"THE NEXT TIME YOU WIN 37,500 DOLLARS ON JEOPARDY!, WE'LL SEE HOW HUMBLE YOU ARE." -ARTHUR CHU
Arthur Chu was once a quiet insurance analyst who got a shot on JEOPARDY! – and blew it up. Twelve shows later, Chu had racked up nearly $300,000 in winnings and created an international hatestorm. Chu threw the usual JEOPARDY! geeky politeness out the window. Instead he preened, he postured, and he found daily doubles...all of them. His strategies—bouncing around the board, pragmatic wagers, and keeping a hyper-aggressive pace to the game—have led some to declare his $300,000 winning streak akin to a MONEYBALL moment on JEOPARDY!. He crushed his opponents and he tangled with host Alex Trebek. While his detractors called him a "thug," or simply the "the Jeopardy! villain," Chu ate it up. Living his version of the American Dream, Jeopardy! gave him his 15 minutes of fame. He has something to tell you, and you should listen. The uproar has already caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, USA Today…and bloggers around the world.
This fall, Chu will participate in the JEOPARDY! Tournament of Champions and we will be there to capture it, with exclusive access to this unlikely hero and the Jeopardy! studio. 9 million people watch Jeopardy a day, and Arthur gets 8 million more google hits than Ken Jennings himself, the current Jeopardy! record holder. Now is the time to give you a closer look at this wonderful world of trivia. But we need your help. We have one month to get to Ohio to film with Arthur before the Tournament of Champions. Then to LA. Then to Taiwan. Even documentaries have expenses: anything from production insurance, to travel expenses, to legal fees, to equipment. With such themes as ethnicity in new media, the politics of being a champion, the American dream, and the nature of viral celebrity in the modern world, we know this story will have lasting education value.
So Who is Arthur Chu? Support our documentary to find the clues.
Not only do you get interviews with Ken Jennings and Alex Trebek (*pending agent approval), but you get an inside look at the Jeopardy! studio. The first time since 1989! this has happened. But for us, this film is really about Arthur. It's about his experiences as an "Asian-American Champion," his fifteen minutes of viral fame, and the stance he has taken on a variety of social issues. As there is more Jeopardy! left to be played, we will be following Arthur to Jeopardy!'s final showdown, the Tournament of Champions, and experiencing everything with him first hand. We will discover the "clue" to the question Who is Arthur Chu? as the film unfolds, as Chu regains the limelight, and as he returns to Taiwan to visit the family who applaud him. We will let the viewer experience this unique world of Jeopardy! fanaticism and the landscapes that encompass Arthur's journey. We will grow as Arthur grows, and we will experience his set-backs in the same cinema verite fashion as I am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco, King of Kong, American Movie, Please Vote for Me, and a number of other films with a similar character-centered sensibility. Regardless of style, I think it's time to start addressing the real reasons why Chu had so many detractors. It's time to examine how he defies this notion of "the model race." Time to take a look at his strategy. Through this lens, we hope to give viewers a more intimate portrayal of the historic game show.
To make a film of this scope involves a lot and a lot of legal work. Apart from Legal, we will need to purchase production insurance, errors and omissions insurance, and pay for licensing fees, travel expenses, and post production costs. Luckily we both have the cameras and audio needed to tell the story and can both direct and shoot this film. However, if we go above and beyond our goal of 50,000 we will be able to pay for gear rental when we shoot at the Jeopardy! studio, have a sound person with us for critical shooting days, and pay to bring an editor on board! Check out the pie chart below to see the percentages.
We can't do it alone. We want to give this film the scope and power it deserves and with your support we know we can.
Our creative team is simply kick-ass (we don't do humblebrag).
DIRECTOR Yu Gu is an award-winning filmmaker born in Chongqing, China and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Working primarily in documentary, her films have traveled to festivals all over the world, from the United States to Europe, to China. In Canada, she worked with Academy Award-nominated Paperny Films and CBC Television to direct a documentary about sexually-stereotyped Asian female students living abroad. At the University of Southern California where Yu received her MFA in film production, she was awarded the John Huston Award for excellence in directing. Her short documentary "A Moth in Spring" premiered at Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto, and garnered several awards before being licensed and distributed by HBO. She is currently completing post-production on a feature documentary, "The Wild Horse Star", about a Chinese poet's exile and fight for self-expression. Collaborating with artist Xiong Gu and documentarian Mark Harris, Yu is embarking on a 3-year multi-platform project documenting migrant workers in Canada, China and California.
DIRECTOR Scott Drucker is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Chicago. He has created works of non-fiction on such themes as memory, Jewish identity, conservation, and socioeconomic sustainability. His first documentary film at USC received a third place prize at the Jewlicious Film Festival, and his next project, an interactive cinema installment utilizing eye-detection coding, earned him an official selection at the First Look Interactive Festival. His thesis film, "Between the Harvest", an exploration of the controversial community harvest of sea turtle eggs, has screened at more than 20 film festivals in 10 different countries, including the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Doc NYC, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Uppsala Short Film Festival, and Flickerfest in Australia. To get more information about the film, visit the website, www.betweentheharvest.com. He also made a short doc about pro skateboarder Steve Berra while attending USC, and was the Director of Photography of an advanced documentary project on the Motorcycle Riders who race up the Angeles Crest Highway. Since graduating, Scott has created documentary content for Showtime, ESPN, Vice, Hulu, US Soccer, Nordica Skis, Liberty, and Under Armour. Before settling in Chicago, he previously lived and worked in Argentina, Costa Rica, Portland, and Los Angeles.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Mark Jonathan Harris started his professional career as a reporter for the famed City News Bureau of Chicago covering crime in the night shift. His early award-winning films document some of the most important and contentious political issues of the 60s: "Huelga!" is a portrait of Cesar Chavez during the first year of the union's Delano grape strike. He won an Academy Award for "The Redwoods", chronicling the establishment of the Redwoods National Park. His second Oscar was garnered by "The Long Way Home," and he received a third for "Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport," a moving chronicle of Britain's rescue mission of 10,000 children in the nine months prior to WWII. In recent years, Mark has focused on producing. The documentary "Code Black" about ER physicians is currently enjoying an extended theatrical release. In September 2013, Harris also launched the multi-platform project "Interacting with Autism", an educational resource for families and scholars dealing with Autism spectrum disorders. Mark has also published five novels for children and teaches filmmaking at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
We will be teaming up with an Asian-American designer to create an original T-shirt design featuring Arthur Chu and the film's title: Who is Arthur Chu? T-Shirts will be printed on American Apparel Sustainable Materials (made in the USA)!
Similarly, we will be enlisting an Artist to create two posters. One will be a print of the film poster integrating photos, while the other will be an original screen print of a hand drawn design from the artist. You can see the work from the last film I made here . . .
It will be artsy. It will be classy. And at the end of the day you get to choose which POSTER you want. We will email out both designs to choose from upon completion of the film. And Arthur will sign it. I've seen him autograph hundreds of items at a baseball game and I have confidence that he will be able to handle the full stack of 100 we will be printing. So get those donations in!
Risks and challenges
Documentary Filmmaking comes with inherent challenges and risks. However with almost a dozen films already under our belt, we are used to overcoming both. One of the biggest challenges we have faced thus far was getting behind-the-scenes access to Jeopardy!. But guess what? We did it. We are one of the first productions ever granted access to the Jeopardy! set and will be one of the first documentaries about the famous game show. We also have an interview lined up with Ken Jennings, a former champion who has spoken publicly about Chu's appearance.
With this unprecedented access, and great character stories to tell, we have a big job ahead of us. But we are ready. We have a great support crew outside of this immediate fundraising page. And we are going to give 100 percent everyday until the final film is delivered to all our supporters. I know we are both very detail orientated directors and every frame will be very carefully crafted with love and dedication to authenticity.
Access to the Behind the Scenes footage with Arthur and the Jeopardy! Studio. That's right, for just 10 bucks you will get links to clips of Arthur as entertains both on and off the Jeopardy! stage. You will also get a behind the scenes look at the Jeopardy! Studio before the film is released.
An original screenprint of a limited Who is Arthur Chu? movie poster. Signed by the artist and Arthur Chu himself. You will have a choice between two movie poster designs upon completion. Plus you will get access to Behind the Scenes Footage and you will get a link to download the film upon completion.
Google Hangout session with Arthur. In addition to all of the above perks, get a chance to play Arthur in our own online version of trivia. After the game you will get a chance to ask Arthur about his experience on the game show. Items won't be shipped until October, but the Google hangout will happen sometime during the spring of 2015 (after the airing of Tournament of Champions).
All of the above perks plus 1 ticket to the taping of the Tournament of Champions.
Unfortunately you have to get yourself to Los Angeles and be available the end of September/early October, but we will put your name on the elusive list for admission to see the Tournament of Champions LIVE, as Arthur goes up against all the years best players. After the tournament, the whole crew will take you out to dinner and everyone can geek out on their love of Jeopardy! and Arthur!