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 🙂
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.