Thursday, August 16, 2012


Besides fashion my other passion is the art of television & film making. When quizzing an aspiring actor why they want to be an actor the answers are endless and range from the standard " I want to be famous" to the star struck "I want to work with my favorite celebrities" but for me, the answer is more like a case of Peter Pan Syndrome. I want to be an actress because I want to be a part of the made up world that I see on the big screen. In short, like Peter Pan, I never want to grow up. And, acting allows me to continue to play pretend so that I can hold onto that magical part of childhood forever.

My fascination about how this magical world ends up on the silver screen is what motivated my quest to find out just how the process of movie making works. I wanted to explore the road that a script travels from the imagination of the screenwriter to how the final product translates into a movie through the vision of the director. I recently attended the screening of an independent film starring one of my favorite actor's Booboo Stewart whom I had previously interviewed about his experience as a member of the Twilight Movie Saga's Wolf Pack and again on the red carpet along with his songstress sister Fivel Stewart at the Youth Rock Awards Winter 2011 where we spoke briefly about me coincidentally getting called in by the casting director, Brad Gilmore, to read for a part in White Frog, so I was already quite familiar with the script having had it sent to me to prepare for my audition. I agreed to audition for the part after I read the synopsis that described the movie as being about a teen boy named Nick who suffered from Asperger's Syndrome a form of autism which causes him problems recognizing human emotions which makes him become isolated who through a tragedy that occurs in his family is forced to overcome his social issues and deal with the real world.

I recall reading through the script and getting pulled into a world that I wanted to be part of. A world filled with a perfect family with an older perfect son and a younger not so perfect but still loveable son who lived in a perfect world filled with expensive homes and cars and a set of friends (played by MTV Teen Wolf Star Tyler Posey, Gregg Sulkin of Wizard of Waverly Place fame, 90210's Manish Dayal, & High School Musical 3's Justin Martin) who shared a tight knit camaraderie with the older son (played by Glee TV Star Harry Shum Jr.) that would make any loner teen envious. Well I did not get the part, but I did not lose heart because I had fallen in love with the White Frog, and I was excited to see the script come to life on the big screen. Months go by while I continue the audition route to getting cast which I soon find out is a numbers game. The more auditions I went on the more I got booked on some pretty amazing TV, Film, Commercial, Print and even a Voiceover Project(s). So just a side note to aspiring actors. Never take a "no" you are not right for the part answer as an insult. Rejection... It's just a part of the casting process. It may as simple as you may look too young or too old for the part or you were too short or too tall based on others already cast. Who knows why. Just understand that if you do your best every time, casting directors do notice and you will be the first one they call back if you fit a part they are casting based on your previous great audition for them.

Now back to my love affair with the White Frog. I made a note to myself to keep track of when the movie would premiere in my hometown L.A. via the movie's Twitter and Facebook. Summer 2012 rolled around and an announcement was made! White Frog would Premiere at the L.A. OUTFEST FILM FESTIVAL on July , 2012. I immediately bought my ticket. I just had a feeling that this would be a sold out show, and I was correct! My goal was to meet the woman creator behind the story, Ellie Wen, White Frog's Screen Writer who I later found out wrote the script with her Mom Fabienne Wen. And the director, Quentin Lee, the man who decided how the movie from beginning to end would look, feel, and sound. He is responsible for bringing Ellie's words on paper to life on the movie screen. Otherwise, we would be left to use our imagination without any pictorial direction from the film's visionary, Quentin, who does this in an intriguing way to entertain us in a format we are used to that elicits certain emotions from us and even can control our opinions. And, Quentin Lee is a master at setting up scenes to make us laugh, cry, go into shock and so on. You will definitely feel refreshed at the end of the movie as if you just got off a crazy emotional roller coaster ride. I don't want to give too much away as I want you to see the movie for yourself and react to what you see naturally. All I can say is the movie will make you feel happy and grateful that you saw it as it has a very important message that everyone can learn from: We are all different and that is what makes us human. In other words, accept others and yourself for who you are and do not try to fit into someone else's mold of who you should be for fear of being an outcast.

I am proud to present to you my interview with the talented screenwriter Ellie Wen who has already made her mark in Hollywood with success of her first attempt at a screenplay White Frog and my interview with the amazing film director Quentin Lee who adds the success of White Frog to his stellar list of must see movies born from his talent to see through the purpose of the screenwriter's storyline and characters and give the actors scenes to work with that drive home the motivations that make the characters blend into the scene as if they really belong there to the point that the actors are no longer acting; instead, they are living the part. And, this is why I feel Quentin Lee is a great director! I hope that once you finish reading both interviews, you will have a better understanding of how complicated the process of filmmaking is by taking this little peek into the making of White Frog Movie from Script to Screen.

XOXO Tatiana Mclane




HARRY SHUM JR. as Chaz Young
BD WONG as Oliver Young
JOAN CHEN as Irene Young
KELLY HU as May Chung
AMY HILL as Dr. King
PHIL ABRAMS as Ira Goldman

QUENTIN LEE director
ELLIE WEN producer & writer
DAVID HENRY HWANG executive producer
CASTING by Brad Gilmore

ELLIE WEN - Stanford Grad & 1/2 of the mother/daughter screenwriting duo who created the storyline & characters of the White Frog movie.

Q: Every great movie has to begin with a great script one that has clear motivations for the characters to come to life on the big screen as well as great dialogue between the characters to capture the viewer's attention as engaging, educating, emotional form of entertainment.  White Frog achieves all those elements and more. Can you describe the writing process you took to come up with the storyline, characters, setting, etc. & how you finally decided it was ready to be shopped?

Thanks for the kind words about the script! My mom and I started writing the screenplay together right after I graduated from Stanford and moved back to LA. We did it as a fun hobby and didn’t even realize it might one day be made into a movie. I was lucky to have a great mentor in Joel Soisson, my former boss from an internship, and so I sent him the finished script for feedback. He read it immediately and said he wanted to help me produce it! I was also fortunate to have playwright David Henry Hwang as another amazing mentor and when he came on board as Executive Producer and script advisor, he really helped us get the script to where we wanted it to be. It was a very collaborative process – we got notes from everyone on the team and worked hard to incorporate them in subsequent rewrites.

Q. You obviously have a very close relationship with your mom in order to collaborate on such a big venture. I can imagine it took a lot of coordination and time because this was a team effort. Please describe how  you allocated your writing responsibilities?  For instance, who came up with the idea that you would write about Asian teen male characters Nick ( Asperger's) & Chaz ( A closet gay) the brothers who each had a problem that caused them to be socially ostracized by peers, family, & mainstream society. And, did you have writing sessions or just pass notes back on forth?

It’s really fortunate that my mom and I are so close, and I’m really lucky that she let me work with her as an equal partner. The fact that I had moved back home after graduating also helped the writing process because I would come home from work and we could literally sit together at the computer and work through the script. We first outlined the story and then we’d take turns on the scenes until we were both satisfied. A lot of elements in the story were inspired by different parts of our lives. We had both lost dear friends at a young age who weren’t able to fully be themselves before they passed away, so we wanted to do a story in honor of them. Also, the Firehouse where Chaz and then Nick volunteers was inspired by a center where I used to do community service in high school.

Actors Justin Martin and Phil Abrams with Screenwriter Ellie Wen
receiving a phone call from the star of White Frog Booboo Stewart
who wanted to say hello to everyone who came out to the premiere
since he was filming out of state & unable to attend.
Q & A White Frog Premiere Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles, California 2012
Photo Credit: WilkiIMAGE

Q. I really like the way Chaz then Nick tells the story that their grandmother used to tell them about the white frog who as a tadpole was put in a coconut shell until it's skin was milky white and its' flesh was soft & flavoring of sweet coconut considered a perfect delicacy in their culture (which was Vietnamese?) to make the point that not everyone can be a perfect white frog and that it is Okay to be "different" because we all are "different" and this is what makes us human. Is this a story you heard about growing up or did you make it up yourself? What does it mean to you?

It was a story my mom grew up with when she lived in Vietnam. And it was a real thing that happened, it was (and maybe still is) a delicacy there.

Q. What inspired you to become a screenwriter? When you were a little girl what did you dream of becoming when you grew up? What types of education and training did you take to prepare to become a screenwriter. What advice would you give an aspiring screenwriter?

I’ve always loved reading and when I was a very little girl I think one of my many dreams was of being a writer. My mom had studied English at Yale and always loved writing but never actually pursued it, so I nudged her to try screenwriting and she fell in love with it. White Frog was both of our first screenplays. As both the producer and co-writer of White Frog, I really enjoyed being able to work on both the creative and business sides of the project. 

Cast and Crew of White Frog Movie Justin Martin, Ellie Wen,
Phil Abrams, Harry Shum, Jr., Quentin Lee, Tyler Posey.
Q & A White Frog Premiere Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles, California 2012
Photo Credit: WilikIMAGE

Q. If you could work with any famous film director living or dead who would that be and why?

That’s too tough of a question! I have such great respect for all directors J And it’s been amazing working with Quentin.

Q. What was your favorite part/scene to write for White Frog and why?

Wow I can’t even remember! The whole thing has been a joy.

Q. If you could step into the lives of Chaz and Nick what would your conversation with them be about. Would you try to give them advice that could possibly change the outcome of the movie or just have a friendly chat. If it were me, I would warn Chaz not to ride his bike, so he could have the chance to tell his parents and brother that he was gay. But, I guess the movie would lose it's dramatic impact without a tragic death of someone who died way before his time without fulfilling his own dreams.

Another tough question! I’d just say whatever I could to make both of them feel loved and appreciated.

White Frog Screenwriter Ellie Wen with Queenie4ever
Celebrity Reporter Tatiana Mclane. Reception White Frog
Premiere Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles, California 2012
Photo Credit: Venice Wong

Q.  Why did you chose to write this story as a screenplay and not a novel which could later be adapted as a screenplay version such as Amy Tan's "Joy Luck Club"? If possible, would you consider writing  White Frog as a novel  including photo stills from the movie?

My interest has always been in film, so it was just the natural thing to do. We haven’t yet considered writing a novel version of the film.

Q. After watching the premiere of White Frog.  How close to how you envisioned your story did it get? Did it live up to your expectations?

I’ve always heard how drastically things will change from script to screen, and I have to say that I was very amazed by how close White Frog turned out to be to my original vision. We were lucky that everyone on the team was on the same page and that Quentin understood the heart of our story. It definitely exceeded my expectations!

Queenie4ever Celebrity Reporter Tatiana Mclane with
Booboo Stewart'ssisters Fivel Stewart & Sage Stewart
Reception White Frog Premiere Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles,
California 2012. Photo Credit: Venice Wong

Q. How about the cast? Were the cast members especially those who played the family members of the main character BooBoo Stewart ( Nick with Asperger's) that is,  B.D. Wong (father), Joan Chen ( mother) and Harry Shum Jr. (older gay brother) what you had in your mind as you wrote the script and were you involved in casting process?

We got incredibly lucky with our cast…They were all our top choices!! Dream cast come true J

Q. Why did you chose to set it in the modern day and not sometime in the past or the future?

We wanted it to be current.

Q. So far you have had 2 premieres one in San Francisco and one in Los Angeles at the OUTFEST.  What would you like to see happen next for the White Frog Movie? How can my readers get a chance to see the movie? or at least learn more about it?

The first two premieres have been amazing! We are currently working on finalizing distribution and hopefully it won’t be too long before the whole world can watch it! 

We are always updating our website:,
Facebook page:,
and Twitter:
Please like and follow us and spread the word!! In the meantime, people can also check out our festival trailer:

My (Queenie4ever celebrity reporter Tatiana Mclane) ticket to the
sold out premiere of White Frog Movie starring Booboo Stewart & the cute
button Ellie Wen gave me featuring the movie's All Star Cast Manish Dayal,
Greg Sulkin, Booboo Stewart, Justin Martin, and Tyler Posey.
White Frog Premiere Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles, California 2012
Photo Credit: Venice Wong

Q. Since this is also a fashion blog, I am sure my readers would love to hear you describe your personal fashion style, name the label who designed the beautiful & very in trend color block dress you wore to the OUTFEST premiere, and why did you chose to wear that particular outfit to the premiere? Also, is there a particular item in your wardrobe that you like to wear which makes you feel like a Princess?

One of my brands is Free People – everything of theirs is so pretty and I love the free-spirited, laidback feel of their clothes. My dress from the Outfest premiere was from French Connection and I loved it immediately because it was colorful, fun, had great movement, and was formal but not too formal. It was the perfect dress! I have an Alice + Olivia dress that my mom gave me which I love and makes me feel like a total princess J

Q.  What does the future hold for Ellie Wen?

I’m developing a couple projects right now, so we’ll see what goes next! I’m also still working a full-time job at CBS Films. I just hope to continue making movies that have a positive impact on the world J

Thanks for coming to the premiere and for interviewing me, Tatiana!

Xoxo, Ellie


QUENTIN LEE - UCLA Film School Grad & Director of the young adult drama movie White Frog

Q. Just like the screenwriter is the visionary for the original script, you as the film's director becomes the visionary for making the story come alive on the big screen. As the director for The White Frog Movie, can you please describe your creative thought process to prepare to film the movie beginning from the first time you read the entire script, meeting with cast and crew, and finally what thoughts & emotions went through your mind the night before the first day of shooting? 

First, I had to decide on what and who this movie was about. I felt it was important to see the world from Nick’s perspective, played by Booboo Stewart. As I was conceiving the movie, I started looking at things from Nick’s point-of-view and saw where it took me. I imagined what it would be like to lose someone you were close to at Nick’s age. It so happened that my good friend Jason died unexpectedly about two months before the shoot in April of 2011, so I tried to make use of all the feelings and confusion I had felt toward Jason’s death on the movie.

Quentin Lee director White Frog with actor Tyler Posey
Q & A White Frog Premiere Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles, California 2012
Photo Credit: WilkiIMAGE
Interview Credit: Tatiana Mclane

Q. You mentioned at the OUTFEST premiere cast and crew panel Q & A that your youngest sister was diagnosed as having Asperger's right before shooting began on the White Frog Movie making this movie become very personal for you since the main character coincidentally suffers from Asperger's. Describe how you felt when you heard that your sister had Asperger's knowing that you were about to direct an actor (BooBoo Stewart) who plays a teen with this syndrome. Do you believe that your first hand experience with your sister's behavior affected your directing decisions on how you wanted BooBoo to portray his character Nick? 

I was completely surprised because it happened literally 2 weeks before shooting. She had been diagnosed with manic depression for years and was taking the wrong meds. My mom and sisters were in Hong Kong and had no idea that I was making a movie on a kid with Aspergers. Looking back at my interactions with her over time I realized that her diagnosis made a lot of sense especially comparing notes with the research that I had done for the movie. Thinking about my interactions with my sister gave me a good model of how to work with Booboo on his performance.

Q. Which character in White Frog do you identify the most with and why?

Definitely Nick, because for me it’s Nick’s movie.

Actor Harry Shum, Jr. with Quentin Lee director of White Frog
Q & A White Frog Premiere Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles, California 2012
Photo Credit: WilkiIMAGE
Interview Credit: Tatiana Mclane

Q. What was your favorite scene to direct and why?

The second last day of the shoot we were filming this 9-page scene in the poker room. The lights overheated the ceiling as a torrent of water came down from the sprinkler and flooded the set. The fire department came and people were like there was no way we could finish the movie on budget. As the producers were calculating the possible overage, I was looking at the scene to see how we could simplify it creatively with the expectation that we might be shut down. Miraculously we dried out the set in three hours and we were ready to shoot again. I simplified the script and conferred with my DP Yasu Tanida. We decided to put the camera on a circular dolly track and shot out the scene that way. And that turned out to be my favorite scene. We even wrapped an hour before schedule after losing three hours. I felt awesome going home that day. 

Q. We all have someone whom we can say inspired us to be who we are. Who is or who are those persons that inspired you to become a film director?

It was Ingmar Bergman, Brian De Palma, David Cronenberg and David Lynch who inspired me to be a filmmaker. If I have to essentialize them into films, it would be Fanny and Alexander, Dressed to Kill, The Fly, and Blue Velvet.

Q. If you were given the opportunity to remake any movie which one would you chose to direct and why?

Dario Argento’s Tenebre. It was one of his most fascinating and underrated works that got butchered in its initial release in America.

Queenie4ever Celebrity Reporter Tatiana Mclane with Quentin Lee director of White Frog
Reception White Frog Premiere Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles, California 2012
Photo Credit: WilkiIMAGE

Q. Why did you chose the color "Blue" as the only color that the main character Nick was willing to wear? Is there a special significance to using "Blue" vs. another color?

Blue was the writers’ choice, and I liked blue. If it had been red or any other color I might have requested to change it.

Q. You mentioned that you went to UCLA Film School after attending UC Berkeley as an undergrad. What made you chose to attend UCLA Film School? UCLA is a highly competitive film school to get an acceptance. Can you remember what you were doing when you learned that you were accepted and what was your reaction? What is the most important thing that you learned during your UCLA Film School studies that you feel has been an invaluable asset to you becoming such a successful film director?

I knew I wanted to come to LA for film school, so it was between USC and UCLA. At the time that I was told that at USC you might not be able to make your own thesis film. UCLA was more a school for independent filmmakers where you got to do whatever you wanted to. Of course, I went to UCLA.
Going to film school gives you the opportunity to carve out a few years to really develop yourself as a filmmaker. It would be close to impossible to do that while having a day job or working in the industry.

Q. If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring film directors what would that be?

Just go out and make a movie. Don’t think about it.

Queenie4ever actress/fashion designer/celebrity reporter
Tatiana Mclane. Red Carpet White Frog Movie Premiere Outfest
Film Festival 2012. Photo Credit: Venice Wong

Q. As you know I am a fashion designer and this blog is also about helping others to create their own personal fashion fairytale. What special piece of clothing do you have in wardrobe that makes you feel like a Prince Charming when you wear it?

It would be one of the sweaters that my late grandmother wove for me. She made me feel like a prince.

Q. When you are sitting in the theatre at the premieres, do you take notice of the audiences' reactions such as laughter, crying, shock, etc. to see if you did a good job directing the scene that was meant to elicit those particular reactions and emotions in the viewer? 

Of course I do. And it was music to my ears when the audience laughed and cried.

Q. Describe your childhood. Where did you grow up and what was your favorite thing to do as a child. What was the first movie that you can recall watching. How old were you and did you enjoy watching it? What do your parents and family members think about you being a director? Is anyone else in your family work in the entertainment industry?

No one in my family is in the industry. In fact, they are not even here in America, but they are very supportive to me being a director. One of the first movies I watched was Robert Mulligan’s The Other on television with my best friend and neighbor on television when I was six. It scared the shit out of me and I was having nightmares for the whole night.

Queenie4ever Film Critic, Yogi, my yellow sided conure says
"GO SEE WHITE FROG the MOVIE!!!" White Frog Premiere
Outfest Film Festival Los Angeles, California 2012
Photo Credit: Venice Wong
Bird Trainer: Tatiana Mclane

Q. What was your proudest moment throughout your entire career as a director? 

I was screening an experimental film called “Anxiety of Inexpression and the Otherness Machine” at the Pacific Film Archive. The entire audience was puzzled and then one graduate student came up to me and said “You’re brilliant” with the utmost sincerity.

Q. If you met a stranger on the street and you only had a quick minute to tell them why they should go see White Frog the movie, what would you say to convince them it's a must see?

Come check out White Frog. It’s my latest and most favorite.

Q. What is next for Quentin Lee?

I just produced a feature called Chink about the first Asian American serial killer that’s in post-production. And hopefully I will direct a smart horror film where I can work with my favorite cast from White Frog again!