Justin Chon’s journey to tell a personal story is about the importance of telling your own stories and making them public.
The blue bayou movie based on true story is a documentary by Justin Chon. It tells the story of his personal journey to tell a personal story.
Justin Chon is a name familiar to the general public because to his role in the Twilight series. Chon has now earned the right to make his own tales, which are frequently more based in reality, as a result of those films. The actor and filmmaker has used his Korean background and expertise to bring attention to topics that others aren’t addressing, such as his 2017 film Gook. Gook earned Chon the Sundance Film Festival’s “Best of Next” award in 2017 and portrayed the tale of a Korean family operating a shoe shop in the middle of the 1992 LA riots after the Rodney King decision. While the tales are about fictitious people, Chon places them in very real settings, as he did in Blue Bayou, a film that will be released in cinemas this weekend.
The film Blue Bayou, which Chon wrote and directed and starring Alicia Vikander, recounts the tale of Chon’s Antonio. Antonio, a Korean-born adoptee residing in the United States, is facing deportation despite having lived in the country his whole life and having his own family. It wasn’t an easy tale to tell, not just because of its viscerally true nature and the emotions that come with it, but also because Asian filmmakers don’t frequently have such chances outside of Hollywood to portray such stories.
Vikander says about Chon, “His reality has been and I watched him and he’s an amazing performer.” “I watched his debut picture, Gook, when it premiered at Sundance a few years ago, and it was a stunning piece of art. And then, when I spoke with him, it became clear that, despite the fact that he is an established American actor, he has had a difficult time finding employment due to his Korean parents. And, you know, he sort of kept it to himself, writing and directing his first picture, and now this is his third. And, clearly, this is evidence that we need to do more to ensure that cinema is more inclusive in general.”
Despite the fact that Blue Bayou is Chon’s third film as a filmmaker, getting the film produced did not happen quickly (though, no movie really is). “It took around four or five years,” Chon adds. “After seeing Gook, I knew I truly wanted to convey the narrative and draw attention to the problem of deportation of adoptees.” He then went right into research, stumbling upon real-life tales that he notes when the credits roll at the conclusion of Blue Bayou. Chon highlights actual individuals who are facing deportation from the United States or have already been sent away after immersing Blue Bayou’s audience in an emotional and personal viewpoint of a deportation problem that many of its viewers would not have previously experienced or imagined.
Chon remembers the process of getting Blue Bayou produced as “I presented it to MACRO and they commissioned a screenplay.” “Because the script had been available for a while and I had been waiting, it’s been a lengthy process. So, in the meantime, I produced another picture, Ms. Purple, and I was just continuously pushing, you know, because that’s what it takes to make a film.”
Despite this, Chon had a strong support system and believers who helped him get Blue Bayou produced, with Vikander playing a key role. “In particular, a picture like this is extremely difficult to get produced, and it takes somebody like Alicia [Vikander] taking on a role like this,” Chon explains. “And, you know, taking a salary cut and creating a short film, just so we can tell a wonderful tale. She is a fantastic team player who is also very gifted. So, in order to get these kinds of pictures produced, you’ll need the help of juggernauts and giants.”
(Photo courtesy of Blue Bayou/Focus Features)
When Blue Bayou finally got going, Chon was able to stretch his filmmaking muscles a little more than he had in prior projects. While the film is neither an action or comedy, it does require some stunt work and hearty timing on the part of its actors. Chon smiles as he adds, “I had a smidgeon more money” (you can see the interview in the video above). “That was great since I like riding bikes. I was able to do the majority of the tasks on my own. I didn’t wheelie or do any of the other risky stunts. But I have to do the majority of my own riding. Doing that, doing that sort of job, was a lot of joy. Then there’s things like driving a motorbike into a swamp, a little action scene where they’re stealing a motorcycle shop, and all that kind of stuff.”
While Chon was having a good time, he believed that the additional tones that come with such production aspects were essential to assist magnify his message via film. “It was essential to me that this picture wasn’t simply tragic and depressing,” Chon adds. “I thought it was critical that these kind of things take place so that I could get my film out to a wider audience than just just… I don’t simply go about preaching to the choir. I’d want to see a Trojan Horse movie. I believe those kinds of situations are exciting for me as well, because I simply want to have a good time.”
The film Blue Bayou will be released in cinemas on Friday.
The the hero’s journey examples is a personal story that follows Justin Chon as he travels to tell his story.
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