Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MANAA Scholarship

I forgot to mention that at the end of last year, I won the 2009 MANAA scholarship.

It was really a great surprise that I got the scholarship and just in time, too! I'm going to be using the money to finish the film I started this summer as a work of love. It's currently in post-production right now and in desperate need of ADR and sound design. With this money, I can make this film come into completion. The film is about two Asian Americans falling in love over, what else? Food.

MANAA is a great organization that continues to strive for Asian American representation in the media. Without organizations like these, where would Asian American filmmakers be?

Thank you, MANAA.

Read the full interview here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

3rd Semester at USC Film School

I can't believe I haven't updated in such a long time! I guess I must have been busy. I am now about a month into my 3rd semester at USC and having so much fun and learning quite a bit. I am producing a documentary for a 547, which is a course where three projects are green lit. This semester, the greenlit projects are Lines, Living in Limbo, and Polar Opposites.

Lines deals with teens going to a skateboarding school in Venice, Living in Limbo explores the Iraqi refugees coming to and living in California, and Polar Opposites examines the reasoning behind the underground phenomena of women suddenly flocking to pole dancing.

I am co-producing Polar Opposites, with the fierce Meera Menon, aka Meownun. Apparently I'm not supposed to give away people's real names if they have a Jersey Shore nickname but I've already failed at that so many times so there. My Jersey Shore nickname is Jinnernut. The director, Caitlin Starowicz, was my directing SA my first semester and probably the most multi-talented, multi-tasking person I know. Does she ever sleep? Katie Walker, our cinematographer, can walk into any room, blink her eyes a couple of times, and form a vision in her head that we can only just stand and watch her realize it. Adair Cole, one of our sound people, is the only man on set so we give him a hard time but of course, if anyone can handle it, it's AY-DARE. Lindsay Ellis, our other sound person, can outwit anyone while innocently batting her lashes. She'll have super pole arms by the end of the semester from holding up that boom pole. Neil Williams, one of my partners in 508 (last semester) is one of our awesome editors. He can stylize anything to make it look visually enticing. Erika Edgerley is also one of our editors, and she brings characters and stories to life. We have such a strong team this semester and our documentary is so much fun. I'm sad we only have a couple more weekends of shooting left.

Being on a documentary set is so much different from a fiction set. The stress levels are much lower, the working hours (though it could be as strenuous as fiction depending on each project) are shorter, you meet subjects that could easily become your friends after the project is over, and there is a sort of adrenaline rush you get from the spontaneity of being able to create the story as you're going along. Of course, there are rules and thematic elements that cannot be changed for the sake of budget and time, but there is more freedom in shaping the story week by week and of course, in editing. I am super excited to see what the editors will do with the footage that we shot and at the same time, because we know that editing can be stressful if we don't have a vision, we are more responsible with footage allotments and planning to make sure we don't "hose down the scene," or shoot things with no purpose.

If you want to read more about our day to day process, please visit the blog that we made for our documentary. I'll be updating there for the rest of this project!

Our Blog: polaroppositesfilm.tumblr.com
Our Facebook Fan Page: Polar Opposites
Our Flickr: Plropposites
Our Twitter: PlrOpposites

Me, fooling around on set.