What's this film about?
GIVE CHASE is a 10-minute action film about a temp named Jake who picks up a delivery gig that turns into a relentless bike chase through the Brooklyn waterfront when a corporate hitman tries to intercept the package by any means possible.
What was your inspiration?
The trouble started when my editor and I re-watched The French Connection. Since we are both avid bikers, we started wondering about that famous chase scene in the film and how they filmed that scene in New York and how awesome it would be try something like that with bikes around the fringes of Brooklyn.
Around the same time, I was growing into a personal realization about how I fit into the entertainment industry. I love films. As an actor and a writer I've had the good fortune to work on enough film projects to fall in love with the medium. But as I started to look deeper into how I fit in this career path, I started to find myself becoming marginalized. At least the people who looked like me in films--or really any ethnicity other than white--were either the exotic or the fringe or the expendable. And of all the visual mediums, I found film to be particularly lacking in diversity.
When I watched The Fast and The Furious 5 last year, a strange realization dawned on me. There was more casting diversity in Fast 5 than in all ten of the 2011 Academy Best Picture nominees. In an instant, the issue crystallized for me.
We all have to be the change we want to see in this world. Ideas start from small seeds and we have to nurture the change.
Where will the money go?
Every dollar will towards making this film happen from head to tail. Our budget includes pre-production, filming, post-production, marketing and festival applications. We've worked long and hard figuring out what we need to make this a great short.
Shooting professionally for 6 days in New York adds up quick. From camera equipment to getting city permits, from production insurance to feeding cast & crew, every dollar counts. If you could spare $250, $100, even $25 dollars, your contribution would go a long way. $25 can pay for a film festival application fee, $100 can rent an equipment van for a day, $200 can rent sound equipment for a day.
We want to do this right and we want to well-represent our supporters. We know we can make fine work and your support will help us tremendously.
So what is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is an online project fundraising web platform. It helps us bring our project directly to you, our audience. If you don't know already, Kickstarter is an ALL or NOTHING fundraiser; meaning if we don't meet our goal, we don't get anything.
Plus, I love Kickstarter. I've helped fund projects from people I really admire and strangers who just had awesome pitches. Helping creative people make ideas become reality is really addictive. People are so creative and wonderful. And seeing the final product of an idea you supported from the very beginning is incredibly rewarding.
So helps us reach our goal. And if finances are tight, we totally get it! You can also help us by spreading the word. Share this kickstarter page on Facebook, twitter, email, carrier pigeon.... Really, any way you can help us reach our goal, we coudn't thank you enough!
Okay. So I have more questions, but not about the movie...
So...is this movie about race?
Well, no. Not in any direct way. But that's my point. I'd like to one day make/produce/shoot enough films that Brown Americans do not have to constantly tell the story about the overwhelming difficulty of being a minority in America. The stories can't always be about overcoming racial prejudice and economic hardship. There are so many other valuable stories to tell, yet the same stories are being produced. And I don't blame audiences groaning or avoiding the same racial stories marketed at them in trailers and posters.
Look, I'd love to say we live in a post-racial society [we don't], or that we're past racial politics and free of racial prejudice [we aren't]. But can't we at least start with reflecting the world we live in a little better? Visual representation in media affects our perception of culture.
So you use this term "Brown Americans," what's with that?
I use Brown Americans as an umbrella phrase for all "non-white" Americans. This isn't to lump all ethnicities and cultures together and erase diversity. Rather, I'm trying to bring us together under a similar banner. We are distinguished by our "otherness." We are not mainstream yet we are all around. And while all minorities living in the US vary in their difficulties with culture clash, my pursuit is almost primarily about visual representation in film.
What about "Person of Color"? Isn't that the PC term?
Well, I have a particular distaste for "person of color." I think it's a polite way of dancing around the real phrase of "not white." Also by this logic what color is a "person." Would that be white? Or should we refer to white people as a "person without color?" I mean, it's a silly dance isn't it? We are all part of this fabric of America and I have difficulty seeing the inherent value of divvying us up like swatches from a paint store.
I'd prefer to cut through all that and just admit that--for now--we are seen as "other." Brown, in my experience, seems to work as a tangible experience and an abstract idea. Imperfect, but it gets the point across.
But not all minorities are brown-skinned, right?
You're definitely right about that. A 2nd generation fair-skinned Taiwanese-American is probably not going to feel he or she is "brown" but this person might have had the experience of feeling like "an other." An African-American might identify as "black" and not "brown" as well. But I am equally interested in getting both persons (despite their personal distinctions) better represented in movies too. It is not separate for me, it is one and the same. We share a common otherness and we should be united in our consensus to support each other.
Do you know there's a movie about a bike chase called Premium Rush?
Yes. Would you believe I started to work on this before I even heard of it? Also, based on the trailer I saw, I feel strongly that our movie is different. On the other hand, it also shows that other filmmakers are tapping into the same cultural zeitgeist as us. Whether it's a documentary about fixed-gear bike culture in Berlin or a Hollywood movie about bike messengers, content makers are looking to visually capture that special quality about biking that draws us in. We just unwittingly decided to throw our hat into the ring.
- (43 days)