Distance 距離 (Behind the Scenes Trivia)

                   Nick, James F. and Iris discussing a scene.

You ever go on imdb and read the “Trivia” section for a film? I do, I love all the behind the scenes details and the little, silent adventures that took place. So I thought I’d make small list for our recent short film, “Distance”. Enjoy!


- Created for the 2012 72 Hour Film Shootout competition sponsored by the Asian American Film Lab (asianamericanfilmlab.org). Contestants have to write, shoot, and edit a 5 minute short film based on a theme announced at the start of the competition. The film then must be submitted within the next 72 hours.

- Nick Louie came up with the title “Distance”. The title was a big struggle to come up with after shooting.

- All wardrobe was provided by the actors themselves.
- All principal photography took place in San Francisco.
- Iris Hsu and James Shih first met at an English storytelling company in Taipei where they performed “Jack and the Beanstalk” for children. James Shih played Jack, she played most of the other characters (i.e. Jack’s Mom).
- Iris Hsu and James Z. Feng had never met before shooting.
- Not the first time James Feng, Nick Louie and James Shih have collaborated together, they’ve worked on other short films together: Campfire (directed by Louie), Wired Fences (directed by Shih), Louie and Feng on Within/Without (directed by Louie), Feng and Shih on Fight Life: The MMA Documentary and Gray Skies (both directed by Feng)This is the first time the three have shared a director’s title.
- Feng, Louie, and Shih met in the acting program at UC San Diego back in 2005-2006.
-Jesse Chui, the composer for this film, is a good friend of Feng’s. The song, “Asymmetries of Loss” was created under Jesse’s musical moniker Songs For Cinema in 2010.
- Winner of the 2012 Asian American Film Lab 72 hour shootout Grand Prize, Editing, and Cinematography Awards.
- The film is nearly all shot handheld.
- A poor man’s steady cam (a bar with weights and a camera attachment) was used to steady some of the shots, but was not used at the airport so as not to draw attention to ourselves.
Feng, Louie, and Shih brainstormed ideas and shared personal experiences based on the theme “This is only a test” right after the theme was announced on Friday, June 15th, 2012, 5p. Out of these discussions, Shih eventually came up with what the “test” would be, with Feng fleshing out the details and writing the Mandarin voiceover heard in the film. This voiceover was then corrected for grammar and vocabulary by actor Iris Hsu.

- The filename of the film was “Love Test” before Nick came up with the final title.
- The airport scene where James Feng. and Iris hug took many takes due to people and employees walking into the shot.
- When James Feng turns a corner pretending to go down a hall the opposite direction of Iris, he’s actually going into a wall.