Friday, October 8, 2010

Koji Steven Sakai is my Writing Yoda

Koji Steven Sakai knows what it means to be a writer. He said something in this interview in Hyphen Magazine that has stuck in my head ever since I read it:
"I don't believe in writer's block. I always tell new writers that the biggest difference between professional writers and amateur writers is that the amateur writers waits for inspiration but the professional writer creates that same inspiration every time they sit down to write."
A powerful call to excellence for new writers like me. One of my favorite pieces of writing advice ever.

Koji is also on my mind because tonight is opening night of The ID Film Festival, which he co-founded two years ago with fellow filmmaker Quentin Lee. (Yes, he’s the guy who directed The People I’ve Slept With, the romantic comedy that Koji wrote and produced.)

The festival is packed with a variety of features, shorts programs, and events for filmmakers, all taking place at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo. Check out the schedule at the ID Film Fest web site and get your $30 festival pass online.

I recently bombarded Koji with a handful of questions and he graciously responded. He’s cool like that.

Why another Asian-centric film festival? What makes the ID Film Festival different?
KOJI: I don't think there can be enough Asian film festivals! :) But what makes this one different is that it’s a festival by Asian Pacific Islander filmmakers for API filmmakers.
What actor, Asian-American or otherwise, do you most look forward to working with someday?
KOJI: Ken Watanabe, because he's so sexy! And my mom loves him! She'd love to meet him!
What was your biggest unforeseen production obstacle while shooting The People I’ve Slept With and how did you overcome it?
KOJI: The biggest obstacle is just money. But we overcame with it with a passionate and professional crew and cast!
Who's kicking ass the most in the Asian-American media world right now?
KOJI: Justin Lin – he’s the only Asian American filmmaker to make 100 million in box office. Until someone beats that, they aren't on his level.
Dream lunch date?
KOJI: Hmm... I'm married so it'd have to be a business date. But my dream lunch date would be with President Obama, because I have a huge huge huge MAN CRUSH.
Thanks Koji! See everyone at IDFF tonight!

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