I wrote the ‘The Last Farewell’ because of my inability to open up with the people that I love. As a Filipino growing up, I never really had one of those TV family where we say ‘I love you’ to my parents (and vice versa) and have those heartfelt talk with them that can teach me lifelong lessons. It will just feel awkward. I learned that other Asian Americans live like this too so I’m not alone on that one. Anyway, this lack of interaction affected me with my relationship with my friends and girlfriends. I just kept things to myself because I just don’t like drama or I don’t want anyone to be involved with my problems. So there are often times, missed chances and opportunities. I took that note aside and wondered what if we do things just like the movies and just do it without thinking of the consequences. Hence, ‘The Last Farewell,’ the first drama short that I actually executed well.
After failing to create emotions with my previous drama films, I think I hit the spot with ‘The Last Farewell.’ I’ve always filmed comedy and action films, but never seemed to execute the genre of drama. Often times it ends up as a comedy and I have people laugh instead of taking it seriously (ie. ‘A Good Man’ short film). That was before I met one of my favorite directors, Kevin Smith.
During a Kevin Smith signing, I asked him for some words of wisdom. He told me to make movies based on my experiences because those types of subjects are real and not artificial. I took that advice and started to add some of my own emotions in my films rather than the fantasy Hollywood type that I usually do.
After watching the Korean drama “My girlfriend is a nine-tailed fox,” I said to myself, I need to do a drama for my next short film.
I needed top notch grade A actors to play Jerry & Sarah to draw out the emotions and feelings of the script. So for the 2nd time, I had auditions (1st time being with ‘Taking Julia’). I posted up a craigslist ad, referral from friends, contacted people through facebook groups and so on. I eventually found the talented Korean American up and coming actor Jake Choi. He nailed the audition and was perfect for the role. Another person I considered was Robert Chang, so I gave him the supporting role, which I considered Karim Metwaly for, but didn’t show up for the audition. I have several actors audition for the character Sarah, but Maggie McGuire was the perfect one. She was referred to me by Jake and they already had chemistry together from previous theatre plays. They were perfect for the film.
This was actually the first time that I worked with Shaun Sato. He demonstrated his camera skills with manual follow focus and subtle handle of the camera. Also, John Mok did the audio. At first, he was messing up and forgetting to turn on the audio equipment. But in the end, the sound was great and leveled. I formed the Dayside Productions crew and recruited them after the production of ‘The Last Farewell.’ It isn’t a solo show anymore. We are doing big things now and I need crew to do it.