Stranger by the Lake — go see it!

24 03 2014

It’s so good.

The technical storytelling is everything how film is art. Oh, and the penises. The penises!

But really, if it’s playing somewhere — in a theatre, I mean, not online — I really encourage you to watch it. It’s the most thrilling thriller I think I’ve seen that doesn’t have a music and big daring stunts. Amazing film. Still iffy on the ending, but I think I’ll be thinking about it for a while and change my mind.

My top movies of the year so far:

1. Stranger by the Lake

2. The Wind Rises (a very different film from Stranger by the Lake, I know)


Not part of this year’s Queer Film Fest

11 02 2014

Last term, I had the idea of making a short documentary about the rampant, insidious amount of sexual racism in the gay community in Vancouver. Unfortunately, taking five courses, working part-time, and trying to spend time sending out my writing didn’t allow for the many hours needed to make a documentary. Instead, I opted to write a personal essay about the subject (which I got an A+ on!). Because I wasn’t working on a film to submit to Out on Screen/Vancouver Queer Film Festival, I thought the doc would be a super idea.

But that didn’t happen. And as the deadline for submissions approaches, it’s kinda sad, at least for me, that I won’t be part of The Coast is Queer program this year, like I have been for the past five years. Every year, it’s been an amazing experience to stand in front of an audience and introduce a film that people paid to see. I can’t describe it. After last year’s QFF, I contemplated retiring from film and working more in writing, as it seemed that was a more fruitful avenue for my creative endeavours, but people advised me to keep making films while I write. It’s a lot of time, money, and effort to make a film, much more than writing, and while I would like to do both, realistically, it’s such a huge undertaking (did I mention the money?) that for the most part, I have to do myself. I wish I could, but I’m not sure it’s very sustainable.

So back to this year. Yeah, it’s a little sad that I won’t be seeing my name up on the website and I won’t be up on stage with other fantastic local filmmakers. I remember when I first sat in the audience at Tinseltown. It was minutes away from showtime.

“Are you nervous?” my friend Jacky asked me.

“No,” I responded.

A few minutes later. “Okay, now I’m nervous.”

I remember how fast my heart pounded as I watched On the Bus play, hearing people’s laughter, their “Awwww!” at the end of the film. And then hearing them clap after. It was surreal.

And then to return year after year with new films, some of which I had only recently completed before the screening (shhh, don’t tell anyone). I never felt like my films were guaranteed to get picked for The Coast is Queer program, so it was always a surprise and a delight when I got the email that they were.

I’ll miss that. I wonder if anyone will miss me and my films. I have no idea, since I’m not very popular. I guess I feel like it’s kind of like the end of an era, or the end of my film streak.

But maybe I’ll return next year with a brilliant film. Who knows.

I get shit done.

8 02 2014

Spent the day polishing up a TV episode for an original series I worked on with my classmates.

Read up on a couple articles for my Environmental Design class.

Watched Inside Llewyn Davis (fantastic film. One of my favourites from 2013, for sure).

Got super news today that a memoir piece I submitted to Existere has been accepted for publication. Hell yes! Proceeded to stomp around in pure glee in my kitchen upon reading the email.

Spent the rest of the evening looking up film festivals where I could submit my short film, June, and submitted to a whole bunch.

Sometimes, I think my personal motto should be I’m gay, and I get shit done.

Would anyone like to donate $1300 to me?

9 01 2014

A couple months ago, I was in my room, moving some things around on my desk. I was trying to see if I needed to buy a desktop computer to edit a short scene for an assignment for my film production class when I felt a slight tug on my pants as I moved. The next thing I know, I hear something crash to the floor.

My hard drive. The one with the films I’ve been working on for a few years, as well as all the files to them.

The shell came loose and I easily popped it back into place, and it didn’t seem too damaged. Unfortunately, it made whirring sounds when I plugged it in my laptop, and my computer didn’t detect that anything had been connected.

A few days later, I took it to a repair shop where they ran some diagnostics and determined that the actual components in the hard drive were broken. It would cost at least $750 to repair. I went around to a few other shops, but they all said the same thing.

The last place I went to, which is where my hard drive currently is, they were nice enough to explain exactly what was wrong with it and told me it would cost $1300 to repair the hard drive and then to recover the data. The data of all my films.

I have never been the type of person to ask for help. My friends will attest to that. I always try to solve problems my own way because they’re my problems. But there are times when I do need help, and this is one of those cases.

I honestly don’t like asking for money, but I’m still a student (with a part-time job). And although I technically can afford to pay this, it’s a pretty big hit on my bank account.

So if there’s anyone, say an older, white sugar daddy who likes young Asian guys (kidding, by the way) and would like to help out a struggling filmmaker/artist, I would be beyond grateful and appreciative. I could make and send you a very sparkly thank-you card!

Anyway, thanks for reading this far. If you want to help me out, I’m sure we can arrange something on paypal or something. Send me an email:

Oh, and have a funky day.


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.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Books 2 & 3)

20 12 2013

The only time you will see me shirtless and in bed with two women.


After Tiller

29 11 2013

Really good, poignant, and morally complex documentary. I recommend it for those who are willing to open their minds and opinions up.

Laurence Anyways

13 10 2013

I believe I have watched the best film of the year so far.

Also, I am officially a fan of Xavier Dolan. Thank you for this wonderful, beautiful, poignant masterpiece of a film.

Back problems

20 09 2013

Hurt my back doing ab exercises today. Not super painful; in fact, I’ve always had back problems that, I believe, started when I began learning piano (and was forced to sit upright without back support). Having good posture, I have found, is quite difficult to achieve constantly. Just one of the many thing I want to work on.

In other news, I’m doing a film-y/arty photoshoot thing tomorrow. That should be fun, I think.


17 09 2013

Saw this and felt very sad after (I still am). Ohad Knoller is so good in this. I just want to hug him and hold him close.