About this project
Reward Update: We have just added the "Dirty Old Man Club" neon sign to the rewards! Check reward #32 and the pic of DJ Kulu rocking it in his space:
HONG KONG TRILOGY: PRESCHOOLED PREOCCUPIED PREPOSTEROUS, directed by the award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle, is a story of Hong Kong told by three generations: our children, our young, and our old.
In the already completed segment, PRESCHOOLED, we interviewed children about their everyday lives. Their VOICES inspired the narratives we asked them to play, and what they told us in our dialogue became the VOICE-OVERS that structure the film.
In PRESCHOOLED, Little Red Hood sees her brother misbehave and her parents argue. So she prays to Jesus, to Buddha, to Hare Krishna, to Ganesh…
She asks: “Why are there so many gods in this world? Is it because there are so many people who need to be saved?
We realized then that her questions have no answers, but asking these questions are what film is all about. What makes our film special is HOW we made it… a process of finding the film by asking these questions… a less AUTEUR way of looking at the world, and hopefully a more REAL and DEMOCRATIC one.
And no one is better at making films like this than Chris, who compares filmmaking to JAZZ, where the give and take of the collaborators takes a work beyond the individual’s intent, where the dance between the camera and the actors focuses each individual’s energy into something unanticipated and unique.
As Chris notes, many of his films like CHUNGKING EXPRESS (dir. Wong Kar-Wai) or PARANOID PARK (dir. Gus Van Sant):“There is little or no formal script: we take people we trust, put them in a safe space, and we shoot.”
This process encouraged us to pursue more. We want to explore the lives of PREOCCUPIED young people in their twenties and thirties, and the PREPOSTEROUS older generation, above fifty.
Sadly, there isn’t much money these days in the film world for something new and experimental like this. PRESCHOOLED was a short film that was originally commissioned by the Hong Kong International Film Festival. So weworked on it in our own rock-and-roll way with no money whenever we had free time…
When the Umbrella Movement or “Occupy Hong Kong” began, it swept us away. Its energy “KICKSTARTED” our project again and made us realize that this is more than just a movie.
As we were filming in the protest camp, several people came by to take photos of us. One uploaded it onto Facebook where they had written:
“PLEASE HELP US FILM OUR HOPES AND DREAMS.”
With the help of KICKSTARTER donors around the world, we will.
Our project began when the Hong Kong International Film Festival asked Chris to direct a short film as part of their BEAUTIFUL 2014 short film series. This 30-minute piece was called HONG KONG 2014: EDUCATION FOR ALL and it was about the hopes and dreams of children in our city. It premiered at the festival in March 2014 and online on Youku.com in China where it was viewed by 1.5 million people. Now re-titled PRESCHOOLED, it will form the first part of our Hong Kong trilogy, a 90-minute feature film.
PREOCCUPIED and PREPOSTEROUS will be about young people and old people respectively. We have completed most of the interviewing of the characters and location scouting. With the exception of the scenes that take place at the protest camp, these two segments have not been shot yet.
The money raised will go into the production of the last two-thirds of the film.
Hong Kong has given us so much. Its dai pai dongs (street food stalls) feed us, its light inspires us, its sea calms us. This is where we dream when we sleep at night.
Whenever Chris is asked why his films are the way they are, his answer is always because each one of them came from the place it was made in, with people whose heart was in it because it mattered to them.
As with many of the films that made Chris who he is today, such as with Wong Kar-Wai’s CHUNGKING EXPRESS or IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, we are making this in Hong Kong. So we turn to Kickstarter today because it is a way to directly engage with our audience in the filmmaking process, just as we engaged with members of our community by putting their real voices onscreen to tell the story of our city.
If we articulate these voices with sincerity and compassion, hopefully everyone will realize that these individual concerns are universal needs that need to be shared.
When the Umbrella Movement began, we were astonished to find that the questions we ask in our film were the same as those asked by our community. Who is Hong Kong? What do we want for our future? How do we get it? What is stopping us? These are the most important questions facing our society today.
Our film is a reflection of a city’s awakening. We want to take the voices of our city and give it back to the Hong Kong people at this critical time, and by sharing the result with everyone around the world, we hope to inspire others of different cultures to ask the same questions of themselves.
Please donate to our Kickstarter campaign, and help us let Hong Kong speak for itself.
Christopher Doyle (director/cinematographer), Jenny Suen (producer), and Ken Hui (producer)
January 7th, 2015
P.S. Special thanks to the Hong Kong International Film Festival, CPH:DOX, and Kickstarter for supporting our hopes and dreams.
Here is our team shooting under the Central Government Offices when it was "occupied."
Little Red Hood, who dreams of saving the world by blessing it with her "holy water"...
Rich Kid, whose parents are never home, seeks comfort in releasing his plastic turtle into the wild because his new dog is still in quarantine...
Thierry the Feng Shui Master wonders how we can save our traditions and make it relevant to young people...
South, the Occupy Farmer, who has saved his plants from the police clearance, but now has nowhere to park his mobile farm...
(Drunken) Kevin, who never knows where he will wake up the next day...
Shandong Zhang, whose pile of cardboard start to resemble abstract sculptures that gradually take over the entire street as his aspirations grow...
Backers of our campaign gets lots of cool rewards, including props we used in the making of the film, a chance to watch the film before its premiere in Hong Kong in March, access to our backers-only production diary and behind the scenes posts, and beer time with Chris in New York, LA, Tokyo, or Hong Kong.
Please note that all the prices listed are in US DOLLARS.
Here are some of the things you can get (check the "Rewards" sidebar for details):
Special Thanks Tweet
Receive a special thanks tweet from Chris via his Twitter account
Production Diary and Exclusive Updates
Learn about our creative process by receiving our production e-diary based on what we have shot so far, You will have access to our backers-only area on our website which will include exclusive behind-the-scenes images and videos on set and from our studio as we complete the film.
Stream our film online at anytime within the week FOLLOWING the end of our theatrical premiere in Hong Kong.
Acknowledgements in Film Credits
We will acknowledge your contribution by including your name in the end credits of the film.
A Set of Four “Evangelical Pamphlets” Postcards
One of our main characters, the “Little Red Hood,” prays to gods from many different religions. Chris collaged images of Jesus Christ, Ganesh, Buddha, Virgin Mary, etc. on paper for her to pass out to her students after class in PRESCHOOLED. This whimsical set of four “Evangelical Pamphlets” will be printed as postcards for you to share and "convert" your friends!
"Closer to Chris” Christopher Doyle, a Du Ke Feng Self Interview DVD
You’ll receive a DVD called “Closer to Chris,” filled with video clips of Chris conversing/arguing/playing with his Chinese alter ego Du Ke Feng, on the subjects of art, literature, and filmmaking. This DVD has been made exclusively for Kickstarter donors, featuring unreleased short films and videos Chris has made throughout the years.
Signed “Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous” Poster
As Chris says, “When you are making films, you are spending 23 hours a day with a group of people. When you go home you need to re-energize, to retrieve your serenity. To me, the process of making collage is therapy because it’s more personal. It’s one-on-one instead of one-on-300.” Chris will be making collages out of the images of our film and we will be using one of these for our official film poster. This will be printed on high-quality A3 size paper and signed by Chris for you to frame at home (frame not included).
Signed “Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous” Tee Shirt
One day, Jenny decided that she wanted to use a map of Occupy Village in in our teaser. So she called some “villagers” and asked them if they knew where the best map of Occupy Village was. Theanswer was unanimous: every “villager” told her to go to Admiralty MTR station Exit A. That night, she went there with Chris and discovered a hand-drawn map scroll, filled with landmarks such asLennon Wall, the phone charging station, and Umbrella Square. It was even filled with all the characters who lived there. Jenny instagrammed it to crowdsource who the artist was. Within half an hour,someone identified the artist as Maoshan Connie, who is now a character in PREOCCUPIED!
You’ll receive a high-quality tee shirt printed a beautiful map scroll of Occupy Village, signed by Chris.
A Screening Near You and Q&A session with Chris Doyle & Cast
Watch our film at a movie theatre near you and meet Chris and our cast in person! There will be a 30-minute Q&A after the screening in which you will be able to ask Chris and our cast any questions youwant. So far, we have plans to do screenings at a time and location to be decided in Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.
Signed Prop: Little Red Hood’s "Holy Water Bottle"
Little Red Hood fills up her water bottle at the Church so that she can bless everyone and everything with “Holy Water” on her way home from school. She also delivers it to the protestors’ tents at Occupy Village. She befriends the Occupy Farmer, who uses it to water his mobile farm after the police clear out the protestors’ camp.
You'll receive a "Holy Water Bottle" that we used in the film, signed by Chris ("Holy Water" not included).
Signed Prop: A Schoolgirl Uniform
PRESCHOOLED revolves around a school in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Little Red Hood, Vodka Wong, and Pet Shop Boy study there, skip out on class, get into fights, and the film follows their after-school adventures and their family lives.You’ll receive a schoolgirl uniform that we used in the film, signed by Chris
Signed Prop: Umbrella Express Mail Bag
To Wun is the proprietor of a jam bar on Wellington Street in Hong Kong called Senses 99. In PREOCCUPIED, he moonlights as a postman in Occupy Village as he is drawn by the energy of its community. Chris designed the official “Umbrella Express Mail” bag that he uses to deliver letters.
Signed Prop: Little Red Hood’s School Bag
Little Red Hood carries a vintage red leather backpack to and from school.You’ll receive Little Red Hood’s backpack, signed by Chris.
“Close to Chris” (extremely rare, out of print book) by Christopher Doyle
Published on the occasion of his first exhibition in Germany at the International Design Center in Berlin in 2004, “Close to Chris” by Christopher Doyle includes his photographs and collages from filmssuch as HAPPY TOGETHER, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, etc., as well as his own writings. It is also signed by Chris.
“Don’t Try For Me Argentina: Christopher Doyle’s Photographic Journal of HAPPY TOGETHER, a film by Wong Kar Wai” (extremely rare, out of print book) by Christopher Doyle“Don’t Try For Me Argentina” is a photographic journal that Chris kept while he was working on HAPPY TOGETHER, a film directed by Wong Kar Wai, starring Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung. Itincludes Chris’ behind-the-scenes photographs and his writings. It is also signed by Chris.
Mounted Degraded Film Frame
Nostalgic for film in today’s digital era? You’ll get a frame of film shot and signed by Chris and “degraded” through a secret process he uses for his artwork. Each frame is an image from our film and unique.
“R34g38b25” (extremely rare, out of print book) by Christopher Doyle“R34g38b25” is a journal of Chris’ journey shooting HERO, a film by Zhang Yimou, starring Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, and Zhang Ziyi. This beautiful large format art book, signed by Chris, comes ina cloth slipcase, and includes his photographs, collages, and writings that are informed by his experience working on this film.
Disposable 35mm Camera with 5 Photographs Taken by Christopher Doyle
This is the ultimate reward for analog enthusiasts! You’ll receive a 35mm disposable camera with 5 photographs already taken by Chris of the places that inspire him in Hong Kong. These images will bea mystery. You won’t know what it is until you finish the roll and develop them (god knows where).
Drinks with Christopher Doyle
Drink with the man who said his top three non-film influences are: Beer, Women, The Sea (in that order). We’ll arrange a date, time, and bar in Hong Kong, LA, New York, and Tokyo for up to five Kickstarter donors to drink with Chris for an hour and talk about whatever they want.
Original Collage by Christopher Doyle
You’ll receive one of the original collages based on images from our film that we are using for the official film poster, signed by Chris.
Executive Producer Credit
You’ll be very “super” and we want to express our gratitude for your support by giving you an “Executive Producer” credit at the end of our film.
Risks and challenges
We're making a film in a non-traditional style, using our trust in the people we work with and our intuition, with no script, shooting as we go along. Part of this style was born out of necessity (lack of money) but part of it is also by design. We work this way because we want to embrace the unexpected and the spontaneous... and trust that these so-called "mistakes" will carry us to a place only dreams can go. This may cause delays in delivering the final cut and rewards to you, but I know that you will understand, because hopefully... we are all dreamers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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