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“Vodka Is Very Good for You” | Justin Chon, Jamojaya

A young man stands as people gather around him, an elderly man can be seen in the background directly behind him.Jamojaya, courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Every production faces unexpected obstructions that require creative solutions and conceptual rethinking. What was an unforeseen obstacle, crisis, or simply unpredictable event you had to respond to, and how did this event impact or cause you to rethink your film?

COVID had a deep impact on every aspect of film making during the production of Jamojaya. We couldn’t even get dry ice on Oahu, Hawaii because there were supply chain issues. The biggest issue we had was securing locations. Fears of lawsuits and/or liability made building owners very hesitant. We needed a conference room with windows. Ultimately, we repurposed a room in the music studio we shot at as a conference room. In the end, it worked out but gave us a lot of stress. We didn’t even think about dressing the music studio until the night before shooting, when I tried to drown myself in a jacuzzi while drinking a fifth of vodka my wife got me from Russia. Ultimately it taught me that i should never settle. Also Vodka is very good for you.

See all responses to our annual Sundance Question here.

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