The death of my film career

6 01 2014

I spent the past few minutes submitting my latest film I completed last year, June, to queer film festivals. Only I did it with a sense of defeat. I’ve been telling people for the last while that I’m starting to move away from film; having written and directed short films for the past few years and not gotten much out of it except for a cool thing I can boast about every now and then, filmmaking, as fun as it has been, is so difficult to not just make money from, but to get people interested in.

I’d love to get screened at Outfest, but they’ve rejected all my films, year after year. I’d love to win the Gerry Brunet Award, but I haven’t. I don’t make films for money, but when I put money (and hard work and time and all that) into something I do and don’t get nearly as much after, it leaves you feeling a little deflated.

As with music, the first artsy project I undertook when I was exiting my teens and entering the scary world of the twenty-something, I found that people just didn’t care. And it was hard to make people care, especially when I’m not the type to go around proclaiming how everyone should “listen to my cover on my youtube channel because I’m 5 years old and it would mean so much to me please!” I don’t know what it is. Maybe I just marketed myself poorly when I went around the city and played shows, shows where the other musicians were all guitarists and seemingly more approachable than a gay, Chinese kid playing sad songs on a keyboard.

I’ve been unpopular my whole life, but I guess I thought that people would see through that and get interested in my music because my music was quality. So when I quit music and turned to film, that cycle and that hope began again– only now, I’m declaring the film world the winner, and me the loser.

I like my films. I know they’re not perfect, and I know they may not be super fancy because they’re simple films, but I like to think they’re different and they have a certain quality to them. I like to think I have interesting stories to tell, especially with June, which I’ve spent almost two years developing. I guess I wouldn’t be so reluctant and unenthusiastic about sending out my short film if I didn’t have to pay a submission fee, since it’s not even guaranteed that my film will be shown. And even when it is shown, many film festivals don’t pay, at least not short film filmmakers. So I end up paying a festival to watch my work, potentially paying more money to send an exhibition copy of the film — all in exchange for some people watching my film for 6 minutes.

Is this good enough? Is exposure really good enough? Not for short films. Maybe for features, but most people, I think, don’t really think about short films after (unless they’re exceptional), and even then, it’s unlikely that short film filmmakers get their big break via exposure. It’s difficult for me to justify sending out my film to a festival I feel won’t screen my work when they won’t pay me for it, after I’ve spent a long time working on it. But what else can I do?

I’ll still be sending out June because I spent so much time and effort (and money) on it that it would be a waste to simply let it sit on my computer this year. In a perfect world, short film filmmakers would get more than just exposure. I make films — and music and I write — because I love it. But I can’t use love to rent out equipment for my next film and to pay for film transferring, and for all the people who worked on my film. Wish I could though.

i am a 12 year old girl, going to die

26 05 2012


I found myself at this carnival/festival-type event, running away from something.  I had climbed up to a high tower/platform thing that overlooked the festivities below, namely a cartoonish-looking green alligator in a small tank, swimming around on command by an animal trainer.  Somehow during my escape, I was no longer myself — what I mean, is I was no longer a 23 year-old, male.  I turned into a very young, about 12 or something, girl.  This is not very relevant to what will happen next, but for whatever reason, it still happened.

The event was bordered by a large body of water, and I had to get across it somehow.  I fashioned a piece of something into a boat of some sort, and started paddling away.  There was a small, spider-like machine on the water (I had recently watched an analysis of Wild Wild West that day, and there’s a spider-machine thing in the movie).  I stayed away from it, but there was something else happening on the water.  Ahead of me, canoers were paddling back to shore, and the water itself was “jumping” — something was in the water.  Suddenly, a narrator’s voice interrupted the scene.  I can’t even remember if the voice was male or female, but it said how the water was dangerous and that everyone was heading back to shore.  So I reluctantly headed back too.

Once back on land, I was then informed by the narrator that anyone who was in the water would die because the water was contaminated or poisonous or something or rather.  Distraught and upset that my 12 years was cut short, I went to find a telephone to phone my mother.  In the crowded, noisy space where everyone had gathered, I found a telephone that was being watched over by Ms. Pillsbury from Glee.  I asked her if I could use the phone to talk to my mom, and she said I better be quick.

With difficulty, I dialed home.  My mom picked up.  Through tears and sobbing, I told her I was going to die because I had been in the water.  She expressed little to no remorse.  When she asked how I knew, I told her, “Because the narrator said so.”  I also somehow “knew” that Shopper’s Drug Mart had contaminated the water, and they would be held responsible.  “Just get the money from Shopper’s Drug Mart,” she said, implying that after I had died, there would be money to be had from suing Shoppers for killing me.  I cried more on the phone and hung up.

I woke up shortly after, very much sad, and before going to the bathroom, I went to the kitchen, where my mom was drinking tea, and hugged her.

Then I told her my dream and she laughed.

Myself in ___ years

30 04 2012

Someone asked me recently what I’d be doing in 10 years.  I responded, “I can’t even imagine myself in 10 years.”  This person laughed, interpreting what I said to mean, “Ten years?  That’s so off into the future, I just have no idea!”

What I really meant was that I couldn’t even imagine myself alive in 10 years, let alone what I’d be doing if I were.  Maybe it’s my uncertainty about the future.

Or maybe it’s that I genuinely feel like I won’t live past 30.

Chasing Destiny

14 03 2011

With my love for gay teen novels, I picked up a hefty one called Hero, about a gay teen who has healing powers (but also destructive, to a certain point).  What struck me most about the novel other than the fact that the protagonist was a gay teen who had other problems than coming out (ie. it wasn’t the focus of the novel) was that some of the passages in the book were so detailed and so captivating that it was one of the few books I could not stop reading (the end battle is fantastically described and written). I loved Hero, and after reading up on Perry Moore, the author, I loved that he was so passionate about writing and getting this book out to teens.  He was also a producer on the Narnia films and had written a TV pilot for Hero, which was supported by Stan f-ing Lee, the creator of Marvel comics and the two of them were asking people on imdb what their casting choices for the characters would be.  I responded a couple times about the casting I saw in my mind and he responded back, which I thought was pretty awesome.

Last month, I was on imdb like it was any other day when I saw on the newsfeed on the front page that one of the producers from the Narnia films had OD’ed.

“Holy shit!” I shouted in my bedroom, at my computer.  My fears were confirmed when, upon clicking on the link, I saw Perry’s name attached to the article. Crap.  This fantastic man had died.

Back to last year, when I finished reading Hero, I wanted to write a superhero song and one based on Thom (the main character) and his experiences.  I wrote what I eventually called “Chasing Destiny” but there were lines in it that I still had to finish, and I’ve never performed it for anyone  — well, besides my mom who’s never really listening and my cat who, as much as I want to believe, doesn’t understand — though I mentioned on Perry’s imdb page that I would post it as soon as I finished it.

Today, I still haven’t finished everything but I have the melody, the piano, and about 95% of the lyrics done, and it’s a song that I actually also really like and enjoy playing. I only wish Perry would’ve heard it before he passed away.

So here’s to you, Mr. Moore, because you’ve made an impact on not only me, but so many people around the world thanks to your book.

Chasing Destiny

Heroes are born by day,
like the stars up in the sky.
Unbounded by moments in time,
I wonder when is mine.

Captured courage in my hands,
burning like an open flame.
I’ve taken hold of kismet’s reins,
and nothing will be the same.
Oh, nothing will be the same…

Can I break through this cold and lonely world?
to find the truth… [insert 3 syllables here]… I’m chasing destiny.

Such power in my hands,
does it come from just a mask?
Who can tell the future
when I’m fig’ring out the past?

Oh, I need a new solution
to the way things have to be.
One of a milion,
all the odds are ‘gainst me.
All the odds are ‘gainst me…


If all the walls crumbled at the feet,
would I be left with all I fear to meet?

As time will bring soldiers to their knees,
unless we find [insert 3 syllables]… I’m chasing destiny.
I’m chasing destiny.

Dream 5

20 02 2011

Dream 5

As usual, I have no idea how this began, but I found myself in my old house, hiding from these Nazi soldiers who were patrolling the area.  Eventually, I found this general or some guy who was pretty high up in rank and he had a gun.  However, I had no weapon on me.

He shot me but I somehow was able to pause the scene — I think I said “Stop” or “Pause” or something — slowing down the bullet as it traveled for my head and altogether stopping the bullet as well as everything else happening around me.  With everything frozen in time, I repositioned the bullet so that it was facing the Nazi’s face and resumed the scene.  Everything sped up and returned to normal speed and the bullet his him in the face, I think in the cheek.  Blood gushed out and he screamed, but mostly what I was concerned about was that he was still alive and that he might try to shoot me again.  If so, I wasn’t sure I could freeze time like I just did.

And of course he did shoot at me again, as he was now on his side from the pain.  And again, I was able to slow down time and the bullet, reposition it towards his brain this time and then start everything up.  This time, it did hit him in the head and he appeared to be dead.  Immediately, I grabbed the gun away from him and, making sure he was definitely dead, attempted to shoot him a few more times.  But there didn’t seem to be any bullets left.  I swore there were at least two left and when I opened the gun up, I did see that there were two bullets left.  My sister Florence was there as well and she told me I had no bullets, but I knew I did.  So I tried to shoot him again, shooting and shooting to no avail.  I don’t know why.

Still not convinced that he was dead, my sister offered to burn his body.  While she doused him and a bunch of other random objects (I think a snake was in there too) with gasoline, I tried to light the bonfire with a lighter — not one of the little ones, but the big ones with a handle, like this one:


Except this one was a blue/green, the same one we have at home.  So I was trying to light it but again, it didn’t seem to work.  There wasn’t much of a spark and furthermore, what spark I did get from the lighter resulted in small flames in the bonfire.  Eventually, my sister lit a match or something and tossed it in there, helping to spread the fire.  I watched as the Nazi’s body and the rest of the junk lit up, but saw that his body wasn’t burning as much as everything else.  I told my sister to light his body up but she said it was fine, that I was paranoid and that he would be dead.

So I watched and watched and as the flames eventually died down, his body transformed itself into a black cat (or some sort of other small, black animal) and it ran out the door.  I remember feeling really angry at my sister for not listening to me and also the fact that this Nazi guy was still alive, albeit in a different form.


2 02 2011

I watched Battle for Algiers last night and wrote this just now.


the color in your eyes.
Switch on a fuzzy gel —
Anything to


Pour out the rageful, beating heart.
Must they be military drums hammering in your mind?
the pulses of all the dusty, limp arms pertruding from the rubble:
hairs on a scalp.

The smell of burning flesh cooking,
the main course for the victors.

When you have let go to grasped a few seconds,
and noticed the rain,
the drums fading out, replaced by sopranos wailing dirges,
maybe then will the intoxication finally fall like a white curtain,
letting you


Crazy dream

25 01 2011

One that I had a couple nights ago.

I was watching TV and the news was reporting an actor of a famous show like CSI or something had died.  They showed a photo of him posing, a white cloth surrounding his body, arms outstretched, reminiscent of Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel (I recognized his face though it was not until after I woke up and thought about it that I realized it was David Sutcliffe).  Anyway, he was reported to have lived in Vancouver, downtown and for some reason, he was a homeless person, helping kids.  The news showed the last known footage of him where some people were interviewing him, and that was the last they saw of him.  Police were asking for witnesses; Maggie, my sister, was, I’m assuming, in the room with me, as she then said out loud and stressed for everyone to report anything remotely suspicious, including “people who may weren’t supposed to be where they were.”

As they showed the area around which the actor lived downtown, I somehow found myself transported to where the camera on TV was shooting.  My mom, Maggie, and I were all there, going to this restaurant + movie theatre that combined a meal and a movie for a really cheap price (why hasn’t anyone thought of that?), and best of all, it was in the same building so we didn’t even have to leave.  I distinctly remember it being quite bright outside — lots of yellows and oranges.  When we went inside and stood in line behind a couple, I noticed the movies they had playing.  They were books lined up on the floor that indicated the movies.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember any of the movies apart from Alice in Wonderland which my sister and I had already seen.  We all agreed on a strange, indie movie that none of us had really heard of before.

We paid for our tickets and were invited to sit down and wait for our food and the movie.  The couple who were ahead of us in line sat directly across the table from us so that we were facing each other, like a picnic table.  Somehow, there was a piano in front of me and I started playing around on it, eventually playing Vanessa Carlton’s “Papa” because it sounds hard.  As usual, people didn’t seem to take any notice and when I was done, I wondered what else to play.  There were a lot of songs I could’ve played but they didn’t sound as good because the piano part alone doesn’t sound all that great without singing, and I wasn’t going to start singing in this restaurant.

I heard the couple in front of us and everyone else in the restaurant speaking French but I didn’t know what to say since I wasn’t fluent.  My sister, who sat nearby, was reading through a French-English dictionary and suddenly asked aloud, “How do you say ‘The French got an army…?'”

I replied, “Les francais ont un…” and the guy sitting across from us, obviously listening, finished my sentence and said, “un arme”. (I’m told that’s not the right word for “army”, btw).  There was something else about “the English” but I don’t remember that.  I eventually started playing my own song, “Un Pas” and the woman in front of us smiled and mentioned to her boyfriend, “Ah, Amelia…” or something wrong like that.  I knew she meant Amelie, the awesome French movie with Yann Tiersen’s music so I stopped playing and told them in French that actually, I was playing a song that I wrote but that I love Amelie and Yann Tiersen.

They were eventually called in to eat or watch the movie or something.  We waited around for a bit more before being called in too.  I texted my friend/super film guy about the movie we were going to see and his reply was something along the lines of “Oh, that movie has great 3D, 5, 6, and 7D, and we’re already 3 weeks into the course and we’ve only started learning about 3D!  It’s a cool movie and I like the toys.  I also like the Glum [something] character.” and somehow, I knew that the Glum character was me.  Did that make me a part of the movie?

So we went down this hallway and I was carrying this big gameboard mat thing for some reason.  It was a turquoise color.  We go into this other room where I set the mat down.  In the room is a guy wearing a mask that doesn’t quite cover his face.  Something like this:

Valentine, from the movie Mirrormask

He told us to find some books in the room and put our hands in them.  There were conveniently two books right by me — one which i don’t remember but that it was a bigger book, and my Spanish-English dictionary.  I saw my mom sitting at a table with no books but with some Chinese magazines like the ones she reads and the guy with the mask told her she could use them.  With our hands in the books, he came around and with this bottle of pastey-looking stuff and smeared it on the books.  Then, he told us to start flapping our arms and fly.  Which we did, and which it worked.

However, my Spanish-English dictionary was too small and it fell off my hand and then became useless.  I told the Mask Guy and he picked me up and I clung onto him while he flew around the room, my head leaning into the warmth of his shoulder.

Suddenly, I’m shouting, “DIE, CHICKEN, DIE!” and I wake up on the floor.  I have a hunch he dropped me and that I was unconscious for a while but I somehow got saved or something.  Anyway, I think I went flying again and this time the dictionary worked.  There wasn’t anyone else in the large room with me but while I was flying, these black snake-like cords were launching themselves at me from nowhere.

Wake up again.  I think I just got hit by a black cord or something.  Next to me in a row are piles of those black cords, wriggling around, and I can see chickens in there.  I tear at the pile closest to me to free the chicken but when I get to it, it’s grey and thin, and it looks more like a robot chicken (no pun intended) than anything else.  So I got the chicken and I don’t quite remember if I picked it up and started flying with it or not but I did start to fly again and I realized I was in my house, although the house itself seemed to be on a much, much larger scale — everything was gigantic.  I flew around the walls, avoiding the black cords, and into the kitchen.  I managed to open the back door and the gate, both of which were huge, and flew outside to supposed freedom.  But I still had a feeling I was being watched so I tried to fly as stealthy as I could, flying into the neighbour’s yard so as to stay away from the windows of my house and not be watched.  I heard the door close behind me as I flew away.

I’ve never been good at flying in my dreams and this one was no different.  I found it hard to control where I was going and how high and low I wanted to go.  I veered around my neighbour’s yard for a bit and then proceeded to go to the back lane where I suddenly became Wallace, from Wallace and Gromit.  There was Gromit standing behind me and I “knew” again that I had to walk/shuffle sideways to avoid seeming strange.  So we shuffled slowly sideways, me looking north, towards my house and him walking with his back to me, facing south.  I saw something moving in the windows of my house but couldn’t discern it.

Eventually, we shuffled and shuffled all the way to a busy street where there was a guy who dressed like a lame hipster/gangster stared at us as we slowly walked from him.  I think he may have been leaning on a fire hydrant.  He had a cigarette and I thought he was going to attack us but he merely stared and stared through his colorful sunglasses, and burned this guy standing nearby with his cigarette .

Eventually again, we got to a basketball court with lots of teenagers around, who were also staring at us suspiciously and that decided we weren’t welcome so they chased us.  I was suddenly running with two other people: Chris Martin from Coldplay and this other girl.  While we were running, she took out two books from her bag and gave them to me.  I tried to fly but I couldn’t get very high.  I realized that in order to fly and leave this place through some sort of portal, I needed to sink a basket.

All the kids crowded around me, taunting me and calling me names.  They wanted me to lose and were throwing basketballs around me, at the hoop in the hope of deflecting my ball.  I saw Chris Martin and the girl nearby and knew they were invisible to everyone since they had found the portal and were waiting for me.  They cheered me on.

I threw the ball and closed me eyes, not knowing if I got it in or not.  It was up to me to decide, not everyone else.  With my eyes still closed, I thought I didn’t get it in but I said I did because I was so tired of losing.

Dark Fairytale

14 01 2011

We were told one day to tell a scary story in one of my pitch classes at VFS but since I didn’t know any, I wrote a poem.

Dark Fairytale
Once upon a time

There was a girl with long blonde hair

Her looks were just to die for

And her beauty was oh so fair.


Up and down she walked the paths

At every waking day

With all her lovely joyful friends

She just loved to play.


And in the shadows came a figure

From the depths of dark

He swayed with every step he took

His face all riddled with marks.


“Come with me” he said to her,

As he offered out his hand.

“But who are you?” she politely asked

And he said “They call me the Triangle Man.”


And so they skipped, down the paths

Not once ever looking back

Until they stopped at a broken light

And frightful house of black


He led her in through the door

While she felt a little fear

But the Triangle Man calmed her down

“It’s just you and me here, my dear.”


She followed him up, up the stairs

Floorboards creaked with every step

He opened up a door for her

Saying, “This is where my pretties are kept.”


And when he opened that fateful door

She cried a terrible cry

For on the bed lay five little dolls

Girls who had been previously alive


The girl with long hair tried to move

But he made her want to play

A scream she tried but oh, despair

As he scooped her voice away



Her tongue he simply pinched it out

As he grabbed her life and her bones

He bent her pretty face in two

And her body became cold as stone.


With his long thin arms, he plunged his hand

Into her soft body with ease.

He licked the remnants of liver and lung

As he proceeded to pull out her knees.


A bucket was set aside

Containing a feast of her entrails

He tasted all her fingers

Till the blood ruptured through the nail


The long golden hair was all sliced away

Her scalp hanging off like a flap

And after that he took her spine

Chewed on it till it snapped.


A polka-dotted dress, a bow for her new hair

To her cheeks, a touch of red

And she finally took her rightful place

With the other dolls on the bed.


There was a girl with long blonde hair

But it doesn’t really matter

‘Cuz with the Triangle Man in the house of black

They all lived happily ever after.

Something to Live For

15 11 2010

Probably some other crap I wrote in Math class in high school.  That last part with the “no longer” is written in super big capitals on the page.  Wow, I was so emo…

Something to Live For

So what’s the meaning to the biggest question?
We all make up reasons:
Fakeness, all Fakeness

Run by society’s madness
Out of control, beyond the brink of extinction
THe laughter, echoing throughout the
eras of  time.
All because of the lie created by our
Society and the media
And for what reason?

Take a picture.
I’ll last no longer.



13 11 2010

The stuff in bold are comments I’m making now that aren’t what I originally wrote down two years ago.

July 16, 2008


I think this all happened when I was at the swimming pool.  I don’t know which one because it didn’t look familiar.  I jumped into the pool and got out and walked around for a bit.  There was this small wooden box that someone had cruedly made and even though I didn’t look inside, I knew that was where ammunition/bullets were.

So somehow that goes into a hostage situation with me, Kem, and Lulu.  The evil guy (terrorist, I guess) kept switching faces/bodies, but we always knew who she/she was.  I had a gun pointed in my face several times (as did Lulu + Kem) and it was kinda scary actually.  The evil guy’s plan (he was Bob for a bit)(Note: I’m guessing the Bob I meant is the one that works at VFS in the Writing Program) was to kill a bunch of us (or maybe one) and then to shoot this building that he cruedly drew that had bullets of some kind.  He gave the gun to me a few times, to shoot at the building but I told him my aim was really crappy.

I remember him telling us he was going to kill one of the three of us.  He pointed the gun at Kem, and I didn’t want him to die.  So I wrapped my arms around him, trying to protect him.  He held onto me, close, which was really nice (It’s a hostage situation!  What do I say it’s “nice”?).  It felt right even though I could possibly die, I didn’t care because it was Kem.

Eventually, perspectives changed to that of the evil gun aiming the gun around the room.

There may have been something between Lulu (?) that I don’t remember.

Evil guy aimed the gun at the building labeled bullets (eh?), and I didn’t understand (yeah, I don’t either).  Lulu explained how it was something about hexagons and stuff even though I probably wouldn’t understand it in real life, I understood it in my dream.  She said how if evil guy shot at the building, ice/diamonds would fall out and fall on people below.  Just as I realized this, he fired.

I watched as pieces of ice fell… on top of me.  I was on a bed, and I grabbed a pillow to shield myself.  The ice hit the pillow and I was safe.  I looked around the room and saw that Lulu was fine but that Kem was gone.  I saw the shape of his body underneath the covers and when I pulled them back, he lay there, silent.  There was a trickle of blood running down the side of his head.

I thought he was dead.  He definitely looked dead.

I freaked out.  I started crying and screaming a little, thinking the bullet hit him before it hit the building.

I was so upset, more than I’ve ever been in both real life as well as my dreams.

He suddenly stirred and I realized he wasn’t dead, which overwhelmed me.  I was so incredibly happy, more than I’ve ever been in both real life as well as my dreams.

A bit later (probably some more stuff happened), I had the gun.  I don’t remember how I got it, but the evil guy was now Mahea (then, what would’ve been my 5 year old cousin) and I pointed the gun at her face, trying to make her feel how scary it was to have a gun in the face.  She was scared.  That made me happy.  The police or some other people took her away.

I waved Kem over, saying we had to get going to some place.  He stood a few feet away from me, bathed in a sort of white light.  He smiled at me, I think.  Or maybe he just stood there staring at me.


I don’t remember this dream at all, but now it’s got me thinking…