Wednesday, March 15, 2023

‘Dreaming is not enough’

Michael Goi (left) directs Lady Gaga in 2015 for an episode of FX's “American Horror Story.”

     Michael Goi doesn’t want to hear your movie idea.
     “I will not engage in a conversation with somebody if they start out with ‘I’ve got this great idea for a movie,’” said the veteran Hollywood director and cinematographer. “No. Go out and make the movie and show me the movie.”
     He tells young people trying to break into the film industry: You don’t need fancy equipment. Everything you need is between your ears and in your back pocket.
     “You live in an era when there are no excuses for not making a movie,” said Goi. “You say you want to be a filmmaker; go out and make a movie. You can shoot it on your phone. You can edit on your tablet. You can post it on social media platforms for the entire world to see. All these things are no longer barriers to you.”
     Speaking of barriers. Goi was pitched at me by his alma mater, Columbia College, as an Asian American filmmaker, in context of the success of “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
     But as much as I tried to focus on the first part of that equation, his being Asian American, we kept returning to the second, filmmaker part. He worked on “Glee” and “American Horror Story.” He was executive producer, director and cinematographer for “Avatar: The Last Airbender” on Netflix and on Saturday just finished up shooting the next season of ABC’s “The Rookie.”
    A reminder that real-life individuals do not always easily accept the job as ethnic role models.
    For instance, Goi was at the Dolby Theatre for the Oscars Sunday night.
     “It was good,” he said. “I thought the show moved well.”

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