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May 22, 2013
Land of the Rising Sun
In an interview for the film, former champion Nie Weiping 9p referred to China, Korea, and Japan as “the three worlds” of Go. Last fall we were able to visit the first two of these worlds, but as many of you know, without Japan – the birthplace of so much of the culture and history of the game – our picture of Go would be fundamentally incomplete.

We weren’t sure whether our budget would allow us to actually go there, but now, thanks to the work of a generous supporter, we have the chance to go back to Asia with our travel costs covered.

Thus I am overjoyed to announce that this summer, the Surrounding Game film crew will make one final filming trip: to Japan, the heart and soul of Go!

Our 3-man filming team will arrive in Tokyo on June 25 and shoot for about a week; then we’ll take the overnight bus to Osaka at the beginning of July, where we will stay until July 6. We are in communication with several people at the Nihon Kiin in Tokyo and the Kansai Kiin in Osaka, and we are now starting to secure interviews and line things up to film. Right now we are looking for people to stay with, interpreters, and other filming ideas that visually illustrate the rich cultural legacy of the game. So if you have any contacts in Japan, please let us know!

This will be our last big filming operation, and I am confident it will lead to some of our very best material. But after this trip, aside from a few interviews here and there, and various smaller things (choreographed game play, archival footage, etc), we will essentially be finished collecting the material for the film. With the footage in hand, we will have our palette of colors; so now it’s time to start painting.

So Where Are We Now?

I will resume working on the film full-time starting June 1. As soon as I return we will begin interviewing for an editor to join our team. This is a major, major step. An editor will bring a level of experience and expertise we do not have, and may be the single most important person we collaborate with. Together with Cole and myself, he/she will start to lay out the basic skeleton of the film, and give shape to the story. When we return from Asia we will hopefully be in the thick of the editing process, a seemingly endless forest of possibilities in which we have to ultimately figure out how we can best communicate what we want to say with the material we have.

As editing begins in full, two other key positions, music and animation, will also be at the top of the list.

The next 3-5 months will be the most productive, vibrant, and ultimately important time in the course of making this film. By the end of this period we probably won’t be out of the woods yet, so to speak, but if all goes well we will be planted firmly on a path with a good sense of which direction we’re headed, and a rough-cut of the film in sight.

Whoa, disgruntled. Germany is awesome and all, but you're not going to win support being a dick. I agree that it would have been cool to include Europe. Hell, they will probably at least mention Europe. But first off all, the film has a narrow focus, Go spreading from Asia to the US. They probably did this because they happen to be from the US. No one is saying Go in Europe is lacking. Many of us read the AGA e-newsletter and we always get updates on Europe. We care, but there is only so much you can put in one film made on a pretty low budget (for films).
I hope this turns out good, even though it sounds like your focus is on America and Asia, I hoped to see some footage of the German Go Culture too, because Germany was one of the first countries of the west that the Surrounding game came too.
This is why the funding fell short.
"for the west!" pfft, this is going to be the typical "focus on the USA" bullshit while they en-devour to ignore other countries as being part of the west. This could have been a great movie if it wasn't so focused on "America's go uprising". So screw you.
Good luck! I realy hope this turns into something realy great, the world of go has been waiting for so long... We need a "hikaru no go" for the west! :) I hope this doesnt turn into something like "feministfrequency" which got 160.000$ on kickstarters and turned into 20mins of shit ^_^ Good luck!!! :)