Featured: AARisings, "Zac Wong A-Profiled"

Excerpt (For the article, click here): 

This issue of the A-Profiler, Nelson Wong interviews filmmaker Zac Wong of the web seriesThe Potstickers. This is the final part of a 3-part A-Profiler series featuring the cast and crew of The Potstickers.

You are still in your late-teens and have become an award-winning filmmaker. When did your foray into filmmaking first begin? What inspired you to become a filmmaker? Did you find that your friends and family were supportive of your desire to become a filmmaker?
My interest in filmmaking began way before I had ever touched a camera. Looking back at the first drawings in crayon I did as a child, they were all sequential, like miniature story boards. When I was about twelve, simply out of curiosity, I grabbed the home video camcorder and a couple Lego men and made a stop-motion animation with the camera's start and stop record button. It looked horrible, but it was enough to keep me motivated. I remember how liberating it felt, unlocking this newfound, and completely immature ability to tell stories visually. Films like Annie HallSinging in the Rain, and La Dolce Vita inspired me, particularly because I hoped to make films exactly like them one day. From the outset, my family was extremely supportive of my ventures, putting up with the hour long screenings of my "avant-garde" Lego animations. My friends and family have continued to help me ever since, critiquing and even acting in my films.

Your first film, Not Without My Dog, is in the vein of old silent films. What inspired you to write that story? What was it like to have that first film showcased at film festivals?
In my first film, Not Without My Dog, I tried my hand at a film shot in black and white 16mm, without sound. Looking back, I realize that the constraints really forced me to reevaluate narrative and how to effectively convey emotion and tension visually.

I wanted to make a film that harked back to the old Charlie Brown and Dennis the Menace comics I read as a child. I have always been fascinated by the simplicity with which Schulz and Ketcham conveyed stories-- how a single image could have so much movement, emotion, and context. I end up referring to their work constantly when writing or storyboarding my films.