January 31, 2012

CELEBRITY SC: Sushi Girl

The cast and crew of indie hit vist SCA

By Olga Lexell, celebirtysc.com

Celebrity SC is a blog run by SCA students. The content is produced independently from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Please visit celebritysc.com for more information

Sunday evening the cast and crew of Sushi Girl visited USC as part of the SCA’s Alumni Screening Series. The movie (which was violent, hilarious, and fantastic), inspired an in-depth panel discussion that lasted almost as long as the movie itself.


(Left to Right) Destin Pfeff, Neal Fischer, Cortney Palm,
David Dastmalchian,Suren M. Seron, Kern Saxton, Tony Todd, Mark Hamill,
James Duval, and Andy Mackenzie

Sushi Girl is about a man named Fish (Noah Hathaway), who spends six years in jail after a diamond heist gone horribly wrong. Immediately after his release, the group of criminals with whom he committed the robbery throw him a celebratory sushi dinner, but things go astray as the men try to figure out what happened to their stolen diamonds.

The film’s creators, Kern Saxton, Destin Pfeff, Suren M. Seron, and Neal Fischer, went into great detail about the making of the film and its unique aesthetic. For those who haven’t heard of Sushi Girl, it’s a film that’s hard to describe. It’s something one must see and take in on the big screen, which may happen in the next year as the producers work to secure a development deal and submit the film to festivals.

Most of the audience was fascinated by Sushi Girl‘s editing, sound design, and cinematography, all of which gave the film a very noir atmosphere. Even more intriguing was the script and idea itself. According to co-writer and co-producer Kern Saxton, they came up with the idea after deciding that they wanted to do a feature that was almost entirely set in one room (the film takes place in an Asian restaurant). Kern Saxton said that the film, especially its cinematography and music score, was largely inspired by the look and feel of early James Bond films. Saxton also admitted that the film was Reservoir Dogs-esque when one audience member drew a comparison between Sushi Girl and Quentin Tarantino’s style, and he went as far as to say that the filmmakers were somewhat influenced by the cult director.

The actors present at the panel, Mark Hamill (Star Wars, Batman: The Animated Series), Tony Todd (Final


The cast and crew of Sushi Girl during the Q&A.

Destination, Candyman), Andy Mackenzie (MacGruber, Shoot ‘Em Up), Cortney Palm (the eponymous Sushi Girl), James Duval (Donnie Darko, The Doom Generation), and David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight, Horsemen), offered entertaining stories about preparing for their respective roles and working on such a small production that is packed with well-known actors (others include Noah Hathaway, Michael Biehn, Sonny Chiba, and Danny Trejo).

The producers of the film hope to team up with Tony Todd again for their next film, Catalytic. Although very few details about the upcoming project are certain, they admitted that they would love to work with many of the Sushi Girl cast members again.