Aspiring hollywood

before the glitz & glamour


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Clips from films produced by Luciano Saber

PLACEBO EFFECT - This espionage thriller was shot on location in Chicago and had a limited theatrical release.

SCARED - This upbeat feature film was shot on the Sony lot on 35mm Kodak film.

AH! Vision



By L. Saber

Picture yourself at 28, full of hope and aspirations, in search of a dream. You come from a good family, perhaps you live in upstate New York, silver-spoon and all. You attend a prestigious university for the arts, you graduate with honors, pack your bags and off you go in search of your future. You travel thousands of miles to get to the place where movies are made, where dreams come true, or so you think. Although your friends and family are far away, you’re still doing well. You have a pocket full of cash and your four-year old Mercedes still has a few miles left in it. But hey, even if you get lost or want to order a meal in a restaurant, no problem, you can easily communicate with those around you. Even so, the competition is fierce and the odds are still stacked against you.              

NOW, picture all that in your mind; but picture the place you traveled to, the place where movies are made is not Hollywood, California. It’s Korea. You’re not from a rich family, you’re broke and you don’t speak the language. The chances of you making it—zero to none, right? Those were the odds YOUNG MAN KANG had to face when he stepped off the plane in New York City from his native Korea. For Kang, New York might as well have been Mars. He didn’t know anyone, didn’t speak the language, didn’t understand the customs and with the exception of a few hundred dollars in his pocket, he didn’t have any financial means. Even with the odds stacked against him, Kang found ways not only to survive the entertainment industry, but to keep making a living from Hollywood projects. He keeps making independent feature films that get noticed by critics and film festival audiences.

His movies won awards and as obscure as some of them may be, his work is being recognized in many circles. A Korean immigrant, Young came to the U.S. and subsequently moved to Hollywood in search of a dream; a dream he’s certainly living. We asked Young to talk about the moment where he crossed over from being a wannabe filmmaker, to directing and producing his own feature films.

He said that the biggest challenge was to get the first feature film made. He found work in the film industry doing odd jobs and even producing shorts. Eventually, he was able to save a little money. Just enough, he said, to make his first feature. How much you ask. Nine hundred and eighty dollars. He found people with similar interests, borrowed equipment and asked for favors and somehow, by the grace of God, he was able not only to finish his film, but actually get it distributed. His film, Cupid’s Mistake is now in distribution and Internet Movie Data Base [imdb.com] users gave it a rating of 7.3 out of a possible 10. Not too shabby. I’ve seen multi-million dollar films that got ratings lower than that.

To make ends meet, Young directs local commercials and even returns to his native Korea where he lands jobs directing national commercials and animated films.

Goes to show that nothing is impossible and you too can produce your short or feature film. Stay focused and determined, team up with a screenwriter that has similar interests, or better yet pick up a screenwriting book or class and get it done. It may be the next Reservoir Dogs, El Mariachi or who knows, maybe another Cupid’s Mistake. §

Young Man Kang can be reached at www.youngmankang.com



“...Kang found ways not only to survive Hollywood, but to keep making a living from Hollywood projects and he keeps making independent feature films that get noticed by critics and film festival audiences.”