Thursday, August 27, 2009

Week 1 of 2nd Semester @ USC School of Cinematic Arts

Film school part deux finally started this week...or shall I say, last week? We started classes this week but we've been meeting for that last week or two to get our first project off the ground. In this semester, we are divided up into trio's and each person wears a different hat per project. For example, I am producing, editing, and doing the production sound for the first project. For the second project, I am writing, directing, and doing the sound design. For the last project, I am doing the cinematography.

We don't get to choose the people we work with nor the order we want to go. I've heard a lot of people who took 508 in the past warning about working in these trio's and how it can get really heated. I personally couldn't have asked for better partners so I doubt that anything out of the normal would come between our group but it's good to keep in mind that we still should maintain respect and an honest line of communication. The three of us are really different (music lover, zombie lover, drama lover) but we all love food! But, it's still important not to get overzealous or hot-headed nor stray too far to be a doormat.

For example, if I want Korean tacos, I should not be afraid to speak up and if any of my partners would prefer to eat at a Japanese style burger truck, I shouldn't get offended.

In fact, I should just get both. =D Not like I can even attempt to lose the weight I gained last semester doing that fattening documentary.

Now that film school has started and I'm in class from 9am-5pm Mondays & Wednesdays, 7pm-10pm on Tuesdays, 9am-12pm on Fridays, I can kiss my social life good bye. Before I do, a quick trip down memory lane for the best of summer 2009:

With Panida @ Yelp Elite clothing swap and cocktails at the W hotel

Winning a $75 gift certificate to Crustacean @ the Blogger Prom

Redeeming my free lunch @ Crustacean

Mendocino Farms' sandwiches at the Project By Project's event, Plate by Plate

My first limo ride ever sponsored by

The Judges @ the Korean BBQ Cookoff

The Contestants @ the Korean BBQ Cookoff

Yelp Elite Party: Spa Luce (waiting for my free facial)
Free food @ Yelp Elite's Spa Luce party

@ Yelp Elite's Spa Luce, hanging out

Dinner @ Golden State (Burger & Salty Chocolate beer float)

Needless to say, my summer days of cheap thrills and gorge fests are over... until December anyway. I had to cancel many events already, even a sweet trip up north for a food event because I am filming that weekend. Slowly, my nights out are being replaced by nights in to produce, and my parties are being replaced by sleep. But, all is well in the land of 508 because there's nothing I'd rather do than to eat, sleep, and breathe film.

Week 1 is almost over and we're 90% done in locking down our location for project 1, and we already have our cast (as of now). Things change rapidly in this business but for the time being, I am happy enough to let myself rest watching a Netflix movie I have not touched since January.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

That's a Wrap!

After two days of non-stop shooting, we are WRAPPED on LA Food Story. What a journey it has been! It all started with my second project at USC, when I decided to do a 5 minute documentary on foodies in LA. It turned into an epic monster of a film because I started getting sucked into the LA foodie culture. I finally finished my last segment on that film a few weeks ago with the Korean Barbeque Cookoff and am waiting to edit that one.

After filming that documentary, I was inspired to do a short film about food with awesome collaborators like Double Oh Three Productions, Cuore, and Sheniferous, LA Food Story was born! We found ourselves two awesome actors, and we ran with it.

This is probably the most excited I ever got about a film project. Why? The crew was small, we were so mobile it felt like guerilla filmmaking at its best. We were all positive and had a lot of fun shooting it. No attitudes, no screaming AD's or PA's wasting time... everyone was hauling ass but at the same time, it was a no hassle low budget film so we didn't have to deal with gargantuan gear. Every crew member wore at least three hats and we maximized the time we got at each location. I'm so proud of our actors, who were dead tired at 2am but still looked peppy when I yelled "Action!" I'm so proud of our DP, who just knows his craft so well. I'd tell him I'd like a certain look and he'd give me three options to do it, not a horrible excuse of why I couldn't. I'm so proud of our stylist who was also our background, our slate girl, our script supervisor, makeup artist, and behind the scenes videographer. Is there anything she can't do? Last but not least, I'm so proud of our producer, who was also the writer, the sound guy, craft services, who booked all the locations, acted as the AD, and the driver. Is there anything he can't do?

Plus, every location we went to, the people there were more than accomodating. This project made me believe in the generosity of people for letting a bunch of people come into their businesses during business hours to make a short film. Who said everyone in LA was jaded?

I'm excited about this project. Now, to post production we go!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So in the last few days of my internship at Causecast, I am supposed to be working on my UGC video (user generated content). I chose to do my video on Aung San Suu Kyi because I didn't know anything about her before coming to Causecast. I will be basing my video on a blog post I wrote for Causecast's blog.

Of course, when I wrote that entry, the verdict of her unfair trial had not yet been announced. Even though I expected her to get five years in Insein prison and she got 18 month of house arrest instead, I feel like this is just another example of how the military junta is trying to suppress opposition while keeping the international community at bay. Since the actual term she is serving is so much "less" than the alternative, people will probably not rise up in uproar. But, the real issue is that she cannot campaign for the upcoming elections while she is in house arrest and neither can her party. So really, this is a way for the military junta to legitimize themselves as the rightful government and negate her landslide victory in 1990 when they had their last election.

I never really thought I'd care so much about Aung San Suu Kyi and her plight, and her people's plight before this internship. If I leave with just this new awareness, I'd be happy but I know I'm leaving with much more than that. My time at Causecast was sometimes hard, sometimes long, but mostly happy, with lots of learning opportunities, awesome projects, great charity events, and really caring people. If everyone cared about something as much as the passionate people at Causecast, then this world would be a better place.

I'm going to be sad leaving this place. But, I feel like I can always come back or join in on their community activities. I'm only across town.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's August already!

I haven't blogged here in a while but that doesn't mean I wasn't blogging! I actually was quite busy hitting some awesome events - all free. I went to the blogger prom which was completely off the hook, with major shwag, food, and drinks, and awesome raffle giveaways (of which I won the most coveted). You can read my full review on it here. Yes, that is my food blog. Back in the day, I had one blog where I updated my film stuff, my foodventures, my personal life, etc. but realized it was much too easy for people to know way too much about me without trying. So, now it's just a little more compartmentalized.

August creeped up on me like a fast-spreading disease. I only have two weeks left at Causecast and I will be doing my UGC about Aung San Suu Kyi and paddleboat regatta video. Hopefully I can get these two projects done before I leave. This week and weekend I will be shooting more footage for my Foodie Nation documentary. When will this monster be done you ask? I was hoping by the end of this summer but that's becoming more and more unlikely as I continue filming. On Sunday, we're rehearsing for the next short film I will be directing called "LA Food Story" which is a short romcom about two food bloggers who fall in love and spend the whole day together trying out LA's cuisine. The following weekend is when we shoot it. After that, I have one week to prepare for fall semester before school starts. By "prepare" I mean I have to read an entire book, have an idea of the locations I will be securing for my trio's project, open up a bank account for our team, making sure I have enough of a rough cut of Foodie Nation so I don't have to freak out during fall semester about editing it.

So why am I still up you ask? I am going to bed and will not blog until the first day of class.