Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Mu-Ming Tsai Self-Interview from Mu-Ming Tsai on Vimeo.

This was a video a did earlier for a production design class. The teacher was Michael Helmy was the production designer for the original Miami Vice and the hit series ER.

Acting has been something I've always been interested in, but not something I'd put efforts into pursuing. I guess some of us are simply more comfortable behind the camera? I wrote myself a little monologue about how I became a director, lit and shot it myself. The lighting setup was simply a DIY softbox made with cardboard boxes and a clamp light for the key, while bouncing the same light off a white foam core. A similar setup was used for the Cinepod commercial interviewing Iris as the camerahead, both which produced pretty satisfying results. The setup costs less than $20, and would work as a good setup for any interviews.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thank you Actors!

I want to pay my greatest respect here to all of the hard working actors, especially those who dropped by and auditioned for "Plastic Revolver." I can only imagine how hard it is to make all the auditions, do the cold reading in front of all these strangers (oftentimes kids) and being rejected from time to time.

As I mentioned, last year I applied to 11 film Ph.D programs, none of those which took me. Not even a chance to meet the decision makers in person, it was really hard for me, considering the amount of money, time and hope invested in applying for all the schools. I had to wait half a year till I heard the negative responses.

That's why I'm completely wary when it comes to auditioning actors, because I believe that every single one of them spent a lot of time preparing and presenting their talents. The least I could do as a director is to treat them like human beings, let them feel respected and comfortable when it comes to the audition, and especially when they are rejected.

Casting actors is a very struggling process for me, just because I have to be the person to say no to so many great people. It's often times not about the acting ability or attitude, rather objective reasons like the chemistry between two actors or other reasons. A lot of times a certain person may not fit a particular role in this project, but would be the best choice for another character in another project.

As always, Plastic Revolver will not be my last project, the actors who have expressed enthusiasm and a positive attitude will definitely be the first to be considered in further projects among myself and my colleagues. Thank you and our paths will surely cross again in the future!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Casting for the thesis film "Plastic Revolver"

Hi, we are a crew of experienced and organized student filmmakers currently studying at the Academy of Art University seeking for talent. This thesis project will be directed by Cannes Young Lion award winning director Mu-Ming Tsai (, produced by feature producer Steve Everson ( and talented Russian cinematographer Vitalie Ungureanu (

Genre: Sci-fi, Dramedy TRT: 12min

Ben, a struggling writer who stays at home writing while his wife Joanne goes to work, suspects that his wife is having an affair. One day, news of the end of the world airs; at the same time, Joanne comes home and confesses to Ben about the affair. With no future ahead and no consequences, how will Ben react to the truth? “Plastic Revolver” explores how the apocalypse would impact middle class Americans in a surreal, dark comedic tone.

Compensation: food, credit , a copy of the film, possible festival exposure

Audition Time and location:

Thu. 9/9/10 7pm-10pm@ 79 New Montgomery, SF Rm.538
Fri. 9/10/10 12pm-3pm@ 79 New Montgomery, SF Rm.560

Available Roles (Any Ethnicity):
Ben: Male, visual age 30-40, stay at home househusband, failed writer; a bit neurotic. Has a sense of humor but can take on serious roles. Bald, slightly overweight are pluses, but not necessary.

Joanne: Female, visual age 30-40, a strong career woman. A mother to her husband but still a girl inside. Has comedic ability but is able to pull off a layered performance.

Both leads have wide emotional ranges, subtext and humor, which would be a great challenge for actors and great material for demonstration of the actor’s ability. The visual style will be very stylized but internal, if you are interested in films like “Requiem for a Dream,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” or work from Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys, Fisher King) this is the role for you.

Shooting Dates:
9/17-9/20, we should be able to finish within two shooting days in 1-2 locations near downtown.

Please feel free to e-mail us your resumes/headshots/reels if interested or for any additional questions; however we strongly encourage you to meet with us in person during the auditions. Even if you do not get into this film you will definitely be considered or recommended to other filmmakers for other projects; we are eager to know and work with talented actors like you. Thank you!