Hang Loose (Recap)

Posted: December 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

So I’ve been back from Hawaii now for a few days, just enough time to catch my breath and the people that have been following me on twitter have been wondering what the heck I was doing out there… Well, the truth is I was shooting film with a friend of mine, Kevin… Some of his fans may know him as KevJumba.

A year or so ago I did a film with my partner James Sereno called, “Paradise Broken,” about the darker side of Waikiki and we decided to create a company specifically to tell stories for and about Asian-American and Pacific Islanders. And our next film was this project with Kev, and ¬†this one is called, “Hang Loose.”

Me, Kev and another friend of mine, Benjamin Arthur, co-wrote the movie and after a painstaking few months, we went out to Hawaii with a handful of friends and shot a movie. I know it sounds like a lot of fun and it was, but the truth is, for those who have never made an independent film, it was a crazy amount of ¬†work. We shot a film in 15 days, we’ll actually 16 because we had a day of pick up shots. So basically we worked 8 days straight had Thanksgiving off and shot another 8 days straight and I’m talking 12-14 hour days… That includes the whole crew, all the actors, the director, the camera department, sound, grips, producers, extras… everybody! When I left Hawaii, I needed an vacation from Hawaii! But I think we really shot something great…

The work alone was only half the story, sometimes the greatest part of shooting on location is the adventures of shooting on location. After bonding through the writing process with Kev, we ended up living together in Hawaii along with Justin Chon and one of my oldest friends Akili Jones, who came to Hawaii to work on the film. We lived in a cozy but somewhat primitive flat right off the beach of Waikiki, that we fondly called, “The Philippines.” It was so fun, it took me back to growing up and living in the converted garage of my parents house with my brothers, just like Lost Boys… We all became better friends… It was my first time meeting Justin, that is a really cool guy. See the thing is, we had no tv and came home at night and just talked to each other about the day. We talked about acting and girls and the movie and girls and youtube and girls and… you know how it goes… boys will be boys. We woke up in the morning, sometimes at 5:30am, take turns taking a shower (we only had one bathroom) listened to music, usually classic Hip Hop (a lot of Tribe Called Quest) and danced around while brushing our teeth, especially Kev, while waiting for Dreadlock James to pick us up and take us to work. There was also the case of the missing fob (that’s an electric doorkey fob to get into the building and not anything¬†derogatory) and for that you ask Justin… The¬†shenanigans that happened after that were crazy which included both me and Kev on separate evenings, climbing into the 2nd story of our building and breaking in… Straight comedy, wish we took video of those nights.

Also, my little brother came along to Hawaii to play a character in the movie and killed it… So not only did it feel like family on the set, but it actually was family, even my cousin Xavier was a grip.(He also worked on “Paradise Broken) The rest of the cast included incredible actors, my bro, Dionysio Basco, another old school friend of mine Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Arthur, Katherine Emily, Jenn Fairbank, incredible comedian Augie T and Minae Noji. I really can’t wait for people to see what we did. And also, along with the great acting, the great crew… They were amazing, co-directors James and Ryan, Jay the DP… everyone definitely became our little Hang Loose family, including my girl, Sammy producing from home in LA, she was apart of it the whole time…

I think this is a special project… I hope you guys will too when we get it out there…

  1. Akili says:

    Nice recap, makes me miss the Philippines all over again.

  2. Sophia Chang says:

    LOL “The Philippines”

    Dante, thank you so much for coming by my blog last year when I featured you as my Filipino-Am Crush of the Month. It was a real treat for all the ladies to have you stop by and I’ll promote this project for you definitely. I’m linking to this post in my next blog post and telling everyone to support your film when it comes out.

    It’s great what you’re doing and I love your As-Am pride!!

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