I made Alphadogah from a script my friend Chris wrote in, according to him, about 5 minutes. The original title was "5 Minutes in Taipei" and the whole idea was to just make something so that I could get used to my brand-spanking-new Canon GL2 Digital Video camera, as well as editing digital video on Adobe Premiere 6.5. I had never worked with DV before, so even though this is a very simple film, it took me quite a while to finish, and the quality of the editing as well as the shooting could be better. We used no lighting whatsoever. For audio we used the camera's built-in microphone, which I paid for later with the questionable quality of sound in the film. Still, I think it works ok as an exercise. The best thing about the film are the performances I got from the actors, otherwise known as my friends Dean and Maoman, featured in the still above. There's not much to the story, but they made the most out of our little portrayal of two foreigners in Taiwan meeting on the street and struggling to establish a pecking order. You see it here all the time. "So how long have you been here?" "Do you speak Chinese?" "My girlfriend's Taiwanese", etc. We just boiled it down to what it really is, and it really is quite funny. The long opening credits sequence is necessary, I feel, because many people who are seeing the film might not know anything about Taiwan, and it serves to firmly establish this as a film about foreigners in Taiwan. At least I hope it does.
Shooting with Dean and Maoman took an afternoon, and the bits with Maurice and Alita, who play Dougie's parents in the flashback, I got when they were both on break during the shooting of my friend Paul/Norman's film Mind/off. Azuma, the cool-looking Chinese guy at the end, showed up a couple of weeks later to do the final shot. Pretty simple, really. I enjoyed working with all of them and hope to do so in the future as well.