Plot details are currently under wraps, though the film is being billed as “a martial arts action comedy film for the family”, with “a twist on the modern hero origin story, while adding cultural elements, comedy and old-school Hong Kong style action scenes”.
Min, founder and senior director of Art School Dropouts, will also join Pham on the acting side. Both are especially fluent in martial arts as they are in their film craft; Min is experienced in Shaolin Kung Fu, and Pham is a champion Taekwondo medalist who has twice repped the U.S. on the competitive circuit.
Further casting details are pending as the company aims for a now early 2021 shoot, after scaling back from a late 2020 start date as the the country continues to mitigate the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“The idea of Happy Family is unique in that the sky is the limit in terms of cameo opportunities.” says Pham. “It is a very family oriented film and very inclusive of all races. Like family members in his family tree will be of all ethnicities.
The extension into next Spring will give Min and Pham an ample amount of time to outline and implement safety protocols upon production. The team is currently in the process of financing with a search for investors now underway, as well as through charitable donations via non-profit organization, Fractured Atlas, which are tax-deductible for donators who may also earn a producers’ credit.
Happy Family will mark the second feature outing for the team, primarily Min – a director who has been in the independent game for close to twenty years and launched ASDO in 2009, prior to officiating the brand in 2015 with the addition of Pham as an essential partner.
The team can be found principally on YouTube where they’ve catalogued numerous lifestyle video journals and award-winning shortfilms, including narrative collaborations with other groups like Kamen Ramen and Rising Tiger Films.
Their 2016 webseries, My Asian Auntie, successively led to the 2019 feature-length sequel, Yes, Auntie!, produced in the vein of classic Hong Kong cinema, in association with co-star and producer Robert Samuels (H.K.S.A.). After a lively cast and crew premiere at the Museum Of The Moving Image in New York City last January, the film was acquired by AsianCrush for distribution, and is also currently available on Amazon, and Tubi.
Next to Min and Pham, the Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based Art School Dropouts members also include podcast co-hosts Tin Dang and Gerliz Montalvo, as well as Gun Cho and Patrick Banzali.