My name is Colleen Kwok, and you may remember my kickstarted short film Rectangibles. After making a film in a trailer community in New York and another in the city of Hong Kong, I am now planning to make another film this spring. This time, in a very special place in Utah.
☞ The Story is about Sen, a young Chinese man who comes to America to look for his long-lost sister, without learning her fatal accident. In Utah, instead of finding his sister, he discovers a special landscape that echoes her soul.
☞☞ This film is inspired by the earthwork movement in the early 1970s USA, and particularly the piece, Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson. This is a film that, despite its emotional sensitivity of one's life and death, and one's connection with landscape, most importantly, resonates with the idea of returning to the organic filmmaking way, just like how the pioneers of Landart wanting to make pieces back in the nature.
at the Spiral Jetty, Smithson says in his voiceover that, “gazing intently at the gigantic sun, we at last deciphered the riddle of its unfamiliar aspect. It was not a single flaming star, but millions upon millions of them, all clustering thickly, together like bees in a swarm, their packed density made up the deceptive appearance of a solid impenetrable flame. It was in fact, a vast spiral nebula of innumerable suns.” ...The last significant character that I reference from Smithson’s work would be as cited in my film’s title, the sun. The sun is the water to enable the land art to live beautiful and strong, and the sun is the gaffer for this film. I see my film also a sequence of my takes for the sense of time and the sense of life – the beautiful moments are always luminance, but passed insignificantly.
Last month, my team and I travelled to Salt Lake City to location scout and work on the pre-production. We have been walking into some of the most breathtaking places that we've seen in our lives, and we have also gained great support from the local area - from the Institution to a local antique store to an animal rescue center. We’re working with the Great Salt Lake Institute, the University of Utah, the Utah Film Commission, and I was also been interviewed on KSL’s Channel 5. (Mom, I am on TV!)
☞ The Team
Meeting someone who is not only inspiring creatively as a friend, but also a reliable and enjoyable coworker is one of the most precious things, and I happen to be lucky enough to have a handful of them. For this project, I have my friends and frequent collaborators coming from New York, LA, Wisconsin, and Shanghai to help me make this a reality.
Producer – Cristina Tamez
Cristina’s produced work has premiered at Berlinale, Guadalajara (FICG) and Toronto International Film Festival as well as in art galleries such as Bargehouse Gallery in London, ACME Studio’s in Brooklyn, Galeria Distrito 14 in Monterrey - Mexico, among others. Her produced films have also been a Wasserman Finalist and won the Second Prize King Award while earning several crafts awards at NYU’s internal First Run Film Festival including best experimental and cinematography. She is currently preparing to shoot a short and developing her thesis film which will be her first feature narrative as a writer/director.
Producer – Allexandra Hsu
Alexandra was born and raised in Orange County, CA. She is currently completing her MFA in Filmmaking from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Asia. Alexandra received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Scripps College, majoring in Media Studies and Asian Studies. Since the age of 16, Alexandra has pursued a career in film and entertainment. She first worked for Spyglass, and then a year later for China Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio (CCTV). Her most rewarding experience was working with Ellen Sandler, writer/executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond. At NYU Tisch Asia, she produced 3 short films– in Singapore, Philippines, and Shanghai, China. Over the last year, she has produced 6 commercials and music videos. Made through the international competition called MOFILM, "Keys, Haagen Dazs" placed 3rd, and another commercial she produced, "7UP: Feels Good to Be You" won Best Commercial at 4 festivals, including HollyShorts and La Femme Film Festival.
Cinematographer – Sheldon Chau
Born and raised in Los Angeles and of Cantonese descent, Sheldon first discovered his greater passion for films in his mid-teens when he was introduced to the Criterion Collection DVDs by both his artist uncle and high school drama teacher. From there, Sheldon further realized the power of storytelling when he learned of his parents’ tale of survival during the Fall of Saigon in which they fled the country and ended up in the U.S. after an arduous journey. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Film & Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and finding a natural enthusiasm for visuals and camerawork, Sheldon decided to fully pursue cinematography as an MFA student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where he was the winner of the prestigious 2015 ARRI Volker Bahnemann Award for Cinematography and a 2013 Kodak Cinematography Scholarship nominee. He is also an avid lover of pugs and Hong Kong pineapple buns.
☞ Why Support Us
The story is told from a unique perspective with both heart and subtlety that one can rarely find from today’s narrative short films. Such perspective has also been shown in Colleen’s previous works. It is a rare opportunity that a story is told in one of the most photographic part in United States.
In order to make this film, I’m turning to the Kickstarter community to help raise 70% of our production budget, which is being used in this following category:
- Cast & Crew Travel & Accommodation
- Location fee
- Aerial Shot
- Post Production & Festival applications
As one of the thesis project from NYU Graduate Film, we gratefully have the full support in the form of production equipments, production insurance and post-production facilities. Thus, we are allowed to execute such idea in the graphic of the wild American Southwest.
☞ Fiscal Sponsorship
We also have the great support from Utah Film Center as our fiscal sponsor, which means that the donation made to this project is 100% tax deductible.
From our scout trip we shot many photos and some laughable but uplifting video clips. I hope from these visuals, you find the essential idea of what we are going for. Thank you for your support!
☛ Stay in Touch
Risks and challenges
This film is scheduled to shoot in March, 2016, which is very very soon. Besides, the idea of the film is all natural daylight, which to make it difficult to lock the exact shooting dates. We expected weather changes and to adjust our schedule accordingly. Although our fund has not yet secured, we have a well oriented plan and timetable with all departments.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)