URBAN TEACH NOW THE TV PILOT
Watch The Trailer
World Premiere on Thursday, Oct 6 and Sunday Oct 9 at iTVFest in Dover, VT
That's A Wrap, nyc!
7 shoot days. 2 cities. 2 camera crews. 13 principal actors. 100's of cups of coffee and even more La Croix Seltzer Waters. After all this WE ARE WRAPPED!
Last Monday, we wrapped our 3-day NYC shoot, closing out the filming phase of Urban Teach Now! Our last scene of the shoot was filmed at Urban Rustic, a restaurant in Wiliamsburg, that we skillfully dressed to make look like a New Orleans dive bar. Closing out a shoot with a drunk bar scene is always a good time. Best of all, so many of our Kickstarter supporters came to play background actors! Thank you! You guys are naturals! :)
Check out the photos from our NYC shoot!
Our Assistant Editor is finalizing the prepping of all 7 terabytes of footage. Dudes, that's a lot of film. We also shot in 6K, the gold-standard in film quality which will look cinematic as fuck. After the files have been organized and audio synced, our amazing Editor, Nathan Floody (who's worked on Broad City and Inside Amy Schumer HAVE YOU HEARD OF IT?) will start piecing together the story. Ginny, Heather and I will be working closely with him to make sure all of the penis and fart jokes land. jk jk there are no fart jokes.
Thanks for all your support on this journey. We'll be back soon to share some more updates!
Oh AND please subscribe to our YouTube Channel! (Click on the link and click the red subscribe button!). Our manager told us we need more followers or else we're going to die. She also thought we were dating. Which we're not, but might as well be.
Wrapped in New Orleans...on to NYC!
This past Monday, we wrapped our 4-day shoot in New Orleans. We filmed in several locations: a gorgeous, quintessential shotgun home in the 9th Ward, a Daiquiri Stand in Metairie, and at Riverdale Middle School in Jefferson, which is actually where I taught when I was in Teach For America! My old Principal was kind enough to let us film there and man, it was such an emotional experience filming at the very place where the true UTN story happened.
Each day was a ton of work but with our superstar crew and cast, we were able to get all the shots and performances we had hoped for.
Heather Fink directed her heart out and brought out the finest performances from our actors, which included everyone from inexperienced high school kids to seasoned professional actors. This range is enormous and often difficult to manage, but she just nailed it all.
Our cinematographer, Mike Burke, went above and beyond for us, capturing the most gorgeous shots, donating his pro equipment, assuming the role of DIT, and also being his kind, placid, collected self throughout the whole shoot.
1st AD Alex Foreman managed everyone on set, moving us throughout the shoot day efficiently (btw 1st AD is a super hard job because basically you are schedule police).
Ginny and I, when we weren't acting, switched hats to play producer, working with our local producer Candice Vaughn to manage everything from SAG contracts to catering.
We have so many more shout outs to give and we will save those for our next update. Talk to you all soon!
Below are some photos taken by our set photographer, Victor Nguyen! Enjoy!
Meet our Team
Ahhhhhhhh WE DID IT!
Together we made this happen! Ginny and I haven't blinked in 24 hours and now there are tears streaming down our faces from joy and lack of blink. I can stop mindlessly eating spaghetti and Ginny can stop mindlessly walking on to the wrong subway while talking to me on the phone. We are truly grateful for your support and confidence in this campaign.
Our newest project is ....
WHAT IS URBAN TEACH NOW ABOUT?
Based on SJ's own experiences, UTN follows Eunice Son, an achievement-obsessed recent grad, who joins a non-profit teaching program after being rejected from her dream job on Wall Street. Eunice finds herself teaching at a public high school in New Orleans, ill-equipped with only her B.A. in Business Management and unflagging entitlement. She struggles to find validation in her new unfamiliar world, and fails to relate both to her students and her fellow teachers.
UTN encapsulates everything SJ&GINNY's comedy is about. We tell raw, personal stories with an absurd brightness from the point of view of women and people of color. We relish in writing and playing unlikeable anti heroes. Ya know, the type of characters that get men awards andwomen death threats. :-)
WHY SHOULD I BACK THIS PROJECT?
When it comes to diversity in film/TV, especially Asian American stories, there is a lot of TALK and not a lot of DO. Hollywood likes the IDEA of diverse stories, but in recent years, the actual numbers in Hollywood are stagnant.
It's so bad, in fact, the Feds (aka Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) launched an investigation into Hollywood's hiring practices this fall.
THE TOKEN ASIAN
As an Asian American actor, the number of racist, stereotyped auditions I go on would blow your buns off. AND the number of times my characters are violently raped in these stories, for the sake of being "provocative", would blow your eyebrows off!
Being marginalized can be discouraging. But being the insanely ambitious, restless creators we are, we decided to change this. We wrote a story about an Asian American woman who has agency, is the driver of the story, not an accessory, and the anti-hero of a hilarious and surprisingly sad story of a struggling teacher.
EVERYONE'S A RACIST
And sometimes, it's fucking funny. Urban Teach Now shamelessly talks about race and racism from the Asian point of view. From the racism Eunice encounters and reciprocates with her black students and white co-workers, to her own unconscious racism she perpetuates toward her Asian students.