Alex Chu is a writer and director who doesn’t shy away from social discussions. One film that he wrote, FORTUNE COOKIE MAGIC TRICKS, is described as a “gay zombie martial arts musical mashup”. His films have seen much success, with one of them winning Best Comedy Feature at the Red Dirt International Film Festival. Alex is also the writer and director of the film FOR IZZY, a feature film about addiction, autism, and giving people second chances. Here’s his Q&A:
FOR IZZY is a narrative feature drama that uses a documentary format and includes various mixed media, such as animation, iPhone, and GoPro footage. It is about how the lives of a recovering opioid addict and her single mother change forever when they move in next door to a widowed father and his adult daughter with autism.
2. What inspired you to be involved in this project?
I wanted to write a story about people giving themselves a second chance. And so I wanted to tell a story about recovery, not addiction. From there, the characters in the story came out of that.
3. What has been one of the biggest challenges in making this film?
The documentary style feel meant that we were shooting a lot more scenes than in a traditional narrative. Most feature films would have anywhere from 50 – 100 scenes that would be shot over the course of 3-4 weeks. Our film consisted of close to 300 scenes shot within 17 days in a ton of locations. It was a miracle honestly that we were able to get through it without any major hiccups!
4. What has been your happiest/most rewarding moment in this journey?
During the crowdfunding campaign, the sheer number of backers that reached out to us personally, telling us why the premise of our film resonated with them, why it’s important to tell more stories like this, and actively spreading the word to their own network.
To inspire more persons of color and women (of any color) to tell their own stories. To be the protagonists in their own narrative. Because it’s these very stories told through their lens that make what we’re all struggling with universal.
6. Where do you take it from here? What’s next?
We’re currently in post-production (editing, sound mixing, etc) and hope to complete the film by the end of 2016, and then heading into the festival circuit in 2017!
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