By Kerry Miller Share Del.icio.us
The man who produced hits films such as Jerry Maguire, As Good As It Gets, Philadelphia, and Legends of the Fall is at again. Local boy Chris Lee, director of the UH Academy for Creative Media and head of his own production company, Chris Lee Productions, is co-executive producer of the newest Superman flick, Superman Returns. The job also turned out to be a valuable opportunity for the four UH interns Lee brought with him to work on the summer blockbuster.
While Lee, who graced MidWeek’s cover in February 2003, is hoping to do another Superman installment down the road, his focus right now is on the ACM.
“The school is doing great - we hadn’t even started back then (2003). This is our third year,” he says. “It is the fastest growing new program at the university. We’ve got great students doing great films, 350 short films already. They’re doing a great job. More than 40 (student films) have shown from here to Atlanta and Shanghai.”
The ACM recently hosted five student filmmakers who won a contest with the National Film Commission of Korea. The students were flown here and mentored by Hollywood producers. The students’ films will be screened at the Busan Film Festival in Korea on Oct. 13, an event that Lee is also attending.
“That’s the first time Korea has done something like that,” he explains.
Right after the Busan event, the 50-year-old jets back here to the islands for the Hawaii Film Festival, which officially opens on Oct. 19. The ACM has events scheduled three days that week, including a night of films on Oct. 23. They’ve invited actor Kal Penn from the movie Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and director Justin Lin (The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift).
Last Friday, Lee and the ACM unveiled a new technology in animation. A computer system called Animal Render Farm, to be installed at Leeward Community College, will provide system-wide animation computing power via the Internet and digital media programs on all UH campuses.
“It was basically a theory that a few individuals took a shot at. Now we’re here and we’ve got this fabulous program,” Lee says.
Recently with his own production company, Lee produced a Chinese language film, One Foot off the Ground, named for a term used in Beijng Opera.
Elsewhere in life, Lee says he’s “just excited to wake up everyday and go running around Diamond Head, (to) go fishing. I was in Sydney last year so I didn’t get to do it.”
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