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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: August 26, 2015.

Where does inspiration begin?

Filmmaker Daniel Furukawa discovered his passion for art nearly a decade ago, while still a young man, serving in his church youth group. The son of an architect, Daniel developed his love for visual arts as he moved from drawing, to painting, to film over the years. Influential in gathering the group Second Collective, their talented team became a collaboration of filmmakers and designers dedicated to telling compelling and inspiring stories.

Furukawa returns to the 168 Film Festival after having won “Best Film” as Producer with What Showers Bring in 2014. His new film for the 2015 festival, Where I’m With You, tells the story of a man and woman who are faced with tension in their marriage. Actor Dorée Seay plays Amy, the wife of Joe, played by actor Van Brown; the two of them face the challenge of upholding their marriage in a time of crisis. This short 10-minute film truly has you on the edge of your seat in anticipation to find out if the couple can overcome their debilitating differences.

Producer Daniel Furukawa with his 2014 "Best Film Team" Winners; Photo Courtesy of 168 Project.

Producer Daniel Furukawa with his 2014 “Best Film” Team Winners; Photo Courtesy of 168 Project.

Sonoma Christian Home spoke with Daniel Furukawa and got to know a little bit more about the making of Wherever I’m With You. SCH Contributor Jennifer Sturm reports.


SCH: What inspired you to enter the 168 Film Festival competition this year?

DF: Well I had entered a film in last year, and it was such a great experience. So I just got the team back together and asked what their opinion was. My team is a group of small young filmmakers, and when I asked the group, “Want to do it again?” there was a resounding yes!

See the award-winning 2014 film What Showers Bring:

SCH: What sparked your team’s imagination for this year’s story?

DF: We drew our verse on Tuesday night, and then met as a team the next night to talk through ideas. In a group of about 20 people, 3 people had a very similar story line. We took that as encouragement to decide this was the theme and story for our film. Our film involves personal experiences with the theme focusing on tensions placed in a relationship.

SCH: Tell us about how you dealt with some of the most difficult challenges of creating a short film in only 168 hours?

DF: Creating our film in such a short amount of time was definitely a challenge, and even seemed impossible at times. I would have to say that the toughest part is figuring out the storyline. However, once we get to the point of knowing what we want to do, it became pretty fluid as far as putting things together, but that also depends on if you’ve made good decisions in the pre-production aspect of creating the film.

Photo Courtesy of Second Collective.

Daniel with Dorée Seay on the set of ‘Wherever I’m With You’; Photo Courtesy of Second Collective.

SCH: It’s not easy to keep a team flowing as a unit under such intense time pressure. What was the secret to your team’s success?

DF: Lots of food and Starbucks! We are very, very blessed to have a group of people that are passionate about film and the Lord. Not only that, but a team passionate about using their talents for God’s glory. Many of us are good friends, and some of us are even related, so that definitely helped in maintaining a strong team. It also helps when your team is focused on the ‘Why are we doing this?’ It’s important to take the project as a whole very seriously, but without adding too much pressure on people.

SCH: Can you tell us some of the things that the Lord taught you through this process?

Daniel Furukawa on set between takes of 'Wherever I'm With You'; Photo Courtesy of Second Collective.

Daniel Furukawa on set between takes of ‘Wherever I’m With You’; Photo Courtesy of Second Collective.

DF: When we decided on the story there were actually two different options we were choosing between. For me, I was focused on trying to convince everyone else which story was the better one. However, the vote was basically a 50/50 vote. Because of the tossing back and forth of ideas, it was a good moment to trust that other people have been given a vision and talent. That God didn’t just equip me with visions and talents, but he also equipped others with those as well, and that it’s not always going to be my vision or my thought.

SCH: Is there a specific message you hope that the audience will get from Wherever I’m With You?

DF: My hope is that they will begin to realize that sometimes we have to sacrifice certain things in order to earn other things. Christ did this very thing for us and we should, in turn, do this for others. We need to learn to lay down our desires and plans for the good of other people. I hope that, through this film, people will see a micro example Christlikeness.

SCH: If you could give aspiring filmmakers one piece of advice, what would it be?

DF: Well I am an aspiring filmmaker too! But I think I would give them the advice to just to keep trying. The thing that gets me is my own thoughts, I get wrapped up in what people will think about my work, or whether it’s going to be a success. I would say work on something, even if it’s terrible, because it will be better next time. Get out there and make something, and focus on the quality of the story over the production value.



Wherever I’m With You is nominated for 11 different awards at this year’s 13th annual 168 Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA. The Red Carpet awards night will take place on August 29-30, 2015 at Regal Cinemas’ L.A. Live!


Don’t forget to check out more on the 168 Film Festival:

168 Film Best Actor Nominee Shawn Thomas on ‘Jubilee’

168 Film Best Picture Nominee Scooter Downey on ‘Elixir’

Interview with 168 Film Founder John David Ware: Launching the Best in Filmmaking

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