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  • From Daniel's Blog
     |  )

    Monday, Dec 3, 2007 6:15PM / Members only

    [ Taken from Daniel's Blog ]

    Why a chicken?

    I’m not sure really. I’ve had a strange fascination with chickens since college. Their existence often baffles me. Why are they on this planet? Do they exist only to be eaten? Being the lowest mammal in the food chain, I often feel sorry for them, because chickens are the weakest animals on the planet with no dangerous form of attack and absolutely no way to defend themselves. They can’t even fly away because their wings are so out of proportion with their bodies. So in a way this short film is turning the tables around for once. A chickens’ fantasy if you will. A chicken rights film. A chicken kicking my ass.

    I decided the only person that would get my oddball sense of humor and pull this film off was my good old buddy Jason Tobin. He played David’s assistant in The Heavenly Kings and pulled off the performance of a lifetime as Virgil in Justin Lin’s Better Luck Tomorrow. Jason has aspirations of directing and this was the perfect way to get his feet wet. Having done an awesome job on the music videos for Hardpack and Audiotraffic, I felt it was time to take Jason to the next level.

    We decided that we wanted to experiment with film this time instead of the regular boring old video. We chose the 8mm format because we just love that grainy 70’s home movie look. The texture you get out of 8mm film simply cannot be reproduced in video. We hired Jam Yau as our dp because of his special 8mm film knowledge. We set up a bunch of different types of rigs, including a mini stedi-cam to make the shots as dynamic as possible. Thanks to Jam we were able to make the most of shooting in 8mm. I definitely want to use this medium again in the future.

    We pulled off the entire thing in one long 14 hour shoot.  Most of the scenes were shot on location in DEF boxing gym, where I work out from time to time. It was quite complex because we had to many setups and lighting conditions. Not to mention the actual fight had supporting actors and a whole bunch of extras that had no idea what the hell we were doing. Much props to Kim Chan for wearing the chicken outfit a dealing with the no air con conditions. We shot till morning then hit the streets to do all the outdoor running scenes. It was tough doing winds sprints after having been up all night and dealing with the summer heat but in the end we pulled it off.

    Jason handled the post-production entirely himself and even hired Don Cruz, guitar superstar from Audiotraffic, to score the film. In the end, the film exceeded my expectations and really kicked ass. I think chickens around the world will be thanking us for the work we’ve done for them for generations to come!

    Click here to watch the video.

      900 views Share    

  • Daniel Wu - "The Boxer"
     |  )

    Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007 10:30AM / Members only

    Having gotten my feet my wet directing 2 music videos for AnD.com I was eager to get behind the camera again.  And when Dan told me about his idea for his short film I cracked up. When he asked me if I was interested in directing it I leapt at the opportunity.

    The idea was simple, Dan would play a boxer training for a big fight, a fight that would test his mettle to see if he really had what it took to be a champ if given just one shot at it.  Eminem's lyrics from the song "Lose Yourself" were the inspiration:

    "Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment Would you capture it or just let it slip?"

    After all the training and hard work Dan finally steps into the ring for his one shot, his one opportunity.  His one moment has arrived and as he psychs himself up for the battle ahead of him he looks into the eyes of his opponent:  a six foot chicken.

    I loved the idea for this short because on the surface it's simple and funny, Dan Wu gets his ass beat by a chicken but I felt it had more layers.  For me the chicken represents fear, the fear of failure, the fear of success and all that goes with that, the fear of disappointing friends, fans and family.  Also I loved the idea of seeing Dan who is clearly a winner in real life play a loser.  In this short we get to see a comedic side of Dan that is rarely seen on film but that's apparent to all who know him off-camera.

    One of the things I wanted to do with this short was to create a simple 3 act structure.  In the first act we're introduced to our hero.  I've always been impressed by they way Steven Spielberg introduces his main characters, especially in the films "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan".  With that in mind I decided to show glimpses of Dan in the boxing gym without revealing his identity till the end when he states, "This world isn't for losers, it's just for winners."

    In the second act we see Dan training for the fight, very much inspired by the 'Rocky' films and then the third act is the fight itself.  In some ways I think this works but in retrospect I think I I would have made the film shorter.  But I think it represents the filmmaker that I was in that moment.

    We chose to shoot on Super 8mm film and I'm very pleased with the result and the look.  It also appealed to my ego because I could now call myself a filmmaker and not  a video maker.  On that note I'd like to thank our cinematographer Jam Yau.

    I would also like to thank everyone else involved in the project.

    They are:

    Daniel Wu
    Glen Chin
    Conroy Chan
    Marina Hinterhauser
    Kim Chan
    Terence Yin
    Jam Oochi San
    Maritin Chappell
    Don Cruz
    Lui Cheuk Hang
    Ah Sui
    Dave Kebo
    Berton Chang
    Jay & Def Boxing Gym
    Alive Not Dead

    Thanks guys I appreciate all your hard work and patience.

    Enjoy the film!

    - Jason

      5,977 views Share    

  • Conroy's Color: 24 Herbs
     |  )

    Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007 10:00AM / Members only

    Conroy's short film was the easiest to conceive. 

    As you all know, Conroy has been hard at work with his rap group 24 Herbs.  So it is very easy to conclude what's Conroy's true color!  This film is about Conroy's passion for music and for his rap group. 

    Conroy's film incorporates the MV's we shot with 24 Herbs with behind-the-scenes footage of 24 Herbs recording and also from Conroy's daily life.  This film is  like a mini-documentary and the only film in this series based on real events.  

    I am a big fan of 24 Herbs and believe they are really going to take off when they release their album later this year.  I hope you all enjoy this film and enjoy 24 Herbs' music. 

    Conroy!!!!!   Respect ®Ï Pok Gai!!!!!!!!!  


      1,403 views Share    

  • Cruiser Short for Terence

    Wednesday, Nov 14, 2007 11:19AM / Members only

    [taken from kit hui's blog]

    It was exactly a year ago, I was in Hong Kong with my producer at the time and T told me that they were gearing up to go to Japan to shoot a short.  I hung out with him after his return and before I took off, he told me about the trip, the idea and what they wanted to do for the rest of the three shorts.  I was intrigued but didn't think that I wasn't going to direct one of them, until he asked me in the beginning of this year about directing *his* short.  Since "Missing," T and I have become good friends and I've been wanting to work with him again.  At the time, since I just finished writing a scrīpt, it was actually perfect for me 'cause I want to do some directing work and to work with T.

    Over the next couple of months, we communicated via email brainstorming what the short would be about.  I remember I told T about my obsession with Jack Johnson's "Inaudible Melodies," particularly the two lines "slow down everyone you're moving too fast, frames can't catch you when you're moving like that..."  we felt similar about the way of life in the ultra-metropolitan cities where people are always rushing, wanting, pursuing but hardly have time to slow down and appreciate the beauty around them.  Later T wrote a voice over to convey that feeling which became our starting point.

    Different concepts were talked about to convey this feeling.  T wanted to have strong music to accompany the film.   Finding the piece of music actually was the hardest part of the shoot, we need to find the music before I could come up with a solid concept and the tone of the film.  We discussed a lot about what the music should be like, but I just couldn't find a piece that captured me until one day my iPod randomly played an ambient piece while I was riding on the bus going to see T.  I loved what I heard and what I saw (the cityscape) while on the bus, so I got to the office and played the piece to T. He liked it and thought that it was really "me" and it'd work well with the piece...  The rest was quite easy.  We decided to show the richness of the city and how one might get lost in it and thus ought to slow down and check out the beauty around oneself.  I decided to play with the amazing city colors and patterns that HK offers, and to contrast it with something organically beautiful in the end.

    We were so lucky to have Julie on board as our AD.  T was right about pairing me and Julie together, not only was she a great AD, she was super fun and we became really good friends, that was the best.  And thanks to Kim, Ah Shui and Charles whom were just troopers to run around town with me to shoot here and there and everywhere... It was actually one of the easiest shoots for me... small crew, good friends, it felt like hanging out most of the time more than working!  All I remember was that we were chilling, eating and drinking a lot... 

    Afterwards, I got to work with my other good friend Richard on the editing, I did a rough skeleton before Richard went into fine tuning the piece.  With his magic fingers, he made the short so much better... after I viewed the final cut, I knew that we need the music to accentuate certain moments in the film, and the problem with the already made track is that you can't specify that detailedly.  So T and I talked about finding someone to compose a piece of music for this short and luckily, Jun was available and agreed to help us.  I've always loved his music, so I knew the piece would have a kick-ass beat to it...  I played Jun the temp track and told him what I wanted for the piece, and the next thing I knew, he came up with this awesome track that really enhanced the film.

    So all in all, it was a really fun experience for me.  Not only did I get to work with T again, I made these awesome new friends.  Thanks T for giving me this opportunity.

    Hope y'all enjoy the short film.


    p.s. Julie, thanks for staying up till the wee hours with me to go check out the Goldfish street... you truly were amazing...

      693 views Share    

  • Looking For Color In The Big City
     |  )

    Tuesday, Nov 13, 2007 10:00AM / Members only

    For my short film, I wanted play with the colors of Hong Kong's nightscape and contrast that with the melancholy and lack of direction that many of us feel living in the big city.  The routine of your life somehow blinds you from seeing what you really want yet the colors you seek are all around you.   

    I asked my friend Kit Hui to come to H.K to direct this film.  I worked with her on her short film "Missing" a few years back, had a great time on that shoot, and wanted to work with her again.  This shoot was much easier than Andrew's shoot because we shot in H.K and because my friend Julie Lau was nice enough to come on board as the AD / Production manager.  Because she has so much experience working on film productions in H.K, she really made things easy and smooth for us on this shoot! 

    The music in this film is done by my good friend and uber-talented musician Jun Kung and his friend Stephen Lim.  I really like the music Jun produced because it adds a more upbeat feel to the film that was not there with the music reference we gave him.   

    I don't really know what else to say about this film.  Think of it as a subtle acid trip with yours truly in the streets of H.K!   

    Hope you all like this one and find the beautiful colors around you!


      1,668 views Share    

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  • posted on Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 8:21PM  [Report]
    Happy New Years from everyone at alivenotdead.com!
  • posted on Friday, Jan 2, 2009 2:37PM  [Report]
    Happy New Year
  • posted on Sunday, Mar 2, 2008 5:56PM  [Report]
    posted on Wednesday, Feb 6, 2008 7:04PM  [Report]
    Happy Chinese New Year! =D
  • posted on Tuesday, Jan 8, 2008 2:17AM  [Report]
    Different style,different smile
  • Official artist 
    posted on Monday, Dec 3, 2007 9:32PM  [Report]
    Nice one !
  • posted on Saturday, Dec 1, 2007 9:36PM  [Report]
    i like your templet ..how i can get it to my profiles
  • posted on Monday, Nov 26, 2007 3:36AM  [Report]
    hi there ^^
  • posted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2007 11:37PM  [Report]
    hehe ! good blog! i like it!
  • posted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2007 11:37PM  [Report]
    hehe ! good blog! i like it!
  • Official artist 
    posted on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2007 12:20PM  [Report]
    Nice film!Respect 到 Pak Gar !

  • posted on Tuesday, Nov 13, 2007 10:06PM  [Report]
    Dropping in to say "hi" =)
  • posted on Thursday, Nov 8, 2007 10:18AM  [Report]
    My replay keeps getting stuck at the scene where Andrew's contemplating running 300 km. And Youtube won't load. I'll try again tomorrow.
  • posted on Thursday, Nov 8, 2007 5:23AM  [Report]
    nice work ninja cruiser. can't stop laughing at drunk ass terrence haha.
  • posted on Thursday, Nov 8, 2007 4:53AM  [Report]
  • posted on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 3:56PM  [Report]
    hilarious! good job ( )v
  • posted on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 2:42PM  [Report]
    Good luck and looking forward to the films!
  • posted on Thursday, Nov 1, 2007 4:06AM  [Report]
    I don't drink.
  • posted on Thursday, Nov 1, 2007 2:17AM  [Report]
  • posted on Wednesday, Oct 31, 2007 10:30PM  [Report]
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