Warren Lam Interview Transcript

Masami: [00:00:00] Thank you so much for jumping on the podcast. And I know you’ve, you’ve helped me out with editing podcasts and what are the early days just to get myself all in, but really wanted to bring you on and hear about your story. You know, you’ve done so much, you’re a director writer editor, you’ve done a well-rounded craft, but I wanted to get to know more about you.

Warren: Hey, No, worries. It was actually literally you had such a good spirit about what you want to do, if you can help someone out kind of apply your craft to do help someone else out. I think to me, that’s always a part of giving back. So came out on a whim. I was really surprised that it kind of made a joke about if I really didn’t, I didn’t really care to do it.

I, I did. I helped you to help you And then those that know, shit now he wasn’t hearing my story. Y’all

Masami: No, you know, I’m such a

Warren: no, that’s good.

Masami: genuine, I’m pretty serious. So I will say like, yeah, let me be on your bus. And I’m like, yeah. And that’s fine. I’m totally with it. It’s not something I’m trying to like, oh, you’re just joking around. I won’t do it. You know what? I’m going to hold you to that. Yeah. You want to ask for it?

I’ll give it to you.

Warren: that was only, I have to be something [00:01:00] interesting as I think I did the one with the researcher. She was cool. I forget her

Masami: oh yeah. Nancy wearing

long Yoon.

Warren: Yeah,

And actually I got sent to her she did something for USC and then I guess sent that link like, oh, I know this person like, oh my God. And she was really cool.

Masami: yeah.

Warren: yeah,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: you’re doing by the way. It’s this is unique. So that’s always nice to be a part

Masami: It’s been really fun. I really enjoy and just getting to meet the other people, people reaching out to us and scheduling it interviews and just to talk with them about their experiences. . It’s cool. I mean, I appreciate the podcast myself, but hopefully you have more before listening to it and that are also enjoying it.

So thanks for all your time.

Warren: Well, when you asked me that I was going to tell you that my dream was to be interviewed by Elvis Mitchell, even though he is

Masami: No.

Warren: he’s on the New York times, he does a thing called the treatment he interviews all

Masami: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Warren: directors and you have to, you have a similar voice qualities. I mean, he talks like this.

this is Ella Mitchell, Elvis Mitchell from the treatment. listening to the treatment on KCRW. I said,

Masami: Correct.

Warren: sounds like that. He’s smooth and [00:02:00] cool.

Masami: That sounded great though.

Welcome back on. I would love for you to introduce yourself. I know a little, a little about you, but you know, you’re the best champion for your own work. So did you use yourself to the audience?

Warren: I’m probably the worst. Cause I like being behind the camera, being an inference. I was a pain in the ass, but I used to work. My name is Warren lamb. I am a writer, director, editor. I was born in San Francisco travel around my first life. My first gig was I was an advertising copywriter moved to New York and I kind of traveled around a bit.

And then I landed back here in LA. So that’s kinda my story. I’ve done a few things. It’s interesting. Now looking back to talk about, well, what I’ve done because in the way I don’t like talking. But it’s kind of cool. If someone asks you, okay, here’s what I’ve done. And here’s what I’ve

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: So Yeah.

I was a copywriter, a breakfast, some big agencies on some big brands.

I was

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: a rebellious spirit, so it was always weird. When I look at

Masami: yeah,

Warren: I worked at like, why the hell did they hire me? They normally stir shit up, but okay.

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: So did [00:03:00] that. And then yeah,

I was in New York and then you know, I was successful enough to buy a place and all that, but probably wasn’t really fulfilled you kind of like,

Masami: yeah.

Warren: you know, you’re working, you’re not working for the man you’re working for yourself, but you want the best idea to win.

And sometimes when you have the best idea and you get like stabbed in the back and it was kind of painful. I had

Masami: Okay.

Warren: to move out that west and that’s what I did. And industry stabs you in the back ways, but of learn to endure and survive and all these things ultimately are like tests of character and stuff like that.

that’s kinda my background. Yeah.

I started got out here. Didn’t really have moved back to it with a buddy of mine. So we didn’t really know him. knew one person and I got him through the door as an editor, so that’s kind of how I get my foot in.

In this business I had I was working in advertising, I wanted to take a break cause I was like, oh, I’m thinking well, doing well.

And digital cameras just came out. I decided to film my own kind of like curb your enthusiasm style,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: digital comedy thing. And we did it. And next thing you know my dad passed away. So I moved to, I moved back to the west coast and we didn’t know [00:04:00] anybody.

Masami: Okay.

Warren: it’s kind of interesting now, like to get that start, you know, it was one other thing.

I came out to be a writer director, but editing was what got me in the door. And I started working as an assistant, so away. So that’s kind of in a nutshell, what it is.

Masami: Yeah. And how long you’ve been editing and what got you to start to get into anything that’s its own craft and talent. That one thing, a lot of editors come on, podcasts or anything like that? I haven’t heard anything. I’d love to hear more about that story.

Warren: It’s, you know, it’s cool now too. Talk about, I think when I first started doing like, you know, we’re called hyphenates, right. Like, Okay.

If I go out for a gig right now, I’m the writer, director producer too sometimes. And then the editor and I used to hate it when people think, wow, your editing was really cool or, you know, they, they would focus on that.

And that would be bothered a little bit about it, but, oh man, I’d do all these other things too. But then now I look back on it and see like, that is a craft and you, cause you can tell

Masami: Okay.

Warren: can, might not know what good directing is, but you know what bad editing is For

Masami: Okay.

Warren: You know, it stands out like I’m falling asleep after [00:05:00] two minutes, you

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: that.

So kind of fell into it. It wasn’t something that I planned to do. When I did my series we had, I think it was interesting because they had just

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: cut and I didn’t know how to. And I remember when I had to buy that high drive to shoot my film. This was like mini DV, right?

This is old school. This is like below two K you know, it’s like really just

Masami: For ADP.

Warren: it was. And then I remember having to learn how to use it. Like, what the hell is this? What does red line mean? I can sleep at night, man. Do I mean bananas? Like, what am I doing? And this is like, I’m dating myself.

This was before YouTube, even. Right. You can’t go to your team. And Google got crap to figure out how to do it. And there was like one book that came out. So it wasn’t like trial by fire really. But yeah, that’s how I started. And then the one friend we had out here, he was a reality editor and he saw my short and he goes, you have the chops, you should become an editor.

Oh, Okay.

I started as an assistant. That was even a grinder

Masami: okay.

Warren: that was like literally all night digitizing tapes.

Masami: Yeah, totally.

Warren: kind of got into it. then next thing you know, you [00:06:00] start moving up into different things than it is at the same time you’re on the side. the one thing cool.

Like if you get a steady gig, you know, you can have a couple of months off and that’s when you do your own project, you know, right now I’m going to write this or I’m going to find a project I’m a direct. So that’s primarily how I got in

Masami: Yeah. And editing’s a headings in another beast for those who are going ahead.

It’s like

Warren: right?

Masami: I used to edit a lot. No, the first the first real job in New York

Warren: And what did you do

Masami: Well, I started out what did short films in college and stuff. And then I did, I was in a place called audition taping 24 7,

Warren: Hm.

Masami: and it was like audition, taping.

I would do the camera and then they just wanted me to make sure the audio goes in, do this, this slate in and out, just like a title page. And then right after I serve as an assistant editor for music video company and you know, and just organizing files making sure doing selects a documentary, writing down what questions were asked at this time and this timeframe then they started making me do more and he started seeing how the craft [00:07:00] of what I was doing is like, oh, you’re also edited and also edit and then also shoot and do visual effects.

And they’re like, can you edit and do visual effects and camera stuff? And they’re asking more and more of me and paying me less and less. They stopped paying me.

You’re just so shady. They’re just a shady ass. Like, they were just like, not paying anybody, but the people who were working there with the founders and the one domain editor, which the editor was living in his house.

So like in a separate wing, so she didn’t have to pay rent, but I did

Warren: Oh,

Masami: up. So like, you’re just not paying me. So I had to leave that company, but, you know, I didn’t want it being here forever either. And they were just looking to do more and more, but, you know, it’s those late nights.

It’s those 24 hour turnarounds. It’s the you know, the renders.

I remember, like,

Warren: Yeah.

Masami: I remember, like, sitting out, like I had it, I was working on another documentary thing. I just want to make sure that [00:08:00] render was going to go out all the way. So I’d sleep in the office. Like, I’d take two chairs next to each other and sleep there, but I always felt like you know, that’s also just so much dead time.

You couldn’t do work on other projects and stuff like that. I can get caught or.

Um,

Warren: New York, too. Right? So there’s a certain

Masami: yeah.

Warren: about living in New York. Right?

Masami: Oh yeah,

Warren: and and I think when I, when my big break was when I was another or on the deadliest catch. Right. Cause you’re grinding away doing the assistance stuff. definitely learn a lot.

Right. You

Masami: yeah,

Warren: you just shut your mouth. And like, is the dumbest show ever, but whatever. then I got thrown into the fire to where a gun deadliest catch and I used to make the joke. They didn’t win any Emmy’s at the time it was a spinoff. Right. that would lead editor. He was so nice because you learn, you realize, Oh my God, you learn from your peers and think, you know what you’re doing?

And the one thing about editing, for sure, it’s a craft. the more you do, the better you get at it. Yeah. So he was teaching me stuff and next thing you know he started winning Emmys and I would joke with the guy, you know [00:09:00] what? You did not win any Emmy until I showed up, even though I had nothing to do with why they wanted to be,

Masami: yeah,

Warren: part of the crew, you know,

Masami: Okay.

Warren: like 10 people, they pick that up episode and it goes in, but I was doing the spinoff.

So I can’t really,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: know, I wasn’t on the main show I was on these other stuff, but I remember how it works was that the show is for discovery, right? So I was a night guy because they, what you do is it was a little harder because you have all the support people during the day because I’ve done day and night.

But at the time when I started, I was a night guy and I live in Santa Juan. Not to

Masami: yeah.

Warren: my ass to Burbank.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: I would like go at four in the morning, four in the afternoon. So traffic wasn’t bad. And I would sit up Panera bread, right. Or something, or I’m gonna write my script now. And know, I was producing my own stuff.

So I’ll be sending emails all day, six o’clock I go in and

Masami: Okay.

Warren: you start working. then Fridays, it was the worst day because that’s the day that the send the rough cut to the network

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: to upload it to their server. And then I remember one night and, and

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: was going wrong and that mother was not going up.

Masami: Okay.

Warren: I [00:10:00] got, and it, everyone gets it. Right. It’s not me. My boss has this discovery. Right. Cause if I don’t send it, don’t get paid. cause that’s how they do the kicker. Right? Well, you didn’t deliver, so screw you. Right. So

Masami: Okay.

Warren: of the X six, no more, that just drives you nuts. And they

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: home and the sunshine was even

Masami: yeah,

Warren: that was like those stories.

When you remember right. Like to get this up, it’s all on me. Like why did he trust me to do it?

Masami: yeah.

Warren: the lowest paying dude on this show. Where are

Masami: Oh

Warren: you’d run out of snacks to come on.

Masami: Yeah, that endless coffee. And then, oh my God, there was so much pop back to,

Warren: yeah. I

Masami: and then you like wait for a whole, I don’t know, an hour, maybe three hours for this documentary or whatever show you’re putting out at full Rez. And then to find out a word is missing or misspelling, or one frame is dropped.

Like

It was so many times that are like, oh, the economist stayed and like just left and just left the building.

All that [00:11:00] shit.

Warren: If I send a script out, if I have a type or something like that whatever happens for blocking even. Right.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: goes out, like, damn it. I looked at this a million times and it’s funny because so many eyes goes on stuff, right. It’s not just all right. All right.

I was like, I was like, man,

I drank so many. I drank shots of whiskey when they that start Starbucks cup out on, on, on game of Thrones. So many must

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: have seen that shot and no one cut their Starbucks. And I’m like, how many

Masami: yeah.

Warren: show?

Masami: man,

Warren: approved that cut. And, oh, we left with a Starbucks cup and they got to go back in and fix it.

Masami: right?

Warren: learn, you learn what arrows and emissions being, you know, it’s

Masami: Yes.

For sure.

Warren: right? But you realize that you can’t be, it’s like it’s hard.

Masami: You’re so what are some of your you’ve been a writer and director for years you’ve done. I’ve seen your short, I saw you had this TV series that you also edited into another movie style. You know, your website looks fantastic on that, that project, by the way.

Warren: Thanks.

Masami: you’ve done some.

Warren: Cause I’m critical. What about the rest of it? [00:12:00]

Masami: Well there’s so there’s just so much you’ve got, you’ve done. Like, what are your ultimate career goals? What are you looking to get.

Warren: You know in some ways I, I think I am living the goal, right? Like I’m, I’m in the business. Right. And I’m working in it. Am I doing what I set out here to do? And I guess in a way, in the big picture of things, not to be kind of Zen about it, I’m living the goal because I’m here and I’m surviving and is going to take, to take down to luck and timing.

But I guess to answer your question, I guess it is to make your own project right. To be the guy and how do you

Masami: Okay.

Warren: the guy? And I think that’s the, that’s probably the deep dive. That’s

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: Like how do you find your path? You know, like how do you. And I think that to me is like, you have to look within, Okay.

what do I want to be as a creative person?

Not just a roles of like writer, director, editor, or producer, but what kind of person I want to be. some people would be really happy, running a procedural for a [00:13:00] C R for a CVS or something. Right. Or even directing those shows. I think for me, I didn’t want to, that just wasn’t my nature. You know, I think I was always more interested in like, I’m going to do something that no one thought of before, or be original and creative in my either directing approach or being writing style.

And I think that, I realize now that makes your path a lot longer and harder you’re not doing what the industry thinks, what shows look like or what directing looks like. Right. And so I think ultimately that would be the goal is to have my stamp on like, oh, that’s like a, like, you know what a Quentin Tarantino movie is, right?

You say, oh, I know what his movies are. Or you know what, my favorite directors, Juan Carlye, you know, what’s his movies. I think that would be the ultimate career goal. Like I know what a Warren lamb film projects for whatever will be like, cause it’s inherently something that he does. my mentor he worked on he we have, we have teamed up on a project back in the day we were pitching it at the, I might have mentioned to you when we first talked, we were pitching this [00:14:00] snowboarding show.

I’m dating myself, Sean White was the guy and we had me we made a point to have a diverse cast and I’m an Asian dude pitching a white sport. Right.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: think Chloe Kim, at the time I looked back, she was like five years old. Right. we here, we are walking into meetings, pitching the show and I had no idea.

I had no idea I was new to the business. I was lucky to get that first chance to meet with these exacts. And I remember what he said. He goes, Yeah.

Don’t worry about your meetings and stuff. It’s, you know, you have to go with the flow. you have is unique because always tell if you shot something, even though I’m using a cheap ass camera or something that wasn’t, this is like before all the new DSLRs came out, right.

We’re doing low tech stuff and he’s, I can tell what you choose. I really, why, why did he say that? He goes, could you just have a point of view? And I didn’t think much about it at the time. I, okay. Whatever, what is he know later on? It turns out that, well, you used to, because we became friends, right? He said, oh Yeah.

I used to be the lit, the lit agent at UTA. I used to get all the [00:15:00] reels, all these, goes, he found Dayton, Ferris. I think which the little miss sunshine goes. I was pitching those guys for 10 years, man. Cause they had something and then they hit it and he goes, you kind of have your own thing and you don’t know when you’re going to hit it, but you, cause you definitely have your own phone.

Masami: yeah.

Warren: So, okay. But when does that, when do I get paid on that? He never, he never, they was so that’s it. My mom, oh God, I’m not going to get married and I’m not going to become a director. This sucks,

But I, the lesson you, you gotta be, you gotta be who you want to be. I would just, as much as I

Masami: okay.

Warren: on deadliest catch and stuff, and if I stayed there, I probably could have kept, you know, it’s probably part of it.

Wasn’t just me. Like they’re busy. They have a lot of editors. I tried new people at the same time. My spirit was to try new things. Like once you learn that formula, okay.

I’m applying the same formula, but there’s crap to that formula for sure. But I think because of my advertising days where you just try to be creative,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: right.

I got to come in with a different campaign

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: day. I can’t do the same joke saying [00:16:00] idea. It’s new. It’s a fresh page every time. And I think that was my spirits. I was lucky to work on that show because they see that on my resume and like, oh, you must know something. I was able to work on other shows and that got me an opportunity to travel the world a little bit.

I was working in Austin on a TV show, editing it and stuff, going back to New York. So I think that was my spirit. I think your goal is to find out who

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: as a person. Like what drives you creatively? Like, I, I would probably I would probably our top time on those procedurals. Not saying that they’re bad because has their own goals.

Right. want to write a procedural for CBS, good for you. I mean, That’s you,

Masami: That’s work.

Warren: that was hard. for me. And I

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: I realize that life has kind of sending me on his path, though I didn’t know it at the time,

Masami: Yeah,

no.

Warren: I don’t want to die.

Masami: Well, I mean, he’s dying board is fine. Just like, well, we got to live,

Warren: Yeah,

Masami: to eat and do stuff,

Warren: survive. right.

Masami: right. Yeah,

Warren: written check-in awhile. And I got

Masami: yeah.

Warren: was able to do my own thing and [00:17:00] develop my own. wanna say brand, cause that’s kind of like a cliche kind of word. I know what my voice is. Like,

Masami: Right,

Warren: known it and I hear like some other directors talk about stuff they want to do and not to just this guy he’s successful. right.

So he’s a studio director. And then he said, oh, you know, it took me a while to figure out my voice as an Asian filmmaker. And I said, wow, I’ve always known what I wanted to do. Just no one gives me a chance to do it.

Masami: right.

Warren: as you build the body of work and stuff, you know,

Masami: Yeah. And what has that been experience that, what has that experience been like? You know, you’ve been at or done so many things before you know, what’s been like trying to move up, get your projects, distributed, finding a manager for all this kind of.

Warren: It’s interesting because there is no like magic bullet, right? Like you could get representation, but it doesn’t mean they do anything for you. I think you learn like

Masami: Okay.

Warren: it’s a long road, man. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And you I’m not on some other clubhouse rooms. Like yours was really cool. That’s when I first met you it was strong agent lead.

Like this is really cool. And I met some people through [00:18:00] it

Masami: yeah,

Warren: you know, who are reps and stuff like that. also been in a writer’s room. And they say sometimes the reps don’t, you know, you have to house for

Masami: Okay.

Warren: I mean, it really is like got to find it and sometimes it’s tiring, right? Like, man, I’m just, I just don’t feel like doing nothing today.

It’s kind of a grind. And, but then, you

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: you just,

Masami: Okay.

Warren: drink some coffee, wake up. And I think what’s interesting is you’ll wake up and you’ll be inspired by something. And next thing you know, like, oh, where did all this energy come

Masami: Okay.

Warren: You know, I was inspired or things take its course. Like I think the next path is learning patience.

trust what you have. And like, know, I have a project right now that I’m waiting three months for someone to read and the assistant writes back everyday. Oh man, he’s busy. And I, you know, be nice. Like, Okay.

I get it. I mean, I’m lucky I even met him.

Masami: Sure.

Warren: He’s got two shows renewed. Like he’s, he barely has time for me, but he a liking to my, I guess, you know, I, I made a joke to him.

One time we had a phone call. And I said, this is my wishlist for casting. Right. You know, like I have, I want to get these four [00:19:00] Asian actors and he goes, you’ll be lucky to get one. I said, don’t pursue my dream now. And then he goes, and he goes, what do you want from me? Because I can’t produce your show.

I like your idea, but I have my own shows. And I said, can I just be showed to try on when things go bad? Can I just call you up? Hey, Jonathan, it’s just stuck the bacon shoulder. He just started laughing. I said, is that a yes, I’ll take that as a yes. And he goes, I asked my assistant schedule, try on my shoulder.

Masami: Okay.

Yeah.

Warren: Yeah.

It’s almost like you feel like it’s when it happens, like it’s almost locked in a way, but at the same time I’m learning, like, you know, you kind of earned that luck, you know, like you, you fought for, or you put the time in like right now, As a side story, I met someone and it was during, I don’t want to diss a project, but it was a it was a script that she told us in this kind of like happy hour room that was virtual.

And it was like, well, paid at, you know, they put money in this project. Right? So you think like, oh, you’ve got reps. You think that’s the end of the world? No, if you

Masami: [00:20:00] yeah.

Warren: project, they send crappy scripts all the time. I’ll tell you two stories. One, I’ll tell you a story about this one gal. She read this, it’s a popular script.

I mean, it’s a remake of a popular

Masami: Okay.

Warren: and everyone knows the script sucks. Cause it’s the news. And she goes, dude, this script sucks. And I met her like, Hey, I wrote a project that has like four kind of team oriented characters, kind of like the show that got trashed.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: would, I love to read it and said, are you reading it?

the writer.

Masami: yeah.

Warren: At an agent. Right. And so I asked her, are you reading it just out of curiosity? Are you reading it to, you know, Remy, rewrap it, she goes, no, I’m just reading it. Like, cool. Just read it. That’s fine. And then she read it and she said, Hey, I like your

Masami: Okay.

Warren: style. It’s cool. I’m But that was kind of cool.

Cause that’s so accidental, right? Oh, I wasn’t

Masami: Okay.

Warren: a set or anything. I was just, was really nice and was in the cause play. So I thought she might like my project. So it was cool that she said, Hey, I like your writing style. It’s really fun. As a 10 times. Better than that crappy show. I got dream in my neck.[00:21:00]

I’m not I don’t, I’m not, that’s not my point.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: Okay.

And the other person that that was looking at a

Masami: Okay.

Warren: I have it, this is all just general meetings, right? Like you just, you’re just happy that they meet and talk to you. And

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: her, she works for a director who’s with one at the top three, the three big agents.

Right. And She says, man, I don’t, I I’d call them up and say, why are you sending the script to us? It’s horrible. people are repped. Right. And she says, there’s so many times where like you just got to grind through these bad scripts and stuff. So if you have something unique, that’s cool. Even if it’s not perfect, people kinda know they can stick and smell the the creative inspiration of something.

You know, that’s what I learned

Masami: Okay.

Warren: oh, Okay.

well I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. And it’s a

Masami: Okay.

Warren: whether or not they’re marketable or not. And I have written a marketable one that that was option, and then they couldn’t get the financing for it. So it’s like, You know, so that’s, some ways you kind of feel like, all right, my goal is to just push myself and make yourself better every day, like learn how to write differently, different tones and styles and stuff.

You know?

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: So when I see that war on land project, they kind of know that that’s what it feels [00:22:00] like.

Masami: W, what are they saying about this financing? Are they saying, why are, why are they giving financing? What, where are they? Are

their

Warren: it’s hard to get money, right? You think like, Hey man, China, feel it, man. Let’s just go to China and get the money in that. It’s really hard. It’s, it’s hard for every, was the other lesson I learned from my mentor. He goes like, you’re a generally nice person. I’m a generally nice person.

Right. he goes, you know what? Just be nice to people because you’re going to catch someone on the way down. Right. And everyone knows that person. Who’s like, oh, that guy was an asshole. Good luck, man. You know, I’m want to say, I want to see him fall and hit his ass on the ground. Right.

Masami: Bye.

Warren: so it just, it just takes time.

It takes a long time and things fall apart all the time. It’s another producer I worked with, he he just got his fund, his movie funded. He made a, a Christian movie. He does attrition projects and I helped them do like the pitch deck and sizzles and stuff like that. I did that like 10 years. And he finally funded that movie and he got $20 million and he used to say, it’s a house of cards [00:23:00] just when you think you got an actor or something happens and it falls

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: like a man, is like, this sucks.

I should, maybe I should go in. And assurance is something dammit. Maybe I should’ve been a doctor.

Masami: I think about that

every day and just like

Warren: you

Masami: why? Yeah.

Warren: Right. No, that’s a bad joke. But yeah, it just takes a lot of timing. That’s why I’m learning to like, I’m emotional, I’ll get frustrated, but I just kinda like sleep it off and move on to the next one end of the day is if you have a good project, you have a good project and it just takes time.

Masami: Yeah. Well, I think

it’s

Warren: answer that for you?

Masami: yeah, no, but I think what’s also just frustrated me is you know, knowing you have a good project in your hands, believing in yourself, seeing where the market could be, but then I don’t know, just frustrating to see that it, even if you get the green project greenlit and, or the focaccia is funded for you to get paid as an artist still takes years.

Like, like even if I got something in Greenland today and I got bought out, [00:24:00] like, when am I going to see that check? I’ve heard people sell their shows and they some, two years before they get the first check, like, that’s ridiculous because at the same time I just have to pay rent and it was working for you.

Warren: I someone wanted to opt to the script that I wrote. Right. And they said, well, we can make it, get it made for like half a million dollars, whatever we have the money and you want opinions or writers. I, I think I spent more money drinking coffee at Starbucks, writing that script than you’re paying. Now I’m cleaning the parking that I had to

Masami: Right.

Warren: holy crap.

And he goes, well, you.

get at me like, yeah, I dunno. I dunno, man. I’ve got to value myself somehow. Right. This it’s always cut up.

Masami: Okay.

Warren: didn’t a tougher question is I have a project out right now and the co it’s a timely thing. Right. And they say, well on one hand, the voice that my mentors, Right.

Cause you don’t get this far without having some people that you lean on for advice.

And they said just sell the script and don’t be the director. Cause then you go, Okay.

The other flip side of that goes, no, you got to hold out, man, [00:25:00] because it’s not, first of all, it’s not a big studio script, right. It’s 2 million bucks. Maybe it’s so timely. And so written in my voice and my style, even like editorially, like, like I would write the script and the one compliment I got from that showrunner I’ve mentioned who I could cry on the shoulder.

He had faith that, oh, I bet your script probably well paced and stuff, because cause most editors who are writers, he goes, I just, they just know when to get in and out of scenes and stuff. So I’m sure it’s going to flow really well. Cause that was a note. I got all your script flows really well.

Masami: Okay.

Warren: I also wrote it that like I wrote scenes that, Okay.

And that’s an editors pod right there, you know, like we’re going to do it. it broke the form of what a normal narrative script would be. But

Masami: Okay.

Warren: wrote as an editor, Okay.

now we’re going to have this like, you know, character intro that’s different. Right. And stuff like that. So there’s so much in the script.

That’s so uniquely my voice and how I would. That the flip side, the advice was. Yeah, but if you hold out, man, that’s your calling card, that’s your script. And

Masami: Okay.

Warren: going to know who you are, guess, in a way that was my goal, right? Like, oh, I just want it, I don’t mean that in an [00:26:00] egotistical way. I think as an artist, you have something to say and you just want to say it the way you want to say it.

So that’s a question I almost don’t want to face that, that choice, you know,

Masami: well, I think it’s valid.

Warren: I can.

Masami: It’s valid to hold out on something like this. Maybe you mentioned it before you know, earlier, but like I think something, a story that needs to have the writer as the director, you know, that’s your story at that point. And he’s one of the reasons why your TV is as TV is a writer gear that showed up, right?

You’re the one who’s direct thing was a film. A short film director ends up doing well and gets the most credit, but to change the store with Y. So, you know, for your project, that might be one needs. Now, the question I have, I have for you on this one, you’ve done other projects, you know, filmed hours and hours of other other projects for you.

What makes you choose not to? Or are you choosing to do it yourself here? Is it just the financing? You know, what’s, what’s different about this project [00:27:00] from other projects.

Warren: I think so this is, what’s interesting, right? I think it’s you’re talking about representation, right? Everyone is not that they’re lazy because agents have to work really hard, but it’s the shorthand, oh, this guy has done, it’s easy to sell aspects you have certain like or not, they forget is like, there’s a lot of filmmakers, especially on the Asian side.

Right. We haven’t really done that much. Right. like Chloe’s out, she won an Oscar. Right. edited the movie too, but she only had two credits on small movies before that. And I think it’s the shorthand that people want to give. Like, oh, you can’t direct it. Yeah, I don’t think I can direct the $20 million movie.

Not that I would want to, because that’s a lot, but a $2 million movie, you know, you could probably do it you know, minority was a small budget movie and stuff. And so I think that’s what they want to tell you. they don’t know how to, it’s harder to sell somewhere. It’s hard to get

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: at the same time.

The I had mentioned that met with the producer and she’s working for director her they probably had $150 million movie. Yeah.

That’s going out as all his action stuff. [00:28:00] And she gave me the vice I’d love to tell everyone. It’s like, just show them your passionate man. Like they can’t replace that.

Like she asked me like, why do you want to write that movie? It’s an Asian theme stuff, you know? And, and why do you want to reach out to that, that actor? And so I saw this podcast, man, it kind of moved me. And then I can’t believe I’m telling people this, but

Masami: Okay.

Warren: I was talking about it and, and she goes, tell him why that movie matters to you.

Write a letter to them. And tell them like, why you’re passionate about it. Cause I can tell you’re passionate about it. him why you want to write it. And I said, I don’t want to write that movie for me. So I want to read the movie for us, you know, all our community in mind I’m going to sat down and I said, oh my God, I’m starting to try.

Masami: Hmm.

Warren: was that where the cock, I mean, I’m just kind of sitting there, like, please don’t try for this chick, please. Don’t cry. He’s like, are you crying? You want to do you want to lean on my shoulder? That’s Okay.

I got it.

Masami: Or string?

Warren: You need some more coffee? I’ll go get it right now though, with a bathroom. But I think the point of it was no one to ever replace your passion for a project.

Right? I [00:29:00] mean, if I

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: in the room, this goes back to the pitch I had years ago, there was some, you know, they knew who wrote that project. They knew because they can tell oh, he wrote it. know, not this other guy. He wrote it because he knew all the stuff he cared about itself. End of the day. I think that’s, we’re all going to face tough choices.

And I think that’s the one, like I think I can’t look at my, I can’t look at myself in the mirror by. Oh, you sold out.

Masami: Okay.

Warren: the one you have to hold out on. Maybe other one. Yeah. You can give them up. All right.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: movie, you know, you know, but for stuff, you kind of know

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: you know?

Masami: I’ve got projects in my hands that I’m just like, no, I wouldn’t give it to somebody else.

Warren: Yeah.

Masami: give it to some white director. Right, sure. Wanted to do it. Even other versus some other agents it’s like this, sometimes you just deserve it. We’ve been talking to our other groups.

Warren: I think you talked about your project or a little bit. I said, if they want to make my personal movie, unless that guy’s, Angley, you know, they gotta be so high up and honestly they’re going to want them to do their own movies. Right. Like, okay. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know that to me is [00:30:00] like that’s, to me it’s a character test.

Right? Okay. That other movie, all I, for sure they could have that, you know, that you know, that that gets your name in the door, but also you also also just make your own stuff. I think that’s what I’m wondering too. Like, I was lucky that I fell into editing for sure.

Masami: Yeah. I mean, for me, I’m not even opposed to like someone directing it and for sure, like, you know, what, if it’s a big budget film,

Warren: Yeah.

Masami: I’m, you can’t trust me to do it. I can’t trust you to do it, but you should have, I know the story, I know the story more than anybody else, more than anybody in this industry at least was right.

Except for the people who were there or the pure experts, but they’re not in the film industry. They’re not, not can pick up that position sometimes of responsibility that I know that story, but to give other showrunners or directors the ability to create, do the craft of it. Let me just tell you. Right.

That’s I mean, there was that there is that difference. I would sell it, but I wouldn’t give up over a hundred percent of the story. That’s

[00:31:00] right. That’s the difference.

Warren: cause you mentioned a little at your thing, they like to tell you like, oh, you need this person, this person, this person. then you have to with that by saying, oh yeah, well the guy that made true detective, didn’t make anything and he got to stay on it.

So you have

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: dude your research, like, okay, here’s, who’s the people that had no, cause you know what the white people get to feel all the time. Right. But you get the Asian person, you’ll get one chance and that’s kind of an unfair,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: so many lists of people who just give him a chance and

Masami: Well there’s girls and we had done right history with a one-page script. One, One,

page outline,

Warren: right. Yeah,

Masami: And even a short, it was just a page. I don’t know if she had it short. And then there was the game of Thrones creators being, doing anything.

Warren: yeah. That’s

Masami: And then they got this whole big, super billion dollar budgets.

So like that doesn’t you can’t, that doesn’t make any sense. I mean, it’s not, it’s just, just, that’s just not fair. So

I think,

Warren: many hurdles. Right? You

Masami: yeah.

Warren: it again.

Masami: Anyways.

Warren: That’s when you eat less [00:32:00] expensive food, like, okay. Maybe I won’t eat that

Masami: Right, right.

Warren: Ralph sandwich.

Masami: Well, I got, I had, I had, like whole food sushi the other day. I’m like, this is not right, but, okay.

Warren: Damn my principal’s

Masami: Yeah. Yeah. So you lived in New York for how many years?

Warren: I lived there like probably eight years total. Yeah,

Masami: Yeah, I miss the city so much, especially this time of year,

which is, so

Warren: Yeah,

Masami: now that things are open,

Warren: I know. Right?

Masami: it’s another girl.

Warren: that humidity. I

Masami: No, no, but I’m doing this. Like you can be in the humidity. Everybody’s feeling like shit. And so you’re like, oh, we’re all here. We’re all feeling the same exact thing. Rolling together.

Warren: It’s the metaphor for traffic when we’re stuck in traffic,

Masami: Yeah, exactly. Origins thinking that each other, but yeah. So what we’re hoping the biggest differences or hurdles moving from New York to LA in like, especially in the industry,

Warren: Are you talking about business industry,

or just city living?

Masami: Not necessarily city living because that’s, that’s a whole, you know, [00:33:00] traffic and cars and stuff like that. But as the industry, like I’ve used, I was in the film industry out there too, and I saw how it was not for me. It’s good. It’s fine for certain certain aspects. But, you know, as an editor yourself, finding more gigs, working with people, writing and doing stuff, the Asian American entertainment community, very different out here.

So what’s your experience been like?

Warren: I found New York for me, New York always holds a special place because like?

when I was living in San Francisco,

Masami: Okay.

Warren: my family didn’t want me to move. They go, where are you going as well? I need to go start my career. I’m going to go. And no, almost no one in my family routed me for me to succeed. They kind of wanted me to fail and it’s like, go back home. And like, I don’t know, get married and have, do this job that I don’t want to do. So to me, New York was always symbolizes that kind of like your first love in a way, like your first

Masami: Okay.

Warren: because it was the first city I lived in a bunch of different cities.

the first city I just picked up and took a chance. And so I lived in New York and then I traveled around and then I went back [00:34:00] and when I went back,

Masami: Okay.

Warren: I think in New York, Moore’s my advertising days like, oh, I was working as the advertising, a

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: you know, know, I was able to save enough and buy a place. And then I gave it all up and move. So those to me is how I compare those cities. Like, wow, you had everything that you wanted. But you’ve left. Why? Because your

Masami: Okay.

Warren: died and you want to close the family and there’s times I definitely regret it, know?

Masami: Okay.

Warren: the part I miss. Cause at the end of the day, you could probably find, especially

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: like whatever you had in New York, you could probably find NLA.

The difference is a spontaneity, right? Like I’m just going to

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: and get on a train and see something. Right. And you can do

Masami: Okay.

Warren: like here, like, ah, I’ll get my car, but what am I driving to? That part is different. So for me, New York symbolizes that, you know, taking chances in life and doing things unexpected, whereas LA is Okay.

here’s,

Masami: Okay.

Warren: here’s the, here’s this industry.

Masami: Okay.

Warren: it has [00:35:00] so many lanes that they want you to stay in, you know? And do you want to stay in those lanes? that to me is the difference because of the industries on the Asian side, I think.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: There was a lot more freedom as a creative person in advertising than there was in entertainment. And I think I was thinking about that too.

Like how, you know, you walk into, like, let’s say you wanna get a job in advertising as a creative person, like user usually there’s creative roles, right? You’re a copywriter or an art director, right. They’re just going to look at your sample of work. They don’t know your color, your scan. They go, oh, that guy’s good.

And oh, he made this ad. He produced it and stuff like that. So your skin doesn’t even come into play initially. Right? Your skin comes into play farther up. You want to get like that bamboo ceiling

Masami: Okay.

Warren: and you can’t break through it because if you have a great idea and you’re swabbing with it,

You, you can be successful.

I think in entertainment, there’s definitely a lot of

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: now in the business. Right. You can read the trades and stuff, but the higher up you [00:36:00] get, it seems more like.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: Protective in a way, like everyone has their own turf. They want to like kind of map out, like even all the organizations in a way they’re going to it, everyone knows how hard it is to be a minority in the entertainment industry.

Masami: yeah.

Warren: really kind of turf oriented, ID oriented. Right. That’s what I noticed. I was really different.

Masami: Hmm.

Warren: find your own tribe in a way, like what you’re doing right now,

Masami: Okay.

Warren: tribes the next. That’s why I love what you’re doing. You’re creating the next generation. Okay.

We’re going

Masami: Okay.

Warren: our own stuff. not going to be like, oh, like let’s say, you know, you get your project moving, you get some funding. the first thing they say, we want to in touch so-and-so and so-and-so you go, nah, we’re going to attach emerging people because that’s how you grow

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: pot. right.

You can’t always have the

Masami: right.

Warren: like I love Aquafina, but don’t want to see her again. You know, it’s like I have actor, friends now they get, they’re just not getting the opportunities. And I think because is based on the star driven stuff and idea-driven, you know, so I think that’s the difference for me.

Masami: Yeah. I think that’s [00:37:00] it. It’s a really good point that keeps being talked about is that it is star driven. I think the agents get them being sold because they have a star. It has to, it not somebody who’s unknown. It’s a risk. They don’t know how to work together, work with what that’s, what someone will come in.

Like someone might go. Someone or a country or demographic will just go to watch movie cousin, this person’s in there, but to not put that person in there, but someone else in there it’s less attractive, but you know, we don’t give new people new chances that the, the star amount of stars are not going to keep growing.

Like look at Chris what’s his name that did address a park and parks and

recreation and stuff. Chris Pratt. Right? So they give him a chance on parks and recreation. I’m sure he’s done stuff before, but look at his career now. Right. It’s just so vastly different. But he’s also a huge star now.

He was just a goofy dude back on that show. I mean, always here, if we don’t start [00:38:00] doing that with more new characters, new actors, emerging people start saying, Hey, you know, I had someone call me yesterday, like, Hey, do you know any Japanese American actor? Yeah, I do. I don’t have like a list, but then I started to make the list.

Like I was like, that’s what we want to do here is like, build that database a little bit. Robin,

cut this part out,

Warren: that strong agent lead. Right. And there’s definitely leads have qualities. Like even when I’m casting stuff, like, okay, that person’s probably like you know supporting or whatever, but you have to give people a chance because you know, leads aren’t made overnight, right.

It

Masami: right.

Warren: time to evolve and grow comfortable and life experiences, you know, like it’s kinda sad because like male actors, you know, as they grow, you can wear that wisdom. For, you know, it becomes part of the character and the exciting thing now is that there are more older female roles, like all the shows that Nicole Kidman’s in, like big little lies.

there’s a movement towards like, just

Masami: Okay.

Warren: rich characters. Right. But you can’t get there unless you start building your own [00:39:00] resume of work that you do. think a lot of times people like the project I was telling you like that the writer’s assistant, like actually went out,

and shot a proof of concept.

And the, originally the PR, when I, when I wrote the project, it wasn’t for Asians. It was just like

Masami: Okay.

Warren: weird people, you know? so, you know what, it’d be fun to cast for agents in it. So I put a cast out, granted it wasn’t paid. It was like proof of concept, five people answered the ad, like, well, shit, you know,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: cause there was a whole lot kind of a K-pop spinoff.

And I think it wasn’t like, I felt like, man, you know, my project sucks like that. It was more like, know, that’s when you start, you have to take chances and do something, you know, I get it. I mean, not every projects can be good. And, and luckily now that build a body of work, that when people look at, oh, he actually knows what he’s doing.

It’s a little easier, but I think that’s the other thing, too. Like everyone has to take chances and risks in this business. And I felt like, wow, you know what? Okay.

I mean, I thought it’d be easy to cast for Asian women that like looked like pink, more or less, you know, and then that can act and do fun stuff.

oh, because everyone’s trying to [00:40:00] find, navigate their own way and I’m not judging them. It’s it is hard. You have to find your own path,

Masami: Yeah.

And you can,

Warren: shows up when you least expected.

Masami: yeah. And you can’t say yes to everything, right. And then sometimes you’re busy or it’s not paid, or you don’t know where it’s going to go. How long has it been take? It’s a lot

of risk, but.

Warren: though, like I’ve cast for other projects that were unpaid and I get like a bunch of that are in it. Right. Cause I wouldn’t even put like specific, obviously casting male, black, female, blah, and everyone shows up there’s a lot. So it wasn’t really the Right. everyone knew that they

Masami: Okay.

Warren: to build a reel. Pick Asian specific. really funny is I actually got other races that apply to, just really surprised. Like, there’s gotta be Asian talent out there, come on. You know? but.

I think that’s what it is. Like, that’s how we grow it, even though like I’m not, I wasn’t offended. Like, Okay.

well, you know, it didn’t work out, I still tried again because it was all about timing and maybe there’s more interest now.

And sad thing is I have actually having a lot more Asian actor friends now that wouldn’t even put an

Masami: [00:41:00] Okay.

Warren: I just ask, Hey Kimberly, are you busy? You want to do

Masami: Right.

Yeah.

Warren: kind of handsome.

Masami: Right. I know someone told

someone yesterday. I’m like

Warren: it, you

Masami: I told someone yesterday, like, you know, if you don’t find anybody, I’ll take it. Just like just there’s. No, it’s not. I’ve known dialogues in the west. Right. All stupid. And that’s fine. But I think, you know, even in myself, like people keep telling me, I should, I could be an actor asking me if I’m an actor and I just tell them, no, I know it’s a whole other job.

It’s a whole career and craft and talent that I didn’t feel bad. One because I wouldn’t be able to give enough time to that. And other people who do give enough time to that or deserving of those roles, but at the same time, I realize I’m also one of very few Japanese Americans out there. You know, as an actor, I know there’s a handful, but they’re more being needed more mean asked for as times move on and just like, I’m going to have to fill in a spot, even as a background, extra in some roles sometime.

But sometimes [00:42:00] I want to take a class. I think it’s, at some point there’s a responsibility. Just like, what talents can you bring to the table? And are you coming in those perhaps to add to a career? You know, like even just like public speaking is, you know, Being a little more podcast or interview writing.

All those things is always a really important part to building a career now, adjusting craft well, being well rounded in a lot of different ways for the, for the district.

Warren: You know, it’s funny when you asked me to do this because Like I had to present to clients a bunch of times. Right. Because it’s not about me. It’s about all right at and T buy this stuff or whatever. And I go in the room and, and I, I tend to talk a little fast, but I would, I would be good in the room because they say, oh, you’re enthusiastic, you’re passionate.

And that’s half the battle. Right.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: then was about yourself. Like, damn man, I really don’t. I really have to talk about that and stuff, but it’s part of the industry that, because now I take it more, more of personals. Like not a shy person, but you feel like you [00:43:00] know, that really want to talk about myself.

Cause I don’t like it. I think it’s a certain thing, but I feel like it’s nice to share things that people can learn from. And I was like the goal, like to me, I’m always excited when people like, they fight for them. Like like I know what inspires me, right? The filmmakers I do I’m that guy did his own thing and he is so unique.

Right. always I get inspired when other actors or other Asian filmmakers do the same thing cause inspires the man. How do they think of that one? You know, or that was. So encourages me. So hopefully that’s what I like to see. And if hopefully someone’s listening to, oh Yeah.

You know, it’s a long path for sure.

But I think that’s old goal. the, define success in our own term and success is happiness, you know?

Masami: yeah.

Warren: I think that’s the way oh, I was on like, I met some dude on a clubhouse. Right. he’s on my Instagram. I just thought that this, I have to tell you, like, he has his reputation, like not reputation,

Masami: Okay.

Warren: he talks about, you know, I can help you make money and he takes a picture

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: he’s kind [00:44:00] of a, I’m coming, nerdy tech kind of looking guy.

Right. Not, I’m not jealous, just I’m just saying, that’s what he kind of looked like. And he had all this money in front of him. Right. Like these hundred dollar bills. Right. And he’s driving around like fancy cars and stuff like that. He goes, I could teach you how to have all this money. I actually had a chance to talk to a therapist about something, not about me, but I was researching something.

And but I don’t need therapy. I’m not saying I don’t.

Masami: We all do. We all

do.

Warren: he says, you know what? Rich people aren’t necessarily happy. And

Masami: Great.

Warren: that’s the thing. So if you want to be happy there’s not a judgment thing, making the type of shows that people will buy, because there’s a bigger pool of, I would say, not mediocre, but not challenging work, opposed to like, wow, cutting edge artistic stuff.

Right. If that’s what makes you happy, then that’s cool because there’s no one, no one should

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: you on how, what makes you happy and get you out of bed? For me, I think it was a little different. So I think that’s always a challenge. There’s definitely days I regret it. Like, man,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: I just stayed at that job, you know,

Masami: I [00:45:00] think that’s, I’ve made the decision, those decisions just that you didn’t take a job for whatever reason, just like, man, they’re giving me that wasn’t the last interview. And I was like, yeah, you’re going to have to say now I was, I feel like I still feel like they’ve done decision. He was like, it was like six months.

That could potentially go on, but at six months, minimum, I should just take the six months. And then at the end of six months I can drop out or not. And I was just like filming stuff and it’s half part-time. It was well paid. And I was like, I should just didn’t I didn’t, I just didn’t. But mostly I regret it, but I think, you know, there is a difference with that money is money.

Doesn’t give you happiness. I will say like, it might help you. De-stress like, you don’t have to think about bills, rent, you can buy what you want. I’ve just been a bunch of certain things I shouldn’t have, but I had the money and I did, and it makes me happy.

I, I bought a bunch of books. I’m a nerd books, I’m a nerds.

I bought a ton of books [00:46:00] which I, you know, I’m planning to read and all electrical stuff, but no, it’s, it would be nice to have even more, not feel like that’s a stress, but you can find one and make my own with it. It would be less stressful to find my work. Could I get the money? All I have, I can just make it, but the happiness would become from the money.

It would become like every day I’m going to wake up. Am I passionate about something? Do I feel good about what I’m doing? And do I have that dropping, right. I think that’s what we all know as creatives, we’re looking for forward to the next day because of that. And not because you know, it’s going to make us money, right?

You’ve been working on your projects to provide a lot of our listeners here are working theirs. They don’t wake up thinking about the money. I mean, the money you come into the thinking that, well, I can’t do it because of the money, but every day we keep working hard without the, of them. And that’s, I think that’s the end of the goal is that when we get that practically made, or even if just finished the satisfaction of [00:47:00] finishing the project and getting out to the world, that’s you know, in some ways for some people, especially.

That’s what will happen? I think what makes me stress and not happy is when the projects are continuously not being finished. It’s just the grind out constant grind for the next couple years.

Warren: You’re asking me about my, my scifi project that you saw on the website. Right? I think I started that, like, that was part of this whole action thing I was doing. And I didn’t know why I did it at the time, but we start, we shot the first one in like 2014. We got, the first episode was done in 2016 and then I’ve been traveling a lot.

Right. So I work and I’d stopped and we shot a bunch and we S we finished that. We finished shooting in 2019 because all the actors had to be, know, available. And this is all skeleton crew. So I’m not sure how much you saw on it. had people comment like, well, how did you do that? I was like, it’s kind of in a way that Chloe’s outright, like me mean five people did it.

And we did it and we, and I struggle with it to be honest, like, man, why did I spend seven fucking years on that thing? You know, [00:48:00] Jesus Christ, why? And some an actor friend of mine goes, you’re lucky you finished it. Like,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: I don’t feel lucky. I feel like stupid, to be honest, like, Yeah.

I had to figure out how to make a, you know, a graph look like CGI or whatever.

And he reminded me, like, he said that, But you know how many people get to make their own thing? Like you, that’s

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: from beginning soup to nuts and, and that’s it. Yeah, it really wasn’t my vision because I didn’t have the money to do what really wanted to do

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: did it.

I

Masami: it did it.

Warren: you realize producers just care about that?

Like, well, how much did you have like leave me. I

Masami: Okay,

Warren: so little money, but I’m at a few zeros that looked like I spent more than I did.

Masami: sure. Yeah.

Warren: an editor. Yeah. That’s a difference.

Masami: Right.

Warren: I was thinking about that. Like now that we’re about to get it out

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: world, like was a sense of relief more than. Accomplishment. I think little by little in time, I haven’t realized, you know, what that’s, that was hard to do. And I look at those things more as I get older. Like I’m more, not that, oh my God, I’m talented. I’m brilliant. Or anything like that. [00:49:00] I think of it more like, you really have to challenge yourself to stick it out and you finish it.

And those are the things that I remember more like that we shot it and know, I didn’t piss anyone off. I didn’t erase anyone. there was not, there were, none of their shoes were easy. They’re all hard because we had very little people, you know, and I think that’s what I remember a lot. Like you did it, you finished it.

No one else can take that from you.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: And then studio tells you what to do in the next one that they want to buy it and do what they want with it. That’s different. But to your point, that’s, that’s why we do it. You know, we we’re creative people. I’m not a doctor earlier. We do these things for, because we’re inspired to do it.

So.

Masami: Yeah. It’s like not if it’d be like an artist, a painter, not finishing every painting they’re doing. Right. You have to finish at some point. Move on to the next, or did the practice in, I finished a painting. You stopped finishing it simpler, never even start. That becomes its own. You just, I dunno, it feels unsatisfactories it feel it’s finished something really?

I think that’s the best, best thing is like [00:50:00] the relief of that. It’s not even, maybe not even satisfactory because we’re not getting the whole, the whole vision out and it might be falling off here. And then at the same time you practice, you’ve learned you worked hard, you made family with your crew and then you go and say, here it is now, like now that project is kind of finished and you know, one of the things I did want, I think it was 2016 was I needed to do one short film a month.

I don’t care how bad you’re going to do it and finish it. I think that year I did like 19 projects just to be like, I don’t use a music video. It just be me and my camera. You mean on camera? Me and my camera and a buddy and the microphone, like it just added on every time I learn something new using the lens, any technique go from storyboard division.

Warren: Yeah.

Masami: was always something that kept building. And that was every, but every time I finished, even if no one, even 20 people saw, I was like, I don’t care how many people saw it. It’s more about what it was going to learn from here. And what’s it going to do towards the [00:51:00] advancement of my career and just the way I helped schools and that relief was so,

Warren: when you made all those films, like, what’s your takeaway on the stuff that you did? Like, oh, I have this quality or like, you know, what trait that you learned about.

Masami: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think just the determination that I need to finish it or where to start from, whether it be a script, like, okay, if I did this script in this way and put it out, what do I need to next time do better in the script. Or in the vision, in the planning of this shoot in this project, what should I have done better?

Where could I have cut better? Where am I missing a shot? And then you have to pick up from you know, some of them, how many of them had visual effects or like even among this music video that we did, it was super, it was in a basement, super dark. We had one stream of lights was all colorful lights and

Warren: Okay.

Masami: how they’re just something that we have

Warren: Yeah.

Masami: dental.

They have it. Cause I didn’t have it if I didn’t have it, I’ll be fucked. So, but what I noticed is that when I shot, I and kept the [00:52:00] lights in one area, I think consistency. But what I should’ve done is move the lights to every person that I was recording at the same time, because of, because the other areas, they were too dark, it was stuff like that.

Like, oh, you know, now I see that at the end of this edit, I should have done this.

Warren: Hmm.

Masami: Right. I should have move this line here. I know I thought about it on separately. Do it, and I should follow that instinct to do it

Warren: Yeah.

Masami: now I’m now it’s I can’t fix it. So, you know, as much as my, I start as having started out as an editor, I started actually as visual visual effects did lightsaber videos.

And so then I went back to editing and editing has always been at the forefront. Where am I cutting knowing how, what I’m going to shoot is how I’m going to edit and knowing when I’m going home and editing, I need to get this shot, right? To think backwards in the way I’m going to direct it and shoot. It was the important part, but also how that [00:53:00] sound is going to come out.

How the, what what sound effects do I need to record on set? What ambient noise, what kind of things in the building? And, and fix things when you see them in camera. I was just looking at years ago, had a stupid bandaid on my foot and I have my, I put my foot up on the table and get every time I look at bandaid instead of my face, like we saw it on set.

I said, now I’ll fix it later, or just forget. I mean, to keep moving on, I should just fixed it. Cause now I’m going, it’s three years later and now I’m going back individually after effects. So, so just like following instinct and then working with people, we had a very short crew. I don’t know where that room was shooting cop one day of October.

We couldn’t open the windows because it was soundly loud car sounds of New York at night and stuff like that, you know, and just planning ahead doing stuff. That’s where I learned from each suit shoot was something that you can’t, you couldn’t learn without having made the mistake

Warren: Yeah.

Masami: and

Warren: it right.

Masami: right.

Warren: learn what you can [00:54:00] fix and not fix.

Masami: Yeah, exactly.

But what I liked about those is I never S I only spent maybe a hundred dollars on the most on any of them. Everything else was like, this is what I have, or I’m, or invested, like, you know, maybe I bought, I’m going to use that anyways for more shoots. But for any particular project, I never spent more than a hundred dollars.

And most of that went to the food for their crew, or like a specific prop that it can, you can’t just make so diff to budget those things out, to work with people who you and work with friends who would come on the project, who would, who’s always going to be there for me when work on something we’re working at least ask.

That’s what I learned about making so many different projects at the same time. And then juggling that on top of my job. Right. I wasn’t getting paid for any of those and just to continue continuously work and do that. The biggest takeaway from that year was just like, okay. And then after that it was, I’m going to focus on right now.

I [00:55:00] just, I think that same year I wrote like one, at least one script, but like doing it at the same time.

Warren: You know, you’re asking me that the differences of cities, I think he just moved here like two years ago. Right. And one year it was like the pandemic.

Masami: Yeah, pretty much. And that was last year. So I have only been in LA for two months now.

Warren: I think the thing about being in LA, for Sure. That’s really different is everyone is passionate about the film side. Right? So yeah, we run into all this, like bamboo ceilings, all this minority stuff, it’s there. You can’t pretend that it’s not, but you do meet a lot of other people. And I think it’s that giving community, right?

They say that tried that you you start now, we all move up together. And I think that’s the fun part. Like one shot. One of my shoots on

Masami: Okay.

Warren: thing, mono strip my buddy helped me shoot it, you know? he goes, Hey Warren, you know, I need the ball, your your sound gear. Okay.

I got to get back.

I could have slept a call times at seven o’clock in the morning, I’m like, fuck. Your call time was 5:00 PM, man. Can’t you make it five? Yeah. like the drive up, [00:56:00] but that’s the fun part. Right. We all share in it and we all do it. And like, you know, you just brought my stuff again. And I think that’s the fun part.

Like you get, you do get a chance to, you’re willing to put yourself out there, like like it’s not a give and receive business. I think it’s give to give is karma. You know, it’s just, you just do it because hopefully one day of the blue, someone helps you out. And I think that’s, what’s fun too.

And when I think about it, like I do miss the ad side in a way, because I was higher in the hog, so to speak, even though it’s not, that need a lot, but it’s nice to go to Nobu and not sweat it, like Oh yeah,

Sure.

But I

Masami: Okay.

Warren: the fun part. Like you actually, you know, that’s a good point. Like would not trade my experiences, film and stuff would not. Over eating nice fancy restaurant. It’s definitely been like enjoyable and it’s hard, man. It’s like, are your, like, you know, your battle scars. can see this one here. This is when I fell in the ceased and hit my gut, you know? I’m like, you

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: slipped

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: Oh my God, we didn’t buy insurance.

No one knows, you know, still like put that away. It’s a

Masami: Oh yeah,

Warren: reminds you like, thank God I [00:57:00] didn’t buy insurance. See that’s what that fear

Masami: yeah. Her everything. And you just, and you remember the things that you, you mess up onto you. I remember

Warren: all the

Masami: to do a set that we were going to we were just gonna, we’re just going to grill style. We’re just going to go and do it, but it was on the private property we got caught. So like, but if we would ask them, the permit was only $150.

Like I should, we should have just asked the producer, what would it be? You know, knowing those things and then knowing that this is going to translate over to big hall. Right. Because they have to do it, even if you’re not doing it, you have to know that someone had to do it.

Warren: Yeah.

Masami: So just knowing all the pieces is important.

So I think that’s,

Warren: serious that you see? I mean, it’s a lot to watch, So I understand. I mean, I, I wanted you to just watch a trailer, motor industry. How much

Masami: well, I watched the short film. I watched the thing of watching the trail a little bit. I skimmed through the series, but yeah.

Warren: one of the plus. Oh

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: Well, what’d you

Masami: Well, I thought it was good. I thought it was well shot for sure. [00:58:00] And they had all the actors were there, but yeah,

Warren: rate.

Masami: little risky.

It

was cool.

Warren: that with

Masami: Risky, risky.

Warren: when people said, you know they says, well, shot. It’s like, man, we ran and did that like with too, like no natural lighting, everything. And I thank you for liking it by the way.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: and thank you for being honest. Like I think if you’re gonna be controversial, some people are gonna like it and not like it.

So I, I totally get that part. Yeah.

we did that with, I think learning posts for sure. Helped me. Like I knew what shots we had. Like two, I showed a short film just really quick, like about Asian minority, miss stuff. And one scene took place in the diner and we had to get there from like, we only had the diner for two hours before they open up.

Masami: right.

Warren: right.

So we have to get it done fast, fast, and, and didn’t have time to light it. So we shot it. So when people go, oh, that looks really cool. And I think because we found a way to make it interesting. we did just shoot it plan and stuff like that.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: think that’s the fun of it, right? Like I think back to that, my. That’s short in particular. I think of how we did it, we wrote it, we didn’t two months and [00:59:00] just went and did it. And along the way, you start to realize, like, I think you did too. Like you start to build, develop skills that translate you never know, right? Like, oh, who would have thought that this helps me, like here, I thought my, when I moved out here, like, I’d be a writer in the writer’s room or selling scripts and stuff like that. But then I fall into the editing side and then, you know, I have a directors. I, that’s kind of cool that people say that, but I have the ability now to go out and like, oh, if I write a script, I can crew up and flip five people, you know, buy them some nice dinners and we can shoot and have some fun doing it.

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: But I don’t think I knew that going on here. Right. I had no idea. So that’s, I think that also, like, I look back on it, like, I, in some ways I probably wouldn’t have done it. If, if, I knew how hard editing was, I wouldn’t have got into it for sure. I didn’t have a choice. I had to make a living. next thing you know, like, God saves me every time.

Like people trust me, we know you can edit it. Yeah,

Pretty much, you know,

Masami: yeah.

Editing

Warren: what to do. Like, well, I didn’t get that. You know,

Masami: Anthony makes or breaks it. That’s that’s, that’s what I, in [01:00:00] my opinion, it’s like, that’s what makes filmmaking, or

you don’t have

Warren: told.

Masami: Greg.

Warren: the page. It’s like doing three disciplines, like writing is the most boring cause you have to sit there and like drink

Masami: Okay.

Warren: like this, you know, what’s on YouTube. Right. But the crap, this is the most for me that create a part how I like to write. That’s when you have to put the originality in your head on the paper is the fun part because you never know what’s going to happen.

And then you’re working with other people and hopefully you get, get good actors and stuff like that. editing is all comes together. And I think I wouldn’t trade that in like I’d much rather do what I do now than be in a writer’s room. Like even my friend said that she was a, an actress on the west wing and it was early on in my career down here and she goes, you’re not gonna want to be in a writers room.

I’m like, why, why not? That’s what I came out to do. That’s not you, man. said, what do you mean? I came out here to do that you don’t want to listen to Aaron Sorkin. You don’t want to take his notes. look at what you’re doing, you’re doing your own thing

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: and you look up,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: it might be harder for you, but no, no, [01:01:00] no, no, no.

I want to be to read or what are you talking about? Where’s my writing suck. What are you talking about? The, of,

Masami: Yeah. You don’t have a choice that your chores.

Yeah.

Warren: Like not to talk about the script, but like the short, what, what, what I like people when they say they like it and go, I like the sound design because yeah, because I learned how to sound design.

I never would have known like that stuff mattered, you know, I got into the editing room, like, oh, something’s wrong here, but

Masami: It’s sad. Yeah. It sounds like 80% over the phone.

Warren: you do little things to hit it. So I think like, to me, you never know where life takes you in, you know, sometimes we wish you’d take it. didn’t take a road, but we did.

And sometimes it’s easy to kind of think like, oh, I’m going to regret that. But I’m wondering to kind of put that aside. Like, you know, you’re on your own rollercoaster, man. It’s going, whether you like it or not.

Masami: That’s

actually

Warren: ends at a nice big island. You know, I get

Masami: facts, man.

Warren: cool.

Masami: Well, that’s a good place to leave us offline. We’re bad or a bad house then. So yeah. What, what’s your last advice? [01:02:00] Any, give me any advice for entrepreneurs, the entertainment part off.

Warren: Asian Americans in entertainment. I would say, probably look in the mirror and find out why you want to do it. Not, that’s not a judgment that that’s use yourself in the mirror, like, cause it’s tough, man. You can, you can be pragmatic about it if that’s what you want to do, but that’ll almost break you really fast because it’s dysfunctional industry.

So I would say my advice would be like, be you, first of all, don’t let anyone tell you who you should. And shouldn’t be, I think, and it’s a, it’s a journey to find out who you, who you are. And I think that’s probably the cool thing about being in the creative arts, being an Asian in this business, you have a choice to tell the stories you want to tell, and you can like want to make the next Menari, or you can make the next mano minority trip that I did that broke all the rules.

that’s not to say I’m better than

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: it’s just finding out who you want to be. And I think that would be the advice [01:03:00] I’d have is like, going to challenge you, but that’s also, I mean, every in this was hard, right? I don’t think it’s easy being a doctor

Masami: Okay.

Warren: for a lawyer, but in particularly arts is kind of, kind of wonky

Masami: Okay.

Warren: if you don’t have the support of your family, like, I didn’t like, I, I, if I look back, I should be proud of how far I came.

My, my family loves me, but they still don’t know what I do or value what I do.

Masami: Sure.

Warren: like I did an anti-racism shortened nickel at whatever, man, this is about us, man. They’re killing it that whatever. I think that would be the thing, in a way, you know, you learn about yourself and that’s the best thing. You know, I was going to say last thing about New York and LA. When I was in New York way back in the day, I saw them at TC exhibit I’m not an art person, but I went and checked it out at the, I don’t know. Did you go to the MoMA or the met? Yeah.

it was a big museums there. And that’s what stuck to me now.

This was like 20 years ago and I remember looking at the Matisa exhibit and he’s a famous that people don’t know he was good at his craft. Right. He could draw the hands and he was an [01:04:00] expert, in my opinion, he was a great artist, but he got known for what he did at the end of his life because he had arthritis in his hands.

And he I, you know, I listened, I I’ll just cheap. I listened to the audio tour. That’s how I know this time around. Not that I read up on it, I just like to listen, he and I hope I got it right. Otherwise I’ve been defined by the wrong thing. He He would cut with his hands, know? And that’s how you did the little cutout thing that he’s known for.

I carry your swings and he just kept creating until he died. And I said, that’s probably who we are as a me and you end of the day, whether we’re successful or unsuccessful is who we are as being. So you almost can’t like suppress it. You know,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: who you are and you’d be, you would suffer greatly not being true to that as a human being.

So for everyone out there, you’re going to know how much you want to do something because you’re going to be challenged along the way. No one has it easy. And I think that’s, that’s the cool part. Like, okay, now I know who I am as a person.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: it as an encouragement, like go do it because we all need everyone’s [01:05:00] voices.

Everyone’s story is different. Yeah.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: would be my thing.

Masami: You don’t want to try it, try this, help somebody else, even though similar.

Warren: to take that roller coaster.

Masami: Yeah. You got to find your own roller and ride that one.

Warren: And what about the, the same things? I, I

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: about, you’re talking about editing expert. He goes, Yeah,

man, how painful was that? You know, like sledding it out. Like that was like, that was

Masami: it was,

Warren: Right?

Masami: the years,

man.

Warren: Like

Masami: That makes me want to go back. It makes me want to go. Honestly, you make me want to go back to directing stuff, just like this, go shoot stuff and go edit it. Make stuff. Cause it’s, it’s doable, you know,

Warren: that was the one thing

Masami: so,

Warren: now that you just got out here, like

Masami: Hm.

Warren: start meeting your tribe and your crew and you give me some good actors, bad actors, and you’re going to like but you, you find your, your, your, your peers. I want to work with you. And that’s when it’s best, man. That’s when

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: Yeah.

Masami: What’s what’s next for you? What have you got going on?

Warren: So The next thing we’re going to do is I finished my scifi thing and Yeah. you asked me what were there. Probably we might look for distribution, but to be honest, my goal was. Create the world and maybe get a second season. [01:06:00] So I might just take it, pick the hit and put it out, like either on YouTube or like there’s a scifi thing.

Masami: Right.

Warren: my next goal in the next three months to not have to put out the promotional materials together. We were done last year, but we got held up by COVID, which

Masami: The truck.

Warren: was kind of more a blessing in a way, because we turned the series from a, it was a five episode series. It’s two hours long in total and someone made the suggestion to cut it as a movie. So we kind of did it. And it actually kind of works in its own way because it’s, I call it the Zack Snyder cut, where just laundering, you know, it’s, it’s breaking a form,

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: Not everything has to be three acts.

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: next. turning to my

Masami: Okay.

Warren: minority sad tire into a series, which is kind of cool.

That’d be interesting

Masami: Great.

Warren: when we did it. This is about being true to your voice. Right? We did it and it was really, really hot

Masami: Okay.

Warren: of controversial, but I did that for a reason. And then, and I think when I’m putting together the pitch deck, I say, well, I chose this topic because not to get into the details too much, but other eight races can be [01:07:00] vulgar and I’m noxious and stuff, but somehow Asians, we don’t get to have

Masami: Okay.

Warren: So this is a little more like later than just one thing I chose. So I think that’d be kind of fun to

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: And obviously my eight anti-Asian hate thing. That’s, you know, that could happen next year, two years, who knows is this?

Masami: Just keep plugging.

Warren: Yeah, I just

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: send the email hope for the best. And

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: other thing I’ve been wondering too, because with time you realize that there’s only so much I can do.

Sometimes you just got to wait and be patient don’t bug people.

Masami: yeah.

Warren: I also trust that what I have now, which is you know, one last thing I’d say about writing is they tell you that you have to be perfect and that’s not true. You just have to be, have a good idea because everyone knows it’s going to.

And evolve

Masami: Yeah

Warren: have faith in that. it’s going to change, we know as editors, right. Changes all the time. Yeah

Masami: everyday. Yeah. I wear as opposed to reduction, it’s going to change the posts, but

Warren: I

Masami: it’s like the last thing it’s going to change. It’ll

change things.

Warren: that’s the one thing I

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: shows, man, it’s like, you can reorder everything because there is no script [01:08:00] for it. Right. And they would move a

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: from act five to, and like changes everything. Like, wow. It freed my mind in a way

Masami: sure.

Warren: You know,

Masami: Airline and last things, you know, w w where can people watch your work and follow your, your social media stuff?

Warren: I think G is probably the best I think I’m under laminator. So if you want to reach out, that’s a cool,

Masami: Okay.

Warren: we’re about to put stuff?

out, so it’s not really out yet. So that’s where you can kind of keep tabs of like what we’re

Masami: Okay.

Warren: on next. I’m a company site create a fugitives. If you want to see like the little films we’re doing the press, that’s the next thing?

The, the scifi motor Nostra, we’re probably going to put social media out in the next two months.

Masami: Okay,

great.

Warren: that be the goal is to we entered it into a festival and if it gets in the festival, we’ll play, we’ll play the Chinese theater, which is, I’m a kind of excited to see. Cause I you know, I’m really hard on myself, right.

I, I S I see all the flaws in it. And

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: I just pop, beamed it over to my TV and like, oh, wow. It’s such a kind of cinematic.

Masami: Cool.

Warren: I didn’t screw up as bad as hell. Cause I, [01:09:00] I call it

Masami: Yeah.

Warren: I’ll put something on like shiny object. So they don’t see this other cam thing I fucked up on.

Does that be kinda cool.

but I went to the drive in recently cause I have to

Masami: Okay.

Warren: a viral project. I looked into it. Oh, this is a tie back to you. I wouldn’t mind doing a special drive and screening of it because it’s unique. I went to the Santa Monica one. It’s pretty cool shot. One of the episodes we shot out in where major Domo is now the the, the famous wrestle.

Masami: Okay.

Warren: We have a parking lot. And two years ago I had an idea of like doing a outdoor screening of it, right. To do it. And it be kind of fun, you know, next to these train tracks and be noisy, crazy kind of fun, fun. So I might do that if I don’t get in the film festival, part of me wants to do that more than the film festival,

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: cool.

Masami: that would be cool.

Warren: mentioned you is because introduced me to Kenema

Masami: Hmm.

Warren: I talked to the guy they’re so excited

Masami: Okay.

Warren: maybe doing as a cinema event, you know,

Masami: Cool.

Warren: I learned a little [01:10:00] bit about what they do and how they do it. They’re new. they’re like, it’s a perfect platform for us, you

Masami: Yeah,

Warren: different.

Masami: they’re pretty bad.

Warren: about, how they do outdoor screenings and stuff. So it was really cool. And that’s just breaking norm, like being different, you know?

Masami: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I like, what are we doing to our own? We’re going to wrap it up right now. Warren, thank you so much for jumping on and having this candid conversation we need get through anything that totally planned on, but I really enjoyed the deafness of what this conversation was

and, and yeah, well, I’m hearing like the working, the working director editor side and that part of the product of this industry, because, you know, we’re, we’re all still creating things, but you’ve been creating things for a couple of years now.

And

just to hear

What’s going on.

Warren: it’s easy to define yourself comparing yourself to others. And I think that’s the hard challenge. Like, you know, you have to compare yourself to your own path, your own journey. And I was like, that’s what was fun about it? Cause we kind of know each other during the podcast, but it’s also nice to hear your story and what you do in case people didn’t know, like, you know, we’re all [01:11:00] here hustling and doing our own thing.

And that’s, that’s

Masami: Okay.

Warren: coolest part. Like we’re defined by what we want, not what everyone tells us, what we’re supposed to do. Like if I sold out, you probably might might know my name, but I didn’t sell that.

Masami: Oh, we can. All we’re all either one day. We’re also out and it’s fine.

There’s just like, yeah, we need the money

Warren: artists, man,

Masami: artists getting paid

Warren: artists getting

Masami: that. All right. Well, thanks again so much. And we’ll see you next time.

Warren: Hey, next, thanks for you for doing the strong agent lead, man. We need, we need more stuff like this, you know, that’s, what’s cool about it. All right.

 

Masami: All right.

 

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