As part of our new 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.
1. How did you come up with the concept for this short?
Two things. Whenever I drive by sign twirlers, I wonder, “How did they come to be doing this? What is the pay? And are they really that bouncy and happy, or are they just completely faking it?” I’ve always been a little fascinated by life on the margins of our economy – for a while, I drove a pedi-cab in San Francisco, hauling tourists around on what is essentially a giant tricycle. And second, during the improv sessions for the YOMYOMF series “Reality Reboot,” which starred Chester See and Elizabeth Ho – who plays the sign twirler – Liz cracked me and my co-director up so much with her manic comedy that I just wanted to capture some of that on film.
2. Any challenges or setbacks during the production?
The rain. I live in Northern California and drove down to LA for the shoot. We had a one day window – a Saturday – and if it rained, that was it. I couldn’t come back and Christmas was fast approaching. So it was that Saturday or not at all, and it had been raining all week in LA. I remember obsessively checking the weather on-line in the two or three days before the shoot, praying that the little “partly cloudy” icon didn’t turn into a “rainy” icon. On the actual day, we got one or two drops of water on us, but we lucked out.
3. Any funny stories from the making of this film?
Two of the actors who played a “white guilt married couple” (unfortunately we weren’t able to use the footage for the final cut), both showed up coincidentally wearing matching navy blue sweaters, and their hair color even matched. While we were having lunch, it came out that not only were they both actors, they had both just tried their hand at stand-up comedy. Don’t know if they stayed in touch or not, but I felt like a matchmaker!
4. Where has your film played? Festivals or other places around the world?
I don’t know if you’d call it a “festival” or not, but in my home, I’ve subjected my poor family to countless enforced viewings of the thing.
5. What’s been going on with you, filmmaking wise since the completion of this short? What are you working on next?
I’m primarily a screenwriter (this and “Reality Reboot” were my first forays into directing), and I am co-writing a script with director Justin Lin. It’s a coming of age story about a 12 year old Vietnamese boat kid, Eddie Nguyen, set in Orange County and downtown L.A., circa 1985. Right now it’s morphing into a novel – we’re just following our noses where they take us – and as long as we’re having fun, we figure we gotta be onto something, even if it’s just…having fun!