SHOWDOWN AT SHINAGAWA
TALES OF FILMING FROM BOMBAY TO BRAZIL
by BILL ZARCHY
Introduction by Larry Habegger
Bill Zarchy’s new book tells true stories from his long career as a director of photography, working on film and digital cinema shoots across the U.S. and all around the world—Japan, India, China, Uganda, the Philippines, New Zealand, France, Singapore, England, Taiwan, Mexico, and Brazil.
The book is available now on Amazon as a 216-page paperback and on the Kindle Store as an e-book. Both versions include 21 pages of color photos.
Showdown at Shinagawa is funny and poignant, adding serious, silly, and sardonic perspective to Zarchy’s adventures shooting on the road. He and his crews overcome stupefying jetlag, deal with personal and professional challenges, and sometimes gain a deep sense of satisfaction. And … every day is different!
“Many of the stories found ways to brighten my day, tug at my heartstrings, or help me understand my fellow humans a bit more. I enjoyed the out-of-box solution the author and his co-workers stumbled into in the title story, Showdown at Shinagawa. They inadvertently turned a contentious and difficult client into people they cared about and wished well, regardless of how the work relationship went. A number of Mr. Zarchy’s tales warm my heart that way. I can see how much he enjoys his work, because he manages to put caring faces to logistics and deadlines that are out of whack, to clients or vendors who make his job more difficult than it needs to be, and to foreign climes and people he barely understood. Best of all, he takes great pride in being a helpful cog in medical improvements bigger than the film he helped make, and writes a heroic sheen onto the enterprising men and women who are trying to better the plight of communities in need.”—Bookideas.com
As both a director of photography and a writer, Bill Zarchy is a natural observer and storyteller. In Showdown at Shinagawa, his well-crafted stories of commercial filmmaking are a unique behind-the-scenes look into the adventures and practicalities of this offbeat, time-and-money-driven world. It’s a one-of-a-kind combination, both a travel memoir and a film book. People dream of visiting faraway places and meeting exotic strangers, and travel books are one way for them to fulfill these fantasies from their living rooms.
Showdown features 18 tales in all, the rich experiences of a cinematographer whose assignments have taken him to 30 countries and 40 states. Zarchy brings us along for the ride on a darkly funny bus trip down India’s deadly Bombay-Pune Road in “Wrecks and Pissers,” drags us through the disorienting milieu of one of Singapore’s high-tech cleanrooms in “No Worry, Chicken Curry,” faces a surreal Japanese bowling-for-budget match in the title story “Showdown at Shinagawa,” and shares the challenge of filming former President Clinton while dealing with family tragedy in “Dog Years.” And so on, across six continents, over three decades of his work as a director of photography.