Pusan Lost Count Of The Days
It’s been a hell of a ride here in Pusan. Today, my producer Jamin O’Brien busted into my hotel room on the only day I have been able to sleep past 9:30 am (after coming home every night at 6:30 am from partying). It was a for a good reason though. We made the front page of the Hollywood Reporter daily Pusan report again! This time for a big announcement about CJ (our company) selling the German distribution rights to West 32nd in the biggest deal at the festival this year! I normally hate talking about the business side of the film industry but I have to admit that it is nice when the film gets love equally from the press, public and now the business.
He also showed me this pic from the Variety Daily report of me representing at the Asian Star Summit party here. It’s funny that I had to go halfway around the world to get a taste of Hollywood Entourage lifestyle. I get a kick out of this photo because the hand on my shoulder belongs to John Cho; that is the first and only time I think I will ever be the one NOT cut out of that photo pairing.
At the height of this festival, West 32nd crew was rolling 20 deep and bringing the party to every place we went. We got a reputation as being the posse that knew how to really enjoy the festival. It wasn’t a very difficult thing to do though considering all the love we are getting.
Our official guest visit screening was off the hook. I am glad I am not epileptic because the whole Q&A was a wall of flashblubs and photographs. The questions you get in Korea are so much more insightful and the audiences here really love film.
Showing the film here, I realized just how much the film is a love
letter to Korea. The real message of the film is about how Koreans in
America feel a longing for a connection to Korea and that without it we
are lost. Having the film be so embraced by the audiences here has meant so much to me personally.
The whole experience has been completely surreal. This is the only festival where directors are really treated like rock stars. I knew that from my time here with The Motel. But this time around it is amped up ten-fold. This was the first time in my life that as soon as the Q&A ended, we had to be swept out of the theater by a group of handlers who held back the throngs of screaming girls. We went through the back door and out a passage through the projection room and to a back entrance.
Because of the demand for our film, the first screening sold out so fast that they needed to add another screen… and then another! They played the film in three theaters siimultanously. I was wondering how they had the capability to do it. It was cool to see the projection room where the film was threaded through three projectors at the same time and run across the room so they could play it in the three different theaters.
One of my favorite anecdotes was hearing how Lanny Joon who plays Saeng in my film was beginning to get recognized by the schoolgirls who have been stalking the hotels to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. CJ whisked Lanny and Hans who have two of the best supporting roles in the film back to Seoul to do media for our November release out here.
The interviews have been intense for me. I am actually getting more comfortable with the idea of doing photo shoots now. A lot of Korean press including all three top movie magazines out here have done features and one of my favorite interviews was for Bloomberg television for a show called “Voices” a half-hour show that focused just on me.
The festival is winding down now and thank God because I don’t know how much steam I have left. I am out here trying to drum up business for my new project “Sea of Tranquility” as well as a couple others. And the double duty of West 32nd promo and business meetings has really run me down. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if we weren’t such a fun crew to run with at night.
This post is already getting long and I have barely scratched the surface of all that has happened. I will try to give a more complete picture when I have ot take that 13 hour flight back to America.