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FilmHelp: Interviews

PakBuzz Q&A: Producer Karin Chien on “The Motel”

Motel poster
“The Motel” poster

Karin Chien produced Greg Pak’s films “Robot Stories” (with Kim Ima) and “Super Power Blues.” Her latest two films, Michael Kang’s “The Motel” and Chris Chan Lee’s “Undoing,” hit theaters this week. Read on for Pak’s interview with Chien about “The Motel” theatrical release, what a producer does, and just why the heck she’s worked with so many Korean American directors.
Greg Pak: Congrats on all the recent success! Tell us a little about what you’re doing to prepare for “The Motel” opening this coming Wednesday in New York. What can people do to help?
Karin Chien:
Bring as many people as possible to see the film when it opens on June 28 at the Film Forum, and then tell everyone you know how much you love THE MOTEL!!
But, seriously, we are working with Palm Pictures on the marketing campaign, and are also doing a grassroots campaign, which involves spreading the word, via events, posters, parties, merchandise and the internet, throughout the indie film and Asian American communities. If you’re part of an organization or school or a very large family, you can invite us to speak to your group, or screen a trailer, or put up posters, or write us up in your blog. Every little bit of extra exposure helps.

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PakBuzz Q&A: Michael Kang on “The Motel”

Motel poster
“The Motel” poster

Michael Kang (whom viewers of Greg Pak’s short films may recognize as one of the stars of “Asian Pride Porn”) directed the award-winning feature film “The Motel,” which opens theatrically at the Film Forum in Manhattan on June 28. Read on for an in depth interview with Greg Pak in which Kang reveals how he worked with his child actors, what challenges he faced in making the film, and where to find his favorite motels.
Greg Pak: Give us the quick rundown on what “The Motel” is about and what kinds of audience members will particularly love it.
Michael Kang:
“The Motel” is about a kid who is growing up in a seedy hourly rate motel owned by his family. It’s basically a story about the worst possible place to go through puberty. I think it will act as a healing force for anyone that had a terrible time going through those formative years (which is most likely all of us). It’s a dark comedy in the vein of “Welcome to the Dollhouse.” It also stars Sung Kang so I think teenage girls will really like it.
GP: Any special events around the opening that people should know about?
MK:
In addition to our big premiere party being hosted by ImaginAsian, we are in the planning stages of working with groups like MK on throwing after parties every night. Basically, we think that after people see the movie, they will want to get drunk. The best way to find out about the venues and locations for these are if people sign up on our MySpace account at http://www.myspace.com/themotelfilm. There is also a podcast series of phone conversations I am having with key members of the film being hosted on the Film Forum website. We have a lot of fun stuff planned for the two weeks. Really, the best way to keep up is to sign up on MySpace or on our email list at The Motel website at http://www.themotel-film.com.

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Steve Mallorca talks “Slow Jam King” — screening now in NYC!

Ron Domingo in Slow Jam King
Ron Domingo in “Slow Jam King”

A FilmHelp interview by Greg Pak
Steven E. Mallorca’s award winning feature film “Slow Jam King” is now screening at the Imaginasian Theater in New York City. Click here for screening times. And read on for an interview in which Mallorca talks about everything from his set getting raided by police to his favorite slow jams.
Greg Pak: Tell us a bit about the film and who should go see it.
Steven E. Mallorca:
“Slow Jam King” is an offbeat road comedy about JoJo Enriquez, a Filipino-American wannabe gangsta-pimp who, in his attempts to answer his call to the streets, carjacks Vance, a traveling perfume salesman with an affinity to country music. Stuck along for the ride is JoJo’s friend, Devaun, an ex-funkateer and reluctant family man, who tries to talk sense into JoJo and diffuse the situation. The motley trio embark on an escapist roadtrip to Nashville, where they discover truth, love, and the dirty underbelly of the Nashville country music scene. Anyone that’s looking for a good time, enjoys genre-bending films, and likes their humor on the irreverent side with a healthy dose of multi-cultural absurdity should come out to check out “Slow Jam King.” I sort of equate this film to early ’90s Native Tongues hip hop – it’s fun and a little absurd, but with a conscious voice to it – like if De La Soul, or Tribe Called Quest were a hip hop movie…. or better yet Prince Paul. So if you’re a fan of that kind of hip hop, you’ll definitely get into “Slow Jam King.” Also, I think that anyone who’s a do-it-yourself filmmaker or musician can enjoy the film, too.

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