J.P. Chan 

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Happy Birthday, Geoff

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Hey Bulldog is one of my all-time favorite Beatles songs. The bass playing is just killer. Sing along, won’t you?SheepdogStanding in the rain,BullfrogDoing it againSome kind of happiness is measured out in milesWhat makes you think you’re something special when you smile?Child-likeNo one understands,Jack knifeIn your sweaty hands,Some kind of innocence is measured out in yearsYou don’t know what it’s like to listen to your fears.You can talk to meYou can talk to meYou can talk to meIf you’re lonely you can talk to meBig manWalking in the parkWhigwamFrightened of the darkSome kind of solitude is measured out in youYou think you know me but you haven’t got a clueYou can talk to me You can talk to me You can talk to me If you’re lonely you can talk to me[Hey] Hey BulldogHey Bulldog Hey Bulldog Hey Bulldog Hey Bulldog(Clinton Hill, Brooklyn)

 

My Abstract Plain

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A haircut, some sunglasses, a few extra pounds, and a little middle age…before you know it, you’ve become the Asian Frank Black. Good thing I’m a big Pixies fan.(Duane Reade, Bowery & Canal St, Manhattan)Title reference: (I Want to Live On An) Abstract Plain [iTunes]

 

Believe the Hype?

Believe the Hype?

I thought the new MacBook looked rather cheap in the photos I’ve seen, but in person it’s quite cool, especially the black one. (Though not $150 extra kind-of-cool.) Even the funny keyboard seemed usable and felt decent under the fingers. This is probably the laptop I’ll buy when I replace my beloved PowerBook G4 12″ sometime next year…unless an even smaller model comes out before then.

(Apple Store Soho, Prince St, Manhattan)

 

Small Moments In The Pig City

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Alternate titles:Courage, my word [via iTunes]Put on a happy faceYeah I’m impaled on a spit and being roasted alive, but I’m still meHang in there baby, Friday’s coming(Rutland Rd & Flatbush Av, Brooklyn)

 

Cheesecake Photo

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No pies or cakes were harmed during the making of this video.(Ben Ash Deli, 7 Av, Manhattan)

 

Mag Lite

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(Whole Foods, Union Sq, Manhattan)

 

LA: Heading Home

LA: Heading Home

Nutter butters and coffee for breakfast? Why not? I got two hours of sleep because I had to be up at five for a flight at eight, so I need every gram of caffeine and sugar I can get.I’m bummed I’m missing the chance to see Colma again. If you’re in LA, go see it Wednesday, May 10 at the DGA. I guarantee you’ll get hooked on Rich Wong and H.P. Mendoza’s masterpiece the way I did.

It’s good to be heading home, but I miss LA already. Big thanks to everyone at VC for screening my films and for putting on a great festival.

(AA #114, LAX-EWR)

 

LA: Painting With Light

LA: Painting With Light

Among the many excellent programs at the VC Filmfest was the free cinematography workshop with veteran DPs Bob Primes and Stephen Burum. They spent an entire day at Mole Richardson teaching us poor and hungry filmmakers the basics of film lighting and, equally important, how to do it on the cheap.

This kind of “master class” could cost you a small bundle elsewhere, but VC gave it to us for nothing – and even served us a tasty lunch from Buddha’s Belly. Kudos, you guys all ROCK.

(Mole Richardson, Hollywood, CA)

 

LA: Star Power (Part 2)

LA: Star Power (Part 2)

Take It Or Leave It? and Dry Clean Only screened yesterday and I think people liked them. TIOLI is a crowd pleaser and it’s always fun to hear the audience laugh. The post-screening Q&As were fun. I like answering questions and talking about my stuff; I can only hope that people enjoy listening.

The best part of the DCO screening was getting to see my wonderful actors Aaron and Kavi again. I miss working with them in New York, but I’m glad they’re rising fast out here in LA. It was also great seeing the other friends that came by for the screenings. Their presence meant a lot to me.

This screening was my first time seeing DCO on a big screen and, perhaps inevitably, I came away with a list of things I wanted to tweak. It’s funny, every time I think I’ve finished this film, I always find more stuff I wanna change. After this next edit, I think I have to stop watching; otherwise, I’ll probably just want to work on it some more.

One film I’ll never stop watching, however, is Julia Kwan’s exquisite Eve and the Fire Horse. I know I gushed about Eve after seeing it at SFIAAFF in March, but after watching it again last night, I just gotta gush some more. I can only hope that one day I’ll make a movie as beautiful and as elegant as this one. Rush out and see it as soon as it comes to your city.

The Eve screening also marked my favorite single moment of the festival: the widespread snickering after a really loud trailer for Fast & Furious 3: Tokyo Drift that preceded the film. READY…SET-O…GO!!!!

(Julia and her fans at the Director’s Guild of America, Los Angeles, CA)

 

LA: Star Power (Part 1)

LA: Star Power (Part 1)

Today’s screenings included Tanuj Chopra’s Punching at the Sun and Mike Kang’s The Motel. I really dug the surreal touches in Punching, a Queens story about a Pakistani teen dealing with loss. As for The Motel, I’ve now seen it three times and it just gets better with each viewing.

Afterwards, it was another crazy night hanging out with my new LA posse. To protect the guilty, I won’t name names, but they’re a fun bunch of amazingly talented and cool filmmakers, actors, and festival programmers. (Sorry, Mel Torme wasn’t one of them.)

(Sunset & Vine, Hollywood, CA)

 

LA: Many Movies, Many Parties

LA: Many Movies, Many Parties

For me, writing is very difficult and not enjoyable, shooting is pretty difficult and mostly enjoyable, and attending film festivals (as a filmmaker) is not difficult and extremely enjoyable. Problem is, you gotta go through the first two to get to the third. But it’s worth it. As Oscar winning actor/director winner Chris Tashima pointed out at our directors luncheon today, the hard part is done, and now it’s just a series of parties.

(Chris is also really good in Eric Byler’s Americanese, and I suggest you all check it out when it’s released. I can only hope my Asian-American mid-life crisis involves a dalliance like the one he has with Joan Chen in that movie.)

Last night I watched Ham Tran’s Journey From the Fall, a surprisingly epic first feature from this LA-based filmmaker. It’s a sprawling story about a Vietnamese family in the wake of the Vietnam War, with lovely cinematography and great performances from the mostly first-time actors. If he ever makes a sequel to this movie, I can see Journey broken into two smaller films to make a trilogy because the two halves of the film are so different. Worth checking out.

Most of the festival films are screening at the Directors Guild of America, which is a great place to watch a film because of the excellent projection and sound systems. It’s also a bit intimidating and inspiring to be in the same place that is a home to so many legendary filmmakers.

(Director’s Guild of America, Los Angeles, CA)

 

LA: Off to VC

LA: Off to VC

I’m heading to LA for a few days to attend the 2006 VC Filmfest where my shorts Take It Or Leave It? and Dry Clean Only will be playing. So far, it’s the only festival to screen both films, which means it is also quite possibly the best film festival ever in the history of celluloid.

So if you’re in LA this week and next, come check out my stuff and the other terrific films of the fest. Though I’ll only be here through the weekend, I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of movies and hanging out with many of the cool people I’ve met at previous festivals – and meeting new ones.

(AA flight #1, JFK-LAX Somewhere over central New Jersey)

 
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