You're stuck at home. If you go outside, you could end up facing something that could kill you. Your only means of communication with friends and loved ones is through online group chats and video meetings. Does that scenario sound familiar? Now imagine that "something" is an invading alien virus that will definitely kill you, and those web chat sessions are your only lifelines to the rest of civilization. Did we mention that it's also a much-needed comedy? Because that's what we can expect when Quentin Lee (White Frog, The People I've Slept With, Comedy InvAsian) and Adi Tantimedh's ("The Ravi PI" series from Simon & Schuster) pilot for Comisery streams on the Asian American Movies' Facebook page as well as at the pilot's website (here) starting Memorial Day, May 25.
Written by Tantimedh and directed by Lee, the sci-fi comedy web series stars Amy Hill (Magnum PI), Bee Vang (Gran Torino), Sheetal Sheth (Hummingbird), Singaporean pop star Nat Ho, Jennifer Field (9-1-1), and Harrison Xu (Shameless). In addition, the first and only all Asian-American dance-rock band, The Slants, has contributed music for the project. The team behind the project is also creating a Facebook donation campaign to coincide with the release of each episode to raise both awareness and funds for a diversity-related non-profit. For the pilot, the focus will be on non-profit partner New York's Asian Cinevision, the presenter of the Asian American International Film Festival since 1978 (a Facebook donate button will be available on the pilot episode).
For Tantimedh, the current pandemic environment not only gave him a chance to work with Lee but also created the right environment for a project like Comisery: "Quentin and I have been friends since we both graduated from film school across two coasts, he from UCLA and me from NYU back in the mid-1990s. I'm excited to be working with him on a project that reflects the strange, apocalyptic times we're living in and have a laugh while we're at it. As artists, actors, and storytellers, we all want to work, and Comisery could only come out of this surreal period." Lee echoed those sentiments, appreciating the opportunity to be entertaining while still having something to say: "I'm really excited about being united and working with Adi since we first met 25 years ago at the Vancouver International Film Festival where we were both showing our student works. Especially in this time of COVID-19 and economic uncertainty, I'm thrilled to come together with friends to create something that's entertaining and impactful for our diverse communities."
[Ed. Note: Adi Tantimedh is also a contributing writer and columnist for Bleeding Cool. Coming up, Adi will be posting his thoughts on what went into pulling the project together as well as some behind-the-scenes perspectives on the pilot process]