Who out there is working a job they hate, barely making ends meet all while trying to pursue their dream? With the exploitation of unpaid internships and vast unemployment, the youth of Toronto are facing hurdles never before seen.
Many get discouraged and only dream of something better. Few will actually make moves and take hold of their own future. One of those very few is Andrew C. who is newly minted as a writer, film director and producer of the new web series based in Toronto, MILLIONS.
“I was born and raised in Toronto. I love Toronto with all my heart, and think it’s such a diverse and rich city, so I wanted to pull my personal experiences in Toronto into the story…reality television, pop culture figures like the Kardashians, social media, and the advent of young people striking it rich in the tech industry (a la Mark Zuckerberg), have profoundly affected our generation’s beliefs about what they think they can and should become, forgetting what actually matters in their lives and what makes them genuinely happy. I wanted to reflect on all of these things in MILLIONS.”
Andrew told us, “I was in my mid-twenties and was going through a bit of a life crisis – or a quarter-life crisis as they call it. I had previously gotten a business degree at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto and worked at a bank for a couple of years. But I was miserable.”
Growing up in a traditional Chinese family, he went the “practical” route rather than chasing his dream of being a part of the film world. When the misery was too much, he bit the bullet and enrolled himself in film school. While there, he wrote the script for MILLIONS which was intended to be a full TV series but was passed up by networks. Still determined to get his message out there and create a platform for Asian actors, he produced it himself as a web series with an extremely tight budget and lots of persistence.
“We have a slew of very talented actors in our community yet the only roles being created for them were embarrassingly stereotypical. We’re in desperate need of change.” That change started with his cast.
Ben Brillantes who plays, “Jay” says, “ …the project became important to me because I saw how it important it was to him. I have my own goals in life and I dedicate time to them, but whenever I get the chance to provide a little help to those that want to chase their dreams, as cheesy as it may sound, I do it because I want to help them get there.”
Hubert Tran who plays “Brandon” says what he wants the audience to take away is quite simple, “A good story. That’s it. It just so happens that it features Asian North Americans.”
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Posted by Samira Zia Rehman