8Asians is proud to be a community co-presenter of Everything Before Us at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF). As a reader of 8Asians, please enjoy a discount using the following codes: Opening VIP Discount Code: OPENINGVIP15, Opening Discount Code: OPENING15, all films 8ASIANS15
Thursday, April 23 at 5:30 PM (Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo)
Thursday, April 23 at 7:00 PM (Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo)
Many exciting and wondrous things have happened to Wesley Chan, Ted Fu, and Philip Wang in the decade since they produced the cheeky comedy short YELLOW FEVER — the trio formed an independent production company, Wong Fu Productions; established a beachhead on the then-nascent streaming web destination YouTube; formed, with hip-hop/electropop artists Far East Movement the International Secret Agents (ISA) as a means of bringing together Asian American talents from the online universe and their adoring audiences; and built an ongoing legacy as pioneers (and game-changers) in Asian Pacific American cinema. As their latest endeavor, EVERYTHING BEFORE US, makes clear, the guys still feel they have things to prove. Having cornered the market in the online cinema realm, the trio (recently augmented to include producer Christine Chen and screenwriter/actor Christopher Dinh Nguyen) had always set their sights on producing a proper feature-length theatrical narrative. Not that they haven’t accomplished even that lofty goal: their 2006 A MOMENT WITH YOU, completed as their informal graduation thesis from UC San Diego, helped jump-start the trio’s online subscriber base as it was taken to college campuses throughout the country. These days, though, Wesley, Ted and Philip downplay the film’s impact, insisting that their growth as artists and filmmakers have set the stage for the “proper” creation of a full-length feature. Developed and incubated through Visual Communications’ VC Film Development Fund and augmented by a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, EVERYTHING BEFORE US finds Wong Fu, and indeed its very own legion of fans and supporters, at an important artistic crossroads.
High schoolers Seth (Brandon Soo Hoo) and Haley (Victoria Park) are a happy, loving couple, but with the two headed to different colleges, the strain of a long-distance relationship is beginning to show in an increasing series of petty arguments and misunderstandings. Meanwhile, thirty-something professionals Ben (Aaron Yoo) and Sara (Brittany Ishibashi) are already a former couple who want nothing more to do with each other. Their opposing career paths — Ben, an artist, seeks employment at a design firm; Sara, a barista, dreams of opening her own coffee shop — have left them no time for each other. Yet the travails of both couples do not go unobserved. Their relationship activities are documented and monitored by the Department of Emotional Integrity (DEI), a DMV-styled agency that issues a relationship score to keep individuals accountable for their relationship activity and choices. The score is public for all to see, and affects various aspects of their daily lives. As the changing relationship dynamics of the two couples are monitored by a world-weary DEI case worker (Randall Park), a series of occurrences and the emergence of darker secrets threaten to unsettle the lives that both couples have attempted to build with, and apart from, each other. Can they conduct their lives in accordance with the DEI? Or will the restrictive nature of the agency undermine their aspirations?
EVERYTHING BEFORE US has much to say about today’s society as well as the legion of netizens who follow Chan, Fu, and Wang. The film — co-written with Nguyen — comments the very social network that have greatly benefitted Wong Fu and provided them an audience. That network, in the guise of the emotional integrity score, promotes classism, favoritism, a touch of racism, and even…state terrorism? That’s pretty disturbing stuff coming from a trio best known for extolling the virtues of “(f)unemployment,” among other things. EVERYTHING BEFORE US finds Wesley, Ted, and Philip a full decade removed from frivolous endeavors as YELLOW FEVER. The three have adult things on their minds. And so too, we suspect, do their audience.
Cast & Crew
Producer: Wesley Chan, Christine Chen, Chris Dinh, Ted Fu, Clay Reed, Philip Wang
Director: Wesley Chan, Philip Wang
Screenplay: Wesley Chan, Chris Dinh, Philip Wang
Cinematographer: Wesley Chan, Ted Chung
Editor: Taylor Chan, Philip Wang
Cast: Stephen A. Chang, Parvesh Cheena, Brittany Ishibashi, Ki Hong Lee, Victoria Park, Randall Park, Chris Riedell, Katie Savoy, Brandon Soo Hoo, Joanna Sotomura, Aaron Yoo