Check out screenwriter Chris Lee! This past year, Chris won Ermantourage’s Innovasian 2020, highlighting Asian American writers, with his script “Black Market”
Briefly describe who you are as a creative! What got you into pursuing a career in entertainment, and why your field specifically?
I’m an Asian-American screenwriter who writes action and crime stories inspired by contemporary Asian and Pacific Islander issues. I grew up within a large extended immigrant family in Hawaii watching obscure Hong Kong action flicks on bootleg VCD’s. I can easily say my role model was Chow Yun-Fat.
Can you think back to your first piece of work and what you learned most from it? How much of your voice has changed since you began?
I once shot a scene for a high school project ripped off from the insane and glorious hospital shootout in Hard Boiled. I suppose I’m still doing that to this very day.
Do you feel you are still finding your voice? What can you say your voice is right now?
Growing up in Hawaii, I was immersed in the richness of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Hawaiian and Samoan cultures all blended together. I notice these voices spilling out onto every page I write.
What do you hope to be known for during your career?
Writing action movies with a multicultural perspective, particularly on contemporary issues facing Asians and Pacific Islanders.
In what ways do you plan on utilizing your platform to better the world?
The best action movies are where audiences get the thrills of satisfying bone-crunching punches and spinning hook kicks to the face – as well as walking away with an undercurrent of the larger forces of the world and how they determine our lives. I challenge myself to do the same somehow.
What do you have in the works at the moment?
I’m rewatching a ton of martial arts and wuxia movies from my childhood. I swear it’s all for research.
by Erman Baradi