oregon through the Wireless Instructional Network and on broadcast TV through Oregon Public Broadcasting's channel 10-3.  Additionally 4 months of programming are streamed over our website at

Each program focuses on a specific topic.  We invite industry experts to comment on the topic.  Additionally each show features a Community Spotlight which highlights what non-profit, citizens groups and individuals are doing to promote sustainability.   There is also a Business Spotlight which features businesses that use sustainable practices or are engaged in a sustainable enterprise. 

We have covered a wide range of subjects from Transportation,  Waste,  Water,  Urban Development,  Climate Change,  Toxins, Organics, BioFuels, Healthcare, Salmon,  Hunger, Prisons  and Finance.  Coming up for 2010 we will feature, Energy Policy,  Eating Out, Pollinators,  and many others.

In August of 2007,  A new non-profit organization called The Center for a Sustainable Today was formed to help raise funds for the program and bring it to mainstream television.  To help in this effort an event called the SUSTAINING CASCADIA CONVERGENCE is held the second Saturday of each month to bring together the public, the participants and the producers for networking and to watch the latest episode of the program.   These programs have been very successful in broadening the base of knowledge and understanding of complex issues and have encouraged many to alter their life choices to better serve the planet and society. 

Richard Fricker continues to make it happen in OZ
May 2010

Recent work includes working for IBM China for a live webcast out of Beijing for a virtual event, as well a corporate shoots for IBM, McAfee and others. I shoot NSW Premier Rugby matches each weekend as well which is included in the ABC (AUSTRALIAN Broadcast Corp) weekly highlights.

It has been a while, and my web presence dropped off after a spat with my former web host. The new website, , is up, although it needs a lot of tweaking right now.

Asia-Pacific Productions documents the beginning of Tokyo.

Submitted by  Tom Hopkins
(2005 Portland)

Asia-Pacific Productions has teamed up once again with the Media Production Group at the University of Illinois to film a new documentary, “Raising EDO: Fires and Fights”. 

Edo was the name given to what is now Tokyo, Japan in the 1600's when the Shoguns were in control of the Japanese government.   In 1590 Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, selected the frontier outpost of Edo to be the center of his new domain.  Ten years later he moved the capital of Japan from Kyoto to Edo, and subsequently turned it into what would be come the largest cosmopolitan civilization in Asia.  It was during this time that the legendary TV series “Shogun” with Richard Chamberlain  was set.

In late May and early June, documentary filmmaker and  Director of Photography  Tom Hopkins traveled to Tokyo where he spent 12 days photographing the remnants of the cities earliest days.  Detailed folding screens called “byobu” reveal aspects of city building and daily life as public spectacle.   Hopkins work shows “up close a personal”  the intricate workings of Japanese society in the 17th century.  Some of the structures and ponds shown in the byobu still remain after centuries of fire and wars have decimated what was originally built.  These artifacts, nestled among the skyscraping towers, streets and subways of bustling Tokyo, are also documented. 

The “Fires and Fights” slated for release in late 2006 is meant to be an historic document for educational purposes in schools and universities.  It will be edited at Nebraska Public Television facilities and offered for broadcast on PBS as well. 

This will be the third project for the Media Production Group that Asia-Pacific Productions has been involved with.  The first “Makiko’s New World” took place in Kyoto in 1999.  Dramatic re-enactments of the events described in Makiko Nakajimas diary for 1910 illustrated the cultural revolution that brought Japan into the modern world.  The second entitled “Under Another Sun” released in 2001  illustrated the lives of Japanese people who live in Singapore.  Both programs were aired on PBS.  See our website for details of these productions at

Asia-Pacific is now in the early stages of development on the story of “Otokichi” a Japanese castaway who wound up on the coast of Washington State in 1832.  Taken in by the Macaw tribe of Native Americans, Otokichi be came the reverse of “Angin San” the main character in James Clavel’s; Shogun.

Asia-Pacific Productions is now based in Portland with offices in Kobe, Japan.  The company specializes in documentaries and dramatic productions of all types, not only those related to Japan and Asia.

Submitted by  Tom Hopkins

In September of 2002 Asia-Pacific Productions in Japan opened its new Western Headquarters in Portland, Oregon. ASIA-PACIFIC PRODUCTIONS USA, Inc is the first branch office opened since the companies inception in 1984.  The new facility will give us a "transpacific" connection on both sides of the Pacific ocean.  The Kobe operation will continue to provide its usual wide range of production and support services with the help of new staff while simultaneously opening a much needed connection point within the USA.

Initially the new company plans to continue serving clients with an interest in the far east.  At the same time our Japan based clients will be able to enjoy a direct link to facilities, services and locations inside North America.  This expanded service fills a much needed gap for producers in Japan seeking to film projects in the USA and augments the network of production companies in other parts of the world.  Much of our post production facilities have been moved to Portland where we will complete on-going projects using higher quality and lower cost resources.  State-of-the-art camera crews and equipment continue to be available from both locations.

Oregon is a prime location.   Portland has a thriving community of creative and talented producers and many motion pictures and commercials have been filmed here.  Oregon was the scene of an extremely popular Japanese TV series produced by Fuji Television "Oregon Kara Ai" (From Oregon With Love).  since then the location has become recognized for its beautiful and versatile locations. 

Asia-Pacific is proud to be be member of the Oregon Media Production Association.  The organization has welcomed us warmly and will provide support to our growing business as we strive to bridge the East-West gap.


Submitted by Yves Simard

Yves has earned his stripes in ways beyond his wildest dreams and the journey has just begun! Do not dare ask why he does what he does, lets just say conversation will never hit a lull and adventures with Yves will never be static. 

A patriotic Canadian, Yves lives in New Zealand in the heart of Polynesia. He also has bases in Sydney and Toronto. He began modestly in News and Current Affairs as a shooter/editor and quickly progressed over the years to documentaries, drama and feature television production for many broadcasters in  Canada and the US.  He trained with various cinematographers and lighting directors and studied at the Film and Television workshops in Maine. Today his work is mainly magazine style shows, reality series, documentaries and extreme sporting programs.   Always willing to give it a go, Yves thrives on the challenge of delivering the shot and you can be assured it will always cut! 

This cine-cameraman is an owner/operator allowing him to tweak and baby his kit to produce the pictures the client expects. Whatever the demands may be, he will have the technical background and creative eye to over deliver every time. Yves travels around the world telling the stories that he sees with the pictures he takes. In the process, enjoying every minute. 

Please join me in welcoming Yves to our family. If you get the chance, Click The Link and drop him a line. We encourage all our members to communicate with each other and to work together for everyone's mutual benefit.
Tom Hopkins

Submitted  by: Derik Williams

There once was a cameraman who lived his whole life without ever taking advantage of any of the people he worked for. In fact, he made sure that every job he did resulted in a win-win situation.
     One day while walking down the street he was tragically hit by a bus and he died. His soul arrived up in heaven and he was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter himself.
   "Welcome to Heaven," said St. Peter. "Before you get settled in though it seems we have a problem.  You see,  strangely enough, we've never once had a cameraman make it this far and we're not really sure what to do with you."
   "No problem, just let me in." said the cameraman.
   "Well, I'd like to, but I have higher orders.  What we're going to do is let you have one day in Hell and one day in heaven and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity in."
   "Actually, I think I've made up my mind...I prefer to stay in Heaven"
   "Sorry, we have rules..."
    And with that St. Peter put the cameraman in an elevator and it went down-down-down to hell.  The doors opened and the cameraman found himself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club and standing in front of his were all his friends - fellow cameramen that he had worked with
and they were all dressed in evening clothes and cheering for him. They ran up and kissed him on both cheeks and they talked about old times.  They played an excellent round of golf and at night went tothe country club where he enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner, and several bottles of vintage wine.
     He met the Devil who was actually a really nice guy and he had  a great time telling jokes and dancing. The cameraman was having such a good time that before he knew it, it was time to leave.   Everybody shook his hand and waved good-bye as he got on the elevator.
     The elevator went up-up-up and opened back up at the Pearly Gates and found St. Peter waiting for him.  "Now it's time to spend a day in heaven."
     So the cameraman spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds and playing the harp and singing.   He had a great time and before he knew it his 24 hours were up and St. Peter came and got him.
    "So, you've spent a day in hell and you've spent a day in heaven. Now you must choose your eternity."
     The cameraman paused for a second and then replied,   "Well, I never thought I'd say this, I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in Hell."
      So, St. Peter escorted him to the elevator and again the cameraman went down-down-down back to Hell.  When the doors of the elevator opened he found himself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. He saw his friends were dressed in rags and were picking up the garbage and putting it in sacks.
     The Devil came up to him and put his arm around him.  "I don't understand," stammered the cameraman, "Yesterday  I was here and there was a golf course and a country club and we ate lobster and we danced and had a great time. Now all this is a wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable."
     The Devil looked at him and smiled.  "That's because yesterday you were a freelancer, but today you're staff."

Submitted  by Tom Hopkins

This is a letter I received from the person who translated "Makiko's Diary" from Japanese. The program should be coming up coming PBS this November. She writes...

"I wanted you to know how impressed I am with your camera work. The soft focus seems to work very well and I find it far preferable to the usual the-past-in-sepia tone favored by many for flashbacks in such films. I'm amazed at how much you and the others managed to accomplish in three short weeks, and only wish I could have been there to watch.
It is an odd experience to see a visualization of someone I've known only through print and in my mind's eye. And thanks to you, I now feel that I know Makiko in another, different way.

Kazuko Smith"


(March 1998)  Well the Olympics are finally over, everyone of CBS's 1,500 people have packed up and headed back to their own four corners of the world, leaving APP behind to carry on. Although we did not have official credentials to cover the games, and as such were relegated to covering events from the fringes, we still enjoyed our piece of the action. This marks the second Olympics for APP following the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. 

First for ABC. Yes ABC. We spent a week in Nagano before the games started shooting opens, closes, bumpers and features for an ABC Discovery News special "Ultimate Performance, The Science Behind Olympic Competition." The program was hosted by Steve Avery of Good Morning America fame, and reported by top names from ABC news. The 1 hour special aired on the Discovery Channel and producers reported the audience was large and the feedback was very positive. We enjoyed working with producers Mark Miano, Jon Schriber and Steve Avery. Three very nice guys. The job went off splendidly. We even made an impression on the CBS crews who were scurrying around the Zenkoji Temple.

The temple was the CBS anchor position during the games. They even built a small studio on the grounds for the purpose. One day, the intrepid ABC crew were buzzing the area in a helicopter securing some spectacular aerials for the opening of the show. In the north west corner of the grounds stood a 200 foot pagoda. I (safely behind the camera lens) thought flying behind the pagoda and getting a shot of the temple behind as the structure floated by in the foreground would be a nice shot. Never dreaming the pilot would go for it. He did. The shot was great. 

Later I spoke with fellow cameraman and PRN member Jeff Daly (SFO Productions) about the events of the day. It seems he was at the temple scouting locations for his camera crane. "Yeah, some nut flying around the temple came around so low the prop wash blew snow and pigeons all over the place." "Hmmm I wonder who that could have been," I said. We hope to have a clip from the program on the web site soon. 

Once the games began. Our post was securing the arrivals of the U.S. Olympic Team at the Kansai International Airport. We followed the famous and not so famous through their processing procedures and did some candid interviews on the side. The job entailed a live broadcast with figure skater Tara Lippinski, who later went on to win a gold medal in the event. Our footage was used in the games coverage and on several special programs including "48 Hours".

CBS then brought us to Nagano once more for a feature story about the Japanese version of Richard Jewel. Turns out that , like Jewel, the man in nearby Matsumoto was accused by Japanese police of setting a sarin gas attack which killed 6 neighbors left his wife in a coma. It was not until the Tokyo subway incident a moth later that he was exonerated. A most interesting story even if not directly connected to the Olympics. It gave us a spot on "Prime Time".

In all we spent 3 weeks on Olympics and related coverage giving us much exposure and a chance to be a part of the final Olympics of the century. See you in ASIA-PACIFIC PRODUCTIONS IN (AND AROUND) NAGANO 
Tom Hopkins March 98 

(Sept 1997)  Asia-Pacific Productions is pleased to announce the addition of Wide Angle T.V. of Seattle, Washington to the Pacific Rim Network. Wide Angle is run by Brian M. Miller who contacted me a few weeks ago with this e-mail message.

If you ever need a crew in Seattle, WA USA....

Here's what I have to offer:
** 15+ years experience with over 10 years as an award winning Photojournalist and Editor at KIRO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Seattle, WA.

** Over 30 years living in the Northwest with an extensive knowledge of the Puget Sound Region and surrounding states.

** Overseas experience including Vietnam, the Russian Far East, Spain and the U.K.

** An artistic eye, musical ear and a will-do attitude.

** A great gear package including a Sony 400A Betacam, UHF Diversity Wirelesses, Studio quality mics, IFB equipment and a comprehensive lighting package including chimera boxes, Joker HMI's, even an HMI frezzi.....

** Experience doing daily news, features, in-depth pieces, documentaries as well as a wide variety of corporate video

** On top of all that, competitive rates

Editor's Note: Brian expressed an interest in joining the PRN. He sent his CV and Demo tape which contains some very impressive corporate videos, news and documentary footage. These include CBS news, The Nashville Network, Callison Architecture, Seattle, Cinnabon Corporation, Seattle, World Vision, and Orbis Broadcast Group, Chicago, among others. Back in 1995, he made a trip to Vietnam for, "a 10 part series following the reopening of trade with vietnam in 1995...many different subjects in several different parts of the country... a VERY interesting trip!"

The addition of Brian and his crew from Seattle are helping to round out the U.S. West coast. We now have members in every major city except L.A.

Please join me in welcoming Wide Angle T.V. to our family. If you get the chance, Click The Link and drop him a line. We encourage all our members to communicate with each other and to work together for everyone's mutual benefit.
Tom Hopkins

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