[KineJapan] bringing a benshi to Finland

Markus Nornes nornes at umich.edu
Thu Oct 31 09:15:13 EDT 2019


I have experience with this. The answer is that he is totally flexible, BUT
there is an ethical way to make this happen and treat him well.

Keep in mind that this is his career, and we want him to be doing this and
not voice acting and radio.

Also keep in mind that every day he’s not in Japan, he is not working in
Japan. And he always gets paid more in Japan than abroad. He can get
US$1,500 to $3,000 per performance in Japan.

So the answer to your question is this: pay as much as you possibly can
squeeze from your institution.

I think he would feel insulted if it was less than $500 per performance,
but he wouldn’t tell you that and would still do it for the cultural

So pay as much as you possibly can.

There is one way you can give him more money.

Ichiro collects silent films. He does this so he can keep costs down. If he
owns the print, then no rental fee is necessary and no paperwork as well.

However, I think about this a different way. I try to use his prints, but
keep a LINE in my budget for print rental. And I pay the print rental fee
to him, rather than a distributor. That way I max out my limits for
honorarium, while still giving him more money through the print rental
budget line.

Hope that helps.


On Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 2:59 AM Eija Niskanen via KineJapan <
kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu> wrote:

> Hi all,
> we are in talks with Finnish National Audiovisual Archive on bringing a
> benshi to perform with Japanese silent films. As we have to do a budget for
> any support applications, if anyone has experience with Kataoka-benshi on
> the costs (his fee basically, as the video translation into Finnish cost
> and film rentals and shipping we we can figure out ourselves) please let me
> know. You could email me off-list: eija.niskanen at gmail.com
> Eija
> --
> Eija Niskanen
> Helsinki Cine Aasia film festival
> _______________________________________________
> KineJapan mailing list
> KineJapan at mailman.yale.edu
> https://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/kinejapan

*Markus Nornes*
*Professor of Asian Cinema*
Department of Film, Television and Media, Department of Asian Languages and
Cultures, Penny Stamps School of Art & Design

*Department of Film, Television and Media*
*6348 North Quad*
*105 S. State Street*
*Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285*
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