A Time for Filmmaking

A year ago, I blogged the day before last year’s Academy Awards, in speculation of what’s to come from that year’s ceremony. This time around, I’m coming to you nearly a week after this year’s ceremony, and I feel surprisingly rejuvenated from both that and some recent events in my life and beyond.

The diversity of this year’s Academy Awards was staggeringly more White than last year, and anyone who watched the ceremony knows that that was not swiped under the rug at all. Despite this major flaw that made #OscarsSoWhite more so than last year, it had a surprisingly positive outcome, thanks in large part to the four groundbreaking awards for Bong Joon-ho’s brilliant masterpiece, “Parasite” (winner of Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best International Film, and first non-English language winner of Best Picture). In addition, it brought me great joy to see one of my favorite filmmakers, Taika Waititi, win his first ever Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, for the brilliant comedy-drama, “Jojo Rabbit.”

The chances of these filmmakers winning any of these awards were slim beyond words and it doesn’t help that they were really the only people of color in their categories as well. The fact that they won – particularly Bong for “Parasite” – are very well deserved indeed. I’ve seen both “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit,” and they’re both brilliantly executed works in their own rights. While I know it doesn’t speak for any amount of success for the AAPI community here in the U.S., it’s still something significant to see.

Actor Keanu Reeves was one of the presenters that night, and as of late, his name has been on everyone’s lips and minds here in the Bay Area. Part of the upcoming sequel for “The Matrix” is being shot right in San Francisco, and getting to hear about the different sightings about where they’re shooting has been really thrilling to see. I’ve even applied to be an extra, and while I’ve had no success in nailing a gig for it (yet), I was thrilled to successfully locate one of the places they filmed at just the other day. (Never have I been more excited to be right about something.)

I saw the original “Matrix” for the first time just last summer, and it’s a film that I fell in love with immediately. It’s an intelligent work that kept me on edge upon first viewing, and the fact that the lead is played by a mixed race Asian actor makes it all the more special for me personally. To say that the latest installment shot a scene just down the street from where I work is an incredible feeling.

With the fourth “Matrix” being shot in San Francisco this month and the Academy Awards last weekend (which was also the weekend of my birthday), how thrilling it was to hear two of my friends say exactly what I’ve been needing to hear: when you’re ready to make a film, let us know. I’ve expressed many times on here that I need someone who’s willing to take a chance on me. It’s one thing to count on a complete stranger to decide whether or not to open their doors to you. But to have talented people in your life who you know will make something brilliant is far more assuring. Needless to say, there’s a story I’ve been wanting to tell for the screen for some time (other than the adaptation of An Absolute Mind). Now I feel the motive to take my rough outline I did of it over the holidays and write it out once and for all.

(Also, I just want to make it clear that you shouldn’t just depend on others to validate your skill set for you. For the most part, you have to do that yourself. What I am saying is that there are times where it doesn’t hurt to have a little external boost.)

It’s a time for filmmaking; for the voices who are finally being heard and recognized, for the man whose starring appearance in one of the biggest sci-fi franchises of all time is a reassuring sight for me, and for voices like mine who are rising. Now, we just need to keep going forward and lift each other up along the way.

If you are able to, I hope you can go support me in all that I do by leaving a tip over on Ko-fi. I do a lot of writing that I get paid very little for or not at all, and so this is a way of showing your support other than just reading my content. Donations of varying quantities and frequencies are greatly appreciated.

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