Logline: This 2D-animated film explores one boy's struggle to face the truth of his life and love, and reveal it to the person he cares about most. Arrival delves into the often unexamined ripple effect that hiding your true self has on loved ones around you.
Director: Alex Myung
Producer: Amy Benaroya
Writer: Alex Myung
About the writer, director and producer: Alex Myung was adopted from South Korea and raised in Albany, NY. In 2005 he moved to NYC where he graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in 2D Animation. He has spent the past five years working as a Tech Designer for companies such as Tiffany’s, Diane von Furstenberg, DKNY, and 3.1 Phillip Lim.
Key cast: Upright T-Rex (Composers) / John Compton, John Truex, Eric P. Sherman (Executive Producers)
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): Come one, come all!
Funders: This Project was Partially funded in part by the amazing people who donated to our Kickstarter. In March 2013, we successfully raised over $20k to help realize this project.
Release date: 2016
Where can I watch it? You can catch 'Arrival' next at the Palm Springs International Film Festival / Shortfest. It will be showing on Wednesday June 22nd @ 3pm in the Camelot Theatre as part of their "All About My Mother" program slot. More info can be found here: https://www.psfilmfest.org/2016-shortfest/short-films/all-about-my-mother
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! Well, I started working on this film in 2009 right after I graduated College. I had just finished my thesis short and really enjoyed getting the chance to make my own film. I started drawing concepts for it just for fun and it sort of evolved from there! Now it's 2016, seven wonderful years later... hahaha!
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
I think you should watch this film if you are a lover of animation. I think you should watch the film if you are queer and want to see more queer characters represented in all types of film. I think you should watch the film if you are an LGBTQ ally and maybe know people who have dealt with this issue. Regardless of your gender or sexuality or beliefs, I think you should watch this film because it's just an overall human story that anyone can find a piece of themselves in.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I think everyone is afraid of rejection on some level, and the worst kind of rejection can come from the people you care about the most. The main story in 'Arrival' features a gay character dealing with fear of rejection from his mother if he comes out to her, and while this concept is queer centric, you could easily substitute his "coming out" with any number of personal problems:
I never set out specifically to make a gay film- it just happens to have a gay character in it, so his problem is something anyone can go through when facing something about themselves that they fear others might be afraid of.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
It's sort of crazy how much the script has changed since the beginning. It originally was about a boy living in a lighthouse with his cat and I can't even remember how it evolved into going beyond that.
Even once the general story line you see in the final film was figured out, there was actually a major change in the ending once my producer, Amy Benaroya, came on. The original ending felt really contrived and there was a lot of exposition that needed to take place to make it work so we looked at it from a different angle and I'm SO happy we did!
What type of feedback have you received so far?
So far everything has been pretty positive! It hasn't been seen by many people outside our friends and families and its premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival, but all the feed back we've received so far has been very good. Some of it has been really surprising and sincere, which makes you happy you shared it with them.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Yes, definitely. Many people are connecting with it on the level we ourselves had hoped for, but there are people that manage to connect to it in ways we didn't initially think about. I had one friend (who is straight and by all accounts I have never heard them talking emotionally) come up to me and tell me he felt really connected to the main character because he could see his own relationship with his mother. It really showed us just how universal the story was, even though the main character was gay.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible onwww.wearemovingstories.com?
I'm hoping that it becomes put on more people's radar! I think we made a really good and important film, and I want as many people to see it. This year will be our festival run, and then after that we have to decide how to make it publicly available. Wearemovingstories.com is a great way to help get it out there into the world!
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Anyone who is willing! It would be great if we had more journalists and film fest directors reach out to us!
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
This movie pulls from parts of my life and tells a story that many gay women and men face. The animation community is full of queer people and queer allies, and yet we don't have a ton of exposure in that industry so hopefully this can show that a serious queer animated film is possible.
I also hope that it specifically can strike a note in the gay asian community as coming out is still not an option for many of them. Maybe this film can be a voice for them, and maybe it'll speak to their families as well.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
"What sort of effects does hiding your true self have on those around you?"
Would you like to add anything else?
I'd just like to say that to anyone who has a story to tell, do it. It took me 6 long years to tell my story but when you want something enough, you find ways to get it done.
What are the you developing or working on now?
I'm currently taking a small break, but my team and I have spoken about making a MUCH SHORTER film that's more of a fan project based on one of our favorite book series.