Archive for February, 2016

Check Out Stephen Chow’s “The Mermaid”

If you live in North America and are lucky enough to be near one of the scant 35 theaters that is showing “The Mermaid,” make the effort to check it out. It was released over the weekend on 2/19 with some sneak preview screenings on 2/18. I spent all day today reading reviews about this wonderfully enchanting & thought-provoking movie. The overall consensus is that while there is a total lack of disregard from Sony’s marketing department for this film, critics are loving Stephen’s environmental message disguised within fantastic nonsensical storytelling & quirky slapstick gags that are infamously Stephen Chow style. Not to mention, they are giving widespread criticism towards Sony for its inactions, leaving us fans wondering what the hell is going on?

I’ve attended a couple of Chinese language films in San Francisco this year and I thought they would show a preview of The Mermaid at least before the Chinese films. Alas, there was no mention of it, not even a Coming Soon poster anywhere to be found. It seems zero dollars were spent marketing this movie in San Francisco and we have one of the biggest Chinese populations around. What gives? They promoted Kung Fu Hustle pretty hard back then but I started to think maybe it is because they are associating Chinese people with martial arts. Thus, I’ve concluded that perhaps this is a little bit racist and Sony should be ashamed of themselves if that is the case.

As a bonus, I came across some wonderful Behind The Scenes videos on YouTube. They are in Chinese but you can see how much work Stephen is putting into the film and they are still worth a watch:

Deleted fragments:

I could go on and on about this but I don’t have to. These reviewers have done it already. Pretty sad how this amazing film is being treated in the US. I don’t expect Stephen to want to work with the US much more.

TO check out some of the reviews I’ve read, see below. Thank you all for giving The Mermaid a voice.

Forbes

New York Times

RogerEbert.com

Metro

LA Times

Variety

Pajiba

Twitchfilm

Entertainment Weekly

Criticwire

Film Journal

UPDATE:2/23/16 Looks like Sony stepped up and added more screenings. Yay!

Accident in Competition

So, I submitted my little short film, “Accident” to this website called “The Audience Awards” in the “Dramatic Short Video” category. They run various contests and this category seemed to be a good fit for my film. The contest ran for 10 days beginning 2/20 and ending 2/29 at 7 PM. I shared the contest on Facebook and surprisingly, I noticed a lot of people were sharing my post and helping me ask for votes. I wasn’t sure if my film would get close to the top but I had hopes that it would warrant at least a few votes from my friends.

By the 2nd day of the contest, we had been thrusted to 1st place somehow! That was incredible! Of course we eventually got knocked out of 1st place throughout different moments in the contest so I spent a lot of time spamming my own Facebook feed and eventually even annoying myself. By the middle of the contest, I started to think that it was a possibility that I might actually win, but how? I needed a strategy. I started looking at my competitors because if I wanted to win, I needed to know what I was up against. There were 29 films in the competition and while only 8 of them were made by women, only 1 was made by an Asian: me. That was it. That was going to be my hook. Wouldn’t it be great that out of all 29 films, it was an Asian American who won? If I was going to go hard, I knew this meant war. So I rounded up a team of players who were willing to go to battle with me and started developing my strategy.

These were my targets:

1) Share the credit of the film with my comedy troupe
2) Hook – The only Asian in the competition
3) Take advantage of the date/time of the end of the contest
4) Make my community care about us winning
5) Create a pool of reserves for the last day of the contest

As I started going down each of my targets, I started garnering more and more votes. It was at the point where people I don’t even talk to on Facebook were sharing my post and getting excited about the possibility of our filming winning. I was absolutely floored by the strength of my community and the depths they were going to help me. It was getting so exciting. By the 8th day of the contest, I had discovered a page on the website that allowed me to see who the voters were and it really took me by surprise. I discovered a lot of people that had not responded to my contest posts had voted for me, cheering me on in silence. And being in this contest also allowed me to receive a lot of feedback from friends, extended friends, acquaintances and strangers telling me how much they enjoyed my film and loved my story. It was that feedback that inspired me to continue telling stories.

After the disappointment of only 3 acceptances in the festival run I gave my film, this was really a turnaround point for me. I realized that regardless of whether or not I wrote a good story, it still felt really good to have created this. I love every single moment in my film and I enjoyed almost every aspect in creating it (ok, color correction is a bitch and I still can’t get that right but I’ve accepted that.) Plus, after asking Jason Marsden about this stuff, he more or less told me that this was actually completely normal so I decided to forge on.

By the last day of the contest, I hit target number 5. I created my pool of reserves and we all waited until the last 5 minutes to send in our votes. I felt like a cheetah hiding in the bushes, preying on my victim to surface so that I could POUNCE! When it was down to the last 10 minutes of the contest, I noticed a lot of people starting sharing my post and rallying others to vote and at this point, I hadn’t even sent out the green light to my reserves yet! So 4 minutes before the end of the contest, we all sent in our votes so when the last second hit, we won! It was so exciting! I was on pins & needles! The prize was $500 which I have decided I would put towards the next project of my comedy troupe. It was such an incredible feeling! There were internet hi-fives going all around, I’m sure. I was so excited that I made 3 donations to 3 different parties, including one homeless man. Gotta spread the love. I can’t wait to create my next project. Whatever it is, I hope it will be as awesome of an experience as “Accident” was for my heart & soul.

You can watch “Accident” here: