This was the last short film I made before Caroline and Jackie. In a lot of ways it's not as good as my first short, but it's ambitious and I fell big.
I learned more through my mistakes on this project than anything I'd ever done before or since. The biggest thing I learned is how valuable acting is. I was super cocky going into this and thought I could evenly pair trained actors with non-actors, and just through my own brilliance direct an even performance throughout. I bet wrong. That said, I'm glad I failed a bit because afterwards I completely changed my priorities in regards to acting, and that shift is what lead to Caroline and Jackie.
Big shout out to Michael Ziming Ouyang and Shu Chou (producer and DP) because without them I literally would have been nothing but another bumbling American in China. This production was so ambitious, not to mention ambiguously illegal. I literally ended this trip by smuggling cans of Kodak film across the border with a forged government certificate labeling them as dailies from a Rolex commercial. And always thank you to Ruth Surrey, for whom without none of it would be possible.
Shanghai: you crazy.