Harry, a young Chinese man travels to America in an attempt to reunite with his first lover, Sam. Harry and Sam met a year prior during an exchange in China and Harry hopes to relive the love and intimacy they once shared.
Interview with Writer/Director Oates Yinchao Wu
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you so much! As an autographical filmmaker making my films is a way to understand myself and express myself. I want to be as honest as I can be with my works to communicate with my audience, to express a certain feeling or memory, to let my audience know we are not alone. And most of them time, they also let me know that I’m not alone.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
It’s a great honor for me that anyone who’s spending their precious time to watch my works. As for my part I’m trying to hold nothing back when I create my works and really hope that can come cross. The film talks about dealing with the obsessions of love, and the loss of that fantasy. I hope people who are interested in those topics would be interested this film.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Most of my films are very intimate and personal, however it is true that the more personal it is, more universal it becomes. I have audiences who came to me to tell me that they really connected to the character’s need, desire and sorrow even though the storyline is quite far away from their personal life, but the emotional line is what they can relate too.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
As a director I ask myself to be critical and creative at every stage of filmmaking. It’s quite important to learn how to “kill your baby”. For example during editing I would do my best to objectively see what was working now as footage and trying to get less influenced by the script. I mean of course I still want the original vision to be the same.
For this film, the final version is quite different than the script, it was a way longer script and I spend a lot time to edit out the parts, which are not working well.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback is generally very positive. I had many audiences come to me to tell me how the film reminded them of their relationship, and made them cry. There was another audience member who told me his life experience as an immigrate from Cuba but how he felt he was just like my character. I was very moved by that generous feedback.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Yes. It’s always interesting for me to listen to feedback. Sometimes some audience would pay attention to the little details of the film while I had no idea it was there, and they really made me rethink my film from their perspective. And sometimes some audience members would tell me a very detailed view of what they think of the film and it’s exactly everything I wanted to tell. So those experience constantly challenge me or surprise me. Overall it’s quite a lesson to learn how to take or leave feedback so I always love to have feedback.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I would love to connect with more audiences! They could follow the “Goodbye, My Big Cat” Facebook page, we will not only update screenings and information about this film but all my other films.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I have to say ALL OF THEM. HAHA. But if I have to choose one I probably would say producers. I would love to have some like-minded producers on board. I’m preparing my new short film (my 5th one) and at the same time writing my first feature.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
As an Asian filmmaker, diversity in the film industry is what I think is one of the most important issues. With the power of the entertainment industry, which heavily influences people almost everywhere around the world, it is very important to have stories in independent cinema and mainstream cinema to talk about stories about all races, and sexual preferences. I hope with young filmmakers like me, we will make our work to demand a change, and one day grow strong enough to have a chance.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What happened to the cat?! Haha. The film actually has nothing to do with cats. But it would still be a good question to open the dialogue. Okay, I would say questions regarding how to deal with our love, fantasy and shame.
Would you like to add anything else?
Thank you for this opportunity and this interview. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and don’t hesitate to contact me if want to, through our Facebook page. I will reply to everyone.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I’m working on the post of my last short film (the film after Goodbye, My Big Cat), it’s called Behind the Bear’s Eyes. It talks about the story of Lu, a Chinese woman. After living in California for 8 years, Lu loses her Visa status and is forced to leave the place she calls home. The film portrays Lu's last two days in America, and her fight against the fear of losing her own identity. I’m hoping to premiere the film soon.
Besides that a pilot show I did with my two friends got bought by one of the major studios, so we are preparing for the first season.
And I’m also hoping to shoot another short film soon and prepare for my first feature.
My lead actor Sean Sekino has two films in the festival circuit and can be found next summer in a new Netflix series.
Interview: October 2016
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Goodbye, My Big Cat
Harry, a young Chinese man travels to America in attempt to reunite with his first lover, Sam. Harry and Sam met a year prior during an exchange in China and Harry hopes to relive the love and intimacy they once shared.
Oates Yinchao Wu
Oates Yinchao Wu
About the writer, director and producer:
Oates is the writer and director who lives in Los Angeles, his work focuses on sexual identity, gender and race. He is especially interested in topics like the impact of socio-cultural background, fantasy vs. reality, and the nature of desire, shame and fear.
Shuo Feng is a producer for film and theater, she lives in Los Angeles.
Sean Sekino, Michael Stone, Sanja Rajacic, Dan Louis
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Made in association with:
California Institute of the Arts