CAAM is proud to announce the national PBS premiere of Christopher Wong’s award-winning documentary “Whatever It Takes” on March 30, 2010 on Independent Lens.
Part II. FEATURE DOCUMENTARIES
With SFIAAFF 2010 fast approaching, we here at CAAM thought it’d be an opportune time to look back and pay a visit to some of the featured films and artists from our last festival, and to catch up with them about the progress of their films since SFIAAFF 2009.
The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (March 12 – 22, 2009), presented by the Center for Asian American Media, wrapped with an estimated attendance of over 25,000, including over 200 filmmakers, actors and industry guests.
It’s hard to believe, but I can finally announce that WHATEVER IT TAKES has been completed! At times, I never thought my film would be done. There was always another scene to shoot, another rough cut to edit, another technical detail to manage. But through it all we persevered, and now we are ready to show our film to the world.
Last month, something happened which reminded me that I’m not just making a film. In documentary, we’re not just dealing with footage that we shot a few months ago; we’re dealing with individuals whose lives continue evolve. This is real life, and sometimes things change for the better, sometimes for the worse. In this case, it was definitely the latter…
Right before you start a documentary film, before you shoot a second of footage, what do you have? You might know who your main characters will be, but you have no idea of how they will “perform” on camera. You might know the history behind your project, but who knows how you’ll portray it. What we do have, of course, is a vision of what the film can be. This latter vision was the genesis for my documentary WHATEVER IT TAKES.
So I need to apologize again for the long absence between blog posts here… As you might imagine, things have been incredibly busy as we get to the very end of the film. Right now, we are consumed with three major tasks: finishing the edit, crafting the animation, and choosing a composer.
What’s more interesting in a documentary? A story about one person or many? If you capture the lives of four or five individuals, it seems like you would have an interesting mix of narrative threads to follow. But if you follow just one person around, you might not get enough action to fill out your film.
Well, kind of… I should explain. Since July 2007, WHATEVER IT TAKES has been supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund. Besides CAAM, Sundance has been our other major backer, providing us with not only a large grant, but also much needed creative and technical assistance.
Everyone tells you that you can’t make a film by yourself. So true. But while it’s absolutely crucial to have a wonderful camera crew and editing team, it also really helps to have an awesome film organization (or two) backing you up. For this project, we have had amazing support from CAAM, and I want to spend some time bragging about them… (FYI, CAAM did not put me up to this; this is completely my own doing.)