Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Godzilla Party Kickstarter

Alright, so I've been talking about this short I wanted to make for a really long time. I knew I wanted to make something about a collection of my online dating stories as well as things I've heard from others and I also wanted to do something new and interesting with blending the lines of comedy/drama. It took me almost a year of brainstorming, but with the help my friend Claire Jia and my usual writing/directing partner Travis Ashkenasy we came up with the idea for Godzilla Party.

It's about a bunch of people at a party that slowly devolves into a bit of chaos. With this movie we want to do something that we believe has never really done been done before. We're taking a dramatic script, but using the aesthetic and acting style of a multi-cam comedy to contrast with the material. This is literally the opposite of what we usually do with our movies like Hand Fart where we take a comedic script and treat it very seriously.

In order to have the highest contrast between the dramatic writing and the comedic aesthetics we felt like shooting it like a sitcom similar to Big Bang Theory and Friends was the best route. What we didn't realize that these sets are harder to get than we ever thought. Even when we shot Hand Fart we thought finding a hospital would be tough, but there were actually a lot. Right now, we're finding that the options for getting even a living room set are either extremely expensive or just not the same look. That and I found out that I would be having to spring the bill for the whole budget cause Travis wasn't able to contribute this go round. So I decided to do a kickstarter.

I've always felt uncomfortable with the idea of Kickstarter because I felt like it's best to make things on your own money so I don't have to worry about wasting someone else's money. I have since realized that sometimes there are people that want to help contribute and it also serves as a good marketing tool. We initially had some good momentum with the campaign, but it slowed down significantly at the mid point. Right now I'm sitting here at the 24 hours left mark and we're not even at the 50% point so I have a lot to do.

Not sure whoever reads this, but if anyone could donate, like, share, give suggestions on what to do I would appreciate it. I'm about to start my big push now. Here goes nothing!


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

New Short (but not really)

Geez, I was trying to do a schedule of updating at least once a month, but I guess I got carried away. Summer was kind of busy. Went to Louisiana, Florida, New York, Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco  and had 3 friends come over to Los Angeles at different times that I had to entertain. I have some catching up to do, but wanted to do a post on this short that I actually made almost 4 months ago.

It was for channel 101, which was started by Dan Harmon of Community and Rick & Morty. It's a monthly screening where people submit five minute pilots and the audience gets to vote on their top 5 and the top 5 gets to make a second episode and the next month five new pilots get submitted. I had been attending for years and even starred in a few people's shows, but was always nervous about starting my own.

A few months ago, I started attending a writers group and one thing led to another and I decided to collaborate with a writer/producer/actor there named Alex Nishino to make something. We wrote the script in one night and started scrambling to get all the elements together to make something. My goal was to make something fun and try things out that I'd never done before. More specifically I wanted to mess with fight choreography, vfx, and camera tricks to make practical effects. We wrote a script that had all of that and more. The idea being that we would write the most ridiculous short possible and then force ourselves to figure out how to film it without cheapening it at all.

The fight choreography I'm really proud of actually. I got my friend Tiger Sheu to help out on that end. He's a professional actor/stunt person and he was pro at walking us through a fight scene that we could pull off with no experience. I learned a lot because it's a lot harder than it looks and he went out of his way to design a scene where he did a lot of the work to make us look good. Believe me, there were times where it looks pretty rough, but I think with the editing it turned pretty good.

So we shot it over the course of two days and I worked my ass off figuring out VFX and doing other post shit. I had some help with some of the VFX by my friend Philip Bastian and my cousin Aaron Quan did some of the sound mixing/designing. We basically crammed a lot of work over the course of a week to turn it in and... we didn't even get accepted to screen it. I was told they felt like it lacked potential to be a whole series and they didn't like our original title "A Day in the Life".

It did play at the final We Own The 8th meeting, which was a bittersweet experience. I had been attending those meetings over the past four years and they said they were really happy that they could screen one of my shorts for their final night. About a minute into the screening the projector screen rolled up though and they just let it project on a brick wall, which wasn't great. But again, good night overall.

Anyways, here's the link below. We made it cheap and fast, but I'd like to think it was good too which is rare.