We had the good fortune of connecting with Susumu Kimura and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Susumu, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
I believe it was the decision to come to the United States when we won the lottery program. It was a decision made with my wife when we were just married and had started a new life in Japan. It took few months to decide what we really should do and definitely took some blowbacks in family relations and friendship – let alone starting anew in a different country. But we’re so glad we did it, both for our careers and our family.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I always have a foreigner’s point of view, which I believe separates me from many people who is from here. I have been looking for a place to belong – and I’m always appreciative of this country and people I have been with. I think my piece reflects that – individual in between cultures looking for place to belong. Since that was the beginning of my journey here, I am used to rolling the dice. That risk-taking makes me think that every project is an adventure, then at very least I can learn from the mistakes (and I do!). I have been carrying that throughout my career.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them into different areas of the city since Los Angeles expands in horizon. You have to experience is fully by driving to different areas. I would take them to museums in the city such as LACMA, MOCA and Broad. Drive through the different studios in Burbank. and I would dine out in Thai town, Koreatown, 3rd Street, then venture off to Torrance/Long Beach and San Gabriel Valley for food and snacks. Golden Deli in San Gabriel is a must. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I give my shoutout to the independent film community here in Los Angeles… Starting with Film Independent, where my path to filmmaking really took off. Then, to Visual Communications in Downtown Los Angeles, who is a constant supporter of Asian American Filmmakers. Thanks to them we can have voices and do our thing. Then Finally to NewFilmmakersLA & Larry Labor, who is a champion and cheer-leader of many independent filmmakers and small businesses in this town. I also want to give special shoutout to my friend Erin Li, refined commercial/TV director and my mentor, Last but not least… my wife and my son, who support me throughout this crazy journey. They also ground me in this otherwise surreal life, which is a necessity.
courtesy of Leslie Lausch and Caroline Mobley