I-Jien Jane Kou

I-Jien Jane Kou has a B.A. in Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley, a B.F.A. in Fine Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition, she has three Computer Information System and Application certificates from UCLA Extension. She worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley tech companies for ten years, before she went to SAIC.

Your project takes a part in our festival. What is your project about?
Halloween (Rabbit Well episode 6) is about a Dork Boy had a nightmare on a Halloween. It is kinda like Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol, except it is on a Halloween.

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What were your requirements for actors to take a part of your film?

For this animation, due to budget, I voiced all the characters myself. Obviously, I am not qualified as an actress. If I can have actors, I would like to have actors and actresses who have characters and personalities. It does not mean that the voice itself has to be unique. But, the voice in acting has to have personality.

How did you communicate with the cameraman?

Rabbit Well is my zero budget animation series. Unfortunately, due to no budget, I had to do everything myself, including making backgrounds by drawing and photoshop.


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What locations did you choose for your project? And why?

Rabbit Well is an animation series takes place in a hypothetical city called City of Boredom. It is kinda like Batman stories are taken places in Gotham City.

Why should distributors buy your film?

Rabbit Well animation series is a comedy meet drama of a journey of a dork boy and a dork girl who find courage, grow, learn about life, transform, and eventually find love. Through the journey, the two dorks meet and inspired by superheroes. It is Groundhog

Day meet engineer nurds and superheroes stories. It is also a social satire. Halloween is episode six. Dork Boy has a nightmare on a Halloween, just like Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol.

What expression elements did you use in your project. How would you characterize 
your work?
Rabbit Well is comedy meets drama. It has dark undertone, because it incorporates social satires.

At what festivals have you had success? Has the film already premiered? If so, 
I would like to thank Culver City Film Festival, Hollywood Gold Awards, Indie Vegas Film Festival, and Golden State Film Festival to show my short films “Soul” and “Halloween (Rabbit Well episode 6) on screen. It will be showing at Niagara International Film Festival next weekend.

What motivated you to become a filmmaker?
I guess that it has to do with self expression. I have to laugh off myself, use the experience to cry and make sense of this world. Mostly I am writing to my younger self to let her know how to find her authentic self, how to live a better life, and how to be happier.

Which movies are your favorites? And why?

There are so many movies that I love. Mostly, I like romantic drams, such as Green Card, Titanic, Great Expectations, Ratatouille, The Shape of Water, Slumdog Millionaire, Brokeback Mountain, Les Miserables, La La Land, etc. Did I mention that I saw Titanic four times at movie theaters? I don’t know why I love these movies so much. One thing that I do know is that all of these movies had my tears. Maybe I love them so much, because their stories tell the best of humanity.

What topics do you like to deal with in your work?
Rabbit Well is a social satire. It is a journey of self love, finding meaning in life, and pursuit happiness.

What genre do you like to shoot and why?

I like animation comedy to make fun of the world and to laugh off myself. I am half century old and still trying to make sense of this world and life.

What project would you like to shoot one day, what would it be about?

I would like to continue to make Rabbit Well animation series, which are two nurds Dork Boy and Dork Girl in a quest of un-nurd themselves.

What do you do if you’re not thinking about a movie? What are your hobbies?

I like to exercise, such as dancing and golfing. I like to listen to music. I like to go to theaters. I like to try new things. I like to meet people. There are so many things that I want to try. But, just like majority of people on this planet, there is only so little time and little money. When I was in my 30’s, I used to tell everyone that I want to see the world. And I still am.

What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?

I would like to continue to make Rabbit Well animation comedy series.