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.)
Just last week, I traveled up to SF (from my home in L.A.) specifically to introduce the main subject of my documentary, Principal Ed Tom, to a few key folks in the Bay Area. I particularly wanted Ed to meet the people at CAAM because they have been so instrumental in getting us to where we are now.
The second we walked through the doorway of CAAM’s offices, Executive Director Stephen Gong looked up from his busy meeting, and said “Hey there… Ed Tom, right?” I hadn’t even introduced Ed to him, and Stephen already recognized his face from all of the footage we had sent. Needless to say, Ed was impressed.
Then we went to visit Sapana Sakya (Media Fund Director), and Don Young (Director of Programs) in their offices. Even though they were both incredibly busy planning for the SFIAAFF, they spent almost half an hour talking with us about our film. And when I started to pitch another film idea, they both listened enthusiastically and encouraged me to follow up with them soon. (Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet with Media Fund Associate Ellen Park because she was out of the office – but Ellen is awesome too!)
When we left, Ed couldn’t stop raving about how incredible the whole CAAM staff is. He said, “That was like going to see family!” And that really is the perfect description because, as a filmmaker, my best creative experiences are the ones which are communal.
I hope everyone reading this is inspired to get more involved in the CAAM family!