Immigrating from Japan to Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961, Hitoshi Hida struggled to learn English as he excelled in math and painting during high school. Abandoning his desire to be an artist, Hida pursued a career in architecture. With the advent of three-dimensional renderings, Hida, 72, is one of only a handful of designers in Hawaii who still creates architectural renderings at a drafting table using color pencils, erasers, and rulers. Over the course of nearly 40 years, he has created thousands of hand-drawn architectural renderings, dedicating his life to the craft and pursuit of perfection.
Directed and Produced by: Andrew Hida
Featuring: Hitoshi Hida
Cinematography: Andrew Hida, Jessey Dearing
Editor: Andrew Hida
Animation: Drew Jordan
Illustrations: Hitoshi Hida
Associate Producer: Jennifer Moncayo
Original Music: Duncan Blickenstaff
Musicians: Mark Robertson, Josefina Vergara, Luke Maurer, Cameron Stone
Re-Recording and Score Mixer: Satoshi Noguchi
Mix Assistant: Colleen Lutz
Sound Designer: Sarah Brady Voll
Colorist: Michael Curry
Archival Photography: Hida Family, Group 70 International
Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2017
Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2017
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA USA, 2017
Waimea Ocean Film Festival, Waimea, HI USA, 2017
Hawaii International Film Festival, Honolulu, HI USA, 2016, *World Premiere
Best Documentary Short, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2017
Best Film Short, Waimea Ocean Film Festival, Waimea, HI, USA, 2017
My father, Hitoshi Hida, 72, is an architectural designer and one of only a handful of people who still creates architectural renderings at a drafting table using color pencils, erasers, and rulers. With the advent of three-dimensional renderings, his craft is quickly disappearing in our increasingly digital world. Though he officially retired at the end of 2015 after a nearly 40-year career, he still continues to work freelance to practice and hone his craft.
As a child, I grew up in my dad’s office where both him and my mother worked into the night. I remember figuring out my math homework in the conference room while trying to sing song lyrics with my sister. I remember drawings rolled up into tubes tucked into corners of our house and in the back of closets. But what I don’t remember is watching my dad create any of these drawings.
Through this project, I was finally able to see my dad in his element. His movements are fluid and elegant–erasing a line, brushing away shavings and re-drawing that same line with precision. His eyes rarely leave the paper. His hand barely keeps up with his imagination, consumed with birds singing, children laughing, and water splashing. It’s like watching a choreographed dance that constantly changes and evolves.
My dad’s choice to pursue a career in architecture was one of pragmatism, leading to a successful career that spanned nearly four decades. Abandoning his dream to be a painter laid the foundation for my sister and I to pursue dreams and opportunities otherwise unavailable to him. Although not entirely unique to the immigrant experience in America, my dad’s story has never been shared with me in such honest and frank terms until now.
Im/Perfection honors my mother and father’s sacrifices. It traces my own history through my father’s life. It explores the beauty of my father’s craft. It mimics his pursuit of perfection. And it represents a window into his world through which he opened the opportunity for me to chase my dreams.