Thomas Kano: Capturing authenticity in film

Story by Noah Kuhn
Staff Writer

Photo by Oscar Walsh
Photo Editor

Thomas Kano uses his passion for filmmaking to express his committed and genuine nature. Dedicated to his craft, he will often spend countless hours quietly writing and editing his films to craft cinematic wonders. Kano holds himself to a standard of responsibility to do his best and to always be courteous of those around him. He is not the loudest person in the classroom, but the words that he does share are always meaningful and truly thought-provoking. Similarly, his films are not over-the-top but remain true to the subject matter.

Filming first began as a way to hang out with friends, but it soon blossomed into a serious passion after he discovered how much he enjoyed it. The art form’s unique ability to effectively communicate with different types of people stuck with him. Kano is able to communicate emotions and experiences much more effectively and to a broader audience through films rather than talking. He writes his own storylines, casts friends and family for roles, shoots at locations in South Pasadena (such as Husco German Auto Services on Mission Street), edits, and occasionally adds a soundtrack; completing the entire filming process single handedly. This added responsibility of executing a film alone emphasizes Kano’s commitment to quality and genuine work.

Kano draws from his own personal experiences in sports or school, as well as those of friends and family, when crafting a new film. His use of real-life moments is part of his constant goal for authenticity in both the way he interacts with others while he is filming and how he portrays his subject matter. He pours his heart into the entirety of the filming process, laboring for hours each day, constantly striving for an accurate portrayal of his subject that lives up to his own expectations. Kano is diligent in his work and dedicates himself to genuinely understanding and appreciating other people’s stories.

“I’m definitely always trying to get better. When I’m not actively working on a project I’m still trying to learn and I’m practicing,” Kano explained. “I’m more motivated when it comes to filmmaking than when it comes to anything else in my life.”

The aspiring filmmaker has enrolled in a few film festivals, where he has gained valuable opportunities to share stories with others. Kano enters competitions not to win prizes, but for a platform it gives him to spread his ideas, and in turn, better his craft through learning from other people’s films.

“The end goal is that people learn and gain something that they hadn’t had before,” Kano said. “That’s definitely a challenge sometimes, but the point is just to tell a story, and make it into a story that the audience wants to watch.”

Kano thrives on that challenge, carefully adjusting the camera to capture the perfect angle and pique the audience’s interest to find the deeper meaning of the series of images. His careful deliberation speaks for his devotion to thorough and honest work. Kano’s dedication to growth and genuine improvement reflects his hard work. True to his purposeful nature, he has researched many filmmakers in order to develop his own unique style of filming. Thomas Kano is committed to being honest and authentic as he works to teach and learn from those around him. 

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