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Short Film inspired by loneliness, injustice, love, and revelation told through the story of a Chinese American in 1968
Short Film inspired by loneliness, injustice, love, and revelation told through the story of a Chinese American in 1968
100 backers pledged $8,057 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$8,057

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4th of July, 1968: What does it feel like to be Asian in America 

(下面有中文)

Synopsis

July 4th, 1968, Han Kang navigates through the day in a small homogenous suburban town as the only Asian American teenager. Today, both the anniversary of America’s independence and the death of a dear African American friend ignite celebration, mourning, anger, and revelation.

Statement

It’s impossible to pinpoint the moment of inspiration. In hindsight, the idea or the disturbing realization of the fact that I was Asian and did not look like how I felt I looked like or behave like how I felt I should behave was a thought buried in my sub-consciousness for quite some time since I was a teenager. I was born in Shanghai. Raised in the suburbs of Pennsylvania, and had my second education in Shanghai. I am a foreigner in both countries and I am currently in the process of figuring out what that all means. 

Shanghai 1995
Shanghai 1995
California 1997
California 1997

My film takes place in 1968, a transformative year for America. 

"January: the onset of the Tet offensive. February: the idealism of Eugene McCarthy's New Hampshire primary campaign. March: President Lyndon Johnson's shocking decision not to seek reelection. April: the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. May: the Poor People's March on Washington, D.C. June: Robert Kennedy gunned down. And on it went--one assault after another on the body politic and the culture at large.
" -Bruce Watson 

The collective, invigorating, fascinating year has inspired much of the visualization of the film. The production designer, cinematographer and I are trying to capture the spirit of the year as much as possible.

Visualization

“Seeing is a very sensuous act. There is a sweet deliciousness to feeling yourself see something.” –James Turrell

These photographs relate to the film literally, tangentially, emotionally, and even ironically. As a director speaking to my cinematographer, I show images like this to provide the visual infrastructure and material to inspire the most appropriate perspective to how [not what] to see the environment where the film will be shot. 

HTBABP isn't simple for me to explain- for me stories should never be about one thing, they should touch you so deeply that they ignite tremendous amounts of feeling, attention, and sensitivity. I hope my film can do something like that. 

It is always a special opportunity to even be able to make a film like this and to work with the people I am working with. Since the beginning, these are the people who have been there. 

(A little) About Me- Writer/Director

Daisy Zhou is a filmmaker hailing from Shanghai and Pennsylvania, currently residing in New York. Although she sees herself more as a cinematographer- her inclinations to write from time to time has led her to direct films she is passionate about. Her first short, 100 Meters, placed 3rd at the New Visions New Voices Festival and garnered attention for its writing and producing. 

How To Be A Black Panther is now her second short that she is writing and directing. Already a finalist for the George Heinemann Production grant, she hopes to take her next film much farther. 

100 Meters (2013) [Please See Link Below] 

Wes Middleton- Producer

Wes Middleton is just graduated from studying Film & Television at NYU. He has written the treatment for a feature film, and studied the craft of writing for television with the BBC in London. For the past four years, Wes has made his name producing short comedy films and editing many other student and commercial projects. He has also produced, filmed, and edited a feature-length documentary about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict called “Lines in the Sand,” which went to the Jewish Film Festival. How to be a Black Panther will be the final short film Wes produces at NYU.

Jen Hubbarb- Producer

Jen Hubbard graduated from the film program at New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2013. Ever since, she has been working at the world's leading advertising company Ogilvy, where her main client is American Express.

Jen also has written and directed several personal projects, her most recent short "Romeo & Rosaline" will be coming out later this year.

Daniel Stenzel- Director of Photography

Daniel Stenzel is a New York based cinematographer originally from the Bay Area of California. He began his early life with an acute interest in creating his own imagery and the journalistic pursuit of storytelling. These two passions eventually merged into a desire for visual storytelling through film. Since then, his goal in cinematography has been to always capture the truth of the moment; whether that means unabashedly showing a documentary subject warts and all, to visually conveying every emotion of a song, or to place the audience in a character’s shoes in narrative filmmaking.

Natalie Nazarian- Production Designer

A recent graduate of Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Concentrating in studio art and pre-medical sciences, she seeks to apply an attitude of compassion towards the many different disciplines she encounters from organic chemistry to filmmaking. Her talent for sculpture and painting and her attention to detail had made her a prime candidate for this project as a production designer. 

PLEASE VISIT  WEBSITE [FOR MORE INFO]: http://howtobeablackpanther.tumblr.com

What does it mean to be Asian in America? This is the question I seek to ask through a story that nurtures and respects the question itself rather than aggressively trying to resolve it. My hope is to write about race without the self conscious conventions of a racially motivated story, to express confusion rather than identity, yearning rather than satisfaction. 

 I’m aware of the ambiguity of these statements, though I insist that they must be ambiguous, emotional and honest, before they are political, racial, and moralistic. The challenge here is to provide both, and all. 

[SIZZLE REEL BELOW]

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故事背景:

上世纪60年代中后期, 美国的黑人民权运动风起云涌。 民权运动使得美国政府废除了种族隔离和歧视政策,并赋予黑人以选举权。尽管黑白种族间的关系依旧紧张,黑人的社会政治地位还是有了一定的改善。

华裔少年康寒从小生活在一个以白人为主要居民的社区。寒一直困惑于自己的身份认同,遗传的黄种人肤色以及接受的白种人文化使得他游移于黑白两大族群之间,不知道自己的群体归属。

1968年的7月4日这一天, 是美国的国庆节又是他黑人同学去世的一周年忌日。寒知道黑人同学的真正死因而又无法勇敢说出,他逡巡于黑白同学的家庭间。 于是在这一天, 欢乐,悲伤,愤怒和宣泄的情绪梯次向寒袭来…….

申请人介绍: Daisy Zhou (周茵茵) 是成长于上海和美国宾州现居住于纽约的电影工作者。 2014年5月毕业于纽约大学的Tisch艺术学院。 尽管她认为自己的主业是摄影师, 喜欢写作的她也乐于导演能深深打动她的剧本。 她自编自导的首部微电影“100米”在参加New Visions New Voices的65个影视作品中脱颕而出,获得总分第三,同时还赢得了编剧和制作奖。

“如何成为黑豹”是她正在编写的第二个微电影。 根据剧本质量和以往的成就, 她被Tisch艺术学院推荐为George Heinemann制作经费的申请者,并已进入最后一轮筛选。

Daisy 希望能得到大家的资助来更好地完成这部反映在美年轻华裔缺乏文化和族群归属感的微电影。整个摄制组将有20人, 并在宾州的Bucks郡拍摄一星期。 剧组成员都是由热爱艺术的Tisch学生和志愿者组成, 每人不取报酬。 筹集的经费将主要用于:租用设备,购买食物,添置服装道具,布置场景等。

Kickstarter是一个专门为年轻的艺术和科技创业者提供展示项目和吁请赞助的网络平台,仅中国地区用此平台成功筹集资金的申请者就达184人。

资助者需要建立Kickstarter和Amazon 户头并拥有信用卡, 这对中国的朋友不是很方便。赞助者可以把人民币打入Daisy父亲周天伦的工商银行账户:622208 1001 001135437, 由他换成美元汇入Kickstarter的账号。

另:黑豹党是美国60年代末的一个激进黑人组织。与Martin Luther King的非暴力不合作主张相反, 这一组织宣扬以暴力自卫手段来捍卫公民权益, 在年轻人中很有号召力。 有兴趣者可以观看以下链接所附的短片 (有中英文字幕):

http://v.163.com/movie/2007/4/D/T/M704DL00G_M704FG4DT.html 关于Tisch艺术学院, 大家可看百度的介绍: http://www.baidu.com/#wd=Tisch%20School&rsv_bp=0&tn=baidu&rsv_spt=3&ie=utf-8&rsv_sug3=7&rsv_sug4=871&rsv_sug1=1&rsv_sug2=0&inputT=2222

Youtube Link to 100 Meters: http://youtu.be/FKOR6BgNHJw

Risks and challenges

The nature of this project requires a hefty workload and budget. While we have the crew and cast available due to their generosity, we do have to account for other logistical aspects of this film.

We seek to make this a 20 minute period piece. This consequently requires a heftier budget.

• Production Design and Wardrobe

As a period piece, it would take an incredible amount of effort to pursue the look of the late 60s in America. It is a decade that is extremely vital to the film, and thus it's important to achieve the look of the decade through the props and costumes.

• Cinematography

Although we are going for a natural look, it still takes a degree of craftsmanship and manipulation to achieve it. This requires rentals for Grip and Electric equipment, as well as items that enhance the look of the image such as lenses, filters, and type of camera.

• Food

We have a crew of 15 individuals and a cast of over 20 individuals who are offering their talents for free out of the kindness and generosity of their hearts. We need to FEED them properly!

• Transportation

With most of our crew and major cast from NYC, it takes resources to afford trips to and from NYC to Pennsylvania. Transportation for our equipment will be provided by Budget.

• Locations

We have a total of 4 locations in this script- and not all of them come for free. Thankfully we will be shooting in close locations between towns in Bucks County.

• Hair & Makeup

To achieve the look of the late 60s, we need the hair and makeup to match. Make-up in part plays a huge character in the film as it pertains to adding depth to each character.

• Special Effects/Safety

Hopefully this doesn't spoil much- but there will be a scene with fire works. We need to purchase the right kind, and provide safety and precautions to make sure everyone is safe during production.

** Part of this production will be privately funded, while the rest- we need your help!

You can help us raise a significant portion of this film, $8000, which will be used graciously towards all the (above) factors mentioned.

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    *Special THANK YOU in the credits of the film

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    *First Eyes on the link to the Rough Cut
    *Special Thanks in the Credits
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    **A Production T-Shirt!
    **First Eyes on the link to the Rough Cut
    **Special Thanks in the Credits
    **Thank you Letter

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Funding period

- (20 days)