Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sundance, Slamdance Orientation at Film Independent

Three qualified speakers shared many insights about these 2 major festivals that are applicable to filmmakers, film lovers, or just casual film goers.

Javier Fuentes-León - Director of Undertow, winner of the Audience Award at 2010 Sundance & Project:Involve Alumnus

Drea Clark - Executive Director, Slamdance & MV programmer LAFF

Nguyen Tran - Producer's Rep

General Matters
-What you want to get out of festival?
-How do you want to come across?
-Come up w/ a wish list (priority list).
-Befriend the staff. Interact with them. Inspire good will.
-Ask nicely for film to be shown the first 5 days of festival.
-People are approachable at the festivals, more than seeing them in LA.
-Make individual connection with everyone you encounter.
-People will go bat for you if they love your film.
-Know your collaborators: their experience, their tastes, their comfort
-Who are there? Distributors, producers, reps.

-Check in w/ the festival publicist.
-Know who's the press. Get festival's press list.
-Remember you are a client to your publicist. You should have a rapport with them, know who they speak with during the fest. Make sure they are visible to you and in the festival.

Producer's Rep
-Know your product. What's the goal? Empower the rep to sell your film because it's a long, hard process.
-The rep checks the expectations of their clients. On the same page?

-Target the locals in advance w/ radio ads. They are bodies who blog, do social network.
-Creative promotions: chocolate hearts for romance movie, zombie performers, "dead strong" wrist band for a movie about zombie's rights.

If you don't have a film but has a script
-Have your one-line
-But people like to feel they make a connection. Not things thrust on them. Make good, fun connection. Come across you have something fun in your back pocket.
-Get a card and send script after Sundance.

If you have film
-Talk about the strength in your film and how you plan to follow up. Put yourself into the flow of things.
-They maybe not have bought your film, but they want to partner with you on your next project. People want to be first in line for the new talent.

-Everywhere but your hotel rooms. Some hard-to-get-in-party, once you get in, it's disappointing. Spend every waking moments meeting people.
-Relax, enjoy people you went there with.

Screen Daily
Nikki Finke 

*Special thanks to Paul from FIND for organizing this amazing event.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Midnight at the oasis - Roger Ebert's Journal

"Everywhere I go, as much as I can, I listen to National Public Radio. It's an oasis of clear-headed intelligence. Carefully, patiently, it presents programming designed to make me feel just a little better equipped to reenter the world of uproar."

Midnight at the oasis - Roger Ebert's Journal

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nic Cage Losing His Sh*t!!

This is freaking craaaazzy!!! Had to stop myself from finish watching it, or else there's no way I can have a good night's sleep!

Thanks to Josh Welsh from Film Independent for sharing this mind-bending piece of I-don't-know-what-you-call-this.

Monday, November 15, 2010

15 minute sneak peak of Tron Legacy

I was treated to 15 minutes of Tron Legacy last Wednesday at the AFI Festival's Sony 3D workshop. AFI and Disney were very concerned about the footage leaking and warned us to turn off our cellphone or risk getting escorted out of the theater.

The lights dimmed. We didn't know what really to expect. We thought it might just be an extended trailer or one scene, but the sneak peak just kept going and going. We saw scenes of the "real" world with a young Jeff Bridges, courtesy of CGI. Then bam!, like the protagonist, we got transported into the Tron world, and that was when the 3D effects took off. They weren't intrusive or showy -- just enough to feel as if you're in a hyper-reality world. Awesome bikes, cars, a city of lights. A gladiator-style tournament involving cutting your opponent in half with a sharp frisbee.

IT WAS A RIDE, in every sense of the word!! When it was over, I felt they showed too much! They could have just showed us 7 minutes of Tron Legacy, and we'd have gladly paid to watch the rest. Disney, why did you have to play with us like that?!

An Introduction to Production Sound | Film Independent

I am attending a sound class tonight, courtesy of Francisco from Film Independent! Sound is half of the movie, as they say, but it's surprising to see how many filmmakers neglect sound recording when they shoot and pay for it in post. I have worked with some awesome sound people and developed a great respect for this aspect of filmmaking. I'm looking forward to learning a lot from this class, taught by Arran Murphy (The Wheeler Boys, Hollywood je t'ame).

Film Independent offers this and many other wonderful classes. The Art of Editing class is excellent. I've included the link below if you like to know more about Film Independent and their educational resources.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Zone featured on mentioned my work for The Zone in its interview with Roy Vongtama, the creator/writer. "How long did it take to make a trailer/teaser for the Zone?"
Roy: "Well, the process was an intense. It took about a month from the time I heard we were one of the five finalists for the Fox Diversity/MAPID Pilot Shootout. I brought on a great director, Ignatius Lin, to help direct the trailer..."

Moreover, Roy and I had a wonderful lunch meeting with Fox people last week. Today, Roy pitched the show to Fox's development execs. The meeting went very well as they asked many serious questions. They also dug the demo trailer very much, calling it very professionally done.  

Link to the entire article.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Zone won the Fox Diversity/MAPID API Pilot Shootout

I love to share a wonderful news with you. The TV trailer I directed won ID Film Festival's API Pilot Shootout Competition, and the audience voted me Best Director of the competition. 

Beating out other hundred-or-so submissions, the writer and I win a lunch meeting with Fox TV Execs. I felt so excited that day; it almost went by like a blur! So many cast & crew and supporters turned out.  Now I'm doing my best to prepare for that meeting.

(Accepting the Director's Award)

Although I didn't admit it to myself, I felt increasingly anxious as the announcement of the director's prize neared. I felt a sublime combination of joy and relief when my name was announced!

I looked up and saw the enthusiastic cast & crew, friends and family, who came to show their support and were rewarded with the great news! 

Roy Vongtama, the lead actor and writer, and the rest of cast and crew (including Moe Irvin from Grey's Anatomy) look at me as I excitedly ascend the stairs to join them! 

Roy and I had a nice conversation with one of the judges (Lily Mariye from ER) afterward. Lily, also an accomplished writer, gave many constructive, positive feedback. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Your Chance to Bring About a New Show on Fox

I recently directed a trailer for a new TV show, titled The Zone. It is a fresh, original take on the urban crime genre! We have a very good chance to get a pitch meeting with Fox executives, and your support can be the difference. 

On October 10th, the trailer will be shown at the ID Film Festival in downtown LA along with 4 other trailers. The audience at the screening will help to decide which of projects get a lunch meeting with high-level folks at Fox. 

This program in the festival is FREE, and the organizers strongly recommend reserving in advance. RSVP to  

I deeply appreciate any support, and you'll make my day if you can attend the event! I plan to post a couple stills from the trailer in the days ahead; I will double-check with the executive producer on that. 

An action-packed trailer I directed a couple years back:

New Filmmaking Trailer from Ignatius Lin on Vimeo.

Details on the trailer screening:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Katy Perry "Hot N Cold" Remix featuring Elmo

This Katy Perry video featuring Elmo is lol!! Deemed to risque to air on Sesame Street, but perfect as a silly de-stresser.

Monday, September 20, 2010 Big Break Movie Contest How to Enter

For those who have a finished film on their hands, this seems like a great way to get some serious distribution. If you decide to enter, please let me know how it goes!

How to Enter

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ebert presents At the Movies

I'm so excited that Roger Ebert is relaunching @ The Movies, and I'm doubly excited that the insightful Elvis Mitchell with serve as one of the new co-host. Mitchell and the other co-host, Christy Lemire, look like a good pairing. Ebert has his own segment, interestingly titled Roger's Office, in this new format. It will air on PBS starting 2011; I hope audiences of various markets will be able to watch it.

For more go to Roger Ebert's Journal

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sylvester Stallone @ the Los Angeles Film Festival - Definitely NOT Expendable

Stallone was treated like a ROCK STAR at this special event where he spoke about the highs and lows of his career, analyzed his own work, and showed sneak preview clips of The Expendables.

The people in the audience idolized him. The type of questions he got during Q & A was "Mr. Stallone, you are such an inspiration to all of us. What is the secret of your success?" People cheered, and women screamed! A little girl and her dad equally excited seeing their idol! I understood what is star power, what is a loyal fan base.

               (The insightful Elvis Mitchell w/ the star Stallone)

Stallone is supreme at cultivating his hero-myth. He'd have you think that he IS Rock, he IS Rambo. That he understand the soul of underdogs, ordinary folks vying for a chance to prove their worth. "To succeed or fail on their own terms" was the way he put it. He worked the crowd with his charm, wit, intelligence, and most importantly sense of hope. Even I got swept up in the fervor in this auditorium on this night.  

Monday, August 9, 2010

World Journal Interview Part 2

Here are additional excerpts from my recent interview with World Journal, the largest Chinese-language newspaper in North America:

"Ignatius Lin has reached many creative breakthroughs with his outstanding talent and ideas. If his latest short film, Stranger's Now, wins at the Austin Film Festival, it will become eligible for an Oscar nomination. That would be a proud achievement for the Chinese-American community.

At the age of 12, Ignatius immigrated to Los Angeles with his family. He wrote, directed, and acted in many plays from junior high through high school. Unlike many people, he didn't think attending film school is a prerequisite to making movies. Instead he graduated from Amherst College with a degree in economics. He said both filmmaking and economics deal with observations of human beings and have tremendous influences on people's lives. At the same time, an economics degree helps him with the business aspect of movie-making...

                                                                          (Amherst College)

For someone whose film career appears to be progressing rather smoothly, Ignatius actually encountered many setbacks. At first, he only focused on expressing his own ideas and neglected his audience. "What are you trying to say?" were many of his audience's feedback. Suffering these disappointments helped him realize that the most important thing is the exchange that takes place between the filmmakers and their audience... 

He came to understand that a director is a leader. The most special quality director must possess is the ability to harness the talent around him/her to tell a good story. Therefore, he is very open to hearing his collaborators' inputs. A good director must know how to inspire his/her actors rather than showing them how to act... Director is like a shepherd, ensuring that the actors stay on the right course and protecting them from external distractions."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

City of Torrance Cancels Open-Air Screening of Jackie Brown at the Last Moment!

The City of Torrance denies movie lovers an opportunity to celebrate together a fun movie by Quentin Tarantino that was actually shot in the city!

The awesome Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain from Austin (where you can enjoy gourmet food while enjoying the most best selections world cinema has to offer) is putting on a series of screenings across the nation that take place where the movies were actually filmed.

I have been looking forward to the Jackie Brown screening tomorrow (Friday) at Del Amo Mall in Torrance because I love Tarantino's films and I have many fond memories at that mall. I know all those locations inside the mall where the movie takes place.

Yesterday I find out that the City of Torrance refused to issue the permit on the grounds of violation of sound ordinance. The City canceled a celebration of what is great about cinema, South Bay, Torrance. I was very disappointed, and I've never felt so compelled to convey my thoughts to any government officials before. I emailed the City and its mayor. Here it is:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

World Journal Interview

World Journal is the largest Chinese-language newspaper in North America. The article talked about my recent short film, Stranger Now, sponsored by NBC-Universal and Film Independent. It also profiled my background. 

Here is a small excerpt:
"Born in Taiwan, Ignatius relocated with his family to Hong Kong when he was 10. He went to the cinema very often with his mother and brother, which spurred his tremendous interest in movies. When he saw Wong Kar-wai's Days of Being Wild at the age of 11, he decided he wanted to become a filmmaker and began writing his first screenplay."

More to come...

Monday, June 28, 2010

LA Film Festival: Roger Corman

 (Peter Fonda, Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante, Julie Corman, Roger Corman, Curtis Hanson)

As a director/writer fellow for Film Independent, I received a free pass to the LA Film Festival in downtown LA. It was incredible!! I met so many passionate filmmakers and film lovers and attended many cool screenings and panels.

For me the highlight of the festival was probably the Corman tribute. It took place at an intimate venue inside the Grammy museum. Roger Corman, a legendary American independent producer, was to be honored by those whose careers he launched or helped develop. Beforehand, I knew that Corman would be there and Curtis Hanson (director of LA Confidential, 8 Miles, Wonder Boys) would moderate.

When I arrived at the venue, I could feel a buzz in the air. I sat about 5 rows from the stage. During the introduction by the festival director, Rebecca Yeldham, I looked over to the corridor behind me. My heart almost lept out of my chest. I saw Roger Corman (cool but no surprise). Then I saw PETER FONDA and PETER BOGDANOVICH!!! These are movie gods. I become really excited.

When these men were joined on the stage by Joe Dante (director of Gremlins) and Julie Corman (wife and producing partner), everyone in the audience knew this was going to be a special evening.

To be cont.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Project:Involve Showcase | Film Independent

Showcase of short films by some of the best indie filmmakers today. It takes place this Thursday at the magnificent Disney Concert Hall (REDCAT). And it's FREE! 

It is sponsored by my fellowship, Project:Involve. For more info:

Project:Involve Showcase | Film Independent

Sundance Names 13 for June Directors & Screenwriting Labs

                                                               (photo courtesy of

Thirteen projects were selected by the Sundance Institute for itsJune Directors and Screenwriters Labs, taking place at the SundanceResort in Utah June 1 - 25. Spearheaded by Michelle Satter, Director ofthe Sundance Feature Film Program, and Artistic Director Gyula Gazdag,this year’s crop of participants include projects hailing from theUnited States, Ireland, the Middle East, Romania, Spain and Uzbekistan.

indieWIRE: Sundance Names 13 for June Directors & Screenwriting Labs | Film Independent

Monday, April 19, 2010


I am fascinated by duels. I often wonder how it would be to depict duels in a movie that is set in modern-day. I came across an article on the rationality of duels written by an Amherst economics professor. Apparently engaging in duels is a rational act for those living in a society where credit markets are non-transparent and highly personal in nature. In other words, if one fails to pay back a loan, he is compelled to defend his honor or face the prospect of not being able to get another loan again.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Directing Assignment sponsored by NBC-Universal and Film Independent

I got selected to direct a short sponsored by NBC-Universal and Film Independent! The story is about a homeless man who is building a beautiful model home. When the "home" is accidentally damaged, he is forced to seek help from a teenage boy, new to homelessness, who has the tools to fix the home.

Homeless is a widespread problem, especially severe in LA. I hope to address this subject matter in an authentic, heartfelt manner. The movie I want to reference is Jason Reitman's Up in the Air -- for its social consciousness, compassion for the characters, and focus on how people relate and change each other.

Film Independent will provide cash stipend for the shoot, and NBC-Universal will provide equipments and props.

If you like to receive more detailed updates, please become a "follower" directly on my blog.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Daniel Don't Cry Production

We just wrapped production on the short Daniel Don't Cry, which I co-wrote and co-directed. The first day of the shoot was such a thrill for me as I watched the crew and the stunt team give life and substance to the words I've written. Everyday of the shoot was a treat for me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Daniel Don't Cry Sound Editor's Cool Suite

My girlfriend, my co-director, and I visited Chris, our sound editor down in the OC. He won an Emmy for sound mixing, and he and I have worked together before. Chris shared many insights and experience with us. He's created a very professional and welcoming environment with his sound studio.

FIND Director's Close-up: Comedy

I learnt that a woman, Amy Heckerling, directed Fast Time at Ridgemont High -- just another example of how our biases can limit our mind.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Daniel Don't Cry Planning Aerial Stunts

Daniel Don't Cry is a short I plan to co-direct at the end of this month. It involves cool, sophisticated stunts. Today, the stunt coordinator, producer, co-director, and I planned the stunts on location.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

FIND Director's Close-up: John Lee Hancock

Director Hancock (The Blindside), his casting director, and actors gave a revealing and interesting talk about casting and directing actors tonight. Jason Patric had many insightful things to say about acting.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Directors Close-up Kicks off with Jason Reitman

Jason Reitman, the Oscar-nominated director of Up in the Air, and his creative team pulled back the curtain and revealed the inner workings of an Best Picture Oscar-nominated movie.

The following directors and/or directors will speak at the subsequent Directors Close-up events, and I highly recommend you check them out:

Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer, upcoming Spider Man movie)
John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland)
Mark Waters (Mean Girls)
Mike White (The School of Rock)
Neil Labute (Lakeview Terrace, In the Company of Men)
Michael Hoffman (The Last Station)

Directors Close-up Schedule | Film Independent

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(I’m in high school,) what should I be doing right now (to be a filmmaker)?

1. Research: Everything about all the Shopping Festivals. Get to know the staff, go to screenings, follow what films they pick up all the way to their release, and meet as many filmmakers as you can.
2. Make films: It's important that you always have product of some kind or another, so if you're a filmmaker you should constantly be making films. When you finish one, start another. And so on and so on.
3. Write stuff: Even if you're a director and not a writer, it's important to use down time to write and come up with concepts. Writers always need to have fresh material and lots of scripts; well, so do directors.


(Article courtesy of Film Independent and Heidi Van Lier)