-Who is Eric Kelso?
I used to be a “coastal Californian” growing up in Santa Cruz, Carmel, and Santa Barbara, where I was a “film major” at UCSB. Upon graduating I set out to be a “traveler” venturing around the globe and eventually fell in love with Japan and settled here. Since 1990, I’ve been working in Tokyo as a “voice actor and writer” in TV, radio and video games. So, I’ve lived most of my life in Japan, but that doesn’t really make me “Japanese” either. I’d like to think that I’m “open-minded, creative, and kind” – on a good day. And I’ve realized that I have no need for a country, religion, political party or allegiance to any group at all.
-What inspired you to become a screenwriter?
My greatest love in life has always been film, alone in the dark, eating popcorn, living inside the dreams that others are brave enough to write down. It’s the greatest of all mediums because it combines all mediums. Photography, acting, music, design of all kinds, and at the heart of it is literature – the screenplay. Directors can’t tell the tale without a good tale to tell. Actors can’t bring characters to life if they fall unnatural and dead on the page. And it’s something I can do alone, like eating popcorn in the dark.
-Do you think cinema can bring a change to society?
Definitely. More than any medium can. It’s the only medium that can visually move through space and time. It’s the closest representation we have to how humans experience life. It shows us at our best and our worst. It can inspire and disgust, make us laugh and cry, and bring back special moments in our lives when we watch those golden gems once again. Movies move us and move with us. The potential to change, speak to, influence, teach, and enlighten us are limitless. And gives us hope. Because there’s always a new movie coming out soon that we’re living to see.
-What would you change in the world?
Make everything fair. But life’s not fair, so that’s out. Equality for all. I think good people are trying but bad people don’t want that, so that’s going to take some time. Education and healthcare for all. The two biggies. That just seems like a decent way to take care of the ones you say you love. And let’s not kill our mother, Mother Nature. Killing her is not only disrespectful, but also suicide – arrogant, selfish stupidity. Hopefully, clean technology can save us before dirty technology kills us. It’s a race that I hope we can win someday.
-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?
Beyond my imagination. Hopefully, humans will still be involved at every level of creation. AI will be used responsibly as a tool, not a force. New films, new original ideas will run free, not just warmed over versions of things that were once popular splattered across the screen. And we must remember that film is more than just an industry. It takes hundreds of people to make a film, all dedicated to the creative art of storytelling. Storytelling! The most ancient of all mediums. Movies explain who we are, where we came from, what we dream, why we love, why we hate and kill. It’s a record of our species. Definitely, not just an industry. We must always remember that, and protect that.