East of Hollywood

Ken Chang is ready for the American dream. The only trouble is that he's just too American. In order to land a role on a network TV Show, Ken is forced to undergo Actor "Orientalification" to prove that he can be Asian enough to make it in Hollywood.

  • Chris Caccioppoli
    The Cocks of the Walk, Soulmating
  • Chris Caccioppoli
    The Cocks of the Walk, Soulmating
  • Michael Tow
    Reindeer Games, Soulmating
  • Michael Tow
    Key Cast
    Unfinished Business, Royal Pains
  • Dani Wang
    Key Cast
    The Blacklist, Madam Secretary
  • Traci Bingham
    Key Cast
  • Celeste Oliva
    Key Cast
    Company Men, 21
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Mockumentary
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 30, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Asians on Film
    Los Angeles, CS
    March 12, 2016
    Los Angeles Premiere
    Best Comedy, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Editing
  • Tulsa American Film Festival
    Tulsa, OK
    October 9, 2015
    Best Screenplay, Best Actor
  • Boston Asian American Film Festival
    Boston, MA
    October 16, 2015
    New England Premiere
    Best Narrative Short
  • Garden State Film Festival
    Atlantic City, NJ
    April 2, 2016
  • New England InideFest
    Concord, NH
    November 14, 2015
    Best Mid-Length Film
  • Stories by the River
    Quincy, MA
    January 22, 2016
    Best Picture, Audience Award, Best Editing, Best Performance
  • Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
    Philadelphia, PA
    November 13, 2015
    Official Selection
  • Lyric Stage Presents: East of Hollywood
    Boston, MA
    February 15, 2016
Director Biography - Chris Caccioppoli

Chris Caccioppoli is an independent filmmaker and writer known for his absurd humor and fondness of large casts. As a student at Ithaca College, in which he was inducted into the Television and Radio Hall of Fame, he wrote and directed 30 Minutes, a late night comedy show which won national awards from the Collegiate Broadcast Institute and the Broadcast Education Association.

In 2008 he was published in National Lampoon’s Not Fit For Print and went on to become a contributing humorist for one of their affiliated online publications. Over the next five years he formed Chimera Entertainment, a production company that has produced original video content and international commercials for brands such as Sony.

In 2014 he completed his first feature film, The Cocks of the Walk, a comedy about the sport of Badminton, which he wrote, directed, and starred in. He has also written and directed two short films for the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shoot-Out, in which his film was a Top 10 finalist and won ‘Best Use of Theme’ in 2013.

His latest film, East of Hollywood, a short mockumentary about the struggles of Asian American actors, will premiere at the 2015 Boston Asian American Film Festival. Chris currently resides in New York City where he is writing his next feature screenplay.

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Director Statement

When people hear the premise of East of Hollywood, the first thing they ask me is, “aren’t you white?” To which I normally respond, “I’m Italian American,” but that controversial distinction is best left for another time. Of course what they really mean to ask me is, “shouldn’t this film have had an Asian writer/director?” This is a good question. One I pondered very early in the writing process, because, let’s face it, what do I know about being an Asian American actor? I am neither Asian American, nor a trained actor. I am a complete outsider. But maybe that’s a good thing.

The film was crafted to educate the rest of the country on the absurdity of the situation and it is shot like a documentary because it’s not told from the perspective of an insider looking out, but from an outsider looking in. And yes, as an outsider I may not be able to relate to the specific struggle, but as a human, I can relate to the basic sentiment. Everyone, regardless of his race or gender, has felt limited by something beyond his control. Whether it is socially, professionally, romantically, or physically, we have all had to mask our frustration with a smile. This film is intended to embody that universal experience while exemplifying it through struggle of Asian American actors.

While casting my feature film, The Cocks of the Walk, I found myself on the wrong side of the equation. I had based the script on my own experience playing Badminton, and as a result, I needed to cast many Asian American actors, all of whom came prepared to audition in an accent and portray a stereotype. Not because they wanted to, but because it’s what they assumed I wanted to see. And they were right. But why did I need these stereotypes in my movie? What did it add to the final product? And more so, why did that seem more acceptable than asking any other race to become a caricature on film?

I couldn’t answer any of these question. Perhaps I was just subconsciously influenced by what I was exposed to in the media. After all, it seems that aside from misrepresentation there is very little representation at all for Asian Americans in Hollywood. And as I got to know the actors in my feature on a more personal level, I discovered they all had the same story. They all had to pretend to be more Asian to get a role, despite most of them being born and raised in America and not knowing a word of (insert language of choice here). The most vocal about the topic, and the person with whom I went on to make this film, Michael Tow, shared the desire to shed light on this often overlooked problem. And so, East of Hollywood was born.

I got the chance to work with some amazingly talent actors who simultaneously exposed and shattered stereotypes with their performances. Each actor not only created hysterical characters but brought them to life with improvisations that could have only come from their own experiences. I hope this film can do its part to keep the momentum going and creating more opportunities for equal and fair representation in Hollywood. And I hope it makes a few people laugh while doing so.