Who Am I and What Am I Doing?
Hi, there. I'm Joyce. I'm a writer, an actress and a filmmaker. I'm currently a Master's of Fine Arts candidate in Film Production at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (alma mater of directors like Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese and Joel Coen.)
I'm trying to raise funds to make my thesis, which will be my first feature film. The Real Mikado tells the story of Sophie, an out-of-work Asian-American actress, who runs out of money and moves back to her parents’ house in the suburbs of Detroit. Facing budget cuts, the city council in her hometown threatens to shut down the community theater so she agrees to direct a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado in the hopes of saving the theater by leading a rag tag group of senior citizens, gawky teenagers and housewives to the performance of a lifetime.
When she runs out of money, Sophie ends up like a lot of “boomerangers,” children of baby boomers who move back in with their parents because times are tough. It’s a common one for people my age. Facing grim job prospects in a flailing economy, so many young people go back to living with their parents in the hopes of saving money and figuring out their lives. I see this film as a coming-of-age comedy for a generation trying to grow up after going home again.
Sophie’s life isn’t where she thought it would be by now: she’s broke, single and without any professional accomplishments to speak of. Moving home feels like the ultimate sign of failure, but it’s where she ends up finding herself. She goes from an insecure, self-defeating actress waiting to be discovered to someone who, in true American fashion, is in control of her own destiny.
I don’t think I need to tell you that the prospects for a film with a strong female protagonist (much less an Asian-American one) are grim in Hollywood. Films that are not action movies, sequels to action movies or based on comic books are very rarely backed by major studios and must rely heavily on private financing to get made.
With your support, I can make this film for a modest budget and give audiences a film with complex characters, truthful and nuanced performances, stunning cinematography and hopefully, a lot of laughter and a few tears.
Please participate in this film if you think it’s time for a movie with a smart, independent female lead, time for a movie that takes place in Michigan that’s actually uplifting and time for a movie with an Asian-American character who isn’t just a side kick or ethnic best friend, a kung fu fighter or a prostitute.
Your participation will help fund
- Paying the Cast and Crew
- Camera, Lighting and Sound Equipment Rental
- Location Rentals
- Insurance for the Locations, Equipment, Cast and Crew
- Travel and Accommodations for Cast and Crew
- Costumes, Props, Set Dressing and Design
- Hair and Make-Up
- Food for the Cast and Crew
- Post-Production Costs (Editing, Sound Design, Titles)
- Much, much more...
Fractured Atlas, the 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor of the project can only process online contributions up to $5,000. To make a larger tax-deductible contribution or if you don't feel comfortable contributing online, please make checks payable to Fractured Atlas with "Flying Carob Tree Productions" in the memo line. Please send c/o Joyce Wu, Graduate Film, 721 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003.