NEWS & Bloggy Things:
I5/22: Playing Catch Up (photos)
I've realized that it's been over a month since the last posting. Wow! Time flies! I'd like to just update this with a few photos instead of rambling too much. In the past month or so, I had the opportunity to visit Toronto and Bermuda. Total opposites in terms of weather. I caught the sniffles when I returned to NY. But saw a lot of interesting things and learned some new things (always a plus!) In Bermuda, as houses are built, big holes are dug beneath to act as cisterns to catch and keep fresh rain water so that residents have their own water system. There's enough rain throughout the year to sustain the houses. Obviously, it's a different case for city-type buildings. It's always fun to see new places! Inspiring.
4/16: It's refreshing to see bubbles
Took a stroll around NYC today - specifically around Central Park and Columbus Circle. We ran in to the Bubble Man of Central Park. Lots of kids running around on such a beautiful day. This guy was making huge bubbles and kids were going crazy over them. That kind of wonderment always blows my mind. What happened? We were young and curious and were amazed and perplexed by such simple things. Bubble making and blowing is such a simple thing and yet it conjures so much joy. I have to say that this Bubble Man had skills.
4/6: Finding Neverland (2004) - The Power that Stories Have
After 11 years, I have finally watched Finding Neverland. Thank you, Netflix. It's a wonderful film with a familiar cast. Depp as playwright J.M. Barrie and Highmore as Peter Llewyn Davies have an on-screen chemistry that we will eventually recognize again in Burton's 2005 remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The film is whimsical and plays up on the use of imagination in storytelling. Peter Davies is inspired to write stories and plays as Barrie is inspired by Peter and his family to write his greatest story. The story of Peter Pan is gradually unveiled throughout the film. We are occasionally swooped in to Barrie's imagination revealing the building blocks for Peter Pan. A clever choice to reveal what Barrie sees while keeping the whimsy of escapist fantasy - escapist it indeed is. We see the pain of broken relationships, death, resent, grief, loneliness, failure, insecurity become the very foundation for the development of Barrie's masterpiece. We see that stories have the ability to parallel reality in a way that gently teaches, comforts, and provides an escape from pain. Stories can do that. I'm sure I have more thoughts, but I'll leave it at that so I don't spoil anything. Good film - touching even.
4/3: Looking at some old videos/photos
Here's a picture of me and my buddy Zack Lee making a mock music video for class at New York Film Academy. I know, I know - some people don't like that school. Well, I went for a workshop one summer and we had to make stuff. Zack and our third group member Jagi went out and shot a very weird lip sync of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger". We really didn't have much time and it was the first thing that came to mind. I put on a mustache, glasses and a flatcap and became someone else. The video is out somewhere on the interwebs. If I find it, I'll post it. It was a fun shoot in the ol' NYC. While I'm in the NY area, Zack's down in Georgia doing his thing. He's also traveling sometimes because as I learned, he dances too. Actually, Zack does a million things - like music, drawing - I think they call him the renaissance man where he's from. One of the coolest people I know.
4/2: Powerpuff Me?
Remember that cartoon on Cartoon Network where "Sugar, Spice and Everything nice" and some Chemical X made three super powered little girls? They often fought the super intelligent monkey Mojojojo. Like what Peanuts did when the movie came out this past year, the Powerpuff Girls made a celebratory throwback. I wonder what other cartoons are going to follow this. It has to be one with a specific style with base body and interchangeable features. I'd love to be turned into a Miyazaki-esque character, but that might not happen as easy as these online dress ups with simpler forms. It's still pretty cool.
4/1: April Fool's Day!
The Spring is here. It's going to rain soon - you know how it is this season. I recently saw "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice". Lots of mixed feelings. I am a fan of comic book superheroes and so I get the references and head nods. But the issue with the film that I found most troubling was its lack of awareness of "uninformed" audience members. People left the theater confused and disappointed. This assumption may have weakened the film's ability to develop characters and story. The whole movie felt like set up for the ultimate pay off when the Justice League members come together for their team-up movie. I don't want to spoil film because I do think that it's still worth a watch for the action. It is definitely a movie that gives off the vibe that it's taking itself too seriously? I know it's not a Marvel movie and that they want branding to stay branded, but it shouldn't be at the cost of cohesive and comprehensive narrative. It's definitely a film that packed a lot in it and needs to be seen more than once to fully appreciate everything. With that being said, I did enjoy it for what it was and am excited for future expansion with the other heroes. If you have seen the movie, then you might agree that it should have been released on Mother's Day (Lol). It's release on Good Friday was too timely as well. That also would make sense if you watch the movie or know the Doomsday story in the comics.
3/2: MARCH! Spring is coming.
The weather is changing. But I feel as though it will betray us with more random bouts of snow and cold temperatures. Still no reason to not go out with a camera. Any weather!
1/27: Just a side note - Brooklyn
I love this movie. I saw it when it first came out a few months ago. It's still playing in some theatres - definitely want to check it out again. Sure, what film doesn't have some cons to it - but there is something about the immigrant story that just resonates with me. The thought of having to leave family, starting up in a strange place, the homesickness and the nostalgia. Although, the film paints a very tame picture of the NYC borough, it definitely does so in respect to the romance and drama of immigration. Another reason why I love this movie is because I just dig Irish music. When I went to Ireland this past year, there were posters and banners all over the place about this film. What I really enjoyed was the fact that lead actress Saoirse Ronan (born in the states, raised in Ireland) is Irish. In an interview I saw somewhere, she said that she really related to her character because their stories are somewhat similar. I deeply appreciate when I hear how actors pull from their own lives and bring them to the characters they place. Just another cool thing about actors and the work they do - they live bits and pieces of it. In any case, the cinematography is pretty pretty, the wardrobe and art direction were gorgeous. The themes and parallels weren't so cryptic, which I like. Things don't have to be cryptic. The use of colors such as green, red, brown and the fact that Ronan's character was the only one to wear green symbolizes (to me) Ireland/Irish people. A lot of fun things to watch. It was great storytelling. Everything was harmonious. They definitely put a bow on the package. Well done, I say. It's not often that a movie can make me shed a tear...this one definitely pulled on some strings. See it before the Oscars - it's up for best picture. A lot of great films this year.
1/12: Dressed to Kill & the one-liner that had me on the floor
I recently watched a movie from 1941 called "Dressed to Kill". It's labelled as a mystery/crime movie, but it had so many comedic elements that it doesn't seem to line up with our definition of Mystery/Crime movies (since many today have a Thriller aspect to it). It's definitely a comedy. It could be the fact that its a window into cinema and culture at the time (love that black and white). Now, I could be talking about its technical qualities, but I just wanted to write about this one liner in the film that just had me rolling on the floor. There is language that we, today, don't use. And it just makes all of the writing back in the day such a sweet treasure - the wit and cleverness...mmm...so good. Here's the context and the line:
A Private Detective is suppose to go off and marry his fiancee, but can not help but solve another murder for the chance of making some extra cash for the honeymoon. Close to the killer's reveal, the Private Detective discovers a lock box that would contain letters and clues as to who the killer is and so he quickly sends it to his fiancee for safekeeping so that his rival, a real Police Detective, doesn't get his hands on helpful evidence. The Private Detective finally gets a chance to head back to his fiancee's apartment and finds that she unlocked the box and tore up the potential evidence. Frustrated, the Private Detective tells his fiancee this wonderful one-liner:
"The stork that brought you should've been arrested for peddling dope!"
To me, that is witty genius. There's so much going on in that line...it's so pure and playful and without gratuitous vulgarity and super-hurtful degradation. It's such a great way to call someone a fool. Just thought I'd share this because writing is important to me. It's currently on Netflix. Watch and enjoy!
1/9: Envision Happy Saturday!
Last night, footage for the church plant promo I shot with Envision Media Productions and Envision church plant was delivered to the editor. I'm excited to see everything cut and what sort of videos we can pull from the footage.
Another note - Visitors might notice that the Journey Wall video in the Film/Video page is still coming soon. It's all finished, refined, and delivered to the Museum of Chinese in America. They just need to upload it to their channel - most likely via YouTube. I'll post that and notify as soon as that's updated.
Oh and check this out: I made a new poster draft for a film I am currently writing ("Yellow"). I get excited sometimes when I write and can't help but imagine a poster. I was going for that stylized-indie-low-budget-a-kid-drew-it look. Check out the Posters page to see a few others I've made.
1/4: HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!
Well, I decided earlier this morning to take a stroll at the beach. Silly me. It was freezing cold! It's been a warm winter thus far on the East Coast and I thought - Why not check out the beach? - Of course, I chose to go on the coldest day this winter so far. It was probably 30 degrees, but it felt like 20 with the wind and mist. It was a good couple hours of walking around the boardwalk and sand. Having been in an area with colder climates for so long, I've forgotten what a proper beach felt like (beaches by a lake don't count). I know that sounds weird, but watching the tides roll in, pushing and pulling sand and shells was kind of surreal. I would see a shell and then it would disappear into the water. Pretty amazing and profound, if you think about it. Oh and I got wet. Not a good combo when it's cold. Time for a hot shower and some tea!
12/25: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
12/20 Update: Vimeo is working.
12/20/2015: Either my computers aren't behaving or Vimeo is not working today. Please be patient if you wanted to look at some of the videos here. Perhaps try in couple of hours.
12/19/2015: Send Me Back Saturday
This is just a quick edit from whatever I had left on one of my memory cards when I went to Ireland. One of my favorite things about the country was the music scene. Their music, especially folk, could make anyone feel homesick even without Irish heritage running in their blood. I find it amazing how music can do that. I'd love to go back and spend time properly there. Hey, I learned to drive on the left side of the road. That was fun! But really, the place is tranquil and runs slower than NYC - sometimes a guy needs to slow down.
12/18/2015: Flashback Friday
There was a time before filmmaking that I studied archaeology.
12/17/2015: Star Wars?!
Since the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming out this week, I thought I'd photoshop a photo that my friend took back in college. One of the things I like to do sometimes is do quick edits for fun from old photos. This particular picture was a rehearsal my friend had me do with another friend for a video project she had.
Here's one of the videos I cut together for The Museum of Chinese in America. Enjoy!:
11/17/2015: WE ARE MOCA
So..what a night. The Museum of Chinese in America had their annual gala tonight of which I was humbled and privileged to participate in. It's been a rough couple of sleepless nights - basically been up since last week crunching out the videos for the special event tonight.
It was an honor to be in a room full of such wonderful & impactful people - the likes of B.D. Wong (Jurassic Park), Nancy Kwan (legendary pioneer for Asian talent in the film/acting industry), David Henry Hwang (playwright), Maya Lin (artist/architect), and Michelle Kwan (Olympic figure skater). I got to meet some of these great people who continue to inspire in their solidified timelessness. It was an awesome experience. These people were/are really sweet!
I'll keep it brief. It was an amazing night.
6/10: WATCH THIS TRAILER!!!
6/7: "Two Blocks" Kickstarter rewards are about 80% complete. New Bumper Logo?
So we've ordered Tshirts for some people. We've got some shooting scripts printed. We got posters printed. We got photos printed. We're working on letters. And the DVD version of "Two Blocks" won't be ready until July-ish. It's a lot of work to make a film all that it can be.
I've decided that "Two Blocks" won't be under the moniker "Tangible Films" as most of my previous short films have been under. I've chosen to put it under "Cityflood Films". The origin of this is from an old poem I wrote on my personal blog. The poem talks about a life that worked really hard to reach the top of the world, but life happened and struggles came. It concludes with a hopeful outlook that things will be taken care of despite all of the mess and chaos.
5/7: "Two Blocks" is officially WRAPPED!!!!!
Thank you for the support!
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