Sunday, July 17, 2011

About Movie Credits...

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Technical Support

So when did I first become obsessed with seeing my name in the credits of a movie?  I guess that desire for fame and recognition, no matter how small, has always been there since childhood.  Maybe that's why my friends and I made all those stupid home videos long ago--and why I wish they had a platform like YouTube back then to take our embarrassment to the international level.  Maybe that's why I occasionally blog and post pictures to Flickr... because being recognized--even in small doses--is an addictive thing.

In the year 2000, Michael Bay went to Corpus Christi, TX to film scenes for Pearl Harbor.  He needed lots of Asian-looking people to play the parts of Japanese soldiers but then soon discovered: there are no Asians in Corpus Christi.  So they went to Houston to hire as many Asian extras as they could.  Unfortunately I had a budding career making drinks at Smoothie King that summer, so I was unable to audition.  My brother, who's always been a better actor than me, tried out and got the job as an extra...and I admit I was envious of the fact that he got to hang out with Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) from Mortal Kombat.

11 years later, I finally got my first credits while working at ILM Singapore and it's both meaningful and meaningless at the same time.  Meaningful because obviously it feels rewarding to see your name up there on the big screen (albeit in tiny font and moving very quickly) because in some small way, you, along with perhaps thousands of others, contributed to the making of a movie.  However, it's also meaningless because so many other deserving and talented people get left off of the credits too.  So I consider myself lucky to have already tasted my 15 seconds of fame but at the same time hope that everyone who contributes to projects like these will get the recognition they deserve.

However, as a visual effects artist (or in my case... assistant), you can only achieve a certain amount of fame.  Maybe you can be interviewed by a newspaper or magazine, or even get featured on TV or in the DVD/Bluray extras.  Maybe you even helped invent Photoshop on the side ....but most people still probably won't know who you are.  Maybe that's part of why Masi Oka relentlessly pursued an acting career even though he too once had a full-time job at ILM?  Why be the guy working behind the scenes when you have a chance to be a star?  He's living the dream of the people who are already living the dream.

Avengers Editorial and Technical Support

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