“Michiko, I give you not 80 points,
not 90points, but 100 points”
by Mr. Anthony Bourdain
oday I would like to say once again a big Thank you to Anthony Bourdain, my friend and mentor in
many ways on TV productions, the art of storytelling, and life as a whole.
This spring came with my debut as a director of a documentary program. It is a 45- minutes video project on Japanese sweat culture for National Geographic and I just came back from the 10-days intensive shooting around Japan, with the photographer & author of the cult book “Sweat”; Mr. Mikkel Aaland, who appointed me as a director & producer for the Japan episode of the series “Perfect Sweat”.
Press release for "Perfect Sweat" shooting. March, 2019
It took 20 years for me since I first worked for Tony, but during the shooting this time,
I deeply realized how much I had learnt from Tony and the production with him. The method and the knowledge I used during the direction of shooting, I realized many came from the work with Tony.
Many of my knowledge about the Japanese traditional culture came through the experience with Tony. Even I was a fixer, he and the team involved me to contribute so much in story making and developing production to one goal as one team. I was raised by our work together and now finally
I grew up until able to direct one program and I cannot thank for all the opportunities lead me to here.
I feel strongly now, I have so much gift given from him and the team since Cook’s Tour in 2000, and now it is my responsibility to make good use of them fully.
Lastly, but most importantly, I would like to extend my sincere and special gratitude to Mr. Chris Collins and Ms. Lydia Tenaglia, the producers and founders of Zero Point Zero Productions. All started with the friendship with these two when they came to Japan for the first time for Cook’s Tour shooting for New York Times TV. Only four of us started with the small two cameras, low budget, chasing after Tony as a host day by day creating the scenes and stories. Chris and Lydia literally gave me the opportunities to start working for productions as independent field producer/ fixer, and two gave me insights about the future, they are the ones who recommended me to go to NYU for film school, as well as have referred me to many productions around US when they ask them for contacts of local production in Japan.
Without Chris and Lydia, my career did not depart in the way it did, and the two game me faith in planting seeds and realizing the dreams, which was the biggest gift I got in my career. Thank you to Chris, Lydia, Tony, and Zsuzsa & Michelle who first connected me to Chris and Lydia as friends, and everyone involved in the continuous productions and this process of making the world as one lovely neighborhood. Thank you…!
Tokyo, April 5th, 2019
"Perfect Sweat" Series Begins Filming in Japan Episode Directed by Anthony Bourdain Fixer Michiko Zentoh｜
“Remembering Anthony Bourdain as Only His Fixers Could” VANITYFAIR｜
Michiko interviewed by Vanity Fair about Mr. Bourdain. 2018