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)