Jason Chew Talks About Being a Filmmaker Ep 105

30 November 2020


A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

On this episode of Talking Taiwan I speak with Jason Chew about being a filmmaker. We talked about how he veered away from his traditional Taiwanese upbringing and parents’ expectations that he become a lawyer.

As a filmmaker, he’s worked with several different clients in both Taiwan (a funeral home and cosmetics company) and the U.S. He shared how one project with the NYPD required him to wear a bulletproof vest while cruising around with the NYPD to the scene of a crime.

When I asked him what inspires his creativity, Jason responded by asking “where don’t you find inspiration… everything could be inspiration.”

Check out the show notes on the Talking Taiwan website for some of the great film directors that have inspired Jason and a few of the classic films about Taiwan that he recommends.


Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • Jason’s connection to musician Treya, who we interviewed in episode 55
  • Jason’s “traditional Taiwanese upbringing” and what a “traditional Taiwanese upbringing” means to him
  • How he went from being on the path to attend law school to applying for film school
  • What it was like attending NYU Film School in Singapore
  • What Jason’s film career has been like so far
  • The difference between film editing, shooting, and directing
  • What sets someone apart as a director
  • What is cinematography
  • Jason’s short films
  • The music video he worked on for Treya’s song Magic
  • The work that Jason did on the NYPD’s Domain Awareness System (DAS) which is a sort of monitoring service
  • How Jason and his colleagues rode around in an NYPD police car to crime scenes in response to alerts from the Shot Spotter, which is a series of microphones that listen for shots fired
  • Jason’s thoughts on Black Lives Matter
  • Jason’s work with Taiwanese companies
  • Jason’s parents’ reaction to his choice to pursue a career as a filmmaker instead of law
  • What inspires him as a cinematographer
  • The crowdfunding campaigns on student films that he’s worked on
  • Jason’s favorite films about Taiwan
  • Films that he recommends for people who would like to know more about Taiwan
  • Jason’s work on the short film A Father’s Son – A 90s Chinatown Noir Thriller, which is based on the characters from Henry Chang’s NYPD Detective Jack Yu crime series novels
  • What Jason enjoys the most about filmmaking
  • How the pandemic has affected Jason
  • What Jason is currently working on
  • Jason’s advice for people interested in pursuing filmmaking
  • Jason’s advice on how to push through tough challenging times


Related Links:

Jason Chew’s website: https://www.jasonchew.com

Jason Chew on Instagram: @chewchomp

Roaming Dogs of Taiwan (short film): https://www.jasonchew.com/#/roaming-dogs/

The music video for Treya’s song Magic: https://www.jasonchew.com/#/treya-lam-magic/

Treya’s Talking Taiwan interview (episode 55): https://www.talkingtaiwan.com/treya-lam-talking-taiwan-ep-55/

Apartment Therapy: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

Film Director Tsai Ming-liang https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsai_Ming-liang

Film Shop: https://www.thefilmshop.org/

Ava Duvernay (Film Director): http://www.avaduvernay.com/

The short film project: A Father’s Son – A 90s Chinatown Noir Thriller, which is based on the characters from Henry Chang’s NYPD Detective Jack Yu crime series novels: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chenxihao/a-fathers-son-a-90s-chinatown-noir-thriller

Stanley Kubrick (Film Director):  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Kubrick

Akira Kurosawa (Film Director): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Kurosawa

Cohen Brothers (Film Directors): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coen_brothers

Bong Joon-ho (Film Director): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bong_Joon-ho

Classic Films about Taiwan that Jason recommends:

Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee film): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111797/

Yi Yi (Edward Yang film): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0244316/


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Small Talk at LGBTQ Film Festival: An Interview with Director Huang Hui-chen Ep 92