WHATEVER IT TAKES Director/Producer
What keeps him motivated as an independent filmmaker:
There’s no other career that I could ever choose over documentary filmmaking. I like to listen, to observe, and to ask questions, and being a documentarian is the perfect marriage of those three things. I’m motivated by the joy of delving deeply into people’s lives, learning about myself even as I’m watching someone else’s life unfold.
His three favorite films:
My three favorite documentaries are the Maysles’ Brothers’ Salesman, Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine, and Steve James’s Hoop Dreams. My three favorite fiction films are Chariots of Fire, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Raise the Red Lantern.
His advice for aspiring filmmakers:
I would advise aspiring documentary filmmakers to think about what they are passionate about, and then make a film that addresses that passion. But don’t try to make a film about something just because the subject matter is currently in the news or seems to have audience appeal. It takes so long to finish a documentary that the only way to see a project through to the end is if you are internally driven by a specific mindset or passion.
His most inspirational food for making independent film:
String cheese and root beer. That’s what got me through the tough times!
As a filmmaker, Christopher Wong seeks to highlight minority voices and stories, revealing ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. He was a grant recipient of the Sundance Documentary Film Program in 2007, and a fellow of Sundance’s Story/Composer Lab in 2008. He was named as one of The Independent’s 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2009.
Wong is working on a feature-length documentary about television game show fans, and another short documentary on an Asian American pastor’s quest to reconcile his conservative congregation with gay and lesbian Asian American Christians.