Cecilia, Twenty Five Years, Fifteen Years discussed on TED Talks Daily

TED Talks Daily
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Just a soul to become more engaged overall what I believe in Cecilia is I think faith is way too important to leave to the religious valley and the Internet gave me superpowers tools to go to battle with a suit to take bullets with and the Hi it's signal in the sky told me when it was time to fight now I can't actually prove any of this I am not a tis facts in fact my rod tomato scores running around fifty percent right now so I'm not sure why they let me in if we're talking about colliding with power that's bigger than us that I'm in the right place because this last year I had an interesting year with a movie called Crazy Rich Asians that I did thank you thank you for talking about connections specifically today that I know my story is only possible because of a collection of connections that happened throughout my life and so hopefully by telling a little bit of my story it'll help someone else find their path a little sooner than I did so my story begins when I opened the Holy Book for the First Time The holy book of gadgets of course sharper image Freddie yes those who know it was a magical magazine of dreams and had things in there that you knew cannot possibly exist but there was right there you could order at come in the mail and some things that probably should have never existed like Gregory a lifelike portable mannequin who deters crime by his strong -culing appearance this is a real a real thing by the way but my eyes were set on the video edits seema to this thing being was so cool at the age of ten you could connect all your vhs players together and something together so I call my parents and convince them to buy this Fermi but before I get into that let me give you a little rundown about my parents they came to the United States when they're young they're from Taiwan and China and they settled in Los Altos L. A. -fornia the silicon valley before the Silicon Valley and they start a restaurant called chef shoes fifty years later today they still work at the restaurant they are still there and I grew up there so it was great it was talking about connection this place was a hub of connection people coming there to celebrate birthdays anniversaries business deals eating drinking connection and I got to grow up in that environment my parents always that America is the greatest place in the world you can you love anything can work hard and you can accomplish anything you want so they raised five all American kids I'm the youngest and they named actually mice the Jenner for and Jonathan after Jennifer Jonathan Hart from that TV show heart to heart so that's how much they loved America apparently it's can the thought that we were the Kennedys my mom specifically so she dresses up all the time like each other and she put us etiquette classes and ballroom dance classes and I was in charge of the video camera every time we went on vacation so I would collect all these videos and nothing to do with it thus the video edit too and convincing together for me and all night spent trying to wrangle all the VCR's brothers and sisters room tangled wires and now I had something to show them so I brought them into the the living room one night is probably nineteen ninety-one around there and I sit them down in the living room and my heart was pounding my breasts were deep sort of like right now and I press play something extraordinary happened actually they cried and cried they cried not because it was the most amazing home video edit ever although it's pretty good but because they saw our family as a normal family that fit in and belonged on the screen in front of them just like the movies that they worshipped and the TV shows that they named us after and I remember as youngest of these five kids feeling heard for the first time this is place where all these things in my head could go into the great electric somewhere out there and exists in escape and I knew from this moment on I wanted to do this for the rest of my life whether I was going to get paid for it or not so I had this passion and now I needed some tools and my dad went to work he continued to brag about my home video editing skills to the customers that shoes and luckily this is the Silicon Valley so there are working on stuff a hardware and software engineers and they offer to give me things for digital video editing this is this is the mid nineties early nineties where they didn't stuff didn't exist for kids like me so I'd get these Beta we're in hardware from places like HP and Sun and Russell Brown at adobe literally no manual so I'd figure it out and I fell in love with it even more so I went to USC School of Cinematic Arts and started to go there and and my mom and dad would always call me randomly and remind me that I've gotta do movies about my Chinese heritage that China was going to be a huge market for movies one day I was like yeah right you're always listen to your parents and I wanted to ask Lucas and Spielberg the last thing I wanted to talk about was my own cultural identity necessity honestly I had no one to talk there was no one at school that I could really open up to an even if I did I did I say so I ignored it and I moved on with life cut to fifteen years later I made it in Hollywood I I got discovered by Spielberg I worked with the Rock Bruce Willis Justin Bieber even came to the ahead stage to present my dance company LSD and it was great and then a couple of years ago I felt a little bit lost creatively the when we started going down a little bit and I got a sign I heard voices from the sky and more like birds okay find it was twitter and twitter it was constance we want twitter it was Daniel Day Kim Jang who's here today it's Alan Yang the people who were writing their frustrations with representation in Hollywood and it really hit me I thought these things but never really registered I was focused on on on I felt lucky to be working and so then I realized yeah what is wrong with Hollywood why aren't they doing this and then I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I am Hollywood I literally I'm so I popped my collar before I came out here that's how Hollywood still out still out okay good and for all these years I felt just I've been given so much what was giving back to the film business that I loved and I felt lucky to be here but at this moment I realized that I was not just lucky to be here I had the right to be here no I earned the right to be here although sleepless nights all those parties I missed on it is every friend and girlfriend I lost because I was editing I earned the right to be not just to have a voice but to say something and say something important and I had actually the power for the power the super power to change things if I really really wanted to all those when you try to tell stories about yourself and people who like you and look like your family it can be scary and all those feelings of being alone came back but the Internet is what told me sent the sign that there was going to be a whole army waiting for me to support me into love me for it and so I found Kevin Kwan's amazing novel crazy rich Asians and we went to work and we we put this movie together a- all Asian cast the first Asian cast in twenty five years with a contemporary story when we started it was not it was on a guarantee at at all there was no comp for this kind of movie all the every time we did surveys and stuff the audience is working to show up and in fact even in our test screenings will you give free tickets to people to watch your movie we had a one to two thousand five ratio meeting after twenty five asked only one person said yes which is super low these types of things Asian people knew the book didn't trust Hollywood at all Asian people who didn't know the books that the title was offensive and other people who were Asian just didn't think it was for them so we were pretty screwed Luckily Warner Brothers didn't turn away from us but then the electric somewhere struck again and army of Asian American writers reporters bloggers who asserted.

Coming up next