I love Danny Aiello

Suddenly after I came back from Spain to New York City last Sunday, I was asked to attend the music video shooting of

Danny Aiello, an actor appearing in more than 60 movies, as well as a singer, as a kimono stylist and coordinator. Danny Aiello is really a big-shot Hollywood actor to play great supporting parts in many films, who appeared in one of my favorite movies, “Dinner Rush.” He also appeared in The Godfather Part II, Once Upon a Time in America, Léon, and so on.
As a kimono stylist, I will coordinate two actresses in kimono style, appearing behind singing Danny, for the promotional video of his new release CD.

I had very short preparation period, only 4 days, for this shooting. The client initially asked me to make modern kimono style like tango beat, secondly like Federico Fellini’s movie. He didn’t seem to confirm the image of the video shooting. In addition, I heard that some backup dancers would dance the tangos. I should expect to ad-lib on the set. So, I brought a certain number of kimonos and obis on the day of shooting.

The video shooting was held at Staten Island. It took 2 hours from Manhattan to Staten Island by car. We departed at 3PM and arrived at 5PM. The shooting was scheduled from 5PM to 5AM. It would be midnight shooting. At the set of shooting, there were 3 buildings, many bronze statues, and a huge fountain on its property. The backyard faced to beautiful sea, which we could see from windows of buildings very closely. The site of the video shooting looked like a palace, rather than a mansion.

There was a recording room on the basement. Actually this mansion was often used for movie shooting. After I introduced myself to the owner of this mansion, he showed me a wonderful kimono, which a famous Japanese actor had given him for a souvenir.
Subsequently Danny appeared! The client introduced me as a kimono stylist to him. Then he and I shook hands. Danny showed full of a spirit of service. Because the photographer took photos for actresses with kimono and Danny, I took a few steps backward, but he beckoned me in. We all were shot together. It was like a dream come true to be shot side by side with Danny and me.

Thanks to his fascinating personality, the big-shot producer, who has produced many Hollywood movies, collaborated with him on the shooting. Staff members for makeup and hair arrangement were surprisingly students of the beauty school. I was impressed that he might provide young people with good opportunity.
Because I would like to make models’ hair go with their kimonos, I attended this video shooting with my friend, Shin, a hair artist. I thank him for accommodating me, instead of my urgent request.

After set her hair style, I requested him to make her hair curl up, like a shower cap. He readily remade her hair. It is always pleasant time to create something.
Because I had heard that models would dance in kimonos, I tied their obis as they would be wavering during their dance, and as they would be reflected on video scenes. Superficially they looked somewhat ordinary, especially on the photo, but I believed that they would look exciting, once they danced.
Afterward, we had to wait for our turn for a long time, from midnight to early morning

But, accident happened! The video shooting of kimono ladies was unexpectedly canceled. The client made light of confirming our shooting schedule. One of our models in kimono had to go home at 5AM, before our turn, because of her family event. After the long wait, we realized that our turn had been scheduled around 5AM, almost at the last scene. So, finally, the client should determine to cancel our scene. I was really stunned, rather than shocked.

When I kept stunned on the set, Danny approached me, grasped my arm, and said, “Sorry.” Danny, it was not your fault! You need not apologize.
Danny was very very gentle, full of compassion. I felt a lump in my throat. Most of staffs were also tender. This accident was caused by lack of mutual awareness. We couldn’t help it.

When I walked out of the set, the owner of the mansion also said, “Sorry.” I shook my head and said to him, “It can't be helped. I am very disappointed, but I appreciate you for providing me the wonderful opportunity very much.” The owner introduced me to many people including the producer. So, I could give them my business cards. I shook their hands, saying “Thank you”, not “Sorry.”

After one hour drive, I arrived at home at 7AM. Because a student came to my kimono class at 10AM, I could catnap for a short time. Although I wondered if I have been shocked, I felt relaxed when I waked up. In addition, I genuinely thanked Danny and his staffs for providing me the opportunity to stay on the set over night.

Danny will be performing the live show in Staten Island, New York on August 7. I would like to go to the show, wearing my kimono.
I love Danny.
* This photo shows that I styling of kimono her in kimono backwards.


Blogger Ryth said...

What an amazing experience, meeting an actor you admire and getting to work with him (even if the kimono scene was canceled)!

I love the color of the kimono the actress is in, such a rich tone.

August 16, 2009 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Sahoko said...

Wow!!! What a wonderful experience!! I see the kimono you showed me and it looks beautiful!!

August 21, 2009 at 9:48 AM  

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