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James Z. Feng
Actor , Director , Screenwriter
129,745 views| 59  Posts

Final Cut!

    Trying to move on from Drowning has been a pretty painful process. The film took 9 months of my life, and now I want to be able to concentrate on my next project, but I can't because this baby isn't 100% finished. By finished I mean in a DVD case with nice menus and buttons when you pop it in your dvd player. The film JUST finished as of today when the sound mixer sent me the final files I need. The actual finalized film will be completed later tonight when I am at my editor's house putting the music and sound/dialogue tracks and making the FINAL CUT as we call it(if nothing goes wrong). I'm excited and burnt out at the same time. I had no idea making a film doing everything legit with no shortcuts would take this long. I'm seriously sick of watching the film myself due to how many times I've had to watch it(I am no longer a fan of my own film, hahahaha). Watching the premier at DC on a HUGE screen made me a fan again due to the emotions I got watching it. 

     This long process of doing Drowning brings me back to us finishing 600in 2 weeks with no professionals onboard. It's pretty ridiculous how many corners we cut to get that film ready in 2 weeks for the Shanghai Short Film Festival. But at the same time, I think it was because we weren't so technically that the film had so much raw power. We didn't try anything fancy and did what we thought were appropriate and important for the film. 

     I just got an email today from someone from China who saw 600 and had comments on the film to me. He said the film made him uncomfortable because there was no closure and the feeling he felt watching the film(he said perhaps that was my intention). My response to him was that 600 was never intended to have closure and that I had intended to a feature in the future on 600(no closures guaranteed). In the world of films, due to the structure that most people are use to, we all want a beginning, middle, ending. That's the reason I did Drowning; to show people that I can do a story that had all those elements. I think the strongest part of any film is when the film finishes, and the audience ponders the question "What will happen to them?" and imagining in their heads the lives of these characters after the film is finished. The fact that audiences are thinking about the characters after the film is finished means the film did its job in making you believe that this was a real story.

      I also just spoke to the festival director of the Beijing International Film Festival who screened my film in Beijing the past month. He told me the reaction was very powerful, and also included people who laughed at the film. I was like "What the... ???" at first, but then he explained they did not laugh at the film because it was bad, but because how close the film resembled their own lives or the lives of people they knew. There was a sigh of relief on my end when I heard that. These were the people that I made the film on, their reaction is important to me because that determines whether I did an authentic job portraying it.

     He is also planning to screen 600at another screening in Nanjing as well as other screenings in China later this year. I do plan on shooting a feature on 600's premise one day when I am mature enough to handle a subject like that. I don't think I am mature enough now to handle the idea of identity and mid-life crisis in a feature film yet. When I'm 30-35, I'll be ready to shoot 600the feature film.

    I am happy to be finally finished with Drowning(crosses fingers) because I can't wait to plunge 100% into my current project. I will also be submitting Drowning starting next week to the film festivals and doing all out media attacktakes out credit card. I think this past year was a big step in my maturity as a filmmaker. I can't say it was the happiest year of my life, in fact, it was probably one of the low points of my life. Everything I've had in my life prior to this year had come real easy for me. The fact that I had to make this film from scratch and learn everything has been a real humbling experience. Even though it's been difficult, I don't regret anything at all. I always like to think of one's career in anything like a RPG game, when you have enough experience points, you level up. I've definitely leveled up and now I'm working hard to get to the next level. So, it's here that this chapter in my life ends and a new chapter begins. I don't know what will happen in the future and even though I always have a plan and a backup plan, nothing is ever certain in this game of life. I don't doubt myself but do know that there's a chance that things may not work in the end, and that's with anything. I'll keep going and doing what I'm doing, it's all we can do in this life.

Upcoming plans:

  • Traveling to portland and Spokane, Washington in April.

  • Traveling to Iowa in June.

P.S~ Once I have everything DVD-authored and finished, please help me promote the DVD release of Drowning + 600. Thanks ya'll! And I made some t-shirts that'll go with the DVD. IT'S COMING BABY!!!

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over 10 years ago 0 likes  4 comments  0 shares
Photo 23902
i can't wait to see it! that silhouette of you guys is so cute!
over 10 years ago
Photo 99924
we love you, man. Keep working on it! getting a film "in the can" is so much less than half the work. I respect anyone who brings a short film to completion. Few people understand exactly what that represents. ---- Jia You, hao pengyou!!!
over 10 years ago
Rottendoubt a4 patrick
congrats with everything!
over 10 years ago
Photo 151634
Im excited for you...I hope you can relax a bit now. Good luck with everything
over 10 years ago

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"Passion, Hardwork, Perseverance." Http://www.JamesFeng.com Http://www.fightlife.tv

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Languages Spoken
english, mandarin, shanghainese
Location (City, Country)
San francisco, United States
Gender
male
Member Since
July 4, 2007