Posts Tagged ‘indie film’

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:

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Two Cool Weekends

It was such a great experience last weekend to have my first short film, “Accident,” showcased at APAture 2015! APAture is a multidisciplinary arts festival that focuses on Asian artists in film, comics, music, literary arts, This was actually the first event that I submitted to last year but I didn’t get in back then. My friend encouraged me to resubmit for this year and I’m really glad it got in this year. I’ve been submitting it since July 2014 and even up until now. It has been accepted into three festivals so far, including APAture. At first I was kind of bummed out that a lot of festivals did not accept it. However, I sent a message to Jason Marsden during the whole process and he reassured me that there is nothing wrong with that and to let it be a learning experience. I’ve really taken that to heart and I’m actually really happy now that it was accepted into APAture 2015. I feel like I’ve come full circle. I started with this festival so maybe I can end with this festival. No more submissions. They are costly and I’d really rather move on to my next project. Eventually, I will post my short film online and let the world judge it all they want. I love it and my opinion is the only one that really matters, right?

I did a Q&A afterwards…ok, I admit it. I HATE public speaking. Not that I don’t want to talk to people who saw my film. I’d LOVE to hear what they thought of it but being asked all these questions and being among my peers, I felt inferior, like I didn’t really belong there. People laughed at my answers. Maybe because of my delivery but I can’t help it. I hear it in my head and it comes out of my mouth differently than how I would have liked. It’s fine, I’m not mad. I don’t know how celebrities, teachers, politicians, etc. do it. Aren’t they afraid of saying something wrong? Or sounding like an idiot? Or being asked a question they don’t want to answer? I remember for the time before the screening and after I found out I had to do a Q&A, I told myself I wasn’t going to reveal the true inspiration for my film because I didn’t want people to think I was crazy or angry. Then I thought, well what are the chances they would ask that question anyway? It’s played out. Sure enough, the first question was “What was your inspiration for your respective film?” Oh man. In my head, I reached for everything I could think of to make up. I wanted to scroll through my phone and find my director’s statement so I could remind myself what I wrote. Then I thought of something I say instead of the truth, that I was inspired by my peers because they have been so supportive of my creative work. So when it was my turn to speak, the truth just rolled off my tongue. “I had an angry conversation with my dad on the phone one day and well, if you can’t do it in real life, you do it on film.” Please don’t think I’m crazy. Here’s a picture.

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I just realized I’m not crazy. Just angry. Like Taylor Swift, writing about her ex-boyfriends and telling the world how she really feels. I guess the truth isn’t so bad. Ok, I’m rambling. Other eventful occurrences yesterday: Girl Meets Texas was a 3 part series this weekend. Damn, that’s good marketing! You know people like to binge on this kind of stuff. This love triangle thing is really suspenseful. I have to say I’m pretty blown away by how the producers have handled this situation. I know social media has given some insight as to which direction the GMW fans want it to go. It’s basically Rucas vs Lucaya. For anyone who doesn’t know, “Rucas” is the moniker for the highly anticipated Riley & Lucas union while “Lucaya” is the moniker for those who are team Maya & Lucas. The writers have been giving hints as to what might happen. They said the biggest clue was in the pilot. So, I went to Netflix and watched the pilot. Well, I started to anyway. Then I thought, maybe the clue is in the first conversation Maya had with Lucas where she compressed their whole faux relationship/breakup into 9 sentences. She said “You don’t pay enough attention to me” as one of those sentences. Well, from what I gather in Girl Meets Texas, I feel like while Lucas does pay attention to Maya, he pays more attention to Riley overall. So maybe everything is being played out in this arc, expanding on those 9 sentences throughout the season. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. For now. :0)

If you’re wondering which pair I’m in favor of(I refuse to use the word “ship”), I would have to say Lucas and Riley. After watching this 3-part melodrama, I feel like Riley and Lucas have been taking things slow. So slow, in fact, that no one even realized they were doing this. It’s like a silent “I like you, you like me but let’s be great friends first” kind of thing. I know some fans think Maya has more chemistry with Lucas but it just doesn’t seem like Lucas feels that way about Maya. I mean, he stopped himself from kissing Maya. If you had that chance with someone you liked, you go for it. If it doesn’t feel right, you shouldn’t lead someone on. And if they did kiss, that would be horrible. Maya and Riley’s friendship could change forever. Just because Maya thinks Riley loves Lucas like a brother doesn’t mean it’s actually true. Riley is obviously stepping back because she wants Maya to be happy and always puts others before herself. And judging from the dumbfounded & confused way Lucas reacted when Riley told him he was like a brother to her, he obviously thought they had a mutual crush thing going! I mean, come on…ok, I am way too invested in this. What’s going on?? I’m 38! Moving on…

Oh my gosh, I got to see my favorite band perform last night when they opened for Twenty One Pilots! They killed it!! I had such a great time watching them jam out on this big stage. They have always been meant for the bigger stages. I love it! And I especially enjoyed watching them perform their new songs! I’m just adding to my playlist. I guess i could have stayed to watch the other opening act, Echosmith and the headliner but I was starving and needed to feed so I bounced.

When I got home, I started uploading my videos to YouTube when lo and behold, my favorite guy in the whole wide world, Will Friedle, tweeted a picture of the shirt I gave him! Oh my gosh, I nearly fell off my stool because my legs turned into spaghetti, haha! That was so random. I had always wondered if it fit though. I have two of those shirts, one in white and one in purple. I love it. You can wash it and the artwork will last for awhile as long as you are washing it properly.

Ok, it’s time to go to sleep. Lots to do. Shows to produce, scripts to write, and videos to edit. Happy Halloweeny, Mr. Feeny!

Weekend Reflection

Had a blast this weekend. Closed our show, “The Ladies & The Tramps” with a great crowd! I can’t wait to have our post mortem. Producing this show was both stressful and exciting at the same time. I still remember back in November, pitching to my co-producer the type of unfiltered show I wanted to have. I thought, what if we lived in a world where you didn’t have to be polite? Do you always have to tell your friends that their baby is cute even when they’re not? What would happen if people were no longer polite and just downright honest? It would have required a team of writers to really focus and imagine this world and what kinds of experiences would we go through…but, we really didn’t have that kind of time. We’re not full time writers who can knock out A+ sketches every hour. We all work regular jobs and only do this at night. It’s kind of like having two jobs and yet, still having to take care of your personal life at home.

I so wish I could switch my life upside down. I would love to do sketch comedy full time and get paid and do my regular job whenever I feel like working. I put an awful lot of work into my hobbies but how I can get paid for it is another story. It’s all about the hustle, I guess. I would love to do Granny Cart Gangstas full time. Take us on the road and tour the show. This year’s show was a little different from our previous shows. First of all, it is our first multiple run show. We normally do one night stands so having a 6 night show was a real commitment and we had to be picky about who will participate. My favorite part about producing this show was the laughter. I loved hearing people laugh Then we knew our jokes landed. It was no longer just funny to us, it was funny to other people. Not that we needed validation for our material but we enjoyed making people laugh and it showed with our content.

My favorite pieces had to be the ones with the Will Friedle related arc. It was so fun to do and I loved seeing people say it was their favorite on the surveys we handed out. I didn’t plan it out any particular way, it just kind of landed that way and I’m ever so glad it did. Other pieces I enjoyed were “Feminist Date” which was about a couple who were getting hot & heavy while spewing out all the realities of women’s inequalities in life. Someone wrote that we “raised awareness” which we did not realize we did. Other comments that made me smile included “Hilarious” “Hella funny” and “Was impressed with acting/skits.” Of course we did get comments that told us people were offended by some of our humor but we dove into this project knowing full well what we were getting into. We knew some people would be offended or uncomfortable which is why I told people in my Bindlestiff interview not to come if they were the type to be easily offended.

In the end, I’m proud of that show. I’m proud of all the blood, sweat, tears and money that we put into it. I’m proud of all the players that said, “Fuck it!” and went balls out on all the parts they played, offensive or not. I’m proud of how we put everything together ahead of time. I’m proud of how all the players stepped up and took their places in the face of exhaustion and malady. It’s not easy to put on a show for us seeing as rehearsal time has always been our weakness. Finding time for our separate lives to converge and rehearse even for an hour is quite challenging but we somehow make it through.

The day after our last show, I got to experience seeing my short film, “Accident” on the big screen at the I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival. If I could rewind and rewatch that film, I would have not worried so much about how the sound might be or how the color might look or whether or not the moments that intended a reaction were accurate. I can’t help it, it’s my baby. To be honest, as this was the first film festival to accept my short after countless rejections, I waited for this festival to send me an email to tell me they made a mistake, that I really didn’t get in. I’m guessing this is probably the only festival I’ll get into but it was truly an irreplaceable experience to see your own short film on a big screen. I’m so glad I was able to go. Anyway, that was my weekend and it was great. Can’t wait to work on my next project, There’s the Moon And Then There’s You.

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 http://www.youtube.com/theloveedition

Enjoy!

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