I’m having a bit of a slow day here, so there isn’t a whole lot coming through in my inbox. All that aside, I thought I’d share this little tidbit from a rare night out I had on Wednesday evening here in New York City when filmmakers Takashi Hara and production partner Maria Tran of Australia-based Phoenix Eye Film Productions came to visit.
The two had just wrapped up a journey with the Vingroup Elite Tour and had a gig shortly after at the New York International Auto Show this week, and so their schedule was certainly something to factor in our planning. We were supposed to link up on Tuesday evening and sadly, those plans got derailed that morning when a Brooklyn subway was terrorized by a lone gunman causing multiple injuries, several of which were critical and thankfully, none of them were fatal…
You’d think a pandemic that’s killed over 40,000 of our citizens in this city would give caution to act less a fool but…nope.
So, we ended up having to wait a day while the city made progress in eventually catching a suspect, which definitely brightened my prospects some. I got in a cab and remained in touch with my friend Jon Truei who I had in mind to bring along earlier on when Takashi messaged me about a few weeks prior.
Fast forward, my commute was great. I met up with Tran and Hara at the Peridance Dance Studio where I got to sit in for about twenty minutes and watch as they partook in a sword choreography seminar with several other participants. I’d never been present for something like that, so on top of finally seeing Tran and Hara in person, the view was pretty exhilirating.
As 10pm EST approached, we got together with Truei in route to meet us at an outdoor restaurant on 3rd avenue called The Penny Farthing, and we ate pretty good. I had some chicken wings and got to share one with Masaya Okubo, an actor who’s been living in New York City for seven years and who also led the sword seminar, and a lovely evening was certainly had by all.
A good deal of my chatter was spent with Tran who sat across from me, and we told each other a little bit about ourselves, and I also got to learn a little more about some of the challenges she still continues to face as an independent filmmaker. One bit of good news is that her latest project, Echo 8, is still in active post production and with any luck, we will all get to see a little something from it in the form of a trailer by the summer.
One of the best parts of the evening for me was long after Truei showed up and we all elevated our chatter, and at one point Truei showed us a variant of the poster art he is currently working on for his new shortfilm concept, The 44th Chamber Of Shaolin, which is screening for a small audience of invitees this coming Tuesday at the Angelika Film Center along Houston street here in New York City. Tran chimed in and traded back-and-forth with Truei about the poster and its design, and watching them discuss so creatively and feeding off of one another really made my evening. It was stimulating!
We all parted around eleven later that night, and I was overcome with much emotion. I began covering Tran as far back as around 2015 with projects like Adrian Castro’s award-winning shortfilm Hit Girls making the rounds, and while some projects like Robert Chen’s The Challenge Letter sadly never came to pass, Tran would eventually press on and appear in Cuong Ngo’s hit Vietnamese action thriller, Tracer, before working on Jackie Chan sci-fi, Bleeding Steel, all while evolving herself as her own independent film hyphenate at Phoenix Eye with Hara, and fellow partners Therese Chen and Elizabeth Vu. She has her sights set on even greater ventures after this, and I can’t wait to see how she will be received.
I came away from that night with great feelings and emotions. With all my work on this website, I do this hoping that I’ll get to at least meet some of the people I write about face-to-face, a prospect that’s become so, SO much harder nowadays as new variants of Covid-19 continue to play a role in how much longer it will take for us to be rid of a pandemic that’s plauged our world so extensively. It helps that I’m vaccinated, as a lot of us are, and I’m hopeful that going forward, more people will surface in my neck of the woods and that we’ll finally get to see past our phone and laptop monitors.
The same goes for Tran, as well as Hara-san, as they’re just about on their way out of New York City while I write this. I’m definitely glad to have made a friend in Okubo-san, and with Truei added to the mix to make the night an even more thankful moment in my life.
Like I said… celebrate your friends!
For more information about Peridance, visit their official website.