I think it’s important to make clear first and foremost, “To Those Nights” is not a short about whether drinking is right or wrong, or cool or bad for you. It’s strictly about the emotions and situations that might arise when you allow yourself to get to these inebriated states. There is no underage drinking, and there is absolutely no drinking and driving. I really hope people don’t get caught up on the alcohol side of this story, but instead focus on the characters and what they are each going through.

It’s probably safe to say that this is one of the most honest shorts I’ve done. Not only am I indirectly admitting that I’ve been drunk enough to have these thoughts, I’m also bringing you into those thoughts, the ones that you, when you are drunk, keep to yourself, or within your car, or within your texts. But I don’t mind, because I don’t think it’s really a secret. I think everyone at some point in their drinking life has or will go through these emotions regarding an lost love, an ex, or someone they’re head over heels with. So while being very exposing, it’s also very intimate. I’m not saying that I went through each of these 3 stories literally (I’ve never cheated), but the ingredients are things we are all familiar with.

WHY THESE 3 STORIES?
Each story was created very specifically. There are many drunk dialing stories out there (some crazier than others I’m sure) and originally I was going to give this project the title “The Drunk Call Chronicles” or something like that. Decided I didn’t want to make the focus on the drunk calls, though, so that was tossed out. These stories were chosen because I wanted to represent several emotional states, but with equal significance. Even the genders of the protagonists were important. For example, I don’t think a lot of guys want to admit that they get sad and think about their past mistakes when they’re drunk, so I wanted to represent this in Justin Chon’s character, Elijah. Likewise girls are typically assumed to be the ones that get taken advantage of when drunk, so Karalynn’s character, Jessica, was placed in a situation where she was in control and she makes the first move. In terms of story lines, I wanted to balance out the short with these 3 stories. Bryan and Courtney’s drunken proposal story was important to lighten the mood. If there were 3 sad/depressing stories, that would’ve just been too much, plus I think it’s important to show that drinking can (and should) bring joy and light hearted stories. It doesn’t always have to be dark and moody. Hopefully the viewer felt this balance or dark and light.

ONE WEEK FOR MUSIC
Jesse Chui has long been providing amazing music for some of our favorite projects. He helped us all the way back in college, and over the last few years with music in “At Musing’s End”, “When Five Fell,  and “The Places We Should Have Gone”. It’s been awhile since we’ve been able to link up with him, but this was a perfect time. He worked extremely hard to create all the music and go back and forth with me to fine tune things, in just a little over a week of time. Despite this time constraint, he did an amazing job capturing the ethereal feelings, tension, and hope through the project. Certain scenes, however, were purposely left without music, not because we didn’t have time, but because we wanted to leave them “raw” in a sense. Adding music always draws some attention to the fact that you are watching a produced video, and it typically leads the viewer to feel a predetermined emotion for a scene. But something like, the final hallway between Jessica and Eddie, we wanted to keep untouched, so the viewer could allow themselves to interpret their feelings completely on their own and feel like they were sitting right there with them.

LOW KEY PRODUCTION, WHAT’S NEW?
Unfortunately, just like with The Last, there isn’t really any BTS to share the process of this production. Even though we had about 7 shoot days, they were all usually very quickly organized or squeezed in between some other work, plus with these “personal” projects I always tend to keep the shoots and crews very small, so capturing BTS was always a last minute thought that we didn’t really have the personnel for. We have some photos this time at least! haha

HOW’D YOU GET THIS AMAZING CAST!
We were very fortunate to have some incredible people play the roles of these characters. The first person we confirmed was Justin Chon. While he’s known for his crazy antics on his youtube channel and 21 and over, I saw a short film he did a couple years ago called Jin that was very dramatic so I wanted to give him another opportunity to show this side of him. Justin knew Janel Parrish (Mona on Pretty Little Liars) and he talked to her to play opposite him in that scene. She was very sweet and fun to work with. Honestly I was quite nervous working with her since we hadn’t known each other before and she’s probably used to bigger productions, but she was totally down for everything. Thanks Justin for making that happen. After that we locked in Graham who we met a year ago on the project “The Wan Percent”. I had always remembered him and the fact that he’s a Jersey Boy (the musical) in Las Vegas. I was definitely excited to work with such a professional theater actor. Justin James Hughes was next and he, like Justin Chon, is more known for his comedy on youtube, but I wanted to explore another side of him. When I first asked him if he’s ever done anything dramatic he said the most dramatic role he could refer me to was a music video he did for Nickleback. DONE. We thought of Meghan because we knew Jimmy Wong from working with him, and I wanted to bring in more “youtube” friends. Karalynn was someone Chris met briefly in an acting course. She stood out to him, and he was absolutely right. This whole cast was such a blessing to work with, and I’m really glad the project could be Janel’s dip from TV into youtube, Meghan’s first time acting, Justin Chon and Hughes going outside of their character.

WHY THE SWEARING??
Wong Fu has never had uncensored swear words in our content. We never felt the absolute need for it, or a bleep would always suffice. However, with a short like this one, I wanted it to be authentic. And what usually happens when people drink? Their tongues get a little looser and yes, they cuss. I thought about using other words in place, but it just seemed too unnatural. It didn’t seem that necessary to censor considering the subject matter was already somewhat mature, and it was more important to me to be truthful to these environments. And in regards to Jessica and Eddie’s story involving cheating, to be honest, I’ve wanted to shoot that final hallway scene for many years, but I just never had the proper story to fit it in. While I personally have never done anything like that, cheating is something that many people unfortunately give in to, and it’s a scenario I’ve always wanted to try in a short. By no means am I endorsing it, and hopefully with the closing monologue emphasize that.

ABOVE ALL, ENCOURAGEMENT
That closing monologue is really the ultimate message I hope people will take from this short. Sure the video had some drama, sure it had some drinking, but the realization that the Bryan expresses at the end (while drunk, sure) is really important. I’m nearing the end of my 20s and have been through and around enough scenarios to see many people including myself, lost and wondering about their lives, love, or lack of fulfillment in these areas. As someone, just like you, who’s felt extremely low and lonely, I understand those feelings, the fear and discomfort. But amazingly enough, with time I’ve made my way out of that period and can look back, finally understanding why all of it had to happen. I hope the viewers can see this as my encouragement to them. That while there will be difficult times ahead, or there are difficult times now, it won’t last forever. You’ll learn from it, and grow, and eventually… “we’ll all get there, happy”.

 

  • Nina

    I loved the short and there was no reason for you to be nervous about it! It was amazing and everything I expect from Wong Fu Productions video. You guys never cease to amaze me. Great job :)

  • Ken

    Brilliant!

  • cheebs

    perfection.

  • WF4L

    Good, great, excellent, there’s no word to describe it

  • Lynden

    Thank you for taking the time to produce such an amazing, quality video. I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to many of them in the future :)

  • SS

    Words can’t describe how i feel after watching the short and reading your commentary above. All i can say is that i felt all three characters emotions from the way they acted, to the narration and from the background music! Brilliantly produced and your words of encouragement (especially the last two sentences) will always be words that ill always look back to! Thank you once again Wongfu!

  • Christy

    The video was understandably dragging, just so it can get to the main point of the story. I guess what I didn’t realize at the beginning was three different scenarios and stories. I am very impressed with this short because even though not everyone has experienced truthful drunk thoughts, they can definitely relate by late night thoughts. There’s just something about late nights that make individuals more vulnerable. Although, the difference is that late nights can just be an illusion due to that vulnerability. It definitely brings people back to decisions that they could have changed. But hey, just like Justin’s story, we should remember why we made the decisions we made, learn from it, and strive for self-improvement.

  • PW

    I’m in my first year of college at UCLA and I have to say, the past few months have been tough. From leaving home, my family, my friends, and everything familiar to me, it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through. This year was the first time I have ever felt really depressed. Not only because of leaving home, but also because college is much more difficult than high school and it was a big slap in the face for me. And to top it all off, I’ve never been in a relationship. All throughout high school, I told myself I’d focus on school so I could get into a good college and when I’m in college, I’ll find myself a nice guy so I can find happiness like other people. But my first year of college is approaching an end, I’m 19 years old, and I have yet to find a guy that suits me. The message this short film gave me was truly what I needed to hear. That eventually, I will be happy. Thank you, WongFu.

    • Tessa

      Kids these days should learn from you because education is way more important than relationships especially in middle and high school. You sound like a really well grounded individual and I have no doubt that happiness is coming your way. After all, you deserve it. You go girl!!!

    • prescilla

      Hahhaha can I give you a virtual hi-five? I’m turning 19 this year as well and have not been in a relationship before. I just have this feeling that one day down the road, I’ll meet someone, and I’ll know it when I see him. One day everything will make sense, our struggles and triumphs.
      All the best to us all :)

    • PW

      So it has almost been a year since I last posted this and within this past year…I met that special guy :) We’ve been together for almost half a year and the feeling I have for him is something I’ve never felt before. I’m not saying that we’ll be together forever and live happily ever after, but what I’m trying to say is that if you are feeling like how I was feeling a year ago, give it some time. Eventually, you will be happy too. All the best, PW.

  • stephie

    i always look forward to the director’s commentary reading the thoughts, process and message behind the story itself in the video. And each time you all exceed my own interpretations of the videos. I feel that this is the most honest short i have ever seen, and i enjoyed it and felt the emotions each character poured out. i want to commend you all on a job well done!

  • Frédérique

    I was surprised to see a 17 minutes video, however I find it was necessary for it to be longer than your usual shorts in order to let the viewer understand each story and its context. It went by very quickly too!

    I think it is amazing to see how you guys can transform a meaningful idea into an amazing short, showing all kinds of emotions in such little time. This goes for all your videos, whether they are serious, sad or humorous.

    On a side note, I enjoyed watching a drunk Chris, even though he didn’t speak… Also, did anyone else see that he left one of his shoes in the parking lot? Haha!

  • JC

    I think what’s important about this short is the deliberate suspension of moral preaching. Many things in this world remain to be in shades of grey and not in neat categories of black and white, and thus this seems to be most authentic and realistic in showing the emotions involved after a night’s of alcohol.

    From Singapore, you guys rock :)

  • anonymous

    it’s a nice short and days of waiting for this to come out is worth it! anyway, i think i saw a typo “regarding an lost love” but still, this is a director’s commentary that would like you to replay the video!

  • kina

    love the short great job! :)

  • Lisa

    I didnt realise that the time had passed by so quickly and everything in my surrounding was blocked. however i must say i was expecting more. at first, i thought that a 17 minute video would be average and would be a great production and IT WAS. i am proud of you and the production/crew team. it was something different of course and it’s great to let the world know what everyone may go through the same emotions, so not everyone is alone although alot of people do think that way.

    point is, great job. i knew you all would be a great motivator for those around us who are down.

    good luck for the future.

    (from australia)

  • Dizang

    This video totally hit the spot. I’ve been in Justin’s situation one too many times before but almost always, I give in instead :( I do need self control in that department. So this was HELPFUL indeed. Like, you guys are THEE best at life interpretations. Well, the ones most of us go through anyway.

  • Markus

    Oh and if you’re wondering which Nickelback video Justin performed in. It was Lullaby ^^ This short was amazing.

  • xshagua

    Amazing. I love this.
    The director’s commentary always tops things off, thank you, Phil.

  • Mark

    I really dig the short – but it has to be said: Even if you are in your car “sobering up,” you are still at-risk of getting a DUI. Technically, your film DOES feature drinking and driving, as sitting in your car inebriated (regardless if the keys are in the ignition or not) is still grounds for a DUI.

  • http://www.virtualidstudios.com David

    Very well orchestrated, and thoroughly appreciated your commentary. It helped explain the conclusion a bit as well.

    It’s probably inappropriate, but I have to whip out my psychology… Happiness is not just an illusive thing we eventually come to after trail and error of a lifetime. Just like we study to build our cognitive mind, rather than playing trial and error through every course, concept, and subject we’d normally learn in school, so we can learn how to enhance positive emotion, hone the positive qualities of the heart, and build happiness. Unfortunately, the pervasive self help industry, which is dominated by shallow advice, overshadows the science based psychology that will get people to quality, and depth happiness, joy, contentment, etc. a lot quicker. Ok, off my soapbox now…

    Thank again for the heart-touching, thought inspiring video.

  • Kristybug

    I’m also in my first year of college at UCLA. And, I agree with PW, the commenter before me… this year has had its ups and downs. This film really hit home for me because… like several others… I often have past emotions lingering… from my first relationship. What happened in high school, a three and a half year relationship, turned out like the other WongFu short, Strangers Again. That movie. I swear. Captured every flaw and downward spiral of what I thought was a high school sweetheart love story to be continued after college. But, as my friend went off to college, I moved on to my senior year of high school. This was a transition year, from blissful memories with my high school sweetheart, to seeing drunken photos of him on FB doing things with girls on the dance floor. Who was I to be able to understand the fun found in college? I was still sheltered in my small hometown, so I never understood these nights, until coming to college myself. Here at UCLA, yeah, there are plenty of amazing people. But, who wants to really settle for someone during these life-defining years? I find that I am a very different person compared to when I was dating that boy in high school, and he has changed himself. I thought, he thought, that we could do the unthinkable, stay friends after out mutual break-up. NOPE. We couldn’t follow through. As I sit here, in my dorm room, thinking about all the memories of true happiness I had felt, I can only hope that I will be able to find that happy state of love once more. I loved and I lost. Some people say that that is better than never having loved at all, but I disagree. I know what it’s like on the other side, I’ve felt those feelings of happiness. I just need to get over the past and happiness will come knocking on my door. In that moment, I’ll be ever so open. I’m 19 years old. I have an aged heart. This video put things in perspective for me. Thank you WongFu, once again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwalicious Marissa Doi

    Yay to UCLA viewership! Wong Fu, thank you for making yet another video that can truly rouse our emotions. I hate to admit but the Elijah’s scene with his ex really hit home for me as well, just like Kristybug said.

  • samugan

    can i have this movie script??? :’(

  • Natalie Chui

    This movie was so beautiful! You executed it perfectly, and I really felt emotionally connected to it. Bravo Wong fu!

  • Chloe

    I genuinely love how you guys produce a short film, it’s an intense and an enthusiasm to watch and relate to self life in reality. keep it up wong fu, we love you! :)

  • Chazzo

    It actually reached my heart. Even though i know i am never going to drink (lets just hope *touch wood*) but i am going to go through those feelinngs and i sometimes still do … but the thing in the end will be happy :)

  • Ramona

    I am a freshman in high school. It is in the middle of summer in the moment and I have been feeling quite down lately since all my friends are moving, my family hasn’t been emotionally helpful and I’ve been thinking on doing harm to myself. I haven’t done it yet, nor am I planning to anymore. In the video, you can see the effects, good or bad when put under effects of what you put onto yourself whether you choose to do it or if you put it under yourself. Alcohol or anything, the effects may be good or bad. I remember I was having a nervous breakdown and I started to watch your videos to calm myself down. I felt quite better and my family came home and started treating me nicer than what they did. I felt like it was a sign not to inflict those things onto myself. This morning where I live, I woke up to my subscriptions to your video. I could relate in a different perspective and it made my day, most probably my week great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rufina.zhong Rufina Zhong

    I had a rough week and i watched this shorts after the end of another bad days. It really helps me and I feel I am not alone after all….thanks for the great work!! We will get there….happy

  • RT

    Wong Fu you never cease to amaze me. Keep it up, we all support you!

  • QC

    I got the message that you wanted to convey!

    Thank you for your well intention thought. The dialogue that happened inside the car is something that touches my heart. Nice work! p.s balancing the short with the positive one really works, i think. It does lighten the mood of the short and give a more hopeful message! Good job!>.-

  • ernestwong

    i honestly like and relate to the title of the short… “to those nights” right away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wilbert.barraquio Wilbert Barraquio

    Another amazing short from Wong Fu!!! This made my day.

  • J

    This short is automatically one of my favorites from WFP! It really resounded with me, as well as most of the audience I’m sure. The writing, directing, production, acting, and music (or the lack of it at certain parts) melded together beautifully, and words cannot express how much it touched me. Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachida.amezoug Rachida Amezoug

    I have never touched a drop of alcohol in my life, but I can still relate to the story. We all have moments in our lives when all the feelings and memories we tried to forget catch up with us. I certaintly have had my moments. I have had some difficult times for the past few years. I lost someone that I loved so much and I started to have some anxiety problems. I tried really hard to forget those memories and pretend to be fine. I remember bein afraid and ashamed, because of my feelings. I have never felt so alone in my life. I realise now that I have nothing to be ashamed or afraid for. Everything I went through made me into who I am today and I have learned so much from my past.
    The most important part of this all is that I can honestly say that I am happy. My life is nowhere near what I imagined it would be, but it is exactly what I need right now. Thank you for making me appreciate what I have got.

  • David

    A good video leaves me thinking okay good what’s next but a great video leaves me anxious to see and read more… and that is how I landed here. I truly feel this production hit a home run with this segment. I enjoyed it not only because of the obvious attention to quality, but more so it tapped into feelings and thoughts from the my personal past time; good and bad. Memories that I had no good reason to think about. Memories that were indeed locked up. When I end this comment I will be thinking ‘to those nights.’

    Congratulations & please keep coming out with shorts that we (the people watching) can relate to. Those are the videos that get most attention and become winners!

  • Reginald

    Most definitely, these are my fav wong fu shorts. I think you guys always have great insightful topics to cover through film. While I don’t always agree that the dialogue in your shorts is 100% realistic, I believe this short was an improvement from The Last in that department. Every other aspect (cinematography, tone, structure) is excellent.

    • Reginald

      and Phil if you’re reading this, i hope my dialogue critique didn’t come off as harsh. I wholeheartedly love your work overall. But if the poetic dialogue is tweaked a bit to sound more like something you’d hear someone say, then the direction given to actors in terms of their body language and expressions can be extra-emphasized to compensate for what isn’t being directly stated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1570322751 Toucc Chang

    I can relate to how people can be emotional or different in an intoxicated state. The short was really spot on and I think valuable for those of us who haven’t had relationships and/or been in those kinds of situations. I also think it is similar to how people can get more emotional when it is dark or when it is night time, like me right now, watching the short and feeling all these thoughts and emotions rushing into my head. I, myself, laying in my bed experiencing these moments in the pitch black darkness of the night always gets something out of it. Whether it be an experience, a lesson, or a laugh. It gives me a break from the real world and a time to just reflect and swim in my/yours conscious/unconscious thoughts. Really well done.

  • http://twitter.com/FionaChan Fiona Chan

    Wait, what swearing? I didn’t notice any.. Anyway, what a perfect short! It is incredibly well done, and I love all the stories. And the random sailormoon ringtone hahahaha!

  • glitterbb

    God bless you, Phil. You are one amazingly talented guy. :)

  • Curious_bro175

    Just curious .. Does Karralyn’s character break up with the abusive boyfriend or is that up to open interpretation ? Because, it really bothers me to think that she would. It’ll break the guy’s heart ahah ..

  • Malli s

    I loved it. You never stop to amaze us . You guys are awesome.
    Love you !!!

  • http://twitter.com/loiischau Lois Chau

    What’s up with all the people commenting about thier sad stories in life. It’s not even related to Phil’s writing…

  • http://twitter.com/PaulaBernasor Paula Love Bernasor

    so love the video, i am all of those three characters :3 those moments of sadness reminiscing the past, those moments you could’ve done something and those moments where you take a leap of faith.

  • Thomas

    Maybe you should start rating your videos :) thanks and keep up the good work.

  • Teresa

    Wow this was great. It was just what I needed. Thanks.

  • rosyM

    Greetings from Melbourne! Great seeing Justin playing a serious character…rah! Love you guys, awesome vid as always!!!

  • Connor

    Where do you get your inspiration to write these films? I’m dying to begin short films but I don’t know where to start. But I want to. I’m pretty insomniac so I have all this free time on my hands. I have a project I’m writing that’ll be larger than a 20 minute film, but until then I want to make a bunch of short films, dramatic ones, like yours. Emotion evoking. What could I start with?

  • Ultima

    Besides Meghan, the acting in this short was amazing! I had no idea your work had this much potential. Thank you Philip.

  • brenda

    I just turned 20 and i have not been in a relationship. ever. And although education is much more important than finding a guy to cuddle with, the overwhelming feeling of loneliness can be really heavy sometimes. Lately, at a goodbye party with some friends, I had a lot to drink and was drunk for the first time in my life. At first, I felt free and happy but then, all these emotions came rushing through my brain and it was so hard to handle. I ended up crying because i realized that the guy i liked will probably never be able to return my feelings. And I felt stupid and alone. But when i think about it, it was a learning experience and its something i can think about whenever i may feel that way again.

  • KCS

    I’m 28 right now

  • Shane

    This is definitely one of your best videos yet.
    Next to Strangers, Again, this got the most emotion out of me.
    Keep up the great work!

  • B Z

    Didn’t one of the HK Days shorts have a guy with a British accent go “I’m f***ing hungry?”

  • jude itutud

    Thank you for this film. Just that, thank you.

  • xoxocko

    This is the best short I’ve seen in a long time on YouTube, and I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy how well written, filmed, directed, scored and acted it was. Thank you for doing this, WongFu – I was compelled to express this and watched it over several times to really let the message and the nuances sink in. Despite never having gone through each story – Celebrate, Forget and Remember – I felt the Forget story the most, and watching this, understanding that other people are also haunted by the very real ghosts of their exes, helped me let go. We’re all in the endless pursuit of happiness, for companionship, and ultimately, for love, and it’s great to see this common theme expressed through three very different scenarios.