YouTube to Hollywood… the right way.

by Lan Bui on January 31, 2014

I’ve worked with many people that make content for YouTube. A lot of them are a pleasure to work with. Some suck. Very few actually inspire me and make me think they have a bright future in Hollywood. Oh, and I’m going to define Hollywood as awesome TV and movies.

You may have seen an interview I did on my Google Glass when I had coffee with Anna Akana… if not… I introduce you to Anna Akana, Filmmaker.

Anna hired me to be Director of Photography for the short film H A L L U C I N A T I O N. I jumped for joy when she did… then again once I read the script. I was so excited to get to shoot for her again.

I got excited because Anna is doing everything right to make herself better as a filmmaker. Video blogs and comedy sketches help you practice video blogging and comedy sketches. A lot of people go around giving seminars and talks about how easy it is to break into Hollywood by just making video blogs and sketches… ??? WHAT ??? I think if you want to practice filmmaking you have to make films. Just like what Anna is doing. We were a small crew, Anna wrote and directed it, I was DP/camera operator/gaffer, Misa Garcia was my AC/grip/electrician, and Will Akana was anything/everything else we needed all while being AD as well (thank you so much Will!!!) but we got the job done and didn’t have to compromise on shots because Anna allowed for the appropriate amount of time to shoot. Like a real film. Even down to the shot list… she took this production seriously and it came out great.

So thats it… going from YouTube to Hollywood is easy. Just start spending time and money and take it serious… if you don’t have money just do it like Christopher Nolan… with what you have, but remember to take it serious.

– Christopher Nolan’s first feature film was shot over the course of a year
– Film was shot on Saturdays when the cast and crew could meet
– Christopher Nolan used his parents house to shoot some scenes
– Everything was handheld except for one scene
– The film was shot only with natural light

Oh, one last thing… to do what Anna is doing you also have to be amazing.

We will be posting some behind the scenes photos from this shoot over at the Cast and Crew Call blog soon. Here is one to get you started:


photo by Misa Garcia

  • Shane Robinson

    When the girls on the TV stopped and looked toward the window along with the actress…. Full body chicken skin!! (that’s how we say “goose bumps” in Hawaii)

    • Lan Bui

      Dude! I loved how Anna directed and edited this video. Chills!!!

  • EricSusch

    The film looks great!

    • Lan Bui


  • Sasha

    I loved this short!! I can’t wait to see more :3

    kisses from Peru

    • Lan Bui


  • C.C. Chapman

    Well done my friend. Beautifully shot and I loved the story. Can’t wait to see her other shorts coming out this year.

    • Lan Bui

      Thanks man! Me too… these shorts are going to be so great to work on!

      • Mathieu


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