Saturday, December 20, 2014

Asian auditions

I went into an audition not too long ago where I was supposed to be playing a Korean kid. The breakdown said I needed to know conversational Korean. Me being Chinese without even knowing any Chinese language conversationally, I asked my manager if it was a good idea if I should go. He told me I should just learn a couple of phrases and just go in. I got my friend to translate three phrases that fit into the script and I made my best attempt at emulating the accent and such. 

I went to the audition and signed in and sat across from another Asian guy. As I was sitting there going over my "Korean" lines I noticed the guy across from me was also doing it, but out loud. Eventually he asked me "hey, so do you actually know Korean?" And I told no, I just got a friend to translate it for me. He then tells me he basically did the same thing and that even though he's Korean he didn't really know the language.

I go in the audition and do pretty ok at it. Afterward he asks me if I'm actually Korean and I say I'm ethnically Chinese, but I have Korean friends and have picked up a few phrases here and there. Overall I got the sense that he wasn't super convinced though. As I leave I take one look at the sign in sheet and realize that most of the people called in aren't teallynkorean so they probably all faked it.

I've gotten a few auditions now asking to either speak mandarin or have a native Vietnamese accent and such and it's kinda frustrating. I grew up as an Asian guy in America, but more than anything I feel like I identify as just American more than anything. I guess more often than not I do get called in for "non Asian specific" roles, but it also seems weird that I'm expected to fill in as everything else that my skin color denotes as well. I guess it's better than nothing though.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

First screening of short and updates

It's been a while since I posted. I guess because I realized there wasn't anything too important to write about and maybe because I just got lazy.

Mostly what I have been working on is the short film about the end of the world. I recently screened it to an audience for the first time last night. This was an interesting movie because once I was done with a fine cut of the movie I realized I still didn't know what the movie would be like since music and vfx would change the feel of the movie significantly. I had only just gotten all the elements together a few hours before the screening and suddenly the short became a different movie before my eyes. I didn't know if it was for better or worse but I decided to just screen it and see what happens.

As expected, the first few moments that were meant to be funny hit the right beats and I think people understood the premise right away. It was the ending that the audience did not laugh at all at. I think we did really professional special effects so the kind of ironic comedic ending I was going for was not appearing somber and depressing. As the movie ended, silence filled the theater and I almost wanted to say "come on guys! It's funny!"

Afterward people did congratulate me and say that they liked it, but I couldn't help but feel that I had failed somewhere. My co director for the movie stated that maybe this new reaction is just a new direction that we need to take the film in, but I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with that. I showed it to a few more people and I think I came up with a solution to "enhance" the ending in a way that more clearly shows what I was initially going for. We'll see how that turns out.

On a side note I'm auditioning more which is nice. Hopefully this is a good sign for the new year.