“We Are Fathers” with Jerry Ying

CHOPSO interviews We Are Fathers’ creator, writer and director, Jerry Ying. The digital series is now streaming on CHOPSO.

C: Why did you create We Are Fathers?

At the time, Jin Namkung and I thought it would be healthy and cathartic for him if we turned his recent divorce and life fails into a web series. Years later we’re not so sure it worked. Last I heard, Jin was living on one of those islands in the LA River…BUT on a more personal note, it certainly marked the beginning of me taking control of my career 🙂

C: What was the best part of filming the series? What was the most challenging?

The best part of filming the show was the trial by fire vibe of it all. It was an adventure. Everyday, every hour, from the moment I finished writing the script, I was learning or doing something I had never done before. I had spent the past 15 years of my life in front of the camera and was finally getting to see how all the departments work together to make it happen. At the end of the day, the most challenging aspect of it all was also the most important. I had to learn to trust people. Specifically the department heads, and in the first production I meddled a lot. As a director there is always the impulse to want to control everything, but I’ve happily learned that if you can trust others, they will often surprise you and elevate your original vision.

C: What do you hope the CHOPSO audience walks away after watching your series?

I hope the CHOPSO audience sees We Are Fathers as a show that had everything and nothing to do with being Asian American.

C: What advice do you have for Asian American filmmakers?

Tell stories that you know, tell stories that you’re passionate about, and by all means don’t think you have to cast the “best looking” actors to garner interest. Find the best talent and give them the stage.

C: What are you working on and where can people see more of your work?

I have recently started my own commercial and film production company, HERO LA (www.herola.xyz). Along with my partners Sam Haligman and Tim Hsiung, we are focused on building a company that will allow us to continue telling fun, beautiful, and impactful stories in the short and long form.

We are currently in post on a short film I wrote/directed about marriage and fidelity, and are hoping to begin shooting our first feature by the end of 2018.
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Author: Koji Steven Sakai

Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016 and his graphic novel, 442, was released in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.

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