Byron Yee, a first-time filmmaker, grew up in Oklahoma, moved to San Francisco to pursue stand up comedy, and later headed to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Getting tired of waiting for Hollywood to create interesting roles for someone like him, Yee decided to write his own film. His new release, The Aliens, is a film about a UFO believer who must choose between the aliens above he has never seen or the mysterious guide who appears at his campsite week after week.
The Philippines has 181 languages yet most children’s stories in the Philippines are written in only 2 languages, Tagalog and English. Sari-Sari Storybooks has Kickstarted a project to bring those under-represented Philippine language groups life through children’s stories. We interview Christina Newhard about the project.
The same day that the final Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer hit this week, a lesser known project called Black Tiger: Hunter Hunted released its 20-minute pilot episode on YouTube. Black Tiger originally started off as a comic book mini-series in 2004. In 2014, a Kickstarter project to fund a short film based on the comic book was successfully funded. The short film, starring WWE Diva Angela Fong and Robin Shou (Mortal Kombat), premiered at WonderCon in 2014 and went on to screen at other conventions, winning the 2014 Spirit of Comic Con award at the Atlanta Comic Con’s Wizard World Film Festival. Director Patricio Ginelsa took time out to talk to us about the film and the funding effort to continue the web series.
Secret Coders, a new graphic novel series written by Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Superman), sets out to bring computer programming to kids and adults. Some people may not know that Yang, when not writing comics, is a high school computer science teacher. This is his attempt to combine his two passions – comics and programming.
Ryan Nagata has worked in Hollywood as a prop builder and model maker as well as a director for television and web series. His latest project, which he co-wrote and directed, is a feature length film that pairs up the unlikely duo of stars, Randall Park and Steve Agee, for a horror-comedy set in a desert called Amigo Undead. I had the opportunity to interview Nagata about Amigo Undead, his film background, and his thoughts on CGI vs. practical effects.
There is something to be said for having a shared experience with over 6,000 people sitting in an arena in Anaheim, California. A single, solitary moment when a giant video screen fades to black and you hear a voice that you recognize but can’t quite process quick enough before the visual hammers it home, “Chewie, we’re home.” Everybody around me immediately jumps up, fists pumping up high, cheers deafening, not quite processing everything about the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer. Luckily, we are able to see it again and are able to focus more on what we just saw.
Back in October 2014, we did a special Hard NOC Life with rapper Jason Chu about his Kickstarter project to fund the making of a music video for his song MARVELS. The project was successfully funded and last week the music video was officially released on ISAtv’s YouTube channel. The video has been viewed over 18,000 times in its first week and has struck a chord with many viewers.
Back in May, I wrote about Marvel and Disney getting ready to start a big promotional push for the upcoming animated movie Big Hero 6 later this year. At that time only a few names had been announced for the voice actors: Jamie Chung as Go Go Tamago and T.J. Miller as Fred. Maya Rudolph was announced as part of the cast but was tied to an unnamed role. Today, Disney finally announced the actors for the rest of the voice cast.
In late 2013, I heard that director Jeffrey Gee Chin (Lil Tokyo Reporter) and composer George Shaw (TableTop, Keye Luke, Hang Loose) were making a Star Wars musical fan film set in style to Disney musicals.
After many months of production, the short film Star Wars the Musical (Disney Parody) has now been released on YouTube and is sure to garner many views. In fact, our very own Junko was a production assistant for the film too!
If you haven’t seen it yet, Disney and Marvel just released the first trailer to this winter’s upcoming Big Hero 6.
I first was introduced to Big Hero 6 while interviewing artist David Nakayama in July 2008 at San Diego Comic Con. I had asked Nakayama what he was working on for his next project, and he told me about the Big Hero 6 mini-series he was working on for Marvel in a story written by one of his all-time heroes, Chris Claremont. Set in Japan featuring a group of Japanese superheroes, Nakayama provided details about how they really wanted to emphasize a lot of Japanese style into the art of the five-issue mini-series. I was excited to hear about Big Hero 6, and picked up issue #1 a few months later when it was released.