About this project
We are so close to completing this film! Reaching out to you to help us reach the finish line, and to join in our efforts to creating something really special.
FICTION & OTHER REALITIES is a music drama about BOBBY, a struggling Korean-American singer-songwriter from New York City who suddenly is given an opportunity to travel as a roadie for his best friend BILLY's electro-pop band's world tour. When they arrive in Seoul, Korea, Bobby decides to ditch the band and stay in this "land where everyone looks like him" to investigate a feeling that could potentially fill a major void in his life. He befriends INA, a Korean busker who is facing her own set of personal struggles. They both seem to find success as they lean on each other for support.
This story celebrates self-worth and the human connection people can make even coming from opposite sides of the world - through decency and through the universal language of music... all from a minority's perspective.
IT ONLY TAKES A SPARK
"The fastest, most effective way to make change - create something. They can't control what I make." That's a quote from Justin Chon, writer/director of "GOOK" which just premiered at and won the NEXT Audience Award at Sundance 2017.
About a year ago I sent a script to Justin, who I truly admire and respect because he's always been brutally honest with me. That's why I was dreading his feedback. When he did call, surprisingly he told me if I didn't make this film that HE would. Actually, he yelled at me. Thus lighting a fire under my as* and here we are today.
My name is Bobby Choy. I’m an Asian American singer-songwriter who goes by the stage name BIG PHONY. I’m originally from New York City but about 6 years ago I relocated to Korea, the country my parents originally hailed from. For some strange reason I felt safe here, even though I didn’t understand the language or current customs. Still, I was convinced that a void I lived with growing up as a minority in America could be explained or even filled by being in Korea. To make a long story short… it worked. I wrote a script loosely based on my journey which touches on serious issues of self-identity, self-worth, and a passion for music.
FROM NEW YORK TO SEOUL
Our story takes place mostly in Seoul, Korea which has already been filmed, and is in the can. The Seoul Film Commission also awarded us with a coveted film incentive grant, which was only given to a select few projects this year including Netflix’s Sense8. They made it possible for us to highlight a side of Seoul that is dear to me: the area of Hongdae which is home to many independent artists and Korean live music clubs. A place in danger of losing its rich culture to gentrification and possibly casino tourism. Something many are fighting to stop.
Even dearer to me is the unique experience I was given growing up as an Asian American born and raised in the US. This story touches on some of the challenges/issues many Americans of immigrant parents still face today but aren't represented in mainstream media such as feature films. I would love to tell my story in such a medium.
Our Director Steve Lee is a Korean-American filmmaker based in Seoul. I asked him to be a part of this project because of his extensive involvement on both Korean and English speaking productions, his personal experience as an American” Kyopo" (Korean born outside of Korea) living and working in Korea for 10+ years, and his ability to insightfully understand the subject matter of Fiction & Other Realities. He's also genuinely an all around badass and dear friend.
Roughly 25% of this film takes place not in Seoul but in New York City and has yet to be filmed, making this a joint US/Korean venture. To save costs we plan on heading to Los Angeles to complete our remaining scenes. We also hope to send our DP to New York to film/pickup necessary B-roll & establishing shots. We just need a little more support to help us get there.
OUR STORIES MATTER
Along with the amazing people who already believe in this project, we’re here to tell you that Asian-Americans also have stories to tell that are relatable, unconventional, and surprise.. entertaining! It's important to share our stories to wider audiences to prove that our perspectives matter just as much as everyone else's when promoting positive and artistic progression. Especially during a time where it seems more and more that actors of Asian descent are being unfairly relegated to the back of the line for opportunities to star in roles which often were originally written for them in mind. In the music industry I've personally experienced and have heard too many stories that begin with the statement "We're just not sure how to market you.." This season of inequality needs to change and for good. Opportunities are few for us still so it's important we create our own and pave a way for future generations.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Any support that we can raise will go to completing our project & vision in Los Angeles. We are traveling with a small team from Seoul including our director, director of photography, head producer, and we're looking to assemble the rest of our film crew in Los Angeles.
By the grace of all that is good, we were able to raise enough to film the entirety of our Seoul location shoot. The additional support we are asking for will help secure our needs in Los Angeles:
- Production Costs
- Equipment Rentals
- Additional Staff in Los Angeles
- Casting & Extras
- Permits & Other Incidentals
Furthermore, we are hoping to allocate part of the budget to the remaining tasks of:
- Post Production
- Color Grading
- Visual Effects
- Sound Mixing
- Soundtrack Recording, Mixing, and Mastering
- Mastering, Packaging for Distribution and Festivals
- BIG ONE - Marketing and Film Festival expenses
THE MUSIC: BIG PHONY
When I was 12 years old my mom got my brother Eddie his first guitar and he told me plainly that if I ever touched it he would surely break my bones. I proceeded to excel in the art of hiding and eventually started writing songs too. 26 years later I'm still writing music.. My bones are still intact.
I've heard it said many times that Big Phony music fares well with Film & TV. It's something I'm actually very proud of because that has been a deliberate goal of mine since early on. It's a big reason why I'm pursuing this dream. I've been fortunate enough to have had my music featured in many film projects over the past 10 plus years including:
Anyway, I should probably let you be the judge of that. Here's a sample of the kind of music you can expect to hear in Fiction & Other Realities:
Our Kickstarter Backed 2016 "Big Phony" album will also be prominently featured in the movie.
For more information please check out BIG PHONY PRESS-KIT
Thank you thank you thank you for your time and for your consideration, truly. I can assure you that we'll be working our butts off to make this project the best that it can be. We hope that this movie will open more doors and create even more opportunities for minorities and undervalued communities who are still fighting through the hardships and disadvantages that exists in today's film and music industries.
SOME OF OUR REWARDS:
REWARD: "Personal Song" SAMPLE - Chris of Korean Indie commissioned a song through our "Help Make Big Phony's 6th Album" Kickstarter campaign last year. He provided the lyrics :)
PS - We don't have a Film Digital Download REWARD because in all honesty, we don't know what the protocol is for possible future distribution. If we can make it available to our Kickstarter Backers we'll be sure to let you know as soon as we can to include that reward to all of our Backers who have pledged at the $20 level or higher. Thanks in advance for your understanding and WE LOVE YOU!
Risks and challenges
Making a film is hard work we all know but the challenges seem to multiply when attempting to tell stories by minorities. We need help spreading the word and encouragement to see this through to a positive outcome.
We are only asking for the bare minimum to meet our needs for production to finish this film. Any additional support would give us greater potential in making a better end product and ability to pursue more effective marketing needs. In short, we need all the help we can get.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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