The day after the 10th anniversay of 9/11, I spent the afternoon with my uncle and my dad exploring my family’s own stories of war and death. My family escaped Vietnam during the war in 1975 and made their way to Olympia, WA. Growing up, I had limited understanding of the details of their lives in their home country. Nearly 40 years later, I opened a dark vault of personal pain, loss and redemption.
My uncle, Bac Binh, told me a story of his struggles with the death of his older brother. Both worked as translators for the US Army and their allies. During a mission, my eldest uncle, Bac Hai, was shot by a sniper. As fate couldn’t have written the story any better, Bac Binh found himself face to face with his brother’s murderer a year later during a mission with the US Psychological Warfare group.
After hours of talking with both my uncle and my dad, I had no choice but to adapt this story into a film script. It’s a powerful story with a powerful ending. Hopefully, 2 years is all it will take for me to complete my own mission of making this film.
The truth is David Stern is putting his all into hoping that the Miami Heat will make it to the NBA Finals. It makes sense though. According to ESPN, the Heat attract the most web traffic… it’s a 2-man all star team that has revived the NBA in pop culture.
For a true NBA fan like myself, you have to give props to the scrappy teams… and I emphasize TEAM. Miami is good for ESPN highlight reels but have you actually watched them play? I caught myself thinking “This is a 2 man game that only involves 3’s and dunks.”
OKC is not Seattle. The Thunder are not the Sonics. Lets get that straight. I don’t owe them my loyalty. They’re a great young team that improves every season but I think lack of playoff experience will do them over this time.
It comes down to Chicago vs Dallas. Each team is deep with weapons all over the bench. Nowitzki and Rose both look to be unstoppable. I can’t wait.
… Really busy. Ever since I got back from the Philippines, it’s been non-stop editing for all sorts of projects. Feels good though. I’m always looking to line up gigs to keep me on my toes. I love to learn new things.
Taking a break from the medical documentary for now and taking on a new and fun hype video for Out Cold Marketing. Look for it in the next week or so. Trying something new on this one.
Just got back from Bacolod, Philippines a couple weeks ago. Had the extraordinary opportunity to shoot documentary footage with the Aloha Medical Mission, lead by Dr. Brad Wong. 3 operating rooms, 6 tables. Over 200 major/minor surgeries were completed, including dental work and the free distribution of prosthetic arms, over the course of 5 days.
The area I stayed in had an interesting mix of social class… or lack of. There was no middle class that I saw, just incredibly poor or incredibly rich. The nearby shopping mall was a small indication of middle class existence but even that building was surrounded by neighborhood upon neighborhoods of shacks and poor farmers. This is more apparent by the hundreds who lined up for free medical care at the hospital. Tons of heartbreaking cases that we would never dream of here in the states. Many families traveled many hours in hopes to meet a doctor from the mission. Others camped at the hospital to ensure their place in line.
I saw a man who lost his arms in an accident be fitted with prosthetic arms and held a pen in his new plastic claw of a hand. Within minutes, he began writing for the first time in 25 years. Clearly in English, he wrote “Thank you.”
A 14 year old girl is admitted into the hospital with what looks to be a giant growth in her abdomen. Due to less-advanced x-rays, surgeons were unable to determine what it was. The problem was, she was only 70 lbs. Operating on someone so small had fatal risks. Doctors pushed on and found the growth to be a giant tumor that had engulfed both ovaries and her uterus. The girl had cancer. With both her father and older brother in prison, she was the only one working to support the family.
You don’t come back home the same way after witnessing these types of events. Especially for someone like me with no medical background. There are no words that can describe the amount of passion and fulfillment I’ve received and continue to receive as I continue my work with this documentary. I see it that I am doing my part in supporting the mission by spreading the word and retelling these stories.
Even at what seems to be one of the weakest moments in our country’s history, we are still undoubtedly more well off than we can imagine. Some of us complain about our free health care program but do realize that even the act of complaining is a luxury to others.