Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spectre Corporeal Pt. 2 The Battle of Silence

It was a trap and he knew it. For the longest time he had successfully managed to evade the Spectre. This time, however, he was sent the challenge. Like Robinhood off to the archery contest with the sheriff of Nottingham, this was an invitation he could not turn down. And so, our hero suited himself in his some of his sturdiest arms and prepared for war.

The Spectre stumbled onto the battlefield. Perhaps he had actually caught it by surprise, but whether or not he did, it did not matter because immediately the battle began.

This game was certainly one he was not unaccustomed to; despite its deviation from tradition. This was a battle of silence and both he and the Spectre were masters.

The minutes gave way to hours and neither the hero nor the Spectre gave a fraction of an inch. They attacked and parried and guarded with the utmost precision, battling to a standstill until their time was up, and in the end, not a word was spoken and neither of them were the victors.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

She told him to pack away all his valuables into his cabinet, as though a cheap particalboard door that didn't even lock could stop someone from going through his posessions and taking whatever they pleased. He supposed that wasn't so much the point as to just get it out of plain sight, not that it mattered either way; he didn't keep valuables in his room. Ultimately, his parents were just being paranoid, a characteristic of them which he had grown accustomed go over the past 23 years of his life. He didn't see any need to worry even if he did have anything worth taking in his posession as the reason for this particular bought of parental paranoia (though these episodes were rarely ever really justified) was that a contractor was coming tomorrow to replace the old heating system.

He was more concerned for the heating system than anything else, to be honest. It was quite funny, actually. His parents worried about his valuables dissappearing and the only thing he really was concerned about at the moment was what they were paying thean to take away: the radiator.

The radiator was an old cast iron steam-heat radiator that hissed, clanked and transmitted sound solidly through it's hollow pipes around the house to any of the other 5 heaters connected to it throughout the house. They were heavy and combersome things and to him they were objects of beauty as they appeared to be a part of a dissappearing world. The old and outdated was to be replaced with new baseboards; a heating system that lacked the character and history of the soon to be realics of the past. He wished he could keep one of the radiators, but he already knew what his mom's response would be; "Don't be stupid, what are you going to do with it?"

Indeed, she was right, there was NO use he would ever have for it N it would just take up much needed space and create an inane amount of clutter. He was already enough of a pack-rat without trying to keep a giant piece of scrap metal. Ultimately the message was clear; Accept the impending change or be burried in a large mound of junk as you futilely attempt to recreate what has already passed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And we are go -- sorta

If you'll look to your right you might notice a new nifty thing at the side of my blog. Those are links to films/animation experiments that I've done. Please have a peak. There's more on my Youtube channel.

And yes, Steven Neary, (although I know you're not reading this) I DID steal the idea from your blog. And since you don't read my blog, you'll never know!

Hopefully more impressive videos will gradually replace the ones there as time goes by.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lives On Trains

I started a new blog called "Lives on Trains" ("Life on a Train" and "Life on Trains" were taken). It's a "collection" (hard to be a collection at one post at this point in time, so really it just aims to be a collection) of short stories I will be trying to write whenever I get the motivation to, just on the characters aboard trains. Maybe something bigger will come of it, maybe nothing more than what it currently is will come of it, but it's something that may be fun to do.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mommy always said to be seen and not heard, but if I'm not being seen and not being heard isn't it better to be heard than to just fade away?

The interpretations competition came to an official close today (Sunday the 24th), announcing the winners: Aldous Davidson, Kha Do, Keith Eng, Andrew Oh & Joey Yee
(congrats to them)

The entire time this competition was going on I was going a bit crazy b/c not only was my profile editor not working on the Interpretations site, but my film wasn't showing up in the "submitted" section. Additionally, any attempts to contact them about this issue lead to, well, nothing. No one ever got back to me and my problem remained a problem. Finally, at about the beginning of the month, I decided "screw it, I don't give a fuck, I need to move on with my life" and did just that.

Upon hearing about the end of the competition today something in me kinda snapped. It might have been the 48 hours straight of working and not sleeping, or it might have been the fact that I'm tired of being okay with being ignored and stepped on, but I went to their Facebook page and posted the following message:

Matthew Chao Dear Sir or Madam,

This is the third message I am sending to you. Though I realize the contest is now over, I wanted to again point out issues that I have had with my account that I have previously sent messages about but have heard nothing back about. I submitted my interpretations film, entitled "For my Country" before the deadline, but my account would not let me change any settings or details about myself and on top of that, my film has not shown up in the "submitted" category, so no one has been able to view it unless they specifically knew the link to it. I have sent two prior e-mails via the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page, leaving both my account information and my contact information and have neither seen any changes or heard back.

I put a lot of hard work into my film, and even though the competition is over, I find it hurtful that it was treated this way and that it did not receive the equal attention that everyone else's did.

I am sending this e-mail not because I expect any changes to the winners, whom I wish to congratulate, but because I want you to know that I am hurt by this inaction and lack of attention to an issue I brought up three times prior, and hopefully to bring about some closure for myself regarding this issue and my film.

For anyone that wishes to see my interpretations film, you can play it here:

Matthew Chao

They Responded:

You Offend Me You Offend My Family Not sure what the issue was since the admin did respond and take care of problem--your film was successfully uploaded and part of the judging. See here:

and to which I responded with:

Matthew Chao Is there another way to contact you? (i.e. e-mail, IM...?) I don't want to make this any bigger than (admittedly) I already have and would like to move this discussion to a more private forum.

and when I got no response I posted this:

Matthew Chao I was hoping you would get back to me with an e-mail or something, but I haven't gotten one so here it is:

I have seen all the winner's films and think they all did fantastic jobs and fully deserve any and all awards they have received for the films they created.

It was never my intention to insinuate that my film was not part of the judging and I never thought for a moment that it should have gotten any sort of award that it didn't. To be honest with you, I scoured the "submitted" section looking for the films of the winners about an hour or two ago. I found links to everyone's films/profiles but one: Kha Do. Though it is possible that I may have just missed his name, it is highly unlikely as I must have gone through each of those 14 pages at least 10 times.

Bottom line, he was not there and he won, which means that if someone else was in the situation I was in and won, you were clearly judging each and every film with equal attention.

I apologize if my previous post sounded hostile, but the facts remain; I brought this issue up previously and I maintain that I had not and still have not heard back from any administrator (aside from your response to my initial post on this was about an hour ago) telling me that my issue was being looked at or taken care of.

Additionally, I do not appreciate a link to my film being added to the submissions page moments after my post on this wall and then being informed via reply HERE "Not sure what the issue was since the admin did respond and take care of problem--" when that was not the case.

Ultimately, all I would like here is just a little honesty. It's completely possible that I missed it all and I'm just a giant nut job who's ranting and screaming over nothing, and if I am, I'm sorry for causing you all this trouble, but if not, I would like you to just please be honest with me, though at this point I'd like to move past this topic (as I'm sure you would like to too) because I just feel like I'm coming off as a sore loser beating a dead horse, which I really don't want to be.

I want you to know, however, I DO appreciate what you are doing for the Asian American film making community. I am a follower/fan of your blog and I hope that you will do more of these competitions in the future. I also hope that I will be able to have an opportunity to meet you all one day and you won't find me annoying/crazy/very disagreeable.

All the best,
Matthew Chao

This weekend I was asked if I had Asbergers. This was all sometime within my 48 hour workathon (I asked to help film a wedding, though when I popped in on Friday night to help with the lights I found myself stuck with the lighting decorations until the wedding itself... and then there was clean-up) I was asked this a couple of hours before the ceremony was set to begin and I said "not that I know of," and this question really kinda threw me for a bit. Maybe because the person asking this question admitted to having mild Asbergers himself and when I said "Why, do I seem like I have Asbergers?" said "yea, because you fixate on things a lot".

Now, while I don't care if I do have Asbergers or not, I'm wondering if this thing with the Interpretations film is just another one of those things I'm fixating on and obsessing over and brings about the question of if I should be vocal or if I should just shut up about it.

I feel like so much of my life was just people trying to get me to shut up, "grow up" and not complain about anything, but now that I'm at that point where I don't vocalize issues, people yell at me for not speaking up about problems and on top of that, suffering silently has only come at a detriment to me. So where do I draw the line? Which path do I take? Do I be silent and let people walk on me or do I make a voice and not care who hates me for it? Ultimately, was I right in bitching about my account like that to the Interpretations people?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Epic Pokemon Win

I have one of the most amazing friends because she drew me this:

To see more great work by Ruth Kim, please see the following sites:

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Hi, my name is _____. I've been clean for about 9 months now. Mostly I've been good, filling my time with more constructive activities and looking to healthier places to focus my energies into. I even got past the suppressive stage of "kill it with work," and onto a real platform I felt like I could actually make a real start from, a place I could really use to move on with my life... I screwed up tonight.

At least that's what he felt like he should be saying. The problem is that he wasn't exactly an addict in the traditional sense and there wasn't a support group he had access to to get past his problem.

For months he was fine, rather dandy actually, which was a good thing since it took a long time to get there, and it was a journey fraught with endless struggle and countless sleepless nights. He could finally see the end of the woods.

However, vines entangle easily when one isn't vigilant, and with a click of a button he had successfully undone several months of progress.

Though, to say with a click of a button would be rather misleading, wouldn't it? Like all addicts, there was a trigger that started this entire mess. An addict clean for any substantial amount of time doesn't just wake up one morning and decide "hey, today might be a good day to revisit that bad habit I've been fighting for months to break,". There is always something that triggers the regression, something that reminds them of how much easier it would be if they satisfied their craving just that one time. Their training says no, but eventually, if left to themselves, everyone breaks. For him it was a picture.

His problem wasn't one of hard drugs, alcohol or even gambling, it was much more subtle and by far, much more difficult for him to deal with; curiosity.

The picture was barely noticed at first glance, but as he came to realize upon what he was looking, something sinister appeared in his mind, something so sinister that under any other circumstance but this it would be seen as nothing as an innocent question; what, if anything, does this mean?

For the next few weeks he fought with himself, telling himself he didn't care. He should have known lying to himself wouldn't work. The truth always has its way of clawing its way out of the deepest of pits, and this truth crumbled his resolve. A click later he had his answer; it meant nothing. He felt somewhat better, for now.

Like all drugs, however, time would come when the soothing effects wore off and he would be, once again, in trouble. He hoped it wouldn't come. After all, now that the question was answered what could possibly cause another relapse. It was a short-sighted pathetic excuse for an attempt to logic away the possibility of a re-occurrence and he wasn't fool enough to buy another of his own lies, so he steeled himself the best he could for the blow back and now sought to rebuild -- one day at a time.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall Cleaning

It was now over a year since he had officially graduated and he decided that it was a good time to clean out his old locker before someone decided to do it for him, so the night before he picked out the biggest bag he could acceptably fit on his back and set it out for the next day.

It was an interesting process, fitting 4 years of his life at NYU in a decently sized blue bag (next to his amazon order and a recent stop to Barnes and Nobel -- leather bound copies of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe and Sherlock Holmes from Barnes and Nobel -- his Amazon order... that was a secret). At the end of it all he walked about the city with a bag on his back that made him feel like he was in middle school again, and a strange sense of disconnection -- he now officially had nothing left within that school.

He supposed for the longest of times he had been clinging to his college days. They were, after all, great times. But it was a silly idea since clinging to glory days was an action reserved for people that played on sports teams, or for that matter, attended universities that had half competent sports teams. It was past time to move on, and so this was a good start to the end of that.

Monday, September 20, 2010


He wondered what it would be like if he had gone into something that wasn't, well, bound to make him poor for the rest of his life. At the end of the day he still didn't feel talented nor did he feel he had the personality necessary to boast about himself and continuously maintain shallow connections. He wondered if he had picked a good industry for himself.

What he did like was making things. There was a rewarding experience in that. To take raw materials and, with his own hands, assemble them and work them into something beautiful, that was what he loved to do, its why he loved to play with Lego blocks as a kid and why he often found himself stacking and clipping miscellaneous office supplies together in a pattern. Perhaps he was just feeling doubtful because he had yet to master the materials of this new creating technique. That, of course, frustrated him, because above all else, what he really loved was being good -- and he had yet to reach that.

A thousand voices screamed for him to just give up and do something else, and if it weren't for the fact that he was a stubborn ass, he may have listened. Instead he stood upright and let out a bellow that immediately silenced each and every of those voices. After all, no one ever became good by giving up. Besides, he was never one to take the easy road.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


For My Country has been dropped.

For My Country from Matthew Chao on Vimeo.

As always, feedback is encouraged.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Good Thing

He knew it was a rather fortuitous event that had transpired over a week ago. Truthfully, he felt kinda bad about it all at first, but after a good night's rest he felt fine and before the next week even half passed he already had begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Recently, however, he had been getting reminders of that place; they invaded his dreams. Somehow finding himself back at that office doing the same things he used to do for money, it was rather frightening.

It was rather reassuring. If he had nightmares about working for that place it was probably a good sign that he was out.

Monday, August 30, 2010

For My Country Post Update

Finished a first cut. I have to go over it and see how I might be able to make some changes. I feel like in squeezing this ambitious of an idea into a 3 minute film forced me to skim over a lot of dramatic beats I would have taken otherwise. Maybe I can cut out a scene to give the others more attention. I guess we'll have to see though. I still need to sound design. Hopefully the sound design will also give it more of the rhythm I'm feeling is missing right now. I guess we'll see. In the meantime, however, here are some more stills for you all. ^_^

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back to square one

After much debate on how I was to present this post I decided I should do it in my typical way since this blog is SUPPOSED to be writing practice for me, but I digress.


The check was for roughly $750. Normally that amount would look about right for a week's worth of pay for an entry level position in most industries. The thing was, that check wasn't for a week's worth of work; it was 3. Three weeks of work amounted to roughly $750. Seeing it in numbers on a hard, tangible check in front of him made that figure all that more realistic than the vague ethereal figures crunched off the top of his head. He laughed at the fact that his friends actually expected him to join them in living in the city, with how much he made a month he could probably make rent, but he wouldn't have anything left for food. Though, if that weren't enough of an excuse before, he certainly had more of one now.

He strolled casually into work, half frozen beverage from 7-11 in his hand, a present for himself for managing to complete a hard day's shoot just no longer than an hour earlier. The receptionist looked up at him as he strolled in and delivered his typical "hi". She caught him just as he walked past.

"Roger is looking for you" she said as he headed towards the back to clock in.

"Ok," he replied nonchalantly.

He searched around the office, not finding him at his desk or anywhere else around the office. As he searched, he though "this can't be good," yet at the same time, the feeling of "oh well" passed through him as well.

He eventually found him coming out of the bathroom and greeted him with a "what's up?"

Roger, a 5'5" middle eastern man with an accent as thick as his glasses, asked him to come with him and he followed his boss to the small accounting office where he was informed his help would no longer be needed as there was a new employee in accounting and he would be called should they need anything in the future. He was then handed his final paycheck, the past 3 weeks rolled into one, and left alone.

It was odd. He felt it was coming for a while now, or at least something like that. He was fairly certain it wasn't because he had begun to mess up; if that were the case he would have heard about it. But, he shrugged and picked up his bag and made his way throughout the office, saying bye to everyone.

It was interesting because just a few days before he had had a conversation with a fellow employee about how they both didn't even care if they were fired from that job, and here he was, exactly in that position.

He actually felt kind of good about it; having a legit excuse to not have to go to that crapshoot of an office was quite a nice thing to have, though it did make conversations a bit awkward sometimes. He was cautious though, he knew that this good feeling could just merely be his brain, reacting defensively and releasing all sorts of feel good chemicals to make him feel better. He knew he would know the next morning truly how he felt. Until then, however, he was going to enjoy his night.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You're Not Coming in Clearly

Apparently, his problem lay in communication. Either there was too much of it or not enough, both of which seemingly always made him worse off. He recalled the days when he was known for being a loud mouth that never shut up, and well, to many people he was still that person, even though he didn't quite feel that way himself anymore.

Perhaps over time he managed to quell the storm that raged in his head and very often spilled out through his lips, chaotic and, unfortunately, audible to those around him. Though he suspected that it was more the fact that so many years of constant blabbering had run him dry and he simply had nothing to talk about anymore. There were convincing arguments to both cases and he really didn't want to spend the effort trying to figure it out, though it was very likely to be some odd amalgamation of the two.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Something Better?

His alarm rang at 9:30AM, and as he sat up to turn it off, he actually felt pretty awake and well rested. Despite that fact, his brain yelled to be back under his covers and his body nodded in ascent, so he reset his alarm for an hour later, brushed his teeth quickly so he wouldn't have to do it later, and then crawled back into bed.

He found himself rather unmotivated lately. He had kept at his free work; steadily adding on more and more on top of it, some paid, some not; in the hopes of keeping himself busy and disciplined. What he sought in all of this was structure. He knew that if he let himself room to be lazy he would take it and he would end up nowhere fast. This strategy, while effective at first, seemed to be losing its effect. Constantly working for seemingly nothing had stopped acting as a structure and, in some respects, started eating at his soul -- his night job didn't help much either. Everywhere he turned seemed like a dead end and he didn't know the way out, even though he constantly felt that there was one.

There was a world open to him, one much better than what he currently experienced. He wasn't sure where it was or how to get there but he could hear it calling faintly to him, a tiny voice that haunted the back of his mind. He often brushed it off, feeling as though it was just the call of a Siren, hoping to draw him to a turbulent end on their rocky shores.

Maybe, however, it was something better; a genuine guide to a better place; a reminder that something greater indeed lay beyond these walls. Either way, whether it be Siren's call or angelic guide, finding it would indeed prove to be of great importance. It was coming to be about the time when he took a step outside his comfort zone, it was, after all, beginning to feel rather uncomfortable in there.

Monday, August 9, 2010


His hand accidentally brushed her's briefly as he reached for the railing on the side of the theater. Instantly, his mind took note of how soft her hand was and he realized that something was missing.

Not her, the owner of the hand in question, but rather the mere sensation of a hand in his.

The more pathetic way of saying this would to simply put "he was lonely," but he was much too dignified to say that, and perhaps that was the problem.

For all the bitching he tended to do about his problems, he seldom did anything beyond just that; constant bitching. He knew he had to do something about it, but at the end of the day he was too lazy or cowardly to do anything of the sort.

A coward, that was what he was. He hid it pretty well behind logic and rationality, but in reality he was still a coward, unwilling to take a bold move forward in attempt to fix the problems at hand. Ultimately he wanted someone else to make the move for him, but that just wasn't the way things worked.

It was an interesting paradox he was witnessing; if he wanted to once again experience the softness of another hand in his, he would have to play a little harder to get there.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Laziness or Loyalty?

He knew money wasn't everything, but right now it encompassed a good 70% of his field of vision. He had been out of school for a year now and was more or less in the same place he was 12 months ago; working for free, only now he had a low paying night job to give him some sort of pocket change.

This was a life style he was growing weary of, yet at the same time something was preventing him from really searching elsewhere for a change. He attributed it to his laziness and hoped that it was nothing more than that.

Laziness he could beat. It took a lot of effort, but he knew if he kicked his own ass enough he would get sick of the same old crap quickly enough to get up and do something about the predicament he was in. In short, Laziness could be likened to "Medusa" of the Gorgons; a rather difficult adversary to overcome, but one that could be defeated and killed, unlike her sisters. No, what he feared held him fast to his current lifestyle was of the worst kind; loyalty.

This loyalty was not in full, something felt out of gratefulness, friendship or anything of that sort, but rather felt more like Stockholm Syndrome, a strange phenomenon where a hostage begins to identify with and grow attached to his/her captors. Or perhaps this was a feeling of loyalty that sprouted out of the mere sense of familiarity. A habit is especially difficult to break, especially if its a bad one. Though, he rationalized, it wasn't all bad. There was some promise there. Once again, however, he feared he was putting all his eggs in one basket. Ultimately he wondered how his life would look 5 years down the line. He sincerely hoped that it would not be what it was now.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

For My Country Day 2

No pictures this time around... not yet anyway. I drove up to Hebron Connecticut and shot the Vietnam scenes for "For My Country". Everything looked great. This time around I was fortunate enough to have my DP around. Matthew Troy is a very talented DP whom I met my freshmen year at NYU. Like Nick Feitel, I've collaborated with Matt Troy on a lot of projects since our freshmen year and Matt has proved to become a rather invaluable asset to any of my productions. The stylistic elements he brings visually to the films he shoots always enhances the story ten fold.

Anyway, as I was saying, shooting went well. This is going to be a rather sound design intensive post production, but I'm excited for it anyway. Hopefully I'll have some pictures from this past day soon.

I think it all looks great, but I won't have any of the footage until the week after next (this) week, so more once I get it.

I should start syncing the sound on the New York scenes... perhaps Monday.

Additionally... hopefully all the stains will come out of the uniforms...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

San Diego Asian Film Festival

So I got my first festival rejection for 哥哥 today...

Dear Filmmaker:

On behalf of our programming staff, we thank you for your film submission. We've been overwhelmed by hundreds of entries this year, making the selection process our most competitive yet.
There are a number of factors that contribute to our decision-making process, including number the limited slots available, film length, subject matter, and whether a film will fit into a particular program. We respect and honor the work that goes into creating each entry. That is why it is with great regret that we are declining the opportunity to exhibit your film at this year's San Diego Asian Film Festival.
We hope that this does not discourage you from producing more work and that you will consider submitting to us again in the future. In fact, we have a contest going on right now called REEL IN THE VOTE – we are asking filmmakers to create a 30-second PSA by August 31st for a chance to win CASH prizes and free travel/lodging to the Festival! More info is online at
We love film - and obviously so do you, so don’t ever stop doing what you love! We wish you the best, and hope we will have an opportunity to support your future projects.

Mye Hoang, Associate Director & SDAFF Programming Staff
2010 San Diego Asian Film Festival

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010


She was probably asleep when the two arrived; unannounced and unexpected, mind you. Her bags were packed, save for a few items strewn about the dark apartment.

Perhaps it would have been more poignant if she were leaving an empty apartment; her own, empty apartment. Perhaps if that were the case it would have been just that more heart wrenching a scene, but the two bedroom one bathroom flat belonged not to her, but a kind family of four that lent her a roof and a bed while they visited elsewhere.

She was probably awoken by the sound of the buzzer; a sound she probably was not expecting for at least another hour.

Downstairs, a reverberating electric sound resonated through the small foyer of the several story apartment building as the two pushed open the front door and made their way up.

She opened the door to the apartment in a somewhat disheveled haze, welcoming her two unexpected visitors inside. Despite her disoriented state she seemed pleased to see them; friends who came to spend a final hour with her before she parted ways with the city in which she spent the past 5 years of her life.

The seconds gave way to minutes as time ticked away, steadily counting down until the time came for her to leave them. Despite that, most of their time together was spent in silence, the three of them just merely existing within a close proximity to each other. It was a tranquil silence; one that spoke all that needed to be said and did all that needed to be done. After all, the two visitors were not there to stir up conversation or reminisce about old times; they were there to merely be. She might be leaving the life she had lived for the past five years, but when the time came, she wouldn't be alone. It was a message, and maybe, it would be enough.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A tad late

He barely saw these people anymore. There was a point in time when each and every one of them had an almost daily presence in his life. However, through the course of nothing that can't be classified under the broad and all encompassing category of "life," he sprung out of his ordinary cycle and into a life full of mind-numbing distractions and seclusion.

Over a year later and he had begun to crawl back out of his cave. Maybe, the world after all, was not such a scary place. Maybe it was ok for him to revisit some of the life he had before.

He learned, however, that time does not wait. Yet another was going to join the distant ranks of the far away. The winds of change had once again blown, and this time he was caught off guard when it happened. The future would be an interesting place, and only time would be able to tell if this stretched string like bond would survive or if it would just be buried and forgotten by the sands of time.

Monday, June 28, 2010

You've Got a Friend in Me

Today I FINALLY saw Toy Story 3 and it was worth every penny to see it in theaters.

I can't write 3/4 of what I want to talk about here because, well, then I'd spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but please please please trust me, if you have yet to see it, GO DO IT. It was phenomenal.

Having gone into this movie not quite knowing what to expect except something amazing (though I was worried that it wouldn't quite live up to the hype it was getting), I was blown away. Having developed a strong bond with these characters after seeing Toy Story 1&2, its hard to see them suffer through what they are suffering through and the story is every bit heart wrenching as it is funny, (and it gets REALLY funny).

This is a movie I would go to the theaters repeatedly to watch and then buy it on DVD as soon as it comes out, which is a huge rarity for me since I'm, well, a cheapskate. But there it is, that's my glowing review of Toy Story 3 and I think everyone should go see it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whoever Thinks Making Films Is Easy Has Never Had To Deal With SAG

As some of you may know, I'm trying to make another film. This is particularly challenging for several reasons, the first and most foremost of which is; I no longer have a university providing me with assistance in making my crazy waste of money.

This film is part of a competition called interpretations, which I'm pretty sure I've mentioned here before... but if I didn't, its a competition being held by director Justin Lin.

The film I came up with for this competition is not only a Vietnam War period piece, which is difficult enough as it is, but also uses my good friend Zephyr Benson; Son of Robby Benson, 18 Year old about-to-be-NYU Tisch freshmen and most importantly, SAG actor.

The fact that he's a SAG actor complicates things incredibly because now I have to go through SAG to use him and that means filling out a bunch of paperwork and hoping that they don't care that I don't have insurance. All of this almost makes me wish I was back dealing with all the bureaucracy of film school because that at least I knew how to work and worm my way through, even if it did take a bit of effort. Now I'm just trying to pull my normal tricks and crossing my fingers while squeezing my eyes shut hoping it works or somehow slips past unnoticed.

The real world is a big and scary place and being slick and deceiving there is proving to be a bigger challenge than it was back in school.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Congratulations Matthew,

Your submission for "哥哥" has been received by San Diego Asian Film Festival and is now in consideration. This entitles you to a Title Page on IMDb, the most trafficked movie site in the world - with 57 million film fans visiting each month. IMDb is eager to help you publicize and promote your movie right now, as soon as it's ready for the world, not just after you've won recognition for it. Your Title Page on IMDb is free, and the setup is automatic, since you have already linked your IMDb and Withoutabox accounts.

We will notify you once "哥哥" has been validated by IMDb's data editors, which can take up to two weeks. You'll then be able to upload video to your Title Page, such as trailers and clips. (Video has quickly become an essential part of any IMDb Title Page, so prepare for that.) Got questions? Contact support at:

Enjoy your new Title Page, and make good use of it!


Team, Withoutabox
A Division of IMDb

Yay!/ Its about friggin' time!

Updates -- Overworked and Tired

So its managed to happen again; I've managed to get myself booked for way to many things. Recently I've submitted my film "哥哥“ to the "San Diego Asian American Film Festival" as well as "Sundance Film Festival," so now I'm just waiting on confirmation that they've received my screeners -- which they should have since I sent them out about a week ago, but Withoutabox still tells me no (which perturbs me because San Diego's deadline was postmarked by the 11th, which was last week... and so if USPS sends me my package back instead of delivering it I'm going to have to go to the post office and raise some hell) so USPS just might be being retarded... as they often can be.

Aside from that I'm trying to find a bar for my friend Nick Feitel's film, which he hopes to shoot next week... (great Nick, just great, you ask me to find you a bar to shoot in in the middle of the World Cup... I see this going really well...) meanwhile I'm trying to get the materials I need to shoot my Interpretations Film as well as, as of last week, am now trying to make a short stop-motion spot for a coffee house called Coffee Foundry -- and yes, this is pro-bono work.

Today I woke up really early in the morning to go to the city to pick up a camera I dropped off/stashed in one of my boss's offices in PBS Friday night for a shoot up in Cooperstown New York -- which is a 4 hour drive from Manhattan. This was for a shoot for Picturing America which is that series being headed by Gail Levin -- who I've mentioned in previous posts. My plan for that was to go to sleep at 10PM and wake up at 5AM to catch a 6:17AM train into the city since I was supposed to meet up with the director of this episode at 7:45AM at 43rd between 2nd and 3rd (just a note, PBS is at 33rd between 9th and 10th) -- the go to sleep early plan was good -- in theory. I just ended waking up at 1AM and couldn't get back to sleep. I went to the shoot, passed out in the car for the 4 hour drive up, did the shoot, drove a good part of the way back and then got done with everything relating to that shoot at 10:30PM and then went to work until 12:30AM and then ran to catch my train home. Back home I ate a little bit and then, once my parents went to sleep, went to working on that coffee commercial -- which I'm trying to get done by the end of the week... I finished with the stadium. (I'm trying to make coffee beans play soccer... should be interesting, I'll post the final product up here) Tomorrow hopefully I'll be able to try some animation tests... something tells me I'm going to have to try to make a ghetto lens bellows system to get close enough to the coffee beans, but I guess I'll figure that out as I come to it. Right now it's 5AM and I'm tired and I need to be up at 8AM so that I can catch a 9:17 train in for another shoot (A Steve Brodner shoot for Need To Know.)

More later.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Silver Docs Pt. 3 - About Friggin' Time

So here's my rejection letter from Silver Docs -- and it's about time, considering the notify date was the 21st, but you know, I guess it's understandable. As I said before, not surprised that I didn't get in, so eh, not a big deal. Now that my final festival rejection has come in, I can now post the full film online! So, expect to see it here some time in the not too distant future.

Hi Matt,

My sincerest apologies that you did not receive a status notification from us. We sent all of our letters out on Monday, May 24. I will tell you, however, that just before sending the emails our filemaker database system crashed. We thought that it had been fully recovered, but you are not the first filmmaker to mention this to us - we have heard from a few others. For this, I apologize. I know how important it is to hear back from a festival once you have submitted work, and we take that seriously.

It is with regret that we did not select your film. We received over 2,100 films vying for 50 feature and 40 short slots. It was difficult having to turn down many wonderful projects, and I sincerely hope that you will not be discouraged.

I wish you the greatest success with 'Ham' and trust that you are well on your way to a wonderful festival journey. I am sorry that we won't have the privilege of being a part of it.

Kind regards,

Sky Sitney
Artistic Director
AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Festival
8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tel: 301.495.6731
Fax: 301.495.6798
June 21-27, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Silver Docs Pt. 2

A phone call and another week later, still no word regarding my submission to Silver Docs. I was told to expect notification by the end of last week and now its the end of this week and I still have yet to hear anything, which is pretty ridiculous. I sent an e-mail and will call tomorrow if I still get no word.

Yes, I realize this means I didn't get in, but all the same, this is a festival I paid good money to submit to. The least they can do is let me know if I was accepted or not.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Old?

I found a gray hair attached to my head today. It so happens to be smack dab in the center of my head, so that's a pleasant find. I realize I'm 23 now, which means I'm old to some people, but I'm not THAT old, not old enough where gray hairs are normal, so I'll chalk it up to my schedule finally getting to me; as if the occasional break-out or 2 wasn't hint enough as it was. Typically I'm not one to worry about these things, and really, I'm not. Honestly, I never worried about my appearance much and I still don't for the reason that, well, it can't really get much worse and there's not much I can do about it anyway, so why worry? No, I bring this up because it probably means my body's trying to tell me something, which I will go ahead and promptly ignore. Yays!

In other news, I submitted my senior film 哥哥 (Big Brother) to the San Diego Asian Film Festival, so lets see if I get rejected from there or not.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Silver Docs Pt. 1

Friday was supposed to be the day by which Silver Docs was supposed to contact me and tell me that they regret to inform me, but my documentary "Ham" won't be screening at their festival; I still have yet to hear from them, in any capacity. Now, I'm not foolish enough to delude myself into thinking "oh, maybe they need extra time to consider my doc and maybe it'll get in," I know that in this industry, especially regarding matters as to whether something will be taken or not, no news is bad news.

The fact of the matter is that if the festival wanted to run the film, they would have told me earlier than their notify date. So the question is, to I just accept it as a "no" or do I call them, knowing the answer anyway, just to give them shit on mere principle?

Friday, May 21, 2010

1 year Later

Tuesday was 1 year since my graduation at Yankee Stadium, a day filled with, among other things that shouldn't be discussed, the realization that I was no longer going to be a student; the end of a long chapter in my life. A year later I sit, still stuck in limbo as I split my time between my unpaid internship and my part time night job. Things have gone very far from how they were planned, and maybe, in time, I will realize that that was for the better. Maybe I'm beginning to realize it now; but I'm not yet at the point where I'm willing to admit it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Something I've Been Involved With Recently

With the retiring of Bill Moyers from his show on PBS, a new current events program has appeared and I've been fortunate enough to become involved with a segment of it.

Below is a link to the segment I've had the great opportunity to be involved with, I'd love to hear feedback about it.

Who Is Hamid Karzai

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Makings of a new Journal

In 2008 I took a class called Lyrical Resistance, a class that I thought would teach me about the history of art and protest in this nation but instead was a class that encouraged the thinking of how to incorporate your art into activism.

In this class everyone was encouraged to keep a journal or diary which we constantly wrote in or drew in, or whatever. They were personal things so what we did in them didn't matter, only that we did something in them.

I, skeptically, bought a giant book and kept it with me at all times but never expected to fill it. The cover had the date 2008 - 20 written on it, my logic being that the year I filled the book I would write the end numbers after the incomplete "20". I wrote in it every now and then and even took it with me to Prague when I studied abroad that summer and over time I realized how important that book was to me. In it housed ideas, journal entries and drawings; it had become an integral part of my life and creative growth.

Earlier this year I finally put the end date on it, completing the 2008-2010, in doing so closing out a 2 year chapter of my life, but since then, I have had nothing to write in, no notebook to take its place, no paper-bound building in which to house my thoughts, ideas and doodles.

Last night I decided to go ahead with my plan that I had put off for the past two years and bind my own book for this purpose. I've always wanted to try it ever since I heard how to do it from my friend Sheila. I've gotten my first stack of 5 pages bound together (which makes 10 pages for me since I folded them in half) and I managed to bend the sewing needle while doing it, but that's ok, I bent it back. Pictures and updates as it develops. Hopefully I'll have this done in the not too distant future.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yay for sucking less than I was before.

My computer managed to find itself back on my desk, as opposed to on my stomach as I lie in bed while junk piles rest where my computer should be. I also managed to get myself to write again and draw again. It's a slow and tedious process, but every little bit counts. More updates a things develop. I know, not much has been going on here post wise, but maybe, hopefully, that'll change.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Big Brother Film

Monday I finally finished my film 哥哥. Today/yesterday I tried, unsuccessfully I might add, to get a copy to my Cantonese teacher from last year. Will post it up here in its entirety once it's finished being rejected from festivals.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On Wit

"You're turning out to be a real wise-ass".

"Oh, if you think my ass is smart you should hear my mouth".

Monday, April 26, 2010

HK Film History Lesson

Recently I stumbled upon a DVD store, of which my having knowledge of is extremely perilous to my wallet/bank account, it's called $5.99 DVD Funhouse and it's a store full of DVD's for $5.99 or less. Now most of these are movies bought in bulk from places like BlockBuster when they went out of business and are resold at a liquidated price. Actually, most of these are DVD's that have been used as rental DVD's have have merely been put back into their cases and repackaged and sold as though they're new. I actually have no problem with that because, hey, it's $5.99, they were at some point in time real and all the ones I bought worked, some were even legit new, even if the casing for The Dark Knight had a French version. I, however, digress, because that is far from the point.

At this DVD store I bought John Woo's "Hard Boiled," a movie I've seen before, (about 2 years ago) and a movie I decided to re-watch recently (meaning today). Watching it again I realized something I noticed last time but couldn't quite put my finger on; the entire movie is ADR'd.

Now, for you not film people, ADR, or "Automated Dialogue Replacement," is a process by which you call your actors back in, after shooting, into a studio to re-record their lines, which is done by their staring up at a screen playing clips of themselves and trying to match their lips from whenever they shot those scenes. This process is done when you have un-usable production track or no production track, and a lot of Hollywood movies insist on redoing the entire movie in ADR if one scene was done "for the sake of continuity," but I think that notion is kind of silly, especially if you have a good sound mixer, both for production and post.

Anyway, I wondered why they might do that for "Hard Boiled,". I mean, aside from the obvious scenes (explosions and guns and water and etc) there are plenty of scenes that are in places or shots where ADR simply is not needed, and, from my ability to notice the inconsistencies in audio anyways, other, more recent productions have not ADR'd the entire film. This is when I remembered something my Camera II teacher, John Crawford, told me last year.

"The Arri 353 was the workhorse of the HK movie industry." Now again, for you non-film people, the Arri 353 is a film camera that shoots 35mm film and is extremely durable and versatile, only one thing; it's MOS.

MOS, again, for you non film people, is a term that started appearing thanks to our German brethren, who would say, for scenes without sound, "Mit Out Sound," just imagine a heavy German accent saying that and it makes a lot more sense and becomes quite amusing. So, as a joke, we started saying "MOS" and it just kind of stuck.

Back to the Arri 353, for those of you who don't know, the camera is "MOS," not because it doesn't record sound, (though it doesn't) on film sets, picture and sound is recorded separately and married together in post (which is why you see a clapper; so the assistant editor, apprentice editor or post house (or whomever's doing it) can sync the sound with the clap later). No, the 353 is a silent camera, paradoxically because it is NOT a silent camera, it is actually quite annoyingly loud, sounding like a blender when its running. (Yea, try and get that out of your production track).

Anyway, I bring this all up because I began to wonder; hey, if these guys could ADR this entire film, how difficult would it be for me to ADR an entire film. I wonder if I should try it.

Then I decided that I would wistfully ponder that question until I actually had to sit in those ADR sessions, at which point I would just want to kill myself for being so dumb. If I did, however, I would at least make sure to get reference track.

Besides, its not like we really care about what the people are saying in this film, it's John Woo, not Wang Kar-Wai (though we don't really care that much about what people say in his movies either, but it's slightly more important).

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Friend: I don't know your situation, but it sounds like you were holding out for something better then something came along.

Me: Story of my life.

Friend: That's a terrible idea, because everything always leads somewhere.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Midnight Musings

Riding on the highway I stared blankly into the darkened sky. Through the night a hint of clouds poked through the darkness, their usual pure bright white now a muddled grey. Their ever transient faces read clearly of cartoon friends made a childhood ago. Images of desires too late to ever be realized flash through my mind as these nostalgic friends from a lifetime ago gradually dissipate to nothingness. I want to preserve their nebulous forms; a reminder of a past life for all eternity, yet I am reminded that one of the greatest mistakes of man is trying to make last forever what was never meant to.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Things worth Checking Out

Secret of Kells made an appearance as the other animated feature nominated for an academy award this year that no one knew anything about/heard about.

Recently I've had the opportunity to catch a screening of it with a friend of mine and here's what I thought:

If you get the chance to see it it's worth checking out. The story is pretty decent, though it could use some work in various places, but one needs to keep in mind that this film, although it heads in that direction occasionally, is not an action film, which is a significant point because I kept wanting the main character to discover some secret magic powers and defeat the wave of impending doom. This film is probably a lot more poignant as a book or written story than as a movie as the complex internal conflicts of each character are more easily explored on paper than it is on screen.

The animation is pretty good, though the animation student in me winces at some movements and reactions that suffer from poor timing, but it happens and is a side note/me being picky. The design on the other hand, is phenomenal and a wonderful throwback to traditional 2-d animation and watercolor backgrounds. That alone is enough of a reason for me to check it out, which i recommend everyone do.

On another note, one thing that is significantly more exciting than Secret of Kells is that recently I had the opportunity to go out and finally buy the "Wallace and Grommit Complete Collection," which includes the movies "A Grand Day Out," "The Wrong Trousers," "A Close Shave," and "A Matter of Loaf and Death," all 30 minute movies and all wonderfully brilliantly British -- and amazing. I recommend that everyone go out and buy this collection and plop themselves down for 2+ hours of amazing comedy that just works. If you're not familiar with Wallace and Grommit, you're missing out and you need to go out and become familiar with them immediately.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Unpaid Internships Illegal?

According to a New York Times Article written last Friday, most unpaid internships are illegal. (This article is worth reading, especially since it'll go into the details much better than I will even attempt to.

This being said, all the internships I have done have been unpaid and I am currently in an unpaid internship right now and I can say easily that there are things that make them worthwhile and things that don't. Having discussed this with several of my peers, we have all come to the conclusion that internships have strayed far from the path they were originally on, most now having their interns go out and get coffee or answer phones; all menial tasks. I have experienced this easily in past internships and even now in my current internship I occasionally experience it.

At the same time, however, I still believe that, especially in my field, it's vital to have such internships (because there are few, if any, paid internships) because the mere networking opportunities are, in and of themselves, valuable. I was fortunate to make one of those connections through my current internship, though it is difficult to make those connections in all internships; my previous internship I made no valuable connections, so in my opinion, unpaid internships are a shot in the dark in terms of good or bad. Sure, I'd like to make money doing what I do, but the way I see it, no one else is hiring and it's always better to do something than nothing.

I would love to hear opinions on this though.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Note On Cakes

Cakes are only enjoyable when you're making them for someone who deserves it, otherwise they're just a sour reminder of how you're an idiot.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How to Train your Dragon

Like "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," I was very skeptical when I heard about this movie. To me it looked like just another pathetic attempt by some corporate suit to woo kids with magic, fantasy and dragons. Again, like "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," I was very pleasantly surprised.

How to Train Your Dragon deftly took its audience through wild twists, turns and barrel rolls as it had you laughing wildly one moment and cheering just as enthusiastically the next, not a moment was fumbled or handled poorly.

There is so much more that can be said about this film, however, I want you all to go see it so I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I will, however, say that this is a beautifully crafted, heart warming film and worth every penny if you plan to see it in IMax 3-D (which I wholly recommend.

This is another great movie I'm eagerly adding to my DVD Watch list.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

They Were Loud, Drunk and Covered in Green

He had inadvertently worn green today. If he had remembered that today was St. Patrick's Day he probably would not have as to not even hold the possibility of being confused for one of them. It wasn't so much that he hated the holiday, but rather the fact that he had to deal with the type of people who celebrated it. They were all loud thick-headed jocks who very well could have come out of an episode of "Jersey Shore," they were the type of people he actively avoided prolonged contact with all throughout high school and now he had to share a train with the drunk, "whoot-ing" mob. He turned the music up in his headphones and kept his head down. Putting up with it just a bit longer was all there was to do, soon he would be home and away from it all.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Some Thumbnails

Couldn't sleep last night. I think you should be able to guess who this is.

It's about time I got around to doing something like this. Maybe more to come?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Life

He didn't know what triggered it, but all of a sudden the wheels of the old rusted engine started to turn ever so minutely and the old train let out a loud blast of steam and slowly started rolling once again. Time would tell if this was a revival for the tattered old engine or merely it blowing steam.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Silver Docs

So apparently I forgot about one film festival, that being Silver Docs. Deadline for submission is tomorrow so I sent out the screeners for it today (I found out that submissions were open/coming to a close yesterday,) so more info on that once they reject my film in May. Sorry, I guess you'll have to wait until then to see it posted online.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Late Train Pt. 1

He sat on the train platform waiting for the next train to come. It was 1:00 in the morning and his badder was quite full. Unfortunately he had made the decision to take the earlier train to the transfer point earlier in case the later train was late; this was the last train home for the night and he didn't want to run the risk or missing the train he had to transfer to. This was a sound idea, in theory, except for the fact that the three glasses of wine, four glasses of water and the one can of green tea were now done working their way through his system and now looking for an exit. The platform didn't have a good place to let the liquids escape as they pleased, so there was nothing to do but hold it and wait for an hour, hoping there would be a lavatory on the train once it arrived. At this point he cursed the station for closing everything and he cursed himself for not staying at the station that he would have been more comfortable and able to relieve himself. Once again, he had to play a waiting game; he hated waiting games.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

And the 3rd

March 6, 2010

Matthew Chao
Ham, directed by Matthew Chao

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for allowing us to consider your film for this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. We were grateful to receive so many outstanding shorts and features and enjoyed the chance to see your film.

We regret to inform you that we are unable to include Ham in this year’s program. We hope though that you keep us in mind for your next project.

Please continue to check our website,, for news about this year’s event as well as for new information relating to the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

Again, thank you for your interest. We wish you continued success with your film and in all your future endeavors.

Best wishes,

Programming Department
Tribeca Film Festival

April 21 - May 2, 2010

So that's it for festivals for me for this project I guess. I'll be posting it online at some point in time in the near future though, so if anyone's interested in it they can see it once I put it up.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Storm

Somewhere in the future a storm was brewing, and he could either let it take him somewhere new and potentially wonderful or he could just let it pass him by.

For the past few months he had been caught in a funk, one spurred on by disappointments and lack of development or progress in seemingly every aspect of his life. "Change is minimal, real change, lasting change, is minimal, we don't see instantaneous results, stuff like that only happens in movies and story books," is what he needed to remind himself of, but lately it had been difficult to do so. Every day he was subjected to the same mind numbing activities, or so he believed. The fact of the matter was that there were plenty of things going on around him, he was sure of it, but he was just dumbing himself down way too much to see it all. It was time for an attitude adjustment, however, change is minimal, change is slow, so if he wanted to be prepared for the coming storm, he needed to get his shit together and start changing now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Film Festival Results Pt. 2

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for submitting HAM to the 2010 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. We greatly appreciated the opportunity to consider your film.

We regret that we are not able to include your film at the festival this year. We received about 1200 submissions and with just over 60 spots to fill, we had to make many difficult decisions. We apologize that we cannot offer any further details on our selection committee’s decision. With such a large number of entries, we do not have the resources available to provide individual feedback.

Again, thank you for submitting to Full Frame. We look forward to hearing from you in the future, and we wish you great success with your work.

Best regards,

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

2 festivals down, one more to hear from.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Prince Royce and Jesse Boykins III Music Videos

Back in mid November I gaffed a music video for a Bachata- R&B artist named Prince Royce, and I found out last night (through random google-ing) that it was completed and posted to youtube on January 31st. Here's the results of it:

I'd like to think I did a half decent job with the lighting, but there are things I would do differently now. Opinions are always welcome.

Here's another music video that I gaffed a few weeks after I did the Prince Royce one. I'm not sure if I posted this one earlier, but if I did I'm doing it again, since, well, you know, I'm not sure if it had earlier. By the way, this is an R&B artist named Jesse Boykins III and the song/music video is called "The Itis"

Again, feedback is always welcome.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Specter Corporeal Pt. 1 The Sighting

He saw it, just from behind, but he instantly knew it was the specter he had attempted to challenge moons earlier. It's cloak and satchel, all the same as from what he remembered from his earlier encounters. He didn't see it's face, not much of it aside from its back and it didn't see him so he hid himself behind his hood and continued on along his path. He wondered if he was making a mistake not confronting it then and there.

His Year

Months earlier, he had stumbled upon a fortune telling of the year to come for him. It read, amongst other things, "aggressiveness will bring you financial success,". Now, he was never one for fortune tellings or predictions of the future, not by humans and certainly not by kitschy calendars found in the tiny Hawaiian version of Chinatown that he was, at the time, wandering through.

Despite his typical skepticism of such things, the generic calender fortune did point out one of his greatest flaws; his lack of aggressiveness. He was typically a sit back and allow things to happen kind of guy, and in many areas it was failing him miserably. Now, this wasn't to say that he should push excessively for things to happen that wouldn't happen and expect a favorable result, but a little more persistence, enthusiasm and drive might get him much further than he was now.

Financial success wasn't at the top of his list, although it was up there, but this idea of being more aggressive was something that perhaps would benefit him in achieving goals in other areas of his life. He thought to give it a try; it was, after all, his year.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Happy Chinese New Year!


I guess I may try to color this when I get my paints back from my grandma's... or I may try with color pencils... or something.

More later!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Old Man's Apartment

The apartment held that familiar musty scent, an oder of dust and age permeated throughout the small 3-room studio.

He hadn't stepped foot in that apartment for what must have been at least four years, but he did so today. The apartment belonged to his grandfather, an 80-some odd year old diabetic who had moved to New York City from 臺山 China, bringing with him his two sons.

The apartment was a mess; it always had been. Littered with miscellaneous items from bird cages to books and magazines dating back at least 30 years and they were all covered in dust. Inside the bathtub, which rested several feet from the broken down kitchen stove, rested the old man's umbrella as shirts hung to dry from the curtain bar above.

It had been years since he had stepped foot in the apartment building and since then much had changed, though his grandfather's unit itself, had remained quite the same. The bathroom door still didn't shut all the way, the markings still remained on the door post, chronicling he heights of his brother and himself growing up, the bed in what could conceivably be the guest room remained dusty and browning, as did the old man's bed in the master bedroom. In fact, the only thing that seemed to be used was the new flat panel t.v. that sat on top of the old antique table-sized set.

Moments earlier he had spent a good 10 minutes with his brother ensuring that their grandfather, weak and shaking uncontrollably from low blood sugar, got up the six flights of stairs to his apartment and to a seat where he could rest and catch his breath.

Upon entering the old man's apartment, he was immediately reminded of his childhood moments spent in the apartment while visiting with his parents and he also immediately came to the realization that his grandfather was a man that was terrible at taking care of himself, from leaving food out on a table unattended to for days to letting junk amass in piles for years. He wondered how two children could ever be raised in a place like that.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Undisciplined Slob

For the past two days he had subjected his life to the same cycle; go to sleep late at night, in some cases arguably the next morning, and wake up mid afternoon the next day, spending most of it unproductively reading comics, listening to music and playing games. It was, after all, the weekend. He knew that he should be working, either reading the books given to him by his brother on how to make wise financial decisions or working on one of four scripts he started but never finished, but it was the weekend and he didn't feel like it. Once again, his laziness was getting the best of him. He hoped, however, that a streak of discipline would find its way to him and he would be able to regiment himself into making something worthwhile. Time would tell if he would be successful in turning himself from a slob to something productive. The tools were there, he just needed to pick them up again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Beginnings

He futilely connected his phone to his computer, searching for a way to back up the pictures and other miscellaneous things that had accumulated on the device over the past 7 months. He had the thing for just over half a year and already it had crapped out; the screen constantly refusing to work for him. This last time he finally managed to once again get the screen to function, meaning he could actually see what he was doing. He searched through the menu options in vain, hoping he could find just some way to drop everything onto his computer, but no option presented itself and so he finally resigned to deleting everything off of his phone before returning it to the manufacturer.

As he watched the little arrow graphic spin, giving a visual representation the phone going to work deleting what evidence it contained of the past 7 months of his life, he couldn't help but feel a tinge of apprehension.

At last the purging was complete and the phone laid empty in his hands. The history stored as 1's and 0's within the device's silicone brain transformed to a landscape of 0's as though the past 7 months never happened. He felt something indistinct, a feeling he had hoped for at the beginning of it all. There was a new beginning, truly this time, and he felt ready for it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Drawings! Yay!

So I've finally scanned in a few more drawings I've done way too long ago to actually count for anything. I should really pick this all up again because I haven't drawn in forever and I really suck now, haha. It's difficult because I've been drawing noting but blanks in both my mind and on paper as to anything creative. The old creative muscle has atrophied a bit too much, time to dust it off and get it back on a rigorous exercise plan. It's use it or lose it and losing it this early in the game would be nothing but a shame.

As always, feedback is welcome.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Recent Happenings

After reading a good friend's recent blog post half of which is about current events, I have come to once again face the rather embarrassing truth of just how unaware I am of the world going on around me. Current events has always and probably will always be the area in which I know the least about. (Especially the section on celebrities, that will probably be close to 0 on my "how much I know about this subject" meter, which is sad considering the industry I'm trying to break into, but I digress.)

It's always been hard for me to pay attention to the world at large when there's just so much going on around in the microcosm called my own life, which isn't to say I'm excessively self involved, at least I hope that isn't to say that I'm excessively self involved, but there's there's just so much going around me in regards to my own life as well as the lives of my friends; whom are within 1 degree of separation, never mind the lives of people I'll never meet. (That isn't to say I don't care about them, but I care significantly less about them than I do about my friends, or, in fact, myself.)

This all leads me to a wonderful note I actually wanted to get to about myself; I started working at USA Studios again yesterday, but this time instead of QC-ing masters and dubs I'm going through work orders and making sure the orders were filled completely before being shipped out. It's not the most desirable job in the world, but work is work and the hours fit into my schedule, even if it, once again, cuts into my socializing. Also, the people there can be pretty fun so it's not bad. I guess I just have to, once again, get used to the environment as well as the hours, though this time they're not nearly as long, which is good because I'm not as sleep deprived.

More later, this week has been/will be busy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Old, Crusty and not in a Festival

On Saturday I turned 23, a rather terrifying fact considering that I was still unemployed and rather directionless, a state I hoped to be out of two months ago. I digress, however, because I was on set all last week helping my good friend Matthew Troy finally make his senior film Frequent Flyers, which, even though was mostly exteriors in the middle of January in the cold state of Connecticut, it was a rather painless shoot and quite fun actually. (We were kept warm with an unending supply of hand warmers and a heater we affectionately called "the jet engine.") I found myself once again doing sound, which is fine, but also got to scrub in and pretend to be a doctor as an extra for a scene or two. I made sure to get pictures so I could show my mom what I would look like if I followed through on my childhood ambition to become a doctor, though I suppose being one as background in a movie will be just about as close as I'll get to actually being one, but that's ok.

On another note, I got my first festival rejection on Friday. At least I think it's a rejection, here's what it says below:

Dear filmmaker,

Thank you for submitting your film for consideration in Documentary Fortnight 2010 at The Museum of Modern Art. While we receive too many submissions to critically comment upon each directly, we can only assure you that the work has been viewed and seriously considered by the Documentary Fortnight selection committee. Please understand that there are many things we need to consider when choosing a work, such as theme, available time slots, etc, and that this does not indicate a critique of the work. Once again we would like to thank you for your submission and to wish you well with this and future projects.

We appreciate your interest and support and hope that you will continue submitting films for our consideration.

With best regards,

The Documentary Fortnight team.

It essentially says no in every way except saying "no" but it's still kinda unclear but I'm still gonna assume that that's a rejection unless I hear otherwise.

It's entertaining because when I first read it I showed it to my friend Elliot, who was the Gaffer on Frequent Flyers, and it went a little something like this:


Matt sits on his cot looking at his iPod, Elliot, 22, sits next to him on his cot as Kelly, 22, gets under her covers on her cot, located on the other side of Matt.

(passing his iPod to Elliot)
Does this look like a rejection to you?

Oh god,

(in a fake high-pitched voice)
Dear Moira...

For a festival! Not a girl, a festival!

I think that's about all for now.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Heads Up - Next Week

Hey all... 0 of you who follow this blog. This coming week I will be in Connecticut working on my good friend Matthew Troy's senior film (finally, he gets to shoot it) so I'll post if I can, but don't count on anything. I know, terrible tragedy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Final Battle pt. 4 - The End

He stood on the outskirts of the stronghold, waiting, his echoing call to battle unanswered. He was uncertain if this meant victory or defeat, but he knew for certain that it meant an end.

The Final Battle pt. 3 - The Written Challenge

He ran the options through his head again, still unsure of which was better. Originally he thought a vocal challenge would be best; a loud audible challenge to the specter, one that would ensure he was heard and would also leave a memorable impact, however, throughout the course of the night the benevolent tree spirits that inhabited the woods just outside the specter's stronghold spoke with the hero, advising him of the best way to issue the challenge as well as how to navigate the confrontation afterward.

They suggested a challenge written and sent to the ghost and if that was unresponsive, then a more vocal approach would be appropriate. The plan seemed sound, but something in the back of the hero's mind still wanted to issue the vocal challenge first but he conceded, the tree spirits had not led him astray before and they had much more experience than him in these matters so he wrote out his challenge and tied it to the leg of his trusted hawk.

The shard of courage dimmed for a moment as he went to open the bird's cage, but just as quickly returned to it's brilliant luminance, as though ashamed of its previous weakness. It was the right time to send the challenge. He flung open the doors of the cage, clearing the way for the hawk to deliver it's message.

The hawk did not move from it's perch, it just sat there staring back at the hero, it seemed unwilling, or unable, to fly. The spoken challenge had to be tried.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Final Battle pt.2: The Longest Second

*A note before I start my post: HAPPY 100th POST!

He stood before the reanimated specter's stronghold, the last shard of courage, his only remaining weapon, glowing brightly in his hand. This shard was a particularly boisterous shard, humming with a power and force unexpected of a fragment so small. However, through the vibrations of power, our hero felt its impatience, its call to hurry onward.

See, before the final battle could be fought a challenge had to be issued, and that, possibly, was one of the most daunting aspects of this battle. The specter could only be battled if the hero offered a challenge and the specter accepted. From the hero's point of view, there was no reason for the specter to accept any sort of challenge, and if that were to happen the battle would be over before it had even begun. For there to be a chance of a battle even occurring the challenge had to be issued at the correct time in the correct manner and then maybe, just maybe the hero had a chance.

However, choosing the correct time to issue the challenge meant that the hero had to, once again, wait; a fact that he, nor his shard of courage, particularly enjoyed. 2 and 1/2 months of waiting should have made the last few days seem like minutes at most, yet as time grew closer to the fated confrontation, seconds grew into hours and minutes grew into days. Taking this time to make some extra preparations would be most prudent, he decided. However, even after he completed what preparations he could, all there was for him to do was to sit and wait. Even if just for a little while longer he would sit and wait, what else could he do?

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Final Battle pt.1 - The Specter's Corporial Return

The long final month had finally passed. In total, that made 2, 2 months since he decided that a confrontation, upon its return to a physical form, would be best in dealing with the specter, it had been 7 and 1/2 months since he had seen his ghost in a physical form, but it was to happen again soon, he hoped.

He no longer felt prepared. Upon hearing of its return to his realm all the training and preparation he had undergone had vanished; he was reduced to a quivering mass curled in fetal position under his covers. Pain; he felt pain from the anxiety alone, a stinging sensation in his chest as his heart beat in excess, delivering drugs to every part of his body, drugs that would act solely to rob him of his sleep.

Weaponless and powerless he stood, moments away from confrontation. He knew not what to do; the enemy was greater and far more powerful than him. He seemed without hope, lost and helpless in the dark, he wanted to give up and run away. His mind screamed for more time, his body screamed for more training but his heart, it screamed a scream that silenced them all; it screamed that they press on, through the darkness and war surrounding him he would press on as planned. Reaching down he grabbed the last fragment of courage to light his path. It shined dimly, showing but a foot in front of him, but it was enough, he could move forward as planned. Soon he would be able to tell if he had been successful.