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.
After twelve months on the travel circuit, I think it’s safe to say that WHATEVER IT TAKES has finally finished its film festival run. But oh what a ride it was! Often thrilling, other times exhausting, but always an amazing feeling to show one’s film to new audiences across the country.
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.
Several films we’ve funded have received acceptance into film festivals and a record number have gone on to win awards. To start off with seven CAAM films were screened at our own festival: MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN, A SONG FOR OURSELVES, FRUITFLY, AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY: THE PATSY MINK STORY, PROJECT KASHMIR and WHATEVER IT TAKES. Congratulations to all the filmmakers!
At one point while watching PROJECT KASHMIR, I thought of the moments Thomas Fowler spends in the South Vietnamese turret in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. Those were the quiet, humanly awkward and poignant moments before the turret was blown apart and Fowler’s life saved by Pyle, his rival in romance.
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.
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.