Editor's Note: Behind the Lens is a digital video series featuring bold California indie filmmakers pushing the boundaries of their craft. Each episode captures the personal experiences that inform a filmmaker's work and the risks they take to bring stories to the screen.
When Eugene Kim put his filmmaking career on hold to help his parents achieve financial stability, he didn’t know if he’d ever make it back to the career of his dreams.
“The dream kept getting further and further away,” he remembers. But eight years later, he owns three San Francisco coffee shops. And a little voice in his head told him it was time to get back into filmmaking. (HBO’s Asian Pacific American Visionaries short film competition, and its submission deadline, didn’t hurt his motivation either.)
With the help of a small crew of film school friends from San Jose State, Kim just wrapped shooting his short film, Cherry, the story of an R&B artist coming up in 1990s Daly City. It’s a script pulled from Kim’s own memories of growing up on the peninsula in that very scene, where Filipino DJs were pioneering a new style, B-Boys competed at car shows and everyone knew they were part of a historic moment in music history.
“There were so many Asian kids involved with different subcultures,” Kim says. He channeled those memories of music, hair, style and romances into one day in the life of Christian Flores, a singer trying to find the money to get his car out of the impound lot, and a girl named Cherry he meets along the way.