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.

Review for On the Bus

22 03 2012

Just something interesting I found, even though it’s about 3 years old.  Four upside-down triangles out of five!  Yay!

Riding On the Bus (), young Jeremy agonizes over his crush on super-hunky classmate Sean, carrying on an imaginary conversation with the object of his unspoken affection. With some prodding from both the imaginary and the real, he may be ready to make his feelings known. Cute.


Accept, reject: Inside Out (Toronto LGBT Film Festival)

16 05 2011

Two years ago, I submitted my first short film, On the Bus, to various film festivals and it got screened at almost all the festivals I sent in Canada.  Unfortunately, Inside Out, a.k.a. the Toronto Queer Film Festival, was one of the few that declined On the Bus, which was disappointing since it’s a big city and a great opportunity.

After months of checking now and then the Inside Out website for any changes regarding submissions for the 2011 film festival, it was finally up!  I hurriedly threw in a copy of my film and entry form and sent it away. Maybe this time they’d screen my film.

Fast forward a month or two (probably more.  I don’t remember).  It’s February, and I get an email from the festival saying this: Inside Out would like to invite the film “Stay” to screen with us as part of our 21st festival program in May, 2011. A formal invitation as well as print traffic information will follow in mid to late March.

Hooooooray!!!  I thought.  Finally, a short film of mine would be screening in Toronto.  Finally.

I replied to the email and sent some screencaps of the film and asked what kind of exhibition formats they accept and received a reply with a list of formats.  Then I went to work trying to find a place that would be able to transfer my film to one of those formats (which, btw, is really expensive to do).

And I waited for their next email, for their formal invitation and for the print traffic info just like they said.  And so I waited.  And waited.

By April, I had not received anything from them.  Growing slightly concerned, I sent them an email again, greeting them politely (as usual) and asked when I would need the exhibition copy sent there.

No reply.

I wasn’t sure if they were just all busy or something, but I gave them a lot of time to respond.  In early May, I sent them another email and asked if they had received my previous one about the exhibition copy.

And again, no reply.

Frustrated, I looked on the Inside Out website and saw that they already had a schedule for their festival’s films up.  After searching through the film last, I finally got the hint they were trying to tell me: my film isn’t going to be in the festival this year.

Did they accidentally email me instead of someone else, perhaps?  But then again, they mentioned me by name and also my the title of my film, so if they did, that’s pretty unprofessional/unorganized of them.  I just don’t know.

For a while, I wasn’t sure how to feel.  Angry?  Sad?  I mainly felt disappointed, though.  Disappointed that they had emailed me and told me good news, only to never reply and ultimately, not program my film.  I feel like someone who’s been lead on in date or something, which makes it seem more dramatic than it is.  If anything, I’m only moderately disappointed.

Inside Out starts this Thursday the 19th if anyone is interested in going.  I’m still in the process of sending out Stay to film festivals so it’s not like this was the one and only opportunity I’ll ever get.  At the same time, I may have lost my chance in Toronto.

So now that the challenge is over…

10 05 2011

combined with the fact that I have 10 minutes to type something moderately substantial before midnight, I don’t have much to say anymore.  Should I try to find another challenge to regularly post material about or should I continue to post my own stuff?  According to my dashboard, I get around 15 – 20 views a day, which I find absolutely incredible since I didn’t think anyone would be the slightest bit interested in what I have to comment on.  But it’s fantastic nonetheless!

I will say that I was emailing my friend about having another short film in the Queer Film Festival here in Vancouver and he remarked that I was “making a name for myself” but I really don’t feel the same.  I feel like yes, I do have some short films to show for, and yes, they have been getting into festivals and all that.  But what is their impact?  What has it lead to?  Stay so far hasn’t gotten me much in terms of talks with producers or film people and On the Bus, although I wrote it, most people wanted to talk to the director, not me.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I continue to make films that despite getting into festivals but don’t lead to anything bigger, what am I going to do?  It’s all fun to make a film but I don’t want to keep making zero budget films forever with meh sound (very much meh in Stay).  Success is different for every person but what if my films don’t allow me to reach my own goal of success?

There’s no way to know that until I make a film and send it out, but at the same time, I can’t make an awesome super duper film on zero budget (well, I could try but it would be hard).  What to do? Suggestions?

Selling/giving away a whole bunch of stuff!

8 02 2011

I highly doubt anyone coming across this little blog will read this, find something they want, and contact me about it but it’s worth a shot.

So I’ve been cleaning my room for the past while (not that it takes eons to clean my room; I just go slow 😉 and found some CDs that I no longer listen to or want.  The regular list of CDs are all in very good condition (except The Corrs case) and all working.  A few CDs don’t come with cases (Backstreet Boys, Thursday).  I’m listing everything on the CDs list for $5 though if you want to haggle, be my guest.  🙂


The Burned CDs list I don’t expect anyone will want since anyone can put them together and unless I have a whole bunch of people pleading to have the Atomic Kitten CD and are willing to pay something for it, everything on that list is FREE!


Same goes for My stuff.  The copies of On the Bus — my grad project from VFS which has been to lots of film festivals around the world! — won’t work on your DVD player (which is why it’s free) but it should read fine on your computer.  The original copies of my demo, the one I recorded a few years ago at Deep Cove Studios, isn’t the greatest thing I’ve done, just fyi.  A Few Pages is my new demo and I have lots of copies if anyone wants one, let me know!


If anyone has anyone questions about anything, feel free to  or post a comment!  Gracias!


Alicia Keys – Diary of Alicia Keys (HK import)

Avril Lavigne – Best Damn Thing

Backstreet Boys (Chinese Import?)

The Be Good Tanyas – Hello Love

Berklee College of Music – new from berklee vol. 55

Blue October – Foiled

Busted – You Said No CD single

The Corrs – In Blue (Germany Import)

Daniel Powter

Dido – Life For Rent (HK import)


Jem – Finally Woken

Kyle Riabko EP

The Reason – Things Could Be Better

Stacie Orrico

Stacie Orrico – Beautiful Awakening

Thursday – Waiting


Train – Drops of Jupiter



Burned CDs

Avril Lavigne – Let Go

Atomic Kitten – Right Now (with bonus tracks)

BBMak – Into Your Head

Kylie Minogue – Fever

Michelle Branch – Spirit Room

New Mix 2005 (random songs that I liked)

Old Mix (random songs that I liked)



My stuff

Original Empty demo (x9) (old one!)

Piano instrumentals + You Will Never Know These Words

On the Bus films (x2)

A Few Pages demo (new one!)

Meaningless Conversations

8 02 2010

A variation on my short story Conversations with a Ghost.  This was written during my VFS year, again for Style class in which we had to take the short story we had written and develop it into a different kind of writing — cereal box information, travel brochures, flyers… any kind of other medium that has writing on it.  I chose to do mine in a police report format and it was definitely an interesting process.

Meaningless Conversations


1  Jeremy West Interview
3  Detective:  What’s your name?
5  West: Jeremy West.
7  Detective:  Do you know why you’re here?
9  West: I can’t imagine why, no.
11  Detective:  We found the body of a Sean Lee.  Did you know him?
13  West: Yes.
15  Detective: How?
17  West: We go…went to the same high school together.
19  Detective: Were you a close friend?
21  West: No, not really.  I liked him, though.
23  Detective: What do you mean?
25  West: Well, I just thought he was a nice guy.  Good-looking too.
27  Detective:  Okay.  Did you ever talk to him?
29  West: No.  I was too shy.
31  Detective:  Why was that?
33  West:  I was… intimidated by him, I guess.
35  Detective:  What was so intimidating about him?
37  West: I don’t know.  He was just… one of the popular guys around school.  He had
38  had bunches of girlfriends, he was on a bunch of teams.  You know, your typical jock
39  kinda guy.  But…
41  Detective:  But what?
43  West:  He also had this mysterious vibe to him.  Even at such a distance, I could tell
44  that he wasn’t like all the other guys that he hung out with.
46  Detective:  What do you mean by ‘vibe’?
48  West: I’m not sure.  I just felt he was… different.
50  Detective: Could it be because of his looks, like you mentioned?
52  West: No, that’s not what I meant.  Even though he didn’t get the best grades, I could
53  tell he was smart.
55  Detective: Uh huh.  You watched him often?
57  West: Sort of.  Every now and then.
59  Detective: You do anything to him?
61  West: I wrote things and put it in his locker a few times.
63  Detective: What did you write?  Death threats?
65  West: No.  Just little poems and things.
67  Detective: Why did you do that?
69  West: I told you, I’m shy.  If I couldn’t tell him things in person, I’d just come up
70  with other ways.
72  Detective: Right.  Did he know it was from you?
74  West: No.  I never wrote my name on any of it, and I only delivered my notes when
75  no one was around.
77  Detective: I bet you hid around a corner to watch his reaction when he found them.
79 West: You’d think that, but no, I never did.
81  Detective: Why not?
83  West: Because if he thought it was creepy or whatever, I didn’t want to know that.
85  Detective: Ah, so the old ‘ignorance is bliss’ thing, eh?
87  West: Yeah, I guess so.
89  Detective: You do any other sorts of crazy things to get his attention?
91  West: Well, I did used to play this game—
93  Detective: What?  What kind of game was this?
95  West: It was perfectly harmless.
97  Detective: Can you explain this ‘game’ to me?
99  West: Sure.  If I was on a bus with an empty seat across from me, I would just
100  pretend that Sean was right there, sitting across from me, and we would converse.
102  Detective: So you’re telling me that because you’re too shy to talk to him in person 103  you just… make him up?
West: Yes.105
106  Detective: That’s really screwed up.
108  West: But it was the only way.
110  Detective: So… what did you guys talk about?
112  West: Basically, I’d just tell him everything I could never tell him in person.
113  Sometimes I would pretend he was my boyfriend.
115 Detective: Now that is screwed up.
117  West: Like I said, it was the only way.
119  Detective:  What kind of things did you guys talk about?  Can you remember any
120  conversation?
122  West: Just little things.  There was this one time when I was having a bad day and he
123  was there, making me feel better.  He said things like, ‘Hey, Jeremy, I’m here now.
124  Everything’s alright.’  And then there was this one time…”
126  Detective: What happened that time?
128  West:  Well, it started off just like any other time.  I had this deal with my friend to
129  ask someone out in a week, and I talked to Sean about it.
131  Detective: And then what?
133  West: And then… things got a little out of hand.  He became hostile and attacked
134  me.
136  Detective: You mean, physically?
138  West: No, verbally.  Words can be powerful things.
140  Detective: What did he say to you?
142  West: He told me that I was too much of a coward to talk to me, and because of that,
143  I had to resort to fantasizing conversations with him.
145  Detective: But that’s the truth.
147  West: Yeah, but when I’m playing this game, I don’t want to be reminded of reality.
149  Detective: I see.  Is that all he said to you?
151  West: He told me no matter what I do, no matter how hard I’d try, I would never be
152  able to get over him.
154  Detective: That’s harsh.
156 West: Yes.
158  Detective: How did this happen in your own fantasy?
160  West: I don’t know.  I just… lost control.
162  Detective: And what happened after that?
164  West: I snapped out of it, cried a little.
166  Detective: You were crying because this game?
168  West: Yes.
170  Detective: I guess words can be powerful.
172  West: Yes.
174  Detective: So what happened after that?
176  West: Nothing much.  Some fat lady in a hideous outfit started talking to me.
178  Detective: [laughs]  What did she say to you?
180  West: She just offered me a Kleenex and then…
182  Detective: And then what?
184  West: And then I swear her face melded with Sean’s face when she said the word
185  ‘Never’.
187  Detective: Okay.
189  West: And that was then I knew I needed to kill him.  To kill Sean.
191  Detective: Are you confessing to the murder of Sean Lee?
193  West: Yes.
195  Detective: Why?
197  West: Because I feel better about it, saying the words; knowing he’s really gone.
199  Detective: You realize that you’ve only killed him in your head, right?
201  West: Yes.
203  Detective: And you realize that this entire conversation is also in your head?
205  West: Yes.
207  Detective: So why are you doing this?
209  West: To make things seem more real, I suppose.
211  Detective: I’ll make things more real for you, then.  You’re going to wake up after I
212  count down.
214  It’s been nice talking to you.
216  Detective: 5…4…3…2…1…