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Palm Springs International ShortFest 2019: 13 Moviemakers On The Joys and Perils of Making Short Films 

Palm Springs International ShortFest 2019: 13 Moviemakers On The Joys and Perils of Making Short Films 

Festivals

“King Wah (I Think I Love You)”

The most worrisome aspect of making King Wah (I Think I Love You) was the money. It’s always about the money—especially when you don’t have it and you’re trying to make things happen. I financed the film myself, and that is to say that I wrote it to match my modest low/no budget. I didn’t have production insurance or permits. I used my own and friend’s apartments for locations. I shot, cut, and colored the film myself on equipment I either owned or borrowed. I cashed in my favors and leaned heavily on my immediate filmmaking community, The Filmshop. 

One scene in the film takes place in a Chinese takeout restaurant, which proved to be the most challenging and stressful part of production. I must have spent a week walking around Queens going into every single takeout joint I came across asking if they’d let me shoot a scene there. 99 percent of them were hard no’s. Not “No thank you”—I’m talking about soul-crushing absolutely-nots that were laced with a genuine confusion that made me question if what I was doing had any value or purpose. “No”s that made me seriously consider perhaps giving up filmmaking to pursue more solitary hobbies like building ships in little glass bottles or sand art. But I lucked out with King Wah Restaurant. They were into the idea and the fact that I had written the script with their restaurant in mind. This coupled with the novelty of their business being featured in a short film sealed the deal. For me it was “Love at first Yes.” For them it was “Love at first $300 cash.” —Horatio Baltz, director

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