*Erica, our PR Director, caught up with Philip Wang from Wong Fu Productions to discuss his recent short film shot in Taiwan. We’re very grateful to Phil for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with us! Read on to learn more!*
As many of you may already know, Philip Wang from Wong Fu Productions recently released a short film called “The Places We Should Have Gone.” Wong Fu has come a long way since we first interviewed them back in 2008! I think Ho Chie Tsai was right back then when he wrote: “These guys are going to make it big in the next few years as they continue to develop their independent film productions, refine their breadth and talent, and grow with their loyal and admiring fan base.” Ted Fu, Wesley Chan, and Philip Wang are still the witty and trendy three guys we have come to know and love, but they have also continued to demonstrate incredible talent, artistry, and variety in the projects they’ve produced.
For this particular short, Phil shot the entire thing while on vacation with family in Taiwan. No crew, no budget, just man and camera. Instead of staying in Taipei, Phil and his parents ventured together for the first time into Taiwan’s southern cities and rural areas. So while most of us tend to associate Taiwan with Taipei’s nightlife and metropolitan vibe, Phil chose to focus on the natural aesthetics of Taiwan that are often overlooked. The lush landscapes and tranquil beaches offer a different perspective of life in Taiwan, one that is a little less complicated and hectic, but equally beautiful and poignant.
The short film evoked strong, positive sentiments from people, many of whom felt nostalgic about past relationships and others who reconnected with Taiwan through Phil’s camera lens. I’m sure I speak for many people when I say that I was curious about how Phil came up with the plot. He chuckled and replied, “Well it’s based on personal feelings and thoughts from past relationships. But at the same time, I hope people can see that aside from the film being in Taiwan and being shot in a foreign language, it’s a situation that everyone can probably feel and relate to.”
I think that’s the beauty of a Wong Fu project. While they may sometimes be pigeonholed into the Asian American filmmakers’ category, their projects possess universally appealing characters, themes, and messages that become meaningful and relatable to audiences worldwide. I myself became an instant Wong Fu fan during my senior year in high school when I watched “Yellow Fever” for the first time. Now that I’ve graduated from college, it’s wonderful and comforting to see that Wong Fu has evolved as well. They continue to make us laugh with funny and clever shorts and endearing Wong Fu Weekend episodes. But with shorts like “The One Days: HK series” and “These Four Walls”, they clearly possess a deeper, multi-faceted talent: depicting joys, sorrows, and life lessons by transforming feelings into film. And as Phil puts it, “seeing beyond the surface, seeing what’s beautiful in the ordinary.”
For Phil, this project was a keepsake of the time spent with his parents discovering new places together in Taiwan, a place that was all at once foreign and familiar. As for the message he hopes fans can take away from this short film? “You don’t need a big budget or crews and equipment to make a beautiful project. Nothing is stopping you from making something beautiful.”