Cira Felina Bolla: An Appreciation

It is my terrible and humbling privilege to write a few words about Cira Felina Bolla, who succumbed to cancer two days ago, at the age of 41.

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I met Cira two years ago, and in that time, we became collaborators and friends.  We worked together on three projects and multiple martinis – she was my cinematographer – and I got to know something of her personality and character.

I would like to share with you a few moments spent in her company.

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The Play’s the Thing!

REBIRTHI was Co-Artistic Director of Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, an Asian American theater company here in Los Angeles, for the better part of a decade before we closed our doors in 2009. That was, and still is, one of the defining experiences of my life—both artistically and personally. Much of what I learned about art and life was forged in those theatrical trenches with my fellow cohorts/colleagues/friends. In many ways, the road that Lodestone dropped me on led straight here to YOMYOMF so I have much to be thankful for.

Celebrating Lodestone's 10th Anniversary with friends/colleagues.

Celebrating Lodestone’s 10th Anniversary with friends/colleagues.

Unfortunately, in the past four years, my involvement in theater has been minimal—aside from participating in a couple of staged readings of some new plays, my focus has been elsewhere i.e. launching our YOMYOMF Network and focusing on the online world.

I don’t make many new year’s resolutions, but I’ve decided one of the things I definitely want to do is get back to doing more theater in 2014. As enjoyable as everything else I’m involved in is, I’ll always have a soft spot for live theater. There’s nothing else like it—the whole “liveness” of it. The immediacy, the spontaneity and the energy that can only come with live actors interacting with a live audience and the real time back and forth that can only happen in that environment—it’s addicting. Luckily, it looks like I’ll have some opportunities to return to playwriting and theater next year so I’m grateful for that.

Passive-Aggressive Boyfriend

Enjoy! Or at least blush like crazy as Liz Ho (star of YOMYOMF’s “Reality Reboot” and “The Xmas Special“), and her real life boyfriend, Ira Heinichen (star of “Josh & Ira”) remind me us of our own human foibles!

Now me, I would never pointedly ask my son if he has seen the dog’s collar, which I know is sitting in plain view on the table, as a way to hint to him that I’m mad he hasn’t walked the dog yet; nor would I…

…oh never mind, point is, next episodes, Liz will have her REVENGE!

Around the Horn: Holiday Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year a.k.a. the holidays are back. As much as I give off the Grinch vibe, I have to say I really enjoy this time of year. And there are certain things that get me in the proper spirit and one of them is A Charlie Brown Christmas.

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I’ve been watching the Peanuts gang learn the true meaning of Christmas since I was a little kid and it’s something that I revisit every year and never get sick of. When everyone gets together at the end of that to decorate that sad little Christmas tree that Charlie Brown picked out and transforms it into something beautiful–that gets me every time.

But what I really love about the special is the music by Vince Guaraldi. This has to be some of my favorite Christmas music. It doesn’t get any more perfect than this:

Or this:

Or any of the other songs on the soundtrack.

What are the things that get you in the holiday spirit?

Love to my YOMYOMF Family

Paul Walker and his Fast and Furious family.

Paul Walker and his Fast and Furious family.


“Heaven must be full of angels. So many have departed this year.”

Someone wrote that on his Facebook wall about a month ago.

Death is a strange bedfellow, we americans are more insulated from it than say, an Afgan or a Chad or Niger citizen, but there the grim reaper sits… ready.

I didn’t know Paul Walker the actor myself, but a lot of the YOMYOMF crew did. They’ve either acted with him or have directed him or have had a late night dinner with him. And although Justin and I haven’t talked much in the last few years (he’s always off filming that Fast and Furious thing), I know his feelings run deep for those people in whom he places his trust.

So That’s What ‘Yellow Face’ is Really About

This past summer, the YOMYOMF Network presented the first-ever YouTube adaptation of a play—our fellow Offender David Henry Hwang’s award-winning Yellow Face. All this time, we thought the plot revolved around an Asian American playwright named DHH who mistakenly casts a Caucasian actor as an Asian character in his play and tries to cover it up, but according to this streaming site, boy, were we ever wrong!

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Yes, according to the description on this site, the story is apparently really about this:

A Chinese-American cop, skilled in martial arts, battles the most powerful criminal gang in San Francisco that is responsible for the death of his partner.

The YOMYOMF Network: HIFF Part Deux on October 20

YOMYOMF participated in the New Media Academy program at last year’s Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) and we’ll be back again this year thanks to Offender/HIFF head programmer Anderson Le and our friends at InterTrend Communications.

John M. Chu

John M. Chu

Lana McKissack

Lana McKissack

It will all climax in a FREE event at 1:30 PM on October 20, which will include a new media panel/discussion moderated by YOMYOMF Network Creative Director Philip W. Chung with John M. Chu (director of the film GI Joe Retaliation and the DS2DIO Dance Lifestyle YouTube channel), Lana McKissack (YouTube personality and Internet Icon season 1 runner-up) and executives from InterTrend. So if you’re on Oahu on October 20, join us for what will be a fun and informative event. Info and tickets here.

The Short List: PAULIE

As part of the YOMYOMF Network series, The Short List, where we present short films we love every Friday at Noon EST, we’ve reached out to the filmmakers with 5 Questions to see what’s up since the production of their short film. It’s a way for them to revisit their film and get an update on their next projects. You can view all The Short List films here.

We ask 5 questions to director Andrew Nackman, regarding the making of his short film, PAULIE.

1. How did you come up with the concept for this short?

Add Your Own Caption: I Like ‘Em Young & Raw Edition

If you’re not already following us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, you’re missing out on a lot of extras you won’t find here on our blog including updates on various Offender-related projects (like updates about our YOMYOMF Network on YouTube) and silly, fun things like “Add Your Own Caption.”

This is where we post an image we find online or that our readers forward to us and ask you to write an appropriate caption to accompany that image. And we’ll feature some of the captions here.

This week’s featured caption comes from reader Tom Clancey:

Spam Musubabi???

Spam Musubabi???

So check out our Facebook page for future editions of “Add Your Own Caption”, write your own caption and/or “like” the ones you think are worthy and we may share them here.

The Short List: I GOT ROBOTS

As part of the YOMYOMF Network series, The Short List, where we present short films we love every Friday at Noon EST, we’ve reached out to the filmmakers with 5 Questions to see what’s up since the production of their short film. It’s a way for them to revisit their film and get an update on their next projects. You can view all The Short List films here.

This week’s edition of THE SHORT LIST, we present New Zealand-based filmmaking collective Chess Club, and their recent short film, I GOT ROBOTS. We asked five questions to one of the team members, Barnaby Fredric.

1. How did you come up with the concept for this short?

Deadline for YOMYOMF & HIFF’s New Media Camp is Sept. 26 (UPDATE)

UPDATE: The deadine has been extended to Oct. 1 at 11:59 PM Hawaii time.

Just a reminder that if you’re a Hawaii resident, a media-maker and at least 14-years-old, you can apply to participate in the Hawaii International Film Festival’s first-ever New Media Camp presented in conjunction with YOMYOMF.

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It’s a FREE four day intensive workshop that’ll take place during this year’s festival from October 17-20. Six people will be selected from the entries to participate in the workshop where everyone will shoot and edit their own video to screen at the festival on October 20. Two of the videos will be selected to also be posted on the YOMYOMF Network YouTube channel.

Click here to apply (also free to apply) and here for the complete rules (and please read carefully before submitting your application). You’ll need to submit a sample of your work and a script or treatment for the project you wish to work on during the NMC. Deadline is 11:59 PM Hawaii time on Sept. 26, 2013 so don’t delay.

The YOMYOMF Network: Recap for Week of August 11

Short List - Abby White, Interracial Relationship Counselor

This week’s short is a mockumentary about a hapless therapist who’s an ‘expert’ at interracial relationships.  Those easily offended (and why are you here if you are?) need not apply.

YOMYOMF in 12,000 Dominoes

Superfan Hevesh5 gifted us with an awesome tribute constructed entirely of dominos!  I guarantee you’ll FALL in love with it.

Because dominos – they fall.