From Lawless Films co-creators Tony Murphy and Troy Antonio comes a one-minute YouTube teaser for the short film Yellow: American Dream, Chinese Ambition. As all pilots go, it’s a piece of work that will additionally be refined, but the production value, direction, and cast make this something to keep an eye on. I asked Tony about some more information about the actors, and he was nice enough to get back to me:
The lead actors are Ty Won (Chinese) and Pedro Kim (Korean). Pedro (Peter) has been in several features that have been released theatrically. I believe his biggest role to date was West 32nd Street […] but for the most part, the rest of the actors are first timers.
We are in the process of finalizing the music with the composer and then finishing up the sound design. We are using the teaser, the completed short and the treatment to try to pitch to American cable networks. The goal is a Chinese “Sopranos meets The Wire” set in Chinatown, NYC with the underlying theme of “identity” and how we, Asian Americans fit into the larger American society.
We write a good amount about television on this blog, and a lot of it revolves around the same theme: blah blah, Asians are always the model minority, why are we always geeks or extras in a Vietnam war movie, blah blah blah. All of that said, the characters on Yellow aren’t what we’ve seen in the movies or in television; they aren’t thugs in the “hey, this CSI Episode needs some actors to play as Triads” sense, but the “holy shit don’t look at him cross-eyed or he will fucking SHOOT you” sense. (Not to imply that it’s just Boyz in the Hood with Asians; the creators still emphasize the theme of fitting into the environment around you while still adapting your culture.) Hopefully this pilot will be green-lit, for no other reason than to start the dialogue of why we see too many “bad” Asian Americans as opposed to not seeing enough of them. (Or any at all.)