With Contraction Comes Expansion
Patty Yu was feeling restless after seeing her number of auditions dropping over the last two years because of the WGA strike and SAG strike. Hollywood was in a holding pattern, and sh*t was hitting the fan. When she lost her theatrical agent in January — the last straw for CutebutDeadly — she was determined not to become complacent. Rather than waiting for something to “happen” she was going to make things happen.
Many ideas were flowing in her brain and Patty wasn’t sure what she wanted to shoot first. While working on set of a Taco Bell commercial in March 2009, another actress, Raney Branch, who participated in the parody music video “Put a Dot on It (spoof of Beyonce’s Put a Ring on It),” alerted Patty to Asian pop princess BoA, already very well known in Asia and gaining speed on U.S. charts. Patty had never heard BoA’s music, but came home and looked her up on Youtube that night.
Upon watching BoA’s music videos, Patty was instantly drawn to the talented young pop artist, and furthurmore inspired by her mad dance SKILLZ. Once she discovered the music video for BoA’s single, Eat You Up (watch BoA’s original video here!), ideas for a spoof involving pork bun’s, which are called “Bao” in Chinese (Patty’s heritage), began dancing in her head.
Over the next month and a half, Patty began to put together a treatment and knew she wanted to create something with high production value. With her experience working on sets, Patty had high expectations from the get-go. She knew this would be a serious project.
First things first, patty asked her childhood friend, Ted Chen (T-minus, CMYK) to produce her version of the song Eat You Up. They recorded the vocals in her apartment on a quiet morning, and then off they went to be produced and mixed in T-minus’ home studio in Seattle, WA.
Next, Patty asked her friend and neighbor, Catie Laffoon (Porcelain MV), to direct. Through Catie, Patty met Lanlin Wong who not only plays Kobayashi in the video, but helped to produce as well. Patty then asked Sasha Freedman, who has worked with the Duplass brothers (BAGHEAD), to be Director of Photography. Sasha directed and shot Patty in his fine art thesis film five years ago for Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
While arranging details with her new production team, Patty also went to her friend and fellow actress Grace Su (www.Peachies.net) to arrange a meeting with actor and comedian, Danny Cho (www.dannycho.com). Grace and Danny (who does a killer take on North Korea leader, Kim Jong Il) had made a very hilarious eHarmony spoof commercial that Patty thought was the bomb ass funniest sh*t, and so she envisioned Danny as Kim Jong Il to play a particular cameo in her own video. When Danny signed on to her BaO project, Patty was elated … everything was coming together.
With only two weeks of pre-production, Patty arranged rehearsals to teach BoA’s moves to her own dancers, a group made up of friends from previous acting connections, and NsK Dance Krew, who responded to an ad she placed on Craigslist. She also asked her good friend, Chef Titus Karanji (having worked together at Hotel Cafe) to cater the shoot.
The video was shot over two days at the end of May, and with so many friends and colleagues together, they turned out to be two solid days of soulfully deep belly laughs, and personal triumphs over bladder control.
At first the project was delayed because an editor was not yet in place to cut the footage. Not proficient in the editing software called Final Cut Pro, Patty was going stir crazy for over a month after the shoot. Finally, after a fast tutorial from DP, Sasha Freedman, Patty maniacally cut the sh*t out of the footage herself in just three days and then put it into the hands of motion graphic artist Jeiko Soh, who was introduced by mutual friends, for special effects and animation.
On July 26th, 2009 (one day late of Patty’s ambitious deadline), the video was released into the world wild web.
Patty Yu (www.cutebutdeadly.net)
Catie Laffoon (visit catie’s myspace)
Patty Yu … executive producer
Lanlin Wong … producer
Sasha Freedman (director of photography)
Patty Yu … BaO
Lanlin Wong … Kobayashi
Danny Cho … Kim Jong Il (www.dannycho.com)
Taylor Feldman … dancer
Raney Branch … dancer
Kate Reavis … dancer
NsK Dance Krew: (visit NSK’s Myspace)
- Jason Sensation … dancer
- lil’ Buck … dancer
- Cliff the Cobra … dancer
- BBoy Tokyo (Bernard Vignarath) … dancer
- Momaruto … dancer
Patrick … DJ
Anahi Bustillos … make up artist (www.anahibustillos.com)
Brent Barbano … Gaffer
Sonoko Shimoyama … Gaffer
Weldon Powers … PA
Dave Moyer … PA
Josh Polon … PA