The Setbacks and the Comebacks

So…I almost didn’t write this entry. I almost censored this from my public account about the making of the doc. But there seems to be something awfully lopsided if this blog only reflects all my triumphs. Every journey encounters obstacles and disappointments. Now at the end of summer, I feel slightly beset by those little beasts.
The first incident to punch me in the face was a form-rejection from the Princess Grace committee to tell me that I was not selected for the Princess Grace/JUSTFilms Documentary award. Perhaps this one event is not something so earth-shattering, but the grant-writing route for my documentary has been one filled with a lot of work and not a lot of reward. Anyone will tell you that this is a common experience. I have heard that you have to try at least three times for any application will reap rewards. So far I think I’m 0 for 10.

The next event to rock my small documentary world was that I was a victim of theft. Last week I went to work on my movie at school, and as I went to pick up my external hard drives, I discovered that they had completely disappeared. I called everyone I knew that could have possibly have any inkling about their whereabouts, but it was a practice in futility. Filing a report with the police has also produced no promising results. But almost as soon as I saw my empty bag, I had already assumed the worst. I am baffled that it could have happened. I am angry that someone has my friends’ personal stories in their possession. And I wish so much that those drives would come back intact.
Yet the impulse to keep moving forward is irresistible. Throughout both disappointments I had friends and family who still supported my project (and my emotional well-being). When I interviewed one of the experts for my doc, the first thing she asked me was, “Do you have good social supports?” As another artist she knew from experience the strife involved in this kind of undertaking.

So here I am, using many of my nights transferring the backups I made of my movie to a new drive. And I’m looking for alternative routes to funding or finding more economical ways to get things done. Meanwhile I am venting to my friends, talking them through my process, and trying to stay afloat as the waves of the unexpected batter at my hulls.

If I emerge at the other end of this process alive and with a movie, it will not be because my ambition and determination made me impervious. It will be because my social supports gave me the ability to get back up and get moving again. Thanks peeps.

Saving the world, one jump kick at a time

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3 comments
  1. Krystal said:

    Persevere, my friend.

    Again, i’m so sorry this happened!!! 😦

  2. Sid Tsai said:

    I was just thinking to myself that I’ve not heard many updates recently about this project. Now I know why. As a backer, I’m upset for you too that someone would steal your physical materials when the value of your work is exponentially greater than the retail of said materials. As an Asian American therapist, I strongly believe that these stories need to be told. As a UCLA alum, I’ll do what I can to support a fellow Bruin.

    Question: if one was to donate through kickstarter again for an already “fully funded” project, would you receive the new funding?

    • Hey Sid, thanks for the concern. It was pretty devastating when it happened, but I’ve started to pick myself back up and really get editing again. Unfortunately, I can’t receive funds through that particular kickstarter again, but the thought is so greatly appreciated. So many of who support the doc have been pouring in their sympathy, and the vocal support has been encouraging. I’ll try to send a new update, especially to all those who gave to my first kickstarter campaign. Thanks again.

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