Inclusion StatementAt its core, this film is about remaining cultural and artistic integrity in the face of marginalization. This musical celebrates cultural diversity by emphasizing the importance of tradition and heritage, as well as having an all-Asian led cast and a ethnically diverse crew behind the camera.
About The Project
Preview The Songs Here!
Sriracha! The Musical is a 20 minute short film that tells the story of David Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant who dreams of spreading his authentic Asian style hot sauce all across the United States. After encountering resistance from the established culinary norm because his sauce was said to be too spicy, David faces the choices of changing his recipe for the sake of profitability or preserving his artistic integrity and remaining true to his traditions.
Why Make This Film?
This film puts into question the importance of authenticity and traditions under the pressure of public opinion. It’s about an artist who is unquestionably passionate about his culture and his struggle to remain his artistic integrity.
This is a significant crossroad many businesses in the culinary world experience. I personally know many Chinese restaurant owners in America that are forced to serve Americanized Chinese food instead of their authentic cuisine just to secure their economic well-being in their neighborhood.
Still from Sriracha! The Musical test shoot
While I understand the pressure to conform in order to survive, I still can't help but feel a bit disappointed that the society we live in dictates what these people need to sell to make a living. This marginalization of authentic Asian food is something that cannot be overlooked. And with this film, I hope to address this issue from two points of views: a man who has made peace with the societal norm, and another who refuses to have his culture misrepresented for the sake of profit.
With the theme of authenticity vs. public opinion, we would like to draw a clear visual distinction between the private-everyday life and the life of a performer: one focused on the tradition and the tasks at hand, while the other strives for extravagancy and pezass. This will reflect in both the lighting and production design. David, who is all about traditions and authenticity, lives in a more muted and reserved visual world; while Mr. Chow, who is the polar opposite of David, lives in a world with bright lights and extravagancy.
David visual reference (still from Cook Up A Storm)
Mr. Chow visual reference (still from Cabaret)
To achieve the right look for this film, we need a large amount of funds to go into securing locations, production design, transportation, and feeding the cast and crew. Since we are shooting large ensemble dance numbers with a big cast and crew, it is crucial for us to provide enough food and transportation for this size cast and crew.
Still from Sriracha! The Musical test shoot
Between the director's personal savings and the allotment provided by NYU, we still need $5,800 in order to make this film. Below is the exact budget we need to make this film happen.
How You Can Help
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About This Team
Writer / Director - Brian Chen
Brian is a Taiwanese filmmaker who has directed projects across multiple genres. His past works has been featured heavily featured on multiple festivlas; his latest short film, 7 Days Since Death, was the finalist of New Vision and Voices Film Festival. Brian has a knack for using comedic filmmaking to tell authentic human stories. With this musical, he hopes to explore his Asian identity in a fun and creative way.
Producer - Aditya Mayya
Canadian filmmaker currently pursuing a BFA in Film and Television at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He has worked as a staff writer for publications such as The Black Sheep and Washington Square Local and has had his work nationally-featured. Recently, he interned at Toronto-based independent production company Short Term Media.
Producer - Ben Heintz
Decidedly less Canadian than Aditya. A graduate of NYU Tisch’s Film and Television program, Ben has worked as a producer, writer, and director across several mediums and genres. Recently he produced several senior thesis films and line produced a feature, Alfonso Morgan Terrero’s “Verde.”
Composer - Dallin Burns
Dallin is an award winning composer living in LA and NYC. He loves and specializes in film, orchestral, and musical theater composition. Dallin is excited to share the super fun, toe-tapping, make-you-want-to-dance musical numbers! He promises, you’ll be humming these songs for weeks after watching!
Lyricist - Alyssa See-Tho
Alyssa is a senior at NYU studying Dramatic Writing and Performance Studies. Musical storytelling is one of her favorite forms and she’s excited to be working on a project where the heart of the story is food. She, unfortunately, has a very low spice tolerance.
Director of Photography - Samuel O. Schrag
Samuel is a Swiss-New Zealand director and cinematographer studying Film & TV Production at NYU Tisch. He fell in love with the visual medium of film while growing up in Colorado and has been directing and shooting projects for the last 12 years. When he’s not working on film sets, he’s skateboarding around the city listening to music and developing new ideas. Sam is eager to breath life into the dynamic visuals of Sriracha.
Production Designer - Amy Tsai
Born and raised in Taiwan, Amy Tsai is a designer for film and theatre as well as an interdisciplinary artist based in New York. She has worked extensively with filmmakers from NYU Tisch and Columbia. Her theatre credits include set designing for CU Players, 6Days Theatre and so on. She is selected to design one of the shows at this year's Theatre Thesis Festival. Besides freelancing, she is currently pursuing her B.A. in Visual Arts at Columbia and works at Birds Nest Productions on various visual projects.
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