Interview with

Josiah Yu

Director of

Josiah Yu

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

I think the inspiration for this short came from a bit of everywhere; our own personal experiences of depression, combined with stories from other friends and complete strangers. Given that depression, especially suicidal depression is such a taboo topic especially in the AAPI community, we wanted to work on this project to stand in solidarity with those who have struggled, are currently struggling, or know people who have struggled with depression and its effects regardless of race, gender or ethnicity. The feelings of depression are complex, and we wanted to share this as a way of saying that no one is alone, and we all have the power to be the light for those around us, just by simply being there for them. As for the visuals and overall aesthetic, I got a lot of inspiration from the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai. Their work has always inspired me visually, and I incorporated similar bright colors to this film with the goal of reminding the audience that they have the power to make reality as beautiful as they wish.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

There were definitely a couple challenges to making this film. The first was writing a script that was accurate, emotional and authentic in a short time span. We had some tight deadlines to meet, so I had to create a few drafts and revise them all within the week of shooting. After much research, and with additional help from one of the actors and the DP, I was able to finalize the script 1 day before shooting. The fact that the actors both delivered such powerful performances without the luxury of much prep time still impresses me. Another challenge we ran into on set was shooting everything during golden hour. We were racing against the sun, and to get the perfect shots meant that both camera and actors had to be on point for each take. Thanks to the amazing talent and crew, we were able to knock out each shot in 3 takes at most, and wrap by the time we lost sunlight.

How has the short film been received?

So far, we’ve received an incredible response across the board. Many people from filmmakers to psychologists and therapists, have all commended this project for its authentic representation of depression, as well as the stellar acting and the beautiful cinematography.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

Outside of this project, we are finishing up a sci-fi/action drama film called ‘FBIBA’ (Federal Bureau of Investigation for Bot Accounts), which will be finished this Summer. We are also developing another project with the Centre for Japanese Mental Health (CJMH) regarding Harajuku culture and female empowerment in Japan.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

Don’t be afraid to try and fail. The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. The world really is your set, and it’s up to you to share your unique vision with all of us. Don’t sell yourself short!

Recently Featured

Interview with

Josiah Yu

Director of

Josiah Yu

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

I think the inspiration for this short came from a bit of everywhere; our own personal experiences of depression, combined with stories from other friends and complete strangers. Given that depression, especially suicidal depression is such a taboo topic especially in the AAPI community, we wanted to work on this project to stand in solidarity with those who have struggled, are currently struggling, or know people who have struggled with depression and its effects regardless of race, gender or ethnicity. The feelings of depression are complex, and we wanted to share this as a way of saying that no one is alone, and we all have the power to be the light for those around us, just by simply being there for them. As for the visuals and overall aesthetic, I got a lot of inspiration from the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai. Their work has always inspired me visually, and I incorporated similar bright colors to this film with the goal of reminding the audience that they have the power to make reality as beautiful as they wish.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

There were definitely a couple challenges to making this film. The first was writing a script that was accurate, emotional and authentic in a short time span. We had some tight deadlines to meet, so I had to create a few drafts and revise them all within the week of shooting. After much research, and with additional help from one of the actors and the DP, I was able to finalize the script 1 day before shooting. The fact that the actors both delivered such powerful performances without the luxury of much prep time still impresses me. Another challenge we ran into on set was shooting everything during golden hour. We were racing against the sun, and to get the perfect shots meant that both camera and actors had to be on point for each take. Thanks to the amazing talent and crew, we were able to knock out each shot in 3 takes at most, and wrap by the time we lost sunlight.

How has the short film been received?

So far, we’ve received an incredible response across the board. Many people from filmmakers to psychologists and therapists, have all commended this project for its authentic representation of depression, as well as the stellar acting and the beautiful cinematography.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

Outside of this project, we are finishing up a sci-fi/action drama film called ‘FBIBA’ (Federal Bureau of Investigation for Bot Accounts), which will be finished this Summer. We are also developing another project with the Centre for Japanese Mental Health (CJMH) regarding Harajuku culture and female empowerment in Japan.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

Don’t be afraid to try and fail. The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. The world really is your set, and it’s up to you to share your unique vision with all of us. Don’t sell yourself short!

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