Posts Tagged ‘Hang Loose’

I Am Rufio & Prince Zuko… AMA

So last week I did this reddit interview and it was the first time I’ve ever been on it… I was a little nervous. Well, in my short life on social media, I’ve learned, that you all know more than me about this, so I try to just listen and hope you guys lead me in the right direction. In this case, a few people had told me I should do this reddit thing and I took mental note, but then when a bunch of other people shed light on it all, including a friend of mine, Matt King, I decided to commit to doing one and see where it takes me.

Well, of course I sent a little blast out to let everyone know I was going to do it… And to hope to have a few people there when I started. You know, it’s like throwing a party and scared that no one was going really show up! (I kinda hate that feeling) Well then, a bunch of folks got excited, but then, some of the folks on tumblr started telling me how the reddit folks can be a bit harsh and mean… So I got nervous. To top off all that when I signed into reddit and started my AMA, I saw that Emmy Rossum was doing hers at the exact same time! Now I’m thinking… Oh great… Now no one is really going to be at mine, hell, I would be at her’s too! And ironically, just a week before this, someone on tumblr asked me who my “celebrity crush” was… And flippantly said Emmy Rossum, I actually love her show Shameless and happened to see billboards around LA that day promoting the new season. Anyway, somehow that led to whole Emmy Rossum incident, which I have to admit was kinda funny.

Well, the whole AMA went really good… I actually answered questions for like 5 hours! About my whole career and take on life and also I wanted to help promote my new production company, Kentic Films as well as our first movie, “Hang Loose.” (If you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out at hangloosemovie.com) And being that this is my actual blog that I want to hold the history of my online life, I definitely needed to blog about this and have it here for good measure and documenting value… It was fun, the reddit folks were actually great and super nice to me… and somehow I managed to be more popular on the front page than Emmy’s AMA… go figure. Anyway, hit the link on top to read the whole thing or hit BestofAMA for the cliff notes version… Maybe I’ll do it again sometime, but you know, you can always ask me anything here, on tumblr or twitter!

Tweet

So, here’s a thing that’s come up a bunch of times in my life that I find funny, or at least amusing. I’ll often get tweets or tumblr messages like the one I posted here, or I’ll get comments like the title of this post. I even got told this by director, Stephen Dypiangco, “I think my wife started dating me because she had a crush on you growing up!” Which, was awkward… then I said, “You’re welcome…” Which made it more awkward… Hahaha…

It just got me thinking, it’s strange way to think of how I might of impacted my generation. I’ve been told I was the first cool Asian actor many people actually saw on film and television in the 1990’s… No accent, no stereotypical roles… Just a cool kid. I actually did a movie called, “Extreme Days,” and when I went in to audition and met the director, Eric Hannah, told me, he didn’t realize till I walked in the room but, I was the guy in his head the whole time he was writing the character. You only see an Asian character a few times in movies and films… Especially in those days, and odds are if you remember any, I was probably one of them… and if was a cool Hip Hop kid… It was probably me. (Or one of my brothers, which I usually get credited for… but that’s another story)

But now the idea that I somehow helped this big melting pot of America, I somehow was the reason some girls (or guys) started dating Asian guys… Well, if this is in any way true. I have to be proud of that! It’s got be one of my finest accomplishments! It’s all funny… but cool.

I guess, part of this is the reason why I started my own production company and make movies. There’s way more to Asian America than what is so narrowly portrayed in mainstream media. Go watch Hang Loose, there’s a bunch of new Asian guys for you to fall in love with!

So for all of those who have been following me, you might have heard by now that we, Kinetic Films, have finally launched our company and debuting our first film, “Hang Loose,” starring myself and Kevin Wu (Kevjumba). Just to get to this point has been filled with numerous trials and tribulations, but I guess it’s just par for the course for a new start up company!

I’ve spoke in the past of my personal motivation and reasons of helping to create this company and you can read it my past blog, Kinetic Films. Right now, I want to further talk about what I entitled this entry… the “Importance of Asian American Cinema.” Like most artist, I want to do work that matters, that makes an impact and now that I’ve grown up from a child actor in this industry to an adult actor/writer/producer, I find myself with the opportunity to be apart of something so much bigger then just myself. Asian Americans remain as the most under represented community in mainstream American media and due to that we find ourselves without a voice… or at least without a big enough voice, more like a novelty in the mainstream, token roles in movies and television, an extra flavor to add to the group when companies are trying to appear politically correct. But times are changing… we’re on the rise, with companies like ours, the success of Kevjumba, Ryan Higa and others on You Tube and smash hits from Far East Movement, we are at the dawning of the New Asian American Movement!

Once again, I’ll reiterate, it’s not some racist, conspiracy “Hollywood” has against us, no… it’s much more simple then that. Like most things when it comes to business, it comes down to money or at least what can be counted and quantified. Part of the problem when it comes to project being created for the “Asian American” audience, as of right now, it doesn’t really exist. Not saying we don’t exist, because we all know we’re here… Literally millions of us, Americans, most born and raised here, who happen to be from Asian and Pacific Island decent, but when it comes to the numbers, we haven’t been counted. As being the so called “model minority” here in America, it is said broadly, we live in the neighborhoods we want, drive the cars we want, our kids go to the schools of their choice and what ever is being sold to “mainstream” America or “Caucasians” is bought and consumed by us. This is seen by others and also by ourselves as the accomplishment of the American dream, which may be great on many levels only it leads to us being complacent and looked over when it comes to being a viable part of the American pop culture. Even the recent explosion of “Gangdum Style,” which is a runaway smash hit and a tune I do like and the artist PSY is fun to watch, but the way it was so sponged up by the American Pop culture, reinforces that most  of America still see Asians as a whole as foreigners… and again, I’m in no way trying to diss PSY, but as big as a phenomenon as that has become, the fact that there is no “American” Asian imageries that even rival that is somewhat disappointing.

All this is compiled with the fact that as a race, Asians, we’re pretty easy going and stirring up controversy is not the first thing we do. We’re not big on demanding to be heard, we prefer to just do things well, great even and let that be recognized, but in the world of Hollywood and media spin, this is definitely not the best way to be noticed. I propose that there are things to learn from other communities on our rise. The success of Tyler Perry films and even the educating of the African American community of the importance of opening weekend numbers have helped to show the importance of the African American community and how lucrative it could be to create product for that audience. That’s the opportunity we have now, with “Hang Loose.”

This is a call to arms… Right now, our trailer has been seen over 300,000 times on Kevjumba’s page and all over the web and is currently available for pre-order and premieres online on Dec. 14 2012 at hangloosemovie.com! Now is the time to help us be heard, I’m asking for support from the Asian American community and the community at large, supporting my company and the films we’re making will help show the industry that we as Asian America, are a viable and lucrative group that necessitates attention.

Let it be known, that my first goal in creating Kinetic Films, is to create a self sustainable company that can continue to make films for our community… forever. And this is possible. For your purchase of 3 dollars pre-order and 5 dollars once the film is released, not only will you get great movies that you and your whole family can enjoy, with the faces of the stars that resemble yours and your families, but you will also be contributing to a company that is continuing to help cultivate a more well rounded representation of what is is to be Asian in America, as well as employing Asian actors and directors and always looking to find the talent of the next generation.

I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned over the last two and half decades in Hollywood as an Asian American artist is… It is our responsibility to define who we are. But we all have to be apart of it, the talent has to create it and the community has to support it…

Thank you. Let’s be heard.

 

 

It’s been busy & I haven’t been able to write, but I have a little down time & I figured I’d just check in. Let me describe to you where I’m at… Sitting under a tent in the middle of Waikiki beach surrounded by movie cameras & equipment, sun beaming down on a few miles of sand and plenty of ladies laying in the sun just soaking it in. I have to stop for a second and just make sense of it all. I was talking just a bit ago to Kevin (KevJumba) & Ben (Benjamin Arthur), who we all wrote the script together. It was just a few weeks ago we were sitting in my living room, pounding out ideas and putting them in the script & here we are shooting them on the beach in Hawaii… Its really kind of crazy.

There’s a bunch of folks working with us from our last crew who shot “Paradise Broken,” of course my director & partner, James Sereno, along with co-director Ryan Kawamoto.

It truly is a beautiful day at the beach, we just happen to be working… Yet, no real time to congratulate ourselves, were only half way done.