"As a kid, my brother and his friends would make videos for their classes and I'd get dragged in to play some weirdo bit parts," recalls Jonathan Chu of his start in filmmaking.
Now Chu, a senior in electrical engineering and computer science, gets to call the shots.
The first-time filmmaker cast seven friends in "Yum Yum Dim Sum," a kung-fu revenge flick which will be screened at the eighth annual MIT-Made Media Spectacle Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m. in Room 4-237.
Filmed at MIT last summer, "Yum Yum Dim Sum" follows the story of Mikey and his father, who run a quiet restaurant until they have a run-in with the evil mastermind Beef-and-Broccoli.
Chu, who pronounces himself embarrassed to claim credit as the film's writer, director, videographer and actor, had originally thought the video would be a small project. However, while writing only took a couple of weeks, shooting took seven weeks of approximately 15 hours per week, usually at night since they all had summer jobs.
To create the hour-long film, Chu spent two weeks digitizing eight hours of raw footage at the MIT New Media Center (Room 26-139). Editing, finding the right music for the soundtrack and adding sound effects took more than a semester of work on his own computer.
While the original concept of a cooking kung-fu story featured ideas such as projectile woks and hot liquids used as weapons, when faced with safety issues and time factors, "the idea became more about comparing the art of cooking to the art of kung fu," Chu said.
The MIT-Made Media Spectacle, sponsored by Comparative Media Studies at MIT, will present films, videos and hypertext produced by MIT and Wellesley staff, students and faculty. For more information on the event, call x3-3599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 15, 2002.