It’s been a long while since we’ve posted on our blog. We recently uploaded this short clip of the documentary onto vimeo to give you all a sneak peek… so don’t give up on us!!
We’ll post more videos and a trailer as they come.
Go El Chino!
We’ve been hard at work in the editing room putting the film together and all I can say is… it’s a process…
In February we went to Arizona to film two sisters who were good friends of Bill’s in Spain in the 1960s – Shirley Toy Tung and Violet Toy. They were wonderful interviewees, gracious hosts and they both shared wonderful stories about Bill.
January and February were spent in the editing room organizing the hours upon hours of video and audio footage that we shot and recorded, scanned over 1000+ images, newspaper and magazine articles and subtitled the Spanish interviews (thanks Jorge!)
March and April were spent on the rough cut and refining the film. I now understand why it takes years for some documentaries to reach the finish line, but unfortunately we don’t have that luxury.
We’re still aiming to submit El Chino to some upcoming film festivals whose summer deadlines are fast approaching. We will keep you all up to date with our progress.
Thank you all for your continued support and interest in El Chino!
Go El Chino!!
Hope 2012– the year of the Water Dragon– has gotten off to a great start for you and yours.
Fortune tellers say this year is going to be a life-changing year ripe for self-improvement, tackling risky projects and building wealth. Let’s hope they are right!
Since our last update, we’ve been toiling away on “El Chino”. Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been up to.
In October, we filmed a lengthy interview with David Moss, an American matador who fought bulls in Spain during the 1960’s. Moss, now a talent agent in Los Angeles, provided priceless insight on how hard it was for a foreigner to become a successful bullfighter in Spain.
Working holidays: our way of life. While on the east coast visiting relatives in North Carolina for Thanksgiving, we drove up to Delaware to shoot an additional interview with Florence Wong Hoh, Bill’s younger sister. She and her husband George graciously let us film in their home and pour through memorabilia. A big highlight was getting to photograph some of Bill’s belongings: capote, muleta, sword and other personal effects.
At Christmas, we flew to Toronto to spend time with the Pun family, and found time to record Mina Pun (a.k.a. Mom) reading letters written to Bill by his mother in Cantonese. Mina has spent countless hours translating letters from Bill to his mother and vice versa. Thanks, Mom!
Next up for production, we’ll soon be travelling to Phoenix for interviews with Violet Toy and Shirley Toy Tung, sisters who got to know Bill quite well in Spain. We’ve also begun editing, while continuing to scan the hundreds of negatives and photos lent to us by Bill Wong’s family and friends.
We started this project in January of 2011. A year has passed, and we are still committed as ever to telling Bill Wong’s story.
Viva El Chino!!
Here is the link to our Doritos Commercial – “The Last One“)
Produced by: Vincent Pun
Directed and Written by: Erika Hart Pun
Edited by: V & E Pun
Camera Operator: Loretta Conley
Production Assistant: Louis Limburg
Guy: Bret Colombo
Gramps: Ronald Duthweiler
Grandson: Louis Limburg
Thanks to our crew and wonderful cast for helping us complete our commercial!
This is the first non El Chino post, I think…
So every year, my friends and I talk about making a Doritos commercial for the Super Bowl Contest. And every year, we flake.
This year we came up with some ideas. And my wife’s idea was the best. So we cast it and planned for the commercial the weekend before the due date – which was Monday, November 21st. Our shoot ended up being scheduled for Saturday, November 19th and, as you would know it, we were leaving for the east coast on Sunday, November 20th! Doh! (I had booked the tickets a month in advance… *sigh)
At 3:00 am Saturday morning, just 7 hours before our shoot… our actress emailed and IM’d us that she was sick!! I won’t tell you what our thoughts were, but we won’t be working with her ever again… to say the least. So Erika and I thought about other ideas we could do with the two actors who we knew were professional and would show up! I came up with a tiny idea – which Erika ran with and wrote a hilarious script – which I was amazed she could do at 4am!!!
So we said, screw it, if we think it’s funny in the morning (after 3 hours of sleep), we’ll shoot it. We had a few contingencies, we needed a third actor. Thanks to LC’s nephew – Louis – we had our actor – but only until his soccer game at 3:30pm.
Our actors showed up and we shot a very long day – over 8 hours (which we told them would be 6 hours) They were troopers and really stuck with us.
Erika wrote and directed the commercial. I produced it and along with Erika edited the piece. LC was our camera operator. Bret Colombo played – “Guy” and Ronald Duthweiler played “Gramps” and Louis played – “Grandson”… I know, original names, but hey… it’s only 30 seconds!
Thanks to PCA who lent us lights. The production ended with us exhausted, but glad we went through with it. The next day we flew to North Carolina to visit Erika’s parents for Thanksgiving as well as to shoot some more El Chino footage with Florence and Dolores Washam.
So during the night, I ran the footage through Pro-Res onto our portable production hard drives. We used the Canon 5D and 7D to film the commercial. Then after a long 9 hour flight (with connection) we ended up staying at a hotel in Raleigh. Over the Sunday night – we ran our footage through Dual Eyes to sync all our sound.
Monday morning of the contest deadline… sheesh – in the hotel room – with barely enough sleep –> I began to edit. I stopped after 4 hours and Erika took over. We then tag teamed the ending and while Erika went to her parents in Rocky Mount, I stayed to finish the color correction, audio tweaks and finish last minute editing.
30 seconds – is FAST!! Especially for the script that we had. We ended up cutting it down to the bare bones – but I still wanted to get an ending after the Logo… I ended up uploading the video at about 11:45pm Eastern. I think the deadline was 12:00am Central. But by that time I was fried…
I ended up cutting another ending this morning, but I can’t keep second guessing. The contest is over and I think the commercial still works.
Thanks for the crew and the cast and for everyone who showed up!!
Thanks to Louis for stepping in and being our actor and for helping as production assistant on the set. We all hope you won your soccer game!!!!!!!!!
Will keep you all posted on the El Chino shoot and once a link is sent to us from Doritos –> I’ll post the link on the blog…
For the past few months the El Chino Team has been in post-production and planning the final series of interviews for the documentary.
Today we’re filming an interview with a hollywood talent agent who was a bullfighter in Spain during the 1960s and was also a friend of Bill Wong.
We’ll let you know how it goes!
We’d like to thank all of our family, friends, friends of friends, and those who found our project online for helping to make the El Chino Kickstarter Project a success. We couldn’t have done it without you!
In the coming months, we will keep you posted on our progress. First up, we’ll film interviews and B-roll in Nogales, Arizona– Bill Wong’s birthplace. After shooting additional footage in San Francisco and Los Angeles, we’ll shift focus to post-production.
Once again, please accept our heartfelt thanks for your generous donations. You have given us the financial support we needed to tell Bill Wong’s amazing story in a documentary film.
Viva El Chino!
Vincent Pun & The El Chino Crew
To view our kickstarter page ->Click Here!
One of the many lucky coincidences we experienced in Madrid happened on Thursday July 23rd. I’ll never forget that day because the three amigos – Jack Wong, Jorge Maza and Art Wong – all decided to go to Toledo to see a bullfight. That left Erika, LC and I – along with Paul Polansky – alone to visit the Casa de Campo woods. The idea was to film some location footage of where Bill used to train back in the 1960s and we figured it would only take about 20 minutes – (Well, here’re the woods…) – then we were going to head to TVE (Spanish television station) and attempt to wrangle some archival news footage/interviews of Bill. This was also one of the final days that Paul was going to be in Madrid, so it was good that we could have him show us the location.
No sooner had we arrived when the trio informed us that they were not able to secure transportation (to Toledo and back). It was a civic holiday so everyone was traveling and tickets were scarce. So, we all met up at near the park entrance. Paul had decided to head down the hill towards the training grounds since bullfighters preferred to train there in the morning when it was cooler – and he wanted to make sure we could find someone to film. I was skeptical. Did bullfighters still train in a public park?
We headed down and indeed, met a couple of bullfighters. We ended up filming them for quite a while – with LC getting quite a lengthy crotch shot… I’ll explain later… Shortly thereafter – I noticed another pair of bullfighters across the field. I grabbed Jorge and we headed on over. Everyone loves Jorge
It took only a few minutes for him to explain who we were and what we were doing there – filming our documentary. Turns out – Francisco Robles, the older bullfighter, not only knew Bill from the 1960s, but trained with him in the park for 2-3 hours each day! You couldn’t get a luckier strike than that. The brothers were ecstatic to meet a friend and fellow peer of their brother’s and we ended up spending the course of a few days with Francisco and his student – Diego Toro.
For some reason we had a difficult time finding a suitable location to film Paul – most of the open spaces had too much foot traffic or noise to be suitable. My first choice was to film him at Antonio Sanchez, which he showed us on the first day we arrived. Paul knew the manager, Paquito (a former bullfighter), but it didn’t open for several hours. We ended up interviewing him in the garden near his old apartment. The sign on the garden clearly stated it was open until 10pm, but we got booted by some city police at around 8pm – which was just as well as we had lost the light. The police were very polite, but we still had more to film.
So we headed for Antonio Sanchez. Antonio Sanchez is one of the oldest toscas in Madrid and catered to a lot of bullfighters back in the day. Bill and Paul used to frequent the restaurant in the 60s as did many established and up and coming bullfighters. Fortunately, Pacquito was very gracious and allowed us to film in one of his back rooms. We ordered food for the group of us and set up to film the remainder of our interview. We were treated to a veritable feast. If you ever go there – order the steak – amazing! Paquito also told us that if we wanted to interview him, we’d be more than welcome. We were looking for a seasoned bullfighter to interview and now we had found him. A very good day, after a tough and long afternoon. LC’s compact LED lights helped saved the day!
As of this posting, we’ve raised over $6200 for the documentary through Kickstarter! We’re off to a great start with 35 days to go.
Some answers to questions that some of our donors have brought up to us:
Kickstarter is a legitimate fund raising website that is linked with Amazon.com. Some people have asked about how the process works. Basically the (credit card) transaction for your contribution is securely handled by Amazon – and any amount that you pledge is ONLY withdrawn IF the project becomes fully funded and we meet our goal. If we miss our target goal, then no money is taken out of anyone’s pocket, however our film will not be completed without adequate funding.
That being said, the El Chino team has confidence that we can raise the money to finish El Chino, with your help!
Click Here: To support the El Chino Documentary
Spread the word! Go El Chino!