72 hour film shootout

this year, rain and tess play the lead again,
except they play very different characters from last year’s “cold war.”

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i suggested the idea of a fairy tale
because i’m all about the whimsical stuff.
plus my heart’s been in a very hopeful mood lately.

audio too low, continuity issues, but i had some personal issues to deal with,
so no time to fix and we barely made the deadline,
but not too shabby for 72 hours to write, produce, shoot, edit… make a movie.

it’s officially online so check it out:
grace and the staten island fairy

(skip the first 30 seconds; it’s just bars, tones and stuff).
and if you like it, show us some love on youtube.

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

this
instead.

my first two documentaries

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

1.
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.

2.
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. :(

my first roll of 16mm film

the light meter that came with the bolex was broken
so i had to guess the correct f-stops.
i think i did okay for the most part
except for that one shot of the shoes that came out a little too dark.

shawn’s sunday morning afternoon. all in-camera edits:

yeah, yeah i know.
but in my world,
dirty ravers and hippies rock out to rodgers and hammerstein musicals.

allegory

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.

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

usf film arts festival

joey and i are sneaking in juice bottles mixed with vodka
and we’re thinking of heading to the dna lounge afterwards for some bootie mash ups.

lemme know if you’re down and we’ll save you a spot.

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"cereal monogamy"

i play the sugar fruit bombs cereal girl who gives frank a toothache.

anton, directing me and james.

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[photo by warren moises]

i love anton. he’s such an imaginative writer and director.
maybe i’m lucky, but with the exception of one,
i’ve had a blast on every film set.

"the lost lovers"

a love story between two women set in shanghai during the 1920’s.

yay i got the part!

kieu premiere

yesterday, i went to the san jose premiere of kieu
at the san francisco international asian american film festival with a bunch of my friends and family.

i play the awkward new girl at the brothel/massage parlor who speaks choppy vietnamese/english.

jeremy said seeing my face on the cinema screen was the most surreal experience.
“it’s like.. actor. actor. actor.. veanne?”

for me, it was uncomfortable.
since this was my first movie,
i did not realize that acting for the camera required a whole new set of skills
different from acting on the theatre stage.

i was unaware that every single expression on my face would be magnified that intensely.
my nostrils were like one feet wide on the movie screen!
i know now not to make that face when on camera.
i just looked.. weird.

my aunt said, “oh you were so beautiful, but only when they showed your profile.”
thanks auntie. :)

at the san francisco premiere: christopher, me, kathy, thu ha and debbie.

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[photo by nomies.com]

about kieu:
kieu is a modern film adaptation of truyen kieu,
an epic poem written by the 18th century writer nguyen du.
in the poem, the character kieu was a beautiful, lyrical archetype who sells herself into prostitution
in order to save her father and brother from political imprisonment.
her duties as a caretaker were deemed heroic
and in turn her character was well loved by the vietnamese community.

the modern day kieu, however, is an amalgamation of real life sex workers
living in the san francisco tenderloin district.
despite being ubiquitous in the vietnamese communities throughout the united states,
vietnamese sex workers have a stigma attached to them and are rarely spoken of.
inspired by her outreach program with sex workers,
debbie nguyen (the producer and one of the writers) felt it was her responsibility
to give these sex workers voices and identities beyond their stereotypes.

the movie was not produced to entertain,
but rather to trigger discourse in the vietnamese community
and for them to ultimately reshape their opinions about vietnamese sex workers.

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kieu will also be premiering at the chicago asian american film festival on april 2nd,
and at the los angeles asian pacific film festival in early may.

kieu

is premiering at the san francisco international asian american film festival.
i was watching the trailer and noticed my little blurred head peeping in from the background.

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(cinematography by carla roley)

check out the trailer here.

saturday

i am so very grateful that my screenwriting professor
recommended me for kevin haskin’s new short film, “a bullet over fives.”

i spent yesterday equipped with a heavy camcorder in one hand
and a digital camera in the other
shooting behind the scenes footage
and quietly shadowing the incredibly talented cinematographer, brian hamm.

the monitor.

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jason.

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loren.

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screw sponge bob. i want a sponge job.

2003 was suppose to be the year of projects
but i think most of it was spent flying.

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the past two weeks:
i wanted to forget it was christmas..
spend it alone
frollicking around the flat in my undies.

but sebastian wouldn’t have it and flew me out to arizona
to spend christmas with his family.
i was charmed by his mother,
who dances along to europa.fm.ro
and his father,
who we caught daydreaming during jeunet’s amelie.

sebby got me a vintage 8mm movie camera.

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i made a brief appearance at the dna lounge.

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went snowboarding with zachary on 2.5 hours of sleep.

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nye with 25 friends nibbling on tapas at andalu.
i haven’t seen the south bay kids since august.
i swear, you will never find another group of people with
such distinct personalities, strong opinions
and omg.. the funniest dialogues.

li is one of my favorites.

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the entrance to a clandestine warehouse party we stopped by.

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my new year’s kiss:
the cutest boy in the world called me seconds to midnight from las vegas
and kissed me over my cell phone. :)

currently listening to:

when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned
.