When I first arrived in Beijing, I was walking in Sanlitun with my good friend K who said she was going to get married.
“Married? You mean marrying Mabel?” I asked.
“No, I mean I need to marry a guy,” K said. “My parents knew about Mabel and I for years but they are still forcing me to marry a man. So I need to find a gay male friend to get married with. And then we’ll get divorced in a few years. My parents just won’t get off my back otherwise.”
I was immediately struck by K’s plight. K is a 25-year-old lesbian friend who lives in Beijing and, like many people LGBT or not, she still faces so much parental pressure to get married.
K’s story was stuck in my mind when, a few days later, I was brainstorming with my friend Xiaogang who runs an LGBT non-profit organization called Queer Comrades distributing LGBT short films on-line. Xiaogang also told me that he had an acting background and sort of left the stage to be in the non-profit industry.
“Would you be interested in acting in a short film? I have an idea to do a short viral film in China,” I asked Xiaogang. Read more...
As I’ve written in past blogs, the main plot of my film Sunset Stories involves a nurse who loses a bone marrow specimen that she is transporting cross-country. It was inspired by my sister, who works in a pediatric oncological hospital as a CHOC Children’s BMT (blood and marrow transplant) Coordinator. I’ve always been worried about talking explicitly about both simultaneously because I feared coming off as an opportunist from the whole film promoting aspect of it all. But after talking to a lot of people, I just decided that it is what it is and while on one hand it could be seen in a negative light, I also don’t want to miss an opportunity to use it as a positive tool. Read more...
As most of you know, Fast & Furious 6 is my farewell to the franchise. As a way to say farewell and have closure, I did one final twitter Q&A earlier this week and wanted to share the questions and responses below.
On the opening day of White Frog, just when I thought I could relax and have a meal with Jason Tobin and Chink’s production team to celebrate Jason’s winning “Best Actor” or “Breakout Performance for an Actor” award at the 2013 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, I got a call from my producer Ellie Wen who said that the TCL Chinese Theater needed a new DCP because the movie was not in sync when they played back the DCP.
Flabbergasted, I drove to Pasadena to pick up the Laemmle’s DCP while on the phone in the car in a conference call with Garrett at Simple DCP, Ellie and the projectionist at TCL. We all agreed the solution was to test out the DCP Laemmle had and also deliver a Bluray.
“We can also cancel today’s screenings,” said the theater manager casually.
“No, we can’t. People have bought tickets and the cast is coming for the 7:40pm show,” said Ellie.
“I will be there by 4pm, and we’ll have it up and running even though we missed the 2pm show and may miss the 5pm show,” I said. Read more...
This past Wednesday, two days before White Frog’s theatrical opening in Los Angeles, when I was helping my DP Yasu Tanida shop for a blazer in the Beverly Center, I got a call from producer Ellie Wen who told me that they were having problems with the DCP of White Frog at the Laemmle’s Pasadena Playhouse.
That sent me into a panic so I called the manager of the Playhouse who indeed said that they couldn’t read the drive the DCP was on.
What is a DCP? It’s short for “Digital Cinema Package” and it has replaced the use of 35mm film prints in the exhibition world. Apparently over 80% of the world’s cinema screens now project on DCP. Read more...
Ten years ago tomorrow on April 11, 2003, MTV Films released a low budget indie film made by an unknown Asian American director and a lot of credit cards and the rest as they say is YOMYOMF history. The film was, of course, Better Luck Tomorrow, directed by our fellow Offender Justin Lin and its success is the reason why you are currently reading this blog.
Many of the current Offenders, including actors Sung Kang and Roger Fan, first came together because of the shared BLT experience and the soon-to-be YOMYOMF family was born.
And so on this milestone occasion, we’d like to take a moment to look back, remember and just say, “Shit, it’s been ten years already!”
Thanks to everyone reading for your continued support and we hope to be here in another ten years. In the meantime, check out some of our past blogs about BLT: Read more...
It’s been a about a year since Sunset Stories made its film festival premiere and this coming weekend we’re excited to have our Bay Area premiere with two screenings at CAAMFEST formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. I’m incredibly pumped to screen at this festival, which has provided some of the best festival experiences I’ve had to date.
A few weeks ago, I was having Sunday dinner with my parents and made the utter mistake of telling them how excited to tell them the news about our new screening – I mean c’mon! It’s at the 1,400 seat, historic Castro Theater for chrissakes! – Only to be met by blank, completely unimpressed stares. I’m sure many of you out there in the interwebs can relate about how parents have that special knack of taking something you are so incredibly proud of and knocking it down a peg or a hundred, sending you crashing and burning from your elated high. And I totally think that Asian parents have this down to an art from with their painful bluntness. Read more...
It’s a little under 24 hours before the principal photography of Big Gay Love, the second ultra low budget film that I’m producing this year. Why the heck am I blogging? Perhaps I subscribe to the idea of writing as therapy. In Chinese culture, calligraphy is supposed to be calming. Perhaps for a writer, writing is and should be calming.
This year, I’ve been producing two ultra low budget features, Big Gay Love and Chink. Making movies at this budget is all about passion. The directors get to make whatever they want to make as long as the film isn’t over budget. While budget is a definite limit, imagination is unlimited. And that’s what I love about these projects. They are pure visions with little market concerns. Read more...
Eugene Ahn is a former lawyer who makes indie geek-rap as Adam WarRock, and has toured extensively over the past two years. His music has been featured on sites/publications such as SPIN, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, PRI, BBC, AV Club, and more. He’s from Memphis and seriously, has never been to Graceland. He has blogged for YOMYOMF before and has released a new EP today at his website. The first music video and single, “City Beautiful,” debuts here:
Relevant to the first single and music video, he’s written a blog post about what it’s like growing up Asian in the South…
Home is a strange concept, especially for someone who’s traveled as much as me. As an indie musician, I’ve performed over 120 times in the past two years across the country. And everywhere I seem to go, no one can believe I’m from the South. Read more...
What began a year ago as some idle chat about a possible show idea over noodles with Offender Justin turned into a chunk of my life, and a little artifact called “Reality Reboot,” which I’m very proud of – the experience, that is, as well as the artifact. Missing it already. On that note, here’s the last thing I learned about directing.
My co-director Robert Consing calls it “the epiphany.”
Last week I talked about the sheer joy and terror of directing for the first time. I’m not done. Today we continue with lessons 6 – 10. But before we get to any of that, here’s how I spent a Sunday morning in August:
Remind me never to complain about “work” again.
6. Happily, you are not alone. Making a movie is a big fat collaboration. I co-directed with my dear old friend, Robert Consing.