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Law Abiding Citizen Trailer

August 15th, 2009 No comments

This film looks pretty good. We shot on a very cold day in January at City Hall in Philadelphia. Law Abiding Citizen, written by Kurt Wimmer, is about a brilliant sociopath (Gerard Butler) who orchestrates a series of high-profile murders that grip the city of Philadelphia – all from inside his jail cell – and the prosecutor (Jamie Foxx) assigned to his case who realizes he is the only one who can end the reign of terror.

Jamie Foxx Stalker Arrested

April 7th, 2009 No comments
Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx was recently a victim of a non Law Abiding Citizen while shooting his film with Gerard Butler Center City Philadelphia. On March 22, a 48-year-old man allegedly broke into Foxx’s hotel room claiming to be Beyonce’s producer. Foxx overpowered the intruder and forced him out and shut the door. The man then escaped from the cops.

However, nine days after the incident, Foxx’s security staff saw the man and contacted police.  The alleged intruder is identified as Steven Taliver and has been charged with burglary, criminal threats, stalking, false imprisonment and harrassment according to TMZ. Can we add poor impersonation to the list?

Foxx commented on the incident to Access Hollywood, “I’m good now.”

“Sometimes you have to make sure every move you make in life is the right thing, and that you have people there to watch your back,” Foxx added.

The 41-year-old Academy Award-winning actor is in Philadelphia filming the crime thriller Law Abiding Citizen.

Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler in Law Abiding Citizen

Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler in Law Abiding Citizen

I was there on set that day and all I can remember was how freaking cold it was. The coffee turned to ice!

BRANDING – What is in a Cybersquatted and Real name? Part 2

March 25th, 2009 1 comment
Quang at BET Urbanworld film screening for Lo

Quang Ly at BET Urbanworld film screening for Lo

This is the second part in my blog on dealing with my CyberSquatted name and why it’s so important to own your own domain name – especially if you’re an artist or involved with new media.

Why Should I Care About Obtaining www.quangly.com?
The reason is simple. I want to protect my brand and identity. Some security experts state that it is not a good idea to obtain a domain name with your first and last name in it since you’re publicizing some parts of your identity. My feeling on this is your name is public anyway. What’s important is the information in your WhoIs lookup which can indicate your real email, address, and phone number. WhoIs lists who the domain name belongs to, managed by, and contact information. When you register a domain name, you are asked to provide this information. If the domain is for a company, then the information should be public. However, if the domain is personal, then I highly suggest you protect it.

Branding: A simple concept, but very elusive to truly grasp.
The history of my music project is related to this story. I decided on my music project name Delta Dreams back when I was 16 years old. I felt strongly of the name as it was indicative of my musical vision. I collaborated with other singers (mostly female) and musicians at the time since I wasn’t a great singer nor could play all the instruments.  However, over the years, I did learn how to sing, play guitar, drums, and became more experienced with writing songs and production. I’ve always enjoyed collaborating with wonderful talent. However, I always found that they lacked the hunger to push and promote the music.  So I continued with Delta Dreams completely solo for several more years while releasing Before My Eyes and Selected Music for Films Vol1. Does a project name for a solo artist suitable? I think the answer really depends how far you want to take your art or passion and how much you plan on promoting.

Quang Ly Performing

Quang Ly Performing

In my case, I unexpectedly caught the acting the bug. The problem again now comes with promoting two different names: Delta Dreams and Quang Ly. A film that I work on cannot be credited as staring Delta Dreams. It just doesn’t make sense! I also had a hard time explaining to people all the things that I do and passionate about.  The problem that I had was that I lacked synergy! To be honest, I did not exactly know why I was so driven to obtain my domain. I just had a really strong gut feeling to do so. Once I did receive my name, I felt such strong creative energy flowing again.  I also didn’t expect to enjoy blogging that much! And of course, I understood the power of branding as a result rather than a cause!

Branding Is Synergy
Synergy is defined as “The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.” To promote myself as the Quang Ly brand, I can bring the film world to discover my music and the music world to discover my film projects. I can also introduce both sides to my hobby in photography. (I just bought the Nikon D90 DSLR camera and love it). Furthermore, I can also gather my different worlds together to promote social change such as charity that I’m involved in, politics, economics, or life in general. Not that I am an expert in any of those topics. But I would like to have the potential to do so in the future without being limited by a brand name.

The Anti-Brand
Here comes the challenge. There is the brand and then there is the anti-brand. Some names cannot simply cross over to other ventures because they have conflicting values. Here are some examples

  • NIKE and CONVERSE: Most people don’t realize this but Converse was bought Nike in 2003 for $305 million.  There are a lot of vegans, vegetarians, and hipsters who despise Nike because of their use of leather and rumored (a-hem) sweatshops. Nike exploits this ignorance by not confusing their customer’s values. By the way, Adidas owns Reebok.
  • KRAFT and ALTRIA (Phillip Morris): Kraft makes Oreos, Tang, cheese and other food products. It is actually owned by Atria (formerly name as Phillip Morris). Phillip Morris makes cigarrette brands like Marlboro, Parliament, and Virginia Slims. How do you think a mother would feel if she knew the cheese on her daughter’s sandwich was owned by a cigarratte company?

The Quang Ly Brand
I admit I only understood this concept of Branding and Anti-Branding once I got quangly.com.  For me, quangly.com is really the ultimate platform and umbrella for all my passion, hobbies, and thoughts. It encompasses my YouTube channels, music on iTunes and Amazon MP3, Twitter, and the blog itself. Technology is changing so fast and difficult for people to keep up with. A good friend, David Abraham (who manages YouTube R&B Artist Redd Stylez) told me if you have a strong brand, you will supercede the changing of technology. People will find you. This is what I’m hoping to happen in the long term. Nothing happens over night. Furthermore, if you are an artist in the new media, it is important to have an official site to disperse authorized news and engagements.

This is Not Original
Branding a persona is not an original concept especially in the entertainment world. Examples include Will Smith and Jamie Foxx. Both are actors as well as artists.  They can leverage their passion in art and have it cross over to over mediums. Will Smith and his wife Jada Pincket Smith recently opened up a children’s school. I think this is a fabulous example of using branding for the greater good. Let’s not of course forget the amazing grace of Oprah! Donald Trump himself isn’t so much a  real estate mogul as much as he is a brand. Companies license the use of his name to put on their buildings, clothes, water, etc for a huge fee! Of course, all these people with strong brands do not have to reinvent the promotion wheel because all their ventures have synergy.

What I do find is that artists in the independent world have yet to understand this or perhaps I haven’t yet discovered enough of them. Maybe branding is not for them. Or maybe it’s a simple concept but very elusive to truly grasp.

Thank you for reading!
If you made it this far reading, I want to thank you. I tried to make it as brief as possible and it’s a bit of a read.

Quang Ly

Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler Are Law Abiding Citizens

March 17th, 2009 3 comments

I was driving home one afternoon when I got the call from one of my casting directors that I was going to be in the Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler new psychological action thriller Law Abiding Citizen shot in Philadelphia. I was so excited that I had to pull over.

My scene was the first day shooting in late January. It was so a freaking cold windy day at 15 degrees Fahrenheit. My long johns did not help either. It took the whole day to setup the cranes, cameras, and lighting equipment. Jamie Foxx had to walk out of City Hall and into a police car. That was pretty much it.

SYNOPSIS
Jamie Foxx plays a District Attorney who accepts a plea agreement with a murderer that slips through the legal system.  300 star Gerard Butler plays the vigilante out to seek revenge for his wife and daughter as well as the DA. However, Foxx’s character also has his own personal career agenda.

Law Abiding Citizen is directed by F. Gary Grey who did the excellent Italian Job. It was written by Kurt Wimmer, a Hollywood veteran known primarily for his journeyman script work (Sphere, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Recruit) but beloved by cult audiences for his underrated Christian Bale sci-fi flick Equilibrium. He also wrote and directed Ultraviolet. Wimmer has also been long-rumored to be the director of an upcoming film based on the hit video game Metal Gear Solid. I remember playing Metal Gear on the old Nintendo 16 bit.

Frank Darabont was initially set to direct Law Abiding Citizen but has stepped out for unknown reasons. He is a three-time Oscar nominee for such film classics as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and the horror flick The Mist. Darabont has also been busy recently developing an updated film version of the Ray Bradbury novel Fahrenheit 451, which was going to star Tom Hanks until he dropped out earlier this year.