Filmmaker Jon M. Chu is one of the hottest directors in Hollywood right now but after spending an hour in conversation with him, I found that he’s still hungry and humble. Despite his long list of credits, he’s really just at the beginning of what will no doubt be a long and interesting career.
In this episode of “Frank Buckley Interviews” learn how the son of hard-working immigrant parents who had a Chinese restaurant in Los Altos, California, became one of the most in-demand directors in Hollywood. You’ll hear how it all started as his family’s videographer, what it was like to get a call from Steven Spielberg while he was still a film student at USC, and what it means to be a director of Asian American descent.
If you’ve been to the movie theaters at all during the past seven or eight years, you’ve probably seen Jon’s work because he’s a filmmaker who seamlessly crosses multiple genres.
Like big budget action films? You saw his film “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.” Dance films? “Step Up 2: The Streets” or “Step Up 3D.” Justin Bieber fan? He directed “Justin Bieber’s Believe” and “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.” Big studio action-adventure-comedy? Jon pulled together a star-studded cast for “Now You See Me 2” that was in theaters this summer.
Jon also directed the low-budget “Jem and the Holograms.” That film famously flopped at the box office and challenged Jon personally. We talk about how forcing himself to be the keynote speaker at an independent film forum celebrating film the very weekend that “Jem and the Holograms” was tanking at theaters helped him to rediscover his passion for filmmaking. Find the link to that “awkward” (as he put it) moment captured on YouTube on this page.
I’ll enjoy Jon’s next film “Crazy Rich Asians,” which he’s working on right now and I hope you’ll enjoy my conversation with Jon M. Chu.
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