While all the attention on diversity is usually directed in front of the camera, those hired behind the camera may be just as important.
One of the few Asian American directors who has released a big Hollywood budget movie has a new movie coming out this Friday
Now You See Me 2 is directed by Jon Chu who was also behind GI Joe: Retaliation
Despite his success, Chu has largely stayed out of the public limelight.
He wasn’t even listed in the Los Angeles Times‘ list of 100 people in Hollywood who could help fix the Academy’s diversity problem.
Chu recently gave an interview to the Examiner.
“It’s kind of amazing this summer that four Asian directors have big budget films coming out this summer,” said Chu. “Two of them are Asian American, another I think is from Australia, and then Wong Lee is from China, so even that if you include all Asians to have four major studio films coming out this summer from Asian directors is pretty incredible. I don’t even know if that’s happened before. So, I think that there is progress being made.
“It’s not a foreign voice, it’s from here. So, yes I think we are making progress. Social media is helpful. It helps wake people up and has direct impact in meetings that I am in literally. That kind of diversity talk is brought up, from the Oscar stuff to the white-washed stuff.”
Despite being among a small group of Asian Americans in his profession, Chu does not see himself as a ground breaker. He gives all the credit to those before him.
“I realize that my experience has been smooth because other people have created that path for me. Even if the door wasn’t fully open, they cracked that door open for me. I acknowledge that more than I did when I was younger. I have responsibility to crack those doors open even more for the next generations of young film makers that are going to create amazing stories from a perspective that you haven’t heard from before. And as a film business, this is what we need right now with just all these super hero movies, we need diverse voices and from all walks of life, from all socioeconomic backgrounds. It makes sense. We need all those voices to make our business better. And then all the doors should be open for all those things to make our business better.
“So I see those issues as even more important to me than a few years ago. As annoying as outrage can be on Facebook and Twitter when it fills up your feed, I think it’s an effective tool. That may not be my style on how I want to make a difference because I am in a position to make movies, and cast movies the way I want to, so I take my responsibility as doing that as my action.”
Chu talks about the elaborate effort it took to film one of the biggest scenes in Now You See Me 2 as well as the balancing act it takes to work with such an A list group of stars in the Examiner.
You might also want to look at the group of Hollywood’s top talent listed in the Los Angeles Times. Many are Asian and Asian Americans you may not have household names.
Included are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, designers, directors, editors, executives, producers, public relation specialists, sound, visual effects and writers.
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