So it's been awhile since I've blogged and to be honest I've been working pretty hard and been pretty tired. I wanted to blog today to thank Grace Su and her team at the Los Angeles Film Festival for inviting my music video To Build A Home to be showcased. While I couldn't attend, I believe Patrick and Terence did attend so I'll await their updates.
Speaking of which, tonight's the AND 1st anniversary and I've done my part in whispering sweet nothings to Ravi and his camera.
I've nothing interesting to write about except I played pool with Stephen Chow while my friends all wanted me to make sure I beat him for reasons I shan't discuss here. It was fun though and I've realized that I could care less about taking pictures with famous people. Then again, I've never been a picture guy despite liking to hold the lens myself.
Hope all is well with a community and best of luck with all your projects!
Hi guys and girls of Alive Not Dead!
Well, after surviving Patrick's party the other night, I'm back in the thick of things.
As for the Radar Festival awards, I didn't win the popular vote, but I did get a nice 1,000 pounds sterling prize as a label winner. Thank you to all that voted for me at Dazed Digital. The Project was great fun.
The music video is now available on youtube so go check it out if you haven't yet or tell people about it who you or I haven't annoyed!
Happy New Year!
p.s. oops I forgot to add regarding the competition. i was selected as label winner for Ninja Tunes Record Label (UK) and was asked to be featured on QOOB.TV. Also, one of the artists who's music was featured in the festival has asked that I pitch for their next video for EMI. A great honor indeed.
So anybody got any commercials or MVs I can direct in HK? lol.
Hi Guys and Gals,
I know its been a long time, but I have good news in my return. I've been traveling alot, working alot, working on some cool projects and planning others. A couple months ago i worked on a music video for a music video festival called Radar Festival which promotes new MV directors. Well, I was made a finalist for my video and now the video is on Dazed Digital and open to voting by all who go to the site. The winner gets a nice cash prize and some recognition for his work. But please, just come check it out and represent for all the Asian/Hong Kong/Vietnamese/Chinese artists around th world. Make me the Yao Ming All Star of the music video world, hahaha.
Here's the website...
P.S. several other artists from this site helped out on the video including:
Tommy Su - Producer
Rene Chu - Model
Victor Pena - Editor/Post Production
Digger Mesch - Art Direction
Zach Au Yeung - Director of Photography
Please give them a shout out if you happen to see them randomly walking down the street.
Tuck in your souls, my friends
As the night lurches near
Let the windows light up like fireflies
Against the urban dark
To cradle the Sea
Else one day the Sea cradles me.
Last Wednesday I was invited to the premiere of Flashpoint, starring Donnie Yen, Lui Leung Wai, Louis Koo, and Colin Chou. It was a fun night, rather a last minute affair for me because Lui Leung Wai had flown in from Beijing for the event and as he said literally called me as he was deboarding the plane. I love the guy! We worked on several projects together, at one point being stuck in Heng Dian, China shooting a kung fu serial (not as fun as you'd think).
The premiere was pretty typical, though I was surprised by the amount of teenage fans Louis Koo had. Man that guy has a following! The after party was at The Penthouse, filled with industry regulars and hangers-on. There was requisite banter among friends and colleagues and a lot of Karaoke singing in the VIP room. The Penthouse btw is a great venue. More of a local place than a place for foreigners, but it feels like an ultracool NYC lounge with harbour views. Definitely cool.
The movie was entertaining. Donnie Yen in about 15 years will be talked about as the guy who brought brazilian wrestling and jujitsu into HK action cinema as his contribution to the Fu Cinema pantheon. The movie was plagued with editing and story problems, but the audience response seemed positive. These premieres are very funny at times. No one wants to say a harsh word and the tone is more often than not quite sugary. Then again, its important to be positive. I had a theater criticism class while I was studying abroad in London years ago where the prof and I would shoot the sh-t about art, theater, criticism, and how many pints we could each down in an afternoon sitting (yeah, he always won) after class. He was a younger very talented an prolific critic who liked my reviews for their supposed profundity despite my being mostly an actor at the time. He left me with an indelible thought which was that the process of playmaking or movie making is so intense, painful, and tedious at times that to rough up the show with a very poor review is to ignore the passion that went into a project. Yes, even action movies are made with passion. I took that to heart throughout my career and while I am critical at times of choices made in the filmmaking process (to which i mean technical and emotive choices), I love filmmaking, the theater, and all its processes, hi and lo.
Two funny things to mention: I was actually in the movie. Well briefly, I was asked to be a background extra in the opening scene months ago along with a bunch of friends, recruited on board by Weinstein Asia VP Bey Logan. When I got to the premiere I suddenly realized it was the same movie as the one my friend mentioned months ago that he was starring in. So that was rather funny. Hopefully I will get to work with Leung Wai in the future in a more prominent role. He's a fantastic person, very down to earth. We actually stopped by for Under the Bridge Spicey Crab (HK locals will know this famous restaurant) after the premiere, but before the afterparty, yummy.
I was reacquainted with Barbara Wong Chun Chun, writer-director of Wonder Women. I think she's a great person as well. Very intelligent and passionate about her work. We met a year ago at a birthday party and got to promising that we'd meet up and spin about work. Oddly enough when we saw each other again we both felt we had met each other before! Good thing. She's prepping for another movie and has promised to read through the scrīpts I have for the chinese market. I'd love to follow her around on set for the next one to see how a true indie director from Asia works. Definitely a kind and honest person I need to get to know better.
I just realized that I hinted at the nature of our business which definitely can be shallow and ego-centric, especially in Asia where stars are bred and processed (Syriana would never get a budget here). So its not surprising that I mentioned people i found attractive on a personal level since attractive on a superficial level is a dime and dozen in the movie business. After all, we're dreammakers. We tell stories and more often than not they are fantastical, but made with equal teaspoons of sweat, heart, and love.
I've been under the weather lately with friends and family flying into Hong Kong and I, as a requisite, had been taking them out about the town. Going out every other night definitely doesn't help the immune system. I knew there was a reason I imposed a curfew on myself a couple of years ago!
Three bits of news: My film is still in the casting process right now. Its an arduous and fickle road and my hope is I get through it with a cast I can be proud of.
2nd news: the other projects are going well, the other producer I'm working with just sent me a book he optioned to read. He's looking to have me and my writing partner adapt it into a feature. The book doesn't read easily, but a structure may exist that would make for a compelling film. Our second collaboration is going well, I should get a transcipt of the optioned film in a couple of weeks which would mean commencement of writing; I think I mentioned that I hope to get a final scrīpt 4-6 months after that.
3rd news: My videos are up! The first project has yet to be released, but I was nominated for Best Director of a Documentary at the Asian Festival of First Films for that one. A fun time and you'll recognize the featured artist, wink wink. The second project was a TVC I did for producer Jacob Mense and his Aiya! production company (producers of MTV's Chiseen). It's a quasi government ad for Suicide Prevention Services which was played throughout June/July I think in KMB buses and on terrestrial TV. There's another commercial, but that one's too long to put up.
I'm looking to direct TVCs, music videos, and anything I can get my hands on so if you're a producer, ad executive, or such persons willing to hire a young gun with unique POV, please send me an email.
p.s. for those who aspire to write that Great (Non) American screenplay:
So my writing partner and I are really excited about a new venture. We're going to adapt a play of his that did really well in New York into a low-budget indie. We had a meeting this morning fleshing out my thoughts about the scrīpt and how we could open up the basically one room drama. It's a romantic comedy at heart in the vein of A Fish Called Wanda. I'm going to shop it around town to get funding, I think I can shoot this baby for 250-500k max on HD with either TV US actors working scale or Hong Kong actors shot in Cantonese. We'll see, I'm game either way as the scrīpt is about the subleting in the city and would do well in any big town. I'll add scrīpt pages for you guys to read as we move along in the process from stage to screen.
For your entertainment and education:
So I've been thinking about what ways I could make this blog interesting for those browsing through my page and I've decided to make my page a process page. This means that time and again I'll talk about the process of filmmaking which includes acting, writing, directing, and producing as I know it. I'll bring up problems that I'm having in my work and you guys can discuss/comment/criticize as you so desire. I'll rarely post up minutiae about my life because I dont find my life particularly interesting to the casual reader, but I'll try to make the blog fun and easy to read as well as discuss any of my passions.
So let's start:
I've been thinking a lot about ideas for stories I've been drawn to, whether they be published work or original ideas. I guess as an American I've been drawn to stories that I can see. High concept ideas that pop on the page or on a logline. My current project, a high concept romantic comedy, which is in casting limbo right now has the following logline:
Girl falls madly in love with a guy only to find out he's her imaginary best friend from her childhood. What's the difference between The Perfect Guy and The Perfect Relationship?
That was the pitch that I got green lit and we're currently looking to cast/shoot in the states with A-list stars. I'll keep you updated with details as I'm allowed to tell them. Independent filmmaking is exhausting however ,and the process I've been through with this scrīpt has been long, difficult, but will ultimately be rewarding.
Now on to a project my writing partner and I are totally excited about writing for a producer and for the very reason that when we first heard of the pitch we just thought, WOW. I'll give you all just the logline:
A dramedy examines the hopes, dreams, heartaches, and failures of drivers and passengers stuck in a city-wide traffic gridlock that lasts 24 hours.
See what I mean? That's the stuff that gets me going in the morning.
And now a segment i'll add to each blog.
Who I Met This Week: A great girl with a sweet spot for salsa and calling people back.
Hi guys and much thanks to the boys of Alive Not Dead for bringing me on board and inviting others with an interest in the arts and artists to keep ourselves updated and relevant. I've got several projects in negotiations and will keep you all updated as the deals are signed!
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