Posts Tagged ‘filmmaking’

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:

Made My Goal

I’m so happy to announce that I made my GoFundMe goal! I have to admit, before I began the campaign, I was hesitant to do it and tried really hard to figure out a way for me to fund the festival circuit myself. However, after doing all the calculations, I realized it would put me into some serious financial hardship and I had already spent a lot of money during production. I just really didn’t think anyone would donate to me. Fortunately, some friends encouraged me to try to set up a campaign anyway and see what happens.

Lo and behold, I got my first donation less than 5 minutes after posting it! I was floored by the amazing love & support I received from everyone, some who barely even knew me were rooting for me! I couldn’t believe it. I guess I should have had more faith in my community. It has been such a wonderful journey, meeting such talented & generous people who cared about my dreams.

In addition, I’d like to add that I finally received permission from my very favorite band, Finish Ticket, to put their music in my short film!! It took over a year to get the music and the release but it finally happened and I’m so excited to have them in my film! Brendan Hoye, the lead singer, wrote a song especially for my film and I have to say, it is absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t have asked for a better song for this film and I’m SOOOOO excited to start submitting it to film festivals! If you listen to my 30 second trailer, you’ll hear a little bit of another song of theirs called, “Pockets.” You can check out their music on their website. Or, you can check them out at LIVE 105’s BFD concert or Outside Lands!!! So crazy that they are performing at these events. They are going to blow up, I guarantee it. I’ve thought this since the first time I saw them perform back in 2011 when they opened for Jackson Rathbone’s now defunct band, 100 Monkeys. Ugh! I love their music so much, it’s insane.

My First Short Film – Accident

“Don’t wait around for someone else to tell your story. Do it yourself by whatever means necessary.” – Lena Dunham

Everyone has a story but not everyone is willing to tell it. When I finally decided to tell my story, I outlined it, wrote the script, storyboarded it, and cast it all in the same day. This is what I call my Passion project. Passion with a capital “P.” After fixing the script, gathering my crew, filming the story, and making the edits, it is now it’s time to share the story.

When I first thought of it, my mindset was that there was nothing I could do about it. It’s just a dream and doesn’t exist. However, I felt that this dream was worth it so I turned it into a goal, which comes with a plan of action. I would like to submit this short film into as many film festivals around the world as possible. Unfortunately, I’m discovering it is quite costly to share your Passion. Therefore, I am asking if you are willing to help me share.

Each festival ranges from $0 – $80+ and I’m afraid I cannot afford all the submission fees, DVD costs, and press kit printouts it requires. I am hoping with your help, that this short film will act as a catalyst that will launch me into the right direction. If by some miracle, I am able to raise more than my goal, then I can enter even more festivals! Someday, I’d like to tell a bigger story, more stories. There aren’t very many women in filmmaking and I would like to change the game. And who knows? Maybe one day, I’ll end up telling YOUR story. Thank you for your time.

Here is a 30 second teaser:

The Love Edition Film Shoot

So, I’m one of the producers for an upcoming show called “The Love Edition: Love Bytes.” It’s a show at Bindlestiff Studio that mounted its first run back in 2006 during February, produced by Chuck Lacson and Raf Lim, along with Associate Producers Nina De Torres Ignacio and John Raposas. And since it was in February, it became about love. First year, its theme was radio. The show was set up like a radio talk show where you could hear people call into a radio talk show and talk about their love problems. Then the stories onstage would play out from what you heard. The second time it mounted in 2007, the theme was TV and the show was set up like a talk show where a tv talk show host would discuss people’s love problems as if they were at a live recording of the show. Some audience members actually that it was a really show being recorded because there were monitors put up in the theater to make it feel like a live taping. Ultimately, the Love Edition went on hiatus because the producers were unable to commit to mounting another run and no one else attempted to take over.

It wasn’t until now that the original producers were able to commit to mounting a third installment of The Love Edition and this year, the theme is about love online, hence the title, “Love Bytes.” I have always wanted to be a part of the show in some way. I participated as an Assistant Director to one of the pieces in the 2nd Love Edition back in 2007 but I wasn’t sure how I would be able to participate this year. When they did the call out for written pieces, I wanted to submit but couldn’t find the time to write out a script by the deadline. I was sad about that so I thought maybe I could audition when the time came, but I never feel like I would fit the roles that are usually out there so I wasn’t too hopeful about that. 

One day, while at the theater, I was approached by one of the producers to become one of the Associate Producers for the next Love Edition. I can’t tell you how surprised I was to be asked to do something like that as I was not even really sure what a producer does. Apparently, projects I’ve done where I had to make something happen from beginning to end was considered “producing.” I was elated and excited to be a part of such a beloved show. Love has always been my area of weakness as I know NOTHING so I thought maybe I could learn a thing or two. 

Anyway, the point of my post. Just finished the film shoot portion of The Love Edition. It will be a web promo for the show and I have to say, this particular film shoot was by far, the funniest project I have ever had the pleasure of participating in. I’m so glad I was there to witness all the comedic moments of the shoot. There were people whom I asked if they could help out on the shoot and I actually feel sorry for them that they said no and weren’t there to enjoy these good times. GREAT times. I wish I could relive all those moments of laughter. It was too fun. This film shoot really made me think twice about what I want to do with my career. They said that when you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. It is very true. While the whole weekend involved a lot of hard work, I have to say I had the greatest time. It was a good way to start off 2014 and I can’t wait to see the final results after the editor gets a hold of the footage.

Here are a few screen captures. Find us at












UPDATE: Here are the final results! Watch on a laptop or desktop and turn on your annotations to get the full interactive experience!

Inspirecreational Weekend

This weekend has been full of inspiration, recreation, and creativity all rolled into one. I am losing sleep each night and my schedule is going insane. Obviously, filming is going well. We shot a bloody killing scene on Saturday where we ended up spraying fake blood all over someone’s van. That was a serious cleanup job. It’s made of corn syrup so imagine syrup all over your vehicle’s interior. Imagine that? Yeah. Afterwards, I got to see my friend dance in a show called “Tagabanua” at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. It was a beautiful show with great moves and some kick ass indeigenous Filipino music. Very inspiring, I have to say. It made me want to play kulintang again.

And Sunday, we shot a music video for the band, Seeking Empire. It was on their song “Fairytale.” I haven’t shot a music video since 2007 when I helped with Kiwi’s “Imagine” video so it was fun. This time, it was a lot different though because of all the extras that were there. I’ve never really been around so many model-type women and punk rocker dudes. The band was fantastic and the venue we shot the video at was fabulous too! I got to meet Paul Thomas, the bassist from the band Good Charlotte, so that was cool. I can’t wait to see the video when it is done being edited.

On Monday, I got to play a different side of me. I dressed up in goth to celebrate a friend’s birthday at a goth club called Death Guild. I’ve never seen myself look this way before. It was nice to hear that everybody loved my outfit. I have to admit, I loved it too. I wore a short black dress that had tulle for the skirt part. I wore a wide belt that had a corset pattern on it. I also had a lacy bolero on along with a black headband that had a black flower on top. I painted my nails blood red, wore dark cherry lipstick, fishnet thigh-his and as my guy friends would call it, a pair of “come fuck me” heels. I looked like a Goth Lolita. Overall, I had a blast playing dress up. It cost me a fortune though. I think I spent over $200 on everything but I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish so all is right in the world. I would upload a photo except it’s in someone else’s camera and I don’t have it yet.

Reflection: I never thought I would see the things I see in my life. I know I’ve said this before but it’s truly amazing what one can accomplish if you maintain your focus, passion and dedication. I think my only problem is thank there are too many things I want to do. Sticking to one thing doesn’t seem to be my shtick, given my history. I’m a jack of all trades and things can only get better from here. Thank you, Lord! I am feeling truly blessed to be.

Detox Day 10

I was supposed to go to a Fiscal Sponsorship Orientation held by the San Francisco Film Society the other day but I overslept and had to skip it. Luckily my friends made it and filled me in. It basically inspired me to write an arthouse feature length film and I would love love LOVE for the overall theme of it to be focused on body image & self love. I’m thinking something along the lines of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Sideways. Not a slapstick LMAO comedy nor anything dancing along the lines of melancholy or sorrow. I just want to create a world & invite some guests to live in it for a couple of hours, that’s all. This has me thinking I could expand my short & just go into a full on feature. Hmm…

On another note, I effed up last night and ate with my family. They are good cooks.

Gluten-free corn flakes (Nature’s Path)
Goat milk (Meyenberg)

Scrambled eggs with fuzzy melon
Brown rice
Yao choy

Almonds (Trader Joe’s)

Brown rice
Tofu with fish
Boy choy

Weight lost as of 4/2/12: 5 lbs.

Time to Detox

I’ve made the decision to go on Dr. Joshi’s Holistic Detox. It lasts for 21 days and I’m hoping I will be able to complete it without falling off the wagon, as is my usual case. This detox is meant to get my body to release all the toxins that have built up over the years in my liver. Dr. Joshi says,

The job of the liver’s filtration system is to keep the blood as pure as possible. To do this, it has to sort out the good stuff from the bad and filter off the toxins. if your nourish your body with nutritious, freshly prepared foods and avoid pop, alcohol and processed foods, then you will give your liver the best chance of eliminating any poisonous chemical that it does encounter.

I’m excited to about it and yet fearful that I may experience yet another fail. However, I am highly motivated and I have every reason to succeed, now more than ever.

Ok, I might as well share. The reason being that I’ve decided to finally turn a stageplay I wrote back in 2007 into a short film. The content is based on body image and I simply cannot continue with this project and be a hypocrite about it. I know I will have a lot of support on this and once I start this, there’s no turning back because I’ve already put it out there on the web for all to see. I think I will begin the detox this weekend. I’m slowly starting to eat some of the items on the list just to condition my mind to embrace it slowly.

Things I can eat
White meat like turkey or chicken
Herbal tea or green tea
Eggs but not more than 3 or 4 per week
Fish (but no salmon/tuna)
Will or brown rice
Live yogurt
Ricotta, cottage, goat or buffalo cheeses
Dark green vegetables(stirfry/steamed ok)
Wheat-/Gluten-Free breads & cereals
Olive oil
Chicke peas, lentils and pulses
Salads w/o peppers & tomatoes
Onions, ginger, & garlic
Soy & rice milk
Tofu & soy products

Things I can NOT eat
Red meat
All fruit except bananas
Dairy products made with cow’s milk
Wheat,yeast & gluten
Tea & coffee including decaf (except herbal/green teas)
Jams & other spreads
Artificial flavorings like vinegar, mustard, and ketchup
Chocolate, sugar, and other sweets
Pre-packaged & pre-prepared meals

Sigh…it’s going to be a fantastic journey. Coolio.

Casting Extras & Faces

What a great first day shoot we had! But first all, let me just say that last week was a whirlwind of ups & downs for the film production. On Tuesday, after enjoying learning all about face casting from one of our makeup artists, Melissa, we found out exactly 4 days before the first shoot that the venue, Temple, decided to boot us out in order to rent it out for some corporate gig. I understand that businesses have to make money but canceling our agreement basically because something that paid more came along was completely shady, not to mention infuriating. Now that I think about it, it’s pretty ironic & arrogant for a place to be calling themselves Temple. May the gods of karma have mercy on you.

Moving on, our heroes, Club Mist, saved the day & allowed us to use their club. This place was the exact opposite of the goth look we were going for but to me, that was what was so great about it. It didn’t meet your expectations as to what “goth” is. The scene is supposed to be a goth club scene and yet, the place looked more like a white heaven that a dark haven. Nice contrast. The director, Matthew Abaya, made it all work. I had so much fun getting all the extras for the scenes. The makeup artists did an above & beyond fantastic job with the makeup on everyone.

We were there form noon until 8 pm. I assistant directed as much as I could and finally got to rest that night. Unfortunately, I caught a fever the next morning and have been under the weather ever since. I am constantly stopping to hack a chunk of lung every 2 to 3 sentences as we speak. Salty. Being able to be the one to get the extras for the film really solidified my infatuation with wanting to be a casting director. Moreover, a friend of mine sent me an email today.

It was for a Q&A event with a casting director who works for NBCUniversal. Mainly, it’s geared towards actors who want to know what casting directors look for but it says that you can ask anything you want so I figured hey, why not go to this event and make it a weekend on hump day? It was a very spontaneous decision but I shop by intuition and my intuition told me I should buy a ticket…then a couple of flights, then rent a car, and find a place to sleep. Done, done, done, & done. The event is in Burbank so I’ll have to fly down there. I do not want to drive my car down there & back on my own. Granted, I’ve done it before but I was younger then…ok, only by 4 years but still, I was more balls-to-the-wall back then. Ok fine, I did it for New Kids on the Block. There, I said it and that’s the honest truth. Don’t judge me by my questionable interests. So now, all I need is a restaurant to go to. Hmmm, which restaurant should I try? I just love eating in places other than home. :0)

Here are some pics

Jeff getting his face cast by the amazing Melissa

Michelle getting her face cast also by the amazing Melissa

The only time I’ll ever be behind the bar

Goth people in heavenly setting

Filming Scott & Kitty scene upstairs

Kitty doing her dance

I know, my captions is sooooo creative! Well, it’s 12:20 AM and I’m sick sooo….yeah.

Oh Nothing, Just Our PMSTA Trailer & Stuff

I am so proud to announce that the trailer for our October show is now live! I had so much fun working on it that it inspired me to want to do more in film. The director of the film, Matthew Abaya of I Don’t Care Productions, is also going to be doing a feature length film called “Vampariah” and he asked me to help him with casting. I can honestly say I was ecstatic! Besides the screenwriter, casting was also one of my dream roles to take on when it comes to making a film.

I’m excited to begin holding auditions and getting through this process, more than excited. So excited, I went out and bought a book called “Producing & Directing the Short Film & Video” to catch me up on all I need to know. There is a 4th edition to this book but this one was 40% off and mama can’t pass up a bargain like that. Let’s just see what I’m going to learn. I hate when I read and nothing has entered my mind because I’m drumming up a to-do list in my head. Am I the only one that happens to? Anyway, before I go off on a tangent, check out our promo below: