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A short "music video" exploring the nightmarish undertones of Asian fetish.
A short film exploring the nightmarish undertones of Asian fetish.
A short film exploring the nightmarish undertones of Asian fetish.
169 backers pledged $5,285 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$5,285

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Last year, a music video called “Asian Girlz” made the rounds on the Internet. The video fetishizes a scantily-clad Asian American actress who is ogled by male band members spewing toxic stereotypes. In its least offensive form, it is a bad song of nonsensical cliches about Asian Americans (i.e. “wonton soup,” “slanty eyes,” and “tradition, tradition, tradition”); in its most relevant, a dehumanization of Asian women conveyed through sexually aggressive lyrics (“buttf*cking all night,” “ninja pussy,") and hyper-sexualized images.

The video and its after-effects reveal the gross lack of Asian American female voices in popular media, the consequences of which translate into very real violence and aggression towards women.

As Asian American women, we wish to create a counter-audio-visual culture, a musical and visual protest, to the longstanding objectification of us as sexual objects for the male gaze.

The short music film, "Carnal Orient," will feature an exclusive, original score by Angela Seo from the band Xiu Xiu. Angela will be co-directing with Mila Zuo, a PhD candidate from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television and co-founder of PublicNotice Design. Camille Mana is producing the project. Please take a look at our updates for her bio.

Photo // Erica Kawamoto Hsu
Photo // Erica Kawamoto Hsu

THE VIDEO: "Carnal Orient" will reveal the nightmarish undertones of Asian fetish through the use of spectacular production design, special effects, performance, and music. As a psychological exploration of carnal desire and pleasure, the film will be unsettling and provocative, a visual protest against the dehumanization of Asian females. 

WHERE YOUR DONATIONS WILL GO: Even though we're maximizing all our resources (equipment, friends), there are still heavy costs to create the vision we have in mind. Along with rental fees for cameras and lighting, our surreal story requires the use of two potentially costly materials: special effects prosthetics and a somewhat elaborate production design. All your donations will go to the making of the film. 

WHERE WILL THE FILM END UP?   We want the widest possible audience to see this film, so we will be submitting it to international film festivals, then to cable networks like HBO and Showtime, and finally to online distribution channels like Hulu and Netflix. With your contribution, we want you to take pride in helping get this short film made.

OUR PRODUCTION CREW: Besides Angela, Mila, and Camille, we have put together a crew of innovative creative folks in Los Angeles. 

Mila Zuo: "Spark: Painting Mosuo Country"

Angela Seo: "Stupid in the Dark"

Camille Mana: "Equal Opportunity"

Thank you so much for your consideration. Please feel free to get in touch with us for more details on "Carnal Orient"! We'd love to hear from you and please check our website: http://carnalorient.tumblr.com/ for frequent updates and special Thank You posts to all our pledges!

Photos // Erica Kawamoto Hsu
Photos // Erica Kawamoto Hsu
Photos // Erica Kawamoto Hsu
Photos // Erica Kawamoto Hsu
Photos // Erica Kawamoto Hsu
Photos // Erica Kawamoto Hsu

Risks and challenges

Our hope is to create a product of quality that we may submit to various art and film festivals where it will take its part in a greater discourse. To create such a quality, we want to ensure that we have the right equipment and the right people to make our vision come to life. While a lot of the directing, editing, and composing will be done by us, we still need to reach out to find the right sound person, the effects make up artist, actors and actresses, and set designer. We set our budget as practically low as possible without feeling like we are foregoing the quality of the film, and while such financial limitations are a concern, we are fortunate enough to have a seasoned executive producer ensuring that we meet our budget, deadlines, appointments, or whatever else it is we may need to meet.

Even when some things out of our control go awry, as they are wont to do, we understand that a little flexibility, patience, ingenuity, and dedication can go a long way. We feel confident that this, coupled with the experienced know-how of our team, can carry us to see this project through to our goals.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank You shout out on our blog: carnalorient.tumblr.com

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank You shout out on our blog and free mp3 download of the song before release

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the above; and a personalized one-of-a-kind ring tone, alarm sound, or a sleep soundscape made specifically for you.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above PLUS invitations to the exclusive special screening party in Los Angeles.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A free pet portrait or a head shot taken by Mila Zuo if you're in Los Angeles; or a free limited Carnal Orient t-shirt printed by Mila's T-shirt line Two City (http://wearetwocity.com/)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    An on set visit where you can choose to be an extra in the film; or a personal tour of Los Angeles by the makers

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Angela will compose the soundtrack to your short film project. Generally, the soundtrack will be limited to about 10 minutes in length, but depending on the project, this may be flexible. This includes a preliminary meeting (online) to discuss the soundtrack, and up to two edits after it is composed. Does not include mastering.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Producer credit on the project; invitation to all private parties; on-set visits; and a 3-minute edited video portrait produced by Mira.

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Funding period

- (60 days)