Logline: A late night courier agrees to pick up the feisty daughter of an important client. The two youngsters form a close connection and spend two nights exploring LA's local food scene while their romance blossoms.
Length: 103 min
Director: William Lu
Producer: Mark Heidelberger
About the director and producer: William received his MFA in Film and Television Production from Florida State University. Comfort is his first feature film. Mark is a member of the Producers Guild of America and holds an MFA in Producing from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): sales agents, buyers, distributors, journalists
Funders or production company: Late to the Party Productions, LLC
Release date: March 2016
Why did you make Comfort?
I was feeling what I call my “film biological clock” tick. I thought it would only be a few years after graduating film school until I got to direct a feature film. Well, as they say, life got in the way and finally I realized I couldn’t put it off for any longer and just went for it.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Comfort is an excellent date movie. I want to take audiences on a nice little journey through Los Angeles at night, with two engaging characters. Hopefully, audiences will see a little bit of themselves in Cameron and Jasmine.
How did the story develop from idea to completed film?
There were many drafts of the script, at least over a dozen. The initial idea was sparked because I’m a bit of a night owl and I used to drive out to the San Gabriel Valley where many of the restaurants close late. I thought wouldn’t it be great to make a film about a chance encounter one night in Los Angeles. As the drafts evolved, I wanted to tell the story about how these two characters help each other, so not only do they go on a geographical journey but it’s also a journey of self-discovery.
Is this a personal or a universal story for you?
I would say it’s both, as there are many personal themes that I touch on in this film, some of which include my thoughts on relationships, the disconnect one often feels from his/her parents, but also universal ones like pursuing your dreams.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Very positive. I’m particularly pleased with how it’s been playing with older audiences, some of who said they were moved to tears. I also was touched when I heard a father say to me that he had a similar conversation with his own daughter to the one portrayed in the film.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I would say I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the film has been warmly received by a non-Asian audience. I always believed I was telling a universal story that anyone could relate to, but wasn’t sure that it could find an audience beyond Asian Americans.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
On a social awareness level, I really hope that my film shows that Asian American actors can headline and carry a film. I recently read Shonda Rhimes’ “Year of Yes” and she has an excellent chapter in which she talks about the power of images. I think it’s important to see that Asian Americans are just like everyone else, we don’t have to be relegated to stereotypical roles of the tech guy, the hard-working student/nerd, ninja or martial artist. As an independent filmmaker, I also hope that I can reach as wide an audience as possible with the film.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I would say all of the above! We definitely would love a larger on-line presence in terms of more reviews and comments either on our facebook (facebook.com/comfortfeature) or imdb listing. I would also add to that list a social media manager.
What type of impact and reception would you like this film to have?
I would hope that people leave the movie theater feeling uplifted, with a smile on their face, and inspired.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Recently there was a comment that “there are no Asian American stars in Hollywood” do you agree and if so, why do you think that is?
What are you developing or directing now?
I’m continuing to brainstorm ideas for another feature. I have also written a book on all the lessons I learned (so far) in making my first feature film.