Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco

Meet the Makers (of great craft beer)

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Here’s a video I produced during my last semester at AAU. Enjoy, and feel free to give me some feedback. (Except, not YouTube type of feedback…save those for YouTube)

Pac Brew Lab from Winnie Wong on Vimeo.

Three Day Weekends

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Written by winniewongsf

July 8, 2011 at 8:09 am

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Open Road, Endless Stories

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We’re supposed to see non-stop rain this weekend, which gave me the perfect excuse to pass on my friend’s pre-Union Street Festival house party and stay in pajamas this afternoon watching movies that have been added to my growing list.

I first came across the trailer for The Recess Ends earlier this week when an acquaintance from ad agency Mekanism, Evan Romano, tweeted about production team The WereHaus, comprised of two soCal brothers (Austin and Brian Chu) transplanted in SF, who completed TRE back in 2010. Yesterday, I headed to their downtown HQ to drop by, say hello, and meet the crew (after having written Austin the day before to make sure he was free, of course). Although SF State alum Brian was out, the rest of the guys were around and awesome. Super chill, friendly – they’re like your next door neighbors, only ridiculously creative. Austin is quite the character with what seemed like various wheels spinning in his head – constantly throwing out ideas and hilarious musings and feeling out who might catch (or match) them. I wouldn’t mind crashing a brainstorm/storyboard session with these guys any day – I’m sure by now they’ve nailed getting things done and having a ball doing so.

After chopping it up for a few hours about their current projects, how they’ve made their passion work and pay for their existence, discovering a mutual interest in solid breakfast burritos, and complaining about the lack thereof in the city, Austin sent me home with a free DVD of TRE, a warm hug, and an invite to The Werehaus designer’s birthday celebration that night. Like I said, awesome dudes who are going to go far.

So, a little bit about the film – TRE is a collection of voices (young and old), as well as images of deconstructed spaces, foreclosed homes, abandoned schoolhouses, from across the nation, supported by head-bobbing beats that move scenes along and serve as seamless transitions throughout the film. Starting in January of 2009, the Chu brothers went on an epic road trip through all 50 states to find ordinary people who had something to say about the recession. I won’t say any more. The film is really worth checking out (as is the music), and you can get it here – http://therecessends.com/.

Written by winniewongsf

June 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Relief

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In my last post, I said some things about an individual that probably sounded harsh.  While I don’t have regrets regarding what I said, I do hope that this person took it as constructive criticism.

Yesterday turned out to be as smooth of a shoot day as any amateur director could have ask for.  Sure, Saturday was pure chaos with running last minute errands in the morning, crewing on another project during the day, and an equipment fiasco/mix-up during the latter part of the evening. BUT, everything worked itself out, and I finally got some sleep Saturday night.  *One thing I have learned is NEVER, EVER commit to being on a shoot if you don’t have enough sleep.  This is especially true when you are directing your own project.

Woke up early Sunday morning, drove to Berkeley to pick up some of the equipment around 7:30, met the crew at Fernando’s house by 9, and started the set-up process.  With only one hiccup (La Boulange’s manager forgot about the order he promised to put aside for me, so when Amie went to pick up the pastries, she had to raise some hell so that they would rush to put it together), we were off to a really good start.

It was difficult for me to get started, mainly because I really couldn’t gauge the extent of how much some of the questions would drain Fernando, emotionally.  (He’s done interviews before, but later on in the day, he revealed that they had never been this personal nor had they consisted of a full day of shooting.)  I started by asking him very basic questions, and luckily, his answers began to give depth into what he’s been through on a more intimate level.  It felt strange (and somewhat wrong) to be asking him certain things in a room full of people he did not know and had just met that morning.  To be so open about your personal experiences and hardships, I can only respect him and aspire to be that honest and brave.  I also know he wanted to go through with it because he has such an important message to communicate with the public.

We didn’t experience any technical issues (except for the fact that during the first data dump, we could not figure out how to transfer files with a USB connection – turns out we were in camera mode and not PC mode!), the crew was more than efficient, hard-working and so patient, I felt comfortable with the location and with Fernando, and we didn’t run into too many ambient noise issues.  It could be a different story when I go through the clips this week as I edit, but from what we could tell last night, we walked away with some amazing footage.

What’s exciting – Fernando talked about so many different things, I’m pretty sure we can turn this into a multi-faceted story, which is more than what we planned going in.  I have 9 days left to edit and polish off a rough cut before we screen at BDFI to the student body and faculty.  That is daunting.  With interning during the day, class at night, more shoots in between, and a two-day music festival this weekend, I am not seeing much sleep in my future.  I have to say though, this has been nothing but an incredible summer so far.  Yesterday was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and I felt so privileged to be able to work with such great people – especially my friend, Mark Bracamonte, who did an AMAZING job as DP and with such short notice.  Not only did he provide creative guidance for myself and Amie, he was reliable, so easy to work with, a joy to have around, and even brought a friend to help.  Could not be more grateful towards these guys.

Another thing I’ve realized since being assigned this project is how much I enjoy producing.  It’s mostly about making things happen and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.  I find it exhilarating working with businesses in the community to secure resources, collaborating with the crew to make sure everyone has a role and is satisfied with what they’re responsible for, and the sense of accomplishment felt after a successful shoot.  It’s one of the most rewarding roles I’ve ever come across, if not frustrating, stressful, draining…

*All photos courtesy of Deirdre Straughan.

Written by winniewongsf

August 9, 2010 at 10:39 am

Support Small Business in SF

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I received the below email in my inbox this morning.  (Although I don’t smoke cigars regularly, I’ve been going to the Cigar Bar the last 4 years for its lively atmosphere, great patio dining, an occasional Montecristo, and the sincerity of one of its chefs/ managers, Neil Rideout. )  This establishment has always been perfect for a low-key night out with friends, and I’m especially concerned for its future after having heard the news below.  Please consider supporting your local neighbors.  Thanks.

The smoking ban will end the Cigar Bar and Grill as we know it. We will no longer be able to allow smoking in the courtyard. Please help support our small business by writing the mayor or city council supervisors in your own words and letting them know how you feel about the legislation and how you feel about the Cigar Bar and Grill. You can find the supervisor’s e-mails on this page: http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=1616

The mayor’s e-mail is gavin.newsom@sfgov.org

Thank you for your support,

Matt Kahn
Cigar Bar and Grill
General Manager
415-398-0850 phone
415-398-0855 fax
850 Montgomery Street
San Francisco CA, 94133

Written by winniewongsf

March 12, 2010 at 10:09 am

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