film making in vietnam

during lunch on tuesday,
johnny suggested i stop by the set of his new film, “nu hon than chet”
to see how productions run in vietnam.

it’s not much different than in the states,
except the nazi assistant director running around
like a headless chicken squawking, “quiet on set!” was no where to be found.

johnny plays the good guy aka little miss sunshine.


and tommy plays the devil.


goodbye sf bitches!

last friday, my last night in sf,
cat took me to club mighty to down coronas mixed with redbull
and i danced until 4am to some damn good techno.

now back at my parents house in elk grove.
it’s nice having mom take care of me and feed my belly.
i told her i was going to marry a girl like her one day.
she shook her head and let out a sigh.

and sure, why not.
here was my first attempt at narrative film making,
produced last year for my media production class.

“mỹ Ä‘en”, in english and vietnamese (with english subtitles)

total running time: 4:25.

currently listening to:
cat wouldn’t let me play oh l’amour in the car
because the last time i was heartbroken,
we blasted that song on repeat the whole time we drove to and back from lake tahoe.

so we sang along to


my first two documentaries

after making two narratives last semester,
i decided to try documentaries this semester:

in the past, stories of asian women were often told by others,
specifically caucasian men.

“reclaiming our bodies” takes a look at four queer asian filmmakers
who are reclaiming their stories and retelling them from their authentic point of view,
while breaking apart gender representations
and giving voices to those often marginalized.

and the peru one.. well, here’s the documentary, as promised:

if video doesn’t load, click here to view.

the premiere went really well.
it’s so weird to see something you’ve been working on for three months
go from a little 720×480 window to a huge theatrical screen.

and it was awesome to hear my friends, peers and peru immersion comrades
cheer and scream during the rolling credits.

i still have a lot to learn,
but i don’t think i’ll ever get bored of making films.

• • • • •

julie from the service learning dept. asked if i would be interested
in shooting another documentary in zambia this summer.
omg free trip to africa!
sadly, i had to decline because i’ll be in vietnam. :(


in sf,
it’s common for people to leave things outside on the street curb that they don’t want anymore.
the other day, i saw a wheelchair on lincoln ave and my first thought was,
“camera dolly.”

so there i was, pushing an empty wheelchair home..
when i stopped and thought, “where the hell would i fit a wheelchair in my tiny little apartment?”

• • • • •

i finally got a copy of david’s film i shot last semester.
some frame grabs. nothing fancy, but i thought i’d share anyway.




the only way i’m ever going to get any better at shooting is just by doing it.


i miss being twelve and being sick.
being able to stay home, lie in bed and watch tv all day
while mom took care of me.

it sucks being an adult. you can’t really afford to be sick
and you never have time to rest to get better
because you’re always thinking about what you have to do, what you have to get done.

i shot my second short film this weekend.
my heart wasn’t really in it.
mostly because i was coughing, congested and blowing snot rockets every other minute.

some frame grabs (of kirk white):



by 3am, we were exhausted. and seeing this shot on the monitor creeped me out.


currently listening to:
so i was rockin’ out to my ipod,
and this kid in class was like,
“what are you listening to?”
“stevie wonder.”
(laughing)”oh damn, are you serious? my grandpa listens to his shit.”


stevie wonder is the man
kids these days, they just don’t know.

mỹ đen

i shot my first short film two weekends ago.
what an exhilarating experience.

i’ve spent the past month juggling school, side projects and preproduction for this film
to make sure the shooting would run smoothly,
which it did for the most part due to an incredible cast and crew.

but i tried to triple up as cinematographer, camera operator and director.
jumping back and forth checking the composition and lighting, scrutinizing the performances
and being a leader in this fiasco
drained me.

i made a few mistakes along the way


which is fine; i’m still learning. (gaffer tape in the top left corner)

now i’m at the editing stage
and i want to produce something good not because i’m expecting to submit it into a bunch of festivals,
but because a lot of people worked really hard on this film
because they believed in me and the project
and i don’t want to disappoint them.

here’s a quick, silly video of my brother, “the board clicker.” :)

i’d post more pics, but i’m still trying to get over this damn cold.

spring break adventure

with the guerilla wanderers.

sean mccarthy’s production crew really lives up to their name.
we were climbing up muddy hills, trespassing into construction sites..
shooting TWO films, one comedy and one drama, simultaneously.
the cast and crew’s energy was.. nonstop.

after four days of being on the set,
i’m a little sad to say goodbye.
kinda like how it was after 6th grade camp.


i fell in love on the set. cutest boy evar.



me and michelle being directed by sean’s big ol’ blurry head. [pic by krobar]


i love this picture cause it totally looks like one of those psa pamphlet covers for teen depression.
“ever feel like you just don’t fit in?”


soccer mom.




syra and krobar, playing around between takes. :)


my “boss.”


i took over one hundred photos,
but i promised sean i wouldn’t give away the movies.
so that’s all i’m posting. :p

check out the “boxed up” trailer,
one of their two movies that will be coming out this summer.


one of the actresses.


three things (you might want to read if you’re aspiring to be an actor):
1. despite my thursday-morning-courtesy-reminder email,
about half the actors scheduled didn’t bother to show up this weekend.
half of that half left me voicemails like this:
“oh i’m sorry. i was shooting another film today and
totally forgot about your audition until now.
can we reschedule for monday night?
i’m free at 5pm.”

saying such things makes you look more pretentious than superstar
and no one likes a flake.

2. certain actors who’ve been trained in
too many methods;
they’ve memorized and recited too many lines,
too many ways to execute one emotion..
i’m not sure where i’m going with this,
but there’s a staleness about them.

3. then there’s alex, actors like alex
who understand the craft, aren’t handicapped by methods.
i threw the first scene at him
and he threw back an improvised version.
it was so fucking honest
and he’s never studied method acting.

anyway, auditions are over
and i’ve learned quite a bit. :)

i needed to get away from the city noise
so we visited my parents at their new house in elk grove for a few days.

the neighboring houses are still being built.


sebby and rick are tagteaming tonight (wednesday) at clandestine in downtown san jose.
so yeah, holla if you wanna come kick it.

currently listening to:

yo, phife, you remember that routine, that we used to make spiffy like mister clean?

it'll make the whole seduction part less repugnant

chad and i spent saturday afternoon storyboard sketching and catching up.
he’s such a ham, but a good sport.
i had him act out the bj scene,
which (now i realize) is quite lewd when taken out of context.

but it’s also going to be a challenging scene;
how am i going to make it look sensual without looking tasteless or corny?
because you guys make the silliest faces.

how chad looks like when he gets fluffed, apparently.


currently listening to:
when low and behold there appeared a mirage. he was hooking up a car in his daddy’s garage.

we like the cars

quand il me prend dans ses bras

since my sketching proficiency is limited to stick figures,
i decided to kidnap vi for a few hours and photograph my storyboard instead.




» »»

saturday night,
i wanted to curl up on the couch and watch a movie,
but i didn’t want to see it with anyone but sebby.
sebby is in arizona.

so we both went to our local blockbusters,
picked out a movie over the phone and

“on the count of three.. one, two, three” *click play button*

we synchronized our dvd players
so from 739.1 miles apart,
we watched “secretary” together
over the phone.

» »»

moving the rest of my stuff into the san francisco loft on tuesday.

the view from my rooftop.


my final weekend in california

friday evening:
i skipped the “porn stars” and “rack my cack” parties.

i tagged along on the set of anton’s upcoming indie film “hindsight.”
i was intrigued by how they shot the film in a parking lot at night,
but they had about three different lights illuminating the scene to mimic night.

eric, dp.


anton, director aka “can’t you see i’m busy here?!” pizza muncher.


saturday evening:
all girls slumber party, sport.

helen hunt in teal dinosaur hair clips, incredible cheese in the bread bowl,
toilet cleaner beer, that gad awful show cheaters
and heather’s infamous spinning wheel of drunkin’ dares.
most commonly spun: “drunk dial”

random dialing on everyone’s cellphones,
shrieking orgasmic moans and obscene messages.

and yeah, they got ahold of my cellphone.
so to the victims of our antics,
1. hope you guys didn’t mind or 2. sorry.

3am straight voddy shots, photographed by heather.


lazy day continued at tina’s.
cutting up clothes making new clothes,
watching goonies, snarfin’ pizza,
and ignoring my ceaselessly ringing cell phone.
“awe crap.. who called up macadio last night?!”

life in california is good, buddy.