In the spirit of award-winning indie romantic comedy/dramas from the early 2000’s, From Chicago to Osaka is a screenplay written for the modern era. With fast-paced ping pong comedic dialogue in both English and Japanese, From Chicago to Osaka is the quintessential date movie for adults looking for something smart, sophisticated, and highly entertaining.

The screenplay is written as a two-hour small-to-low budget independent film that highlights the locations and people of Osaka, in the same way Ferris Bueller’s Day Off did for Chicago. With a relatively small cast of characters, the logistics of shooting this film should be quite manageable and affordable for any production studio.

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TAGLINE:
Sometimes you find love 6,437 miles away.

LONGLINE:
Suffering from PTSD, a painter heads to Osaka for an upcoming art show where he falls in love with a spirited Japanese woman with an unfaithful fiancé.

ESTIMATED RUNNING TIME:
110 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Still traumatized after a mass shooting, Chicago artist and designer Dylan Davis flies to Osaka as one of five guests for an upcoming group art show at the Midori Art Gallery. An old work associate, Skip Mitchell, who’s covering the story for the ad agency Dylan currently works at, tags along for the free ride. Dylan reconnects with an old college buddy, Kaito Kaneda, now a family man, who longs for his more carefree days with Dylan at Northwestern University in Chicago eight years ago. Secretly, Kaneda is working on a plan to get Dylan a job at his Japanese robotics company.

After overhearing a hilariously harsh critique of his paintings, Dylan introduces himself to Haru Nomura, the assistant director at the gallery. Just prior to their introduction, Haru caught her fiance cheating on her with the female drummer of his struggling rock band. Haru’s aunt, Futaba Fujisawa, owns the gallery.

For the next few days, Haru and Dylan unpack the emotional toll recent events have taken on their lives while visiting many landmarks and tourist destinations in the Osaka region. Dylan has lost faith in his home, and Haru has lost faith in her love life.  Together, they just might find the solace they’ve been searching for.

A quick note on why this film is set in Osaka

Before the pandemic, my wife and I were planning a trip to Japan. While watching programs on NHK, Osaka seemed like an intriguing and photogenic location for a cinematographer to use. The more we learned about Osaka, the more we fell in love with the city and wanted to visit. Hopefully, we will have the opportunity when the pandemic ends.

パンデミックの前に、私は妻と日本旅行を計画していました。その時にNHK等で日本を紹介する色々な番組を観ていて、中でも特に印象に残ったのは、大阪特集の番組でした。映画撮影の観点からも、街自体の面白さから見てもとても興味深いところだと、だんだん思うようになりました。今もパンデミックが終息すれば、是非行きたいと思っています。

I have always appreciated romantic comedies where the location becomes a crucial element of the film. Sideways was set in California wine country, Lost in Translation was set in Tokyo, Departures was set in Sakata. The last major American film set in Osaka was Ridley Scott’s Black Rain, filmed over thirty years ago. As Osaka has been sorely underutilized as a location for Western films, I feel American audiences would find modern-day Osaka fascinating.

私は、ロマンチックコメディのジャンルが好きで、その中でもロケーションが映画の大事な役であるものに興味があります。例えば、カリフォルニア州のナパバレーを舞台とする「Sideways」や、東京の「Lost in Translation」、酒田市撮影の「おくりびと」など挙げられます。しかし、米国でヒットした大阪が舞台となった映画は、30年以上前のRidley Scott監督作品のBlack Rainが最後かと思います。大阪は、西洋映画で十分に活用されていないと思っていますし、また、アメリカの映画観客なら、舞台として現代大阪に大変興味を持つに違いないと思います。

Also, Osaka is known for having citizens that are a little more friendly, outspoken, and talkative. As the Japanese characters in my screenplay have these same traits, it seemed logical to set the film there.

大阪を選んだもう一つの理由として、大阪人の性格です。というのも大阪の人は、独特のカルチャーがあり、例えば同じ日本の他地域から見て大阪の人は「声が大きい」、「なれなれしい(気前がいい)」、「話好き」などあります。この映画の登場人物も同じような性格のキャラクターが多いので場所として相応しいように思います。

From a business perspective, Chicago and Osaka are real-life sister cities with many cultural similarities and a focus on industry. When it comes time to finance the film, local corporations might be interested. Chicago and Osaka also share a “second city” status. As New York and Tokyo draw most of the international attention, it seemed like a wonderful idea to give Osaka a chance to shine in the spotlight. The citizens of Chicago and Osaka have deep compassion for where they live. Even the title of the movie, “From Chicago to Osaka” would pique the interest of residents that have strong feelings for both cities.

ビジネスの観点からも、シカゴと大阪は実際に姉妹都市であり、またいずれも工業の街というイメージがある等、共通点が多いのです。映画作成のために必要な資金調達の際に両方の都市にある企業に興味を持っていただける可能性があります。ご存知の通り、シカゴは昔からアメリカでは「Second City」と呼ばれています。つまりニューヨークに次ぐ第二の都市。正に大阪と同じ立場です。それだけに両都市に住む人は、自分の街にかなりのプライドを持っています。そのことも考えて、映画のタイトルにも大々的にシカゴと大阪の名前を出しています。

From an American perspective, with South Korea dominating the next wave of content from Southeast Asia with shows like Parasite and Squid Game, there is potential for entertainment from Japan to become mainstream in the United States. As the pandemic ends, Japan will want popular culture and entertainment programming to renew worldwide interest and attract tourists. A chatty romantic comedy that touches on American and Japanese culture could easily meet those objectives.

最近の米国映画界では、韓国映画がかなり流行っています。例えば「Parasite」、またNetflixでこれまで最も視聴者の多い「Squid Game」が注目を集めています。私は、日本の映画にも可能性があり、是非アメリカで流行るようになって欲しいと思っています。パンデミックが終息する頃に日本経済にとって大事な要素の一つである海外からの観光客を呼び寄せる意味でも、日本を舞台としたヒット映画が大きな牽引役になるのではないでしょうか。

And finally, on a more personal note, I feel Japanese-American relations will be crucial to prevent the world from descending into geopolitical chaos. Any project that can help facilitate better relations is something I would be honored to be a part of. I feel there are dozens of Japan-based projects, video games, and anime that could eventually become great films for an international audience.

最後に、個人的な意見を言わせていただきますと、世界的な平和を促すために日米関係も非常に大事なことだと思っています。そういうような日米間のプロジェクトは、例えばテレビゲーム、アニメ、映画等ありますが、私も僅かながらも貢献ができればと思っています。

This script has been registered at the Writers Guild of America East.