I Will Make You Mine (My Directorial Debut)

I've been hinting at this for a while now - there have been signs all along - from ending my podcast to neglecting my YouTube channel. The announcement just came out in The Hollywood Reporter, so I can finally share with you what I've been working on this past year.

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Last Thanksgiving I was taking a walk with my friend and longtime collaborator, Dave Boyle. Dave has directed me in three films - two of them being the feature "Surrogate Valentine" and its sequel, "Daylight Savings." I blogged about both of them and was always very attached to this particular project. Anyway, during our walk, I asked Dave when the third one was happening (when we were doing press at SXSW he always joked that this was going to be the most low-budget trilogy in history). Dave pretty much confirmed what I didn't want to hear - that it was never going to happen.

"Well, what if I make it happen?" I asked. Half serious.

Dave's reply was that if I wanted to take the reins on the third movie, he would help me. That's all I needed to hear. A few days later I was on my way to Boston for Thanksgiving with Abe's family. The entire plane ride there I wrote half the script. Three days later, on the return flight back, I completed the first draft.

I was surprised at how the story poured out of me. I wanted to tell the female perspective of the three women from the first two movies, which centered around my now good friend Goh Nakamura (playing himself). Not to get all woo-woo, but never before had I felt such a clear artistic calling. These characters, and this story, wanted to be reborn.

Several drafts/meetings/months later, here we are. Ready to give birth to my first film! About to direct my first anything (I've never even done a short before) that I also wrote, that I'm also producing, and that I'm also starring in. The weird thing is, I'm not even afraid or nervous because I feel so taken care of. Along with Dave, my producing team is highly experienced and nurturing - and my crew is equally supportive. I feel lucky to have so many people equally dedicated to telling this story. We have many of the original cast, and the same Director of Photography (Bill Otto) from the first two films.

Follow the action over on social media @IWMYMfilm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (my producers have already begun posting Behind-The-Scenes InstaStories every day). More info at the official site, too.

I've learned a lot. When things calm down, I promise to share more via blog posts and videos about what this process has been like.

My father passed away 6 years ago around this time. Actually, the day he died is the same day we begin filming scenes in my house. I haven't felt his presence in a long time but lately - especially when I'm alone in the car listening to music - I get this overwhelming sense that he's with me, encouraging me, and guiding me through this next phase of my life.

Thank you for always following my journey on this blog.

Last Day in Shenzhen

Back in Shenzhen from my Hong Kong weekend getaway to film the last day of "Go Back to China."

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I will miss working with this cast...

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...this crew...

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...and our fearless, bilingual leader, Emily Ting.

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When I was a little girl I used to do puppet shows for my Dad with stuffed monkey toys. It's funny how life turns out.

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Filming in China

Hello from Shenzhen, China! I've never been to this city before (I actually haven't been back to China in over two decades) - unfortunately I haven't really had the time to explore because we've been working, but I've been having a ton o' fun.

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Filming food scenes is a lot more challenging now that I'm gluten-free, but I am loving this cast and crew...

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...also, the Go Back to China production team has been taking incredible care of my celiac needs with homemade meals and snacks. Anna Akana, the star of the movie, is vegan - so between the two of us these Chinese chefs are learning a lot about cooking for dietary restrictions.

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When I'm on my own, I've been making do with snacks that I packed (oatmeal, miso soup, energy bars/protein powder) plus REALLY plain stuff like steamed veggies/meat/rice and fresh fruit that have low risk of cross-contamination. As long as there isn't soy sauce in it, I've been pretty safe.

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Of course, I've been missing home like crazy!

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Here's a quick vlog I was able to put together while we were staying at The Mission Hills Resort. We're off to another city soon - follow along on my Instagram stories, where I have the entire trip saved in the highlights.


Filming in Hong Kong

This city is marvelous.

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We got a great view of Hong Kong Island from a cast dinner our first night at Hutong in Kowloon. This restaurant was not only gorgeous, but knew how to handle my gluten allergy with a multi-course tasting menu.

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I haven't been here since I was a teenager. Maybe that's why I'm still drawn to stuff like this.

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Sadly, I haven't had too much free time explore, but it's not like being on set with Anna Akana isn't fun.

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I have the morning off so I'm going to get my tarot cards read and walk around the city a little before we head to Shenzhen for the China part of "Go Back to China." Follow along on social media @mslynnchen!

Marciano Art Foundation

The Marciano Art Foundation has been open for almost a year. I've been meaning to go for a while, especially because it's so close, I could walk there. Also, it's free (you have to reserve timed tickets). And it's awesome.

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When I was a kid I was obsessed with Guess jeans - little did I know the Marcianos were such art buffs.

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The building is massive - it used to be a Masonic Temple. You can visit a small museum dedicated to the freemasons, something I did not think I'd be doing on International Women's Day.

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I loved all the architectural details - even this water fountain.

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Marciano Art Foundation: 4357 Wilshire Boulveard