MUSIC and ART
As a former musician, DJ and radio host of a world electronic music program for eight years, I've always had a special place in my heart for music, and it's integral to the way I approach editing film. Like music it's all about rhythm and emotion. So it's always a joy for me when I get to edit music videos ; it's the coming together of two of my biggest passions in life: music and filmmaking. I've enjoyed both recreating the energy of live performance through the rhythm of cutting, as well as shaping a narrative or the feel of a song through a music video.
My mother is a painter so I also have a deep appreciation, if absolutely no talent for, that kind of visual art. The opportunity to document artists creating installations from the ground up is always a visual feast.
In this day and age, the video medium is the way most of us consume information and so its an essential way for musicians, artists, and authors to quickly introduce who they are and what their book is about in a concise compelling way to cut through the clutter and get people's attention.
"TRUTH IS I'M A LIAR" by ROGER PERRY
Director, Cinematographer, Editor
In January, 2016, I traveled to Fresno and spent a morning documenting the intimate acoustic version of the lead song from California Central Valley music legend Roger Perry's upcoming new album. When I still had dreams of a career in music, I interned at a recording studio, and occasionally recorded there, and remember that indelible magic that gets created in this environment. So we set out to create a corner with a cozy vibe for the intimacy of the performance, offset by the vast empty dark space of the full studio, suggesting the darkness at the heart of the lyrics.
We had a small window of time with this busy and in-demand musician, so we ran through 6 or 7 takes to get what was needed from his performance, along with a quick dash outside for a handful of slow-motion shots done on my iPhone! The great thing with a pro like Roger is you just get him set and lit, and then let him do his thing as a consummate songwriter and performer. It was shot and recorded At The Studio, mixed by the incomparable engineer, Robert Arreola (Tin Hat Trio, Tony Furtado, Scott Amendola, Candido Obajimi, etc.). It was an honor and a blast to work with these sonic artists and made me want to pick up my guitar again!
DIRECTIONS IN SOUND
CAAMFest’s musical event Directions in Sound, highlights Asian American musicians and this particular year featured a special Korean band showcase. Throwing my back out a couple days before the shoot, I was unable to join the camera crew, but I edited highlights of the shows - creating segments for 4-5 different artists including live song performances with short interviews, and song story segments detailing how each artist wrote a specific song. A couple of samples of the live performances at different venues are below.
Love X Stereo is a Korean electro-punk band with a nod to the 90s and a riveting singer with Run Lola Run red hair and energy to burn.
Rocky Rivera is a Bay-Area based hip-hop artist with a strong female empowerment message in a classic rap package.
"SPEAK FOR THE TREES" by EARTH GUARDIANS
A music video made by an inspiring family of indigenous siblings dedicated to fighting climate change - Earth Guardians! Dedicated young eco-warriors and talented musical artists as well, this track is a collaboration with green music artist A-Natural for Earth Day. This simple low budget video shot on their cell phones has already seen by over 100,000 people worldwide as part of a campaign to plant more trees for the planet. Again proving you don't need a big budget or fancy gear to make an inspiring piece.
In the fall of 2014, a team of people (sailors, historians, sound recordist, camera) climbed aboard the Grace Quan, a replica of an old Chinese shrimping vessel from a century ago, to retrace the sails of the Chinese shrimpers who used to frequent these waters and to find the sites where the ghosts of the former Chinese camps remain. This project is part of a planned experiential installation at the National Maritime Museum, as well as a short documentary about the history, and a behind-the-scenes documentation of the week long process. It was an amazing experience to be aboard this old boat, and to document history and the bay from the perspective of the water.
The short video documentary that ran in the gallery of the installation (Nov 2015-Jan 2016) as a record of both the history and the process of recreating that history through the journey. (note this version is pre-sound mix!)
A short sample I edited of the behind-the-scenes work of the crew and team aboard the Grace Quan.
LIMINAL SPACE/CROSSINGS (trailer)
Director (with Jim Choi), Editor
Trailer for Liminal Space/Crossings gallery space and web: documenting the creation and opening of artist Summer Mei-Ling Lee's work.
THE MAKING OF 0-VIEWPOINT
Director/Camera/Editor (all with Jim Choi)
Short visual documentation of the creation of Stella Zhang’s 0-VIEWPOINT exhibit at Chinese Culture Center (an accompaniment to the longer 0-VIEWPOINT piece in “documentary shorts” above). This piece was created to be part of the exhibit, premiering at the opening, and running on loop together with the exhibit for the duration. The soundtrack came from music that Stella would play while working on her art at home.
THE MAKING OF LURE
Director/Camera/Editor (all with Jim Choi)
Short visual documentation of the creation of Beili Liu’s LURE exhibit at Chinese Culture Center (an accompaniment to the longer RED THREAD piece in “documentary shorts” above). This piece was created to be part of the exhibit, premiering at the opening, and running on loop together with the exhibit for the duration. The first full documentary piece I worked on.
TEACH BREATHE LEARN
I created this trailer for TEACH BREATHE LEARN which then went on to sell out its first print run within two months (and is burning through its second) after quickly amassing thousands of views on the web. The trailer has been instrumental in giving potential readers a quick way to connect with the author and the message of the book.