We at iflixtv recently reached out to Cal Ngyuen to ask him about his web Series "Day Zero" As a former Staff Sergeant of the United States Air Force, and recent Award-winning actor/filmmaker, Cal Nguyen has acted since 1998, performing in commercials, infomercials, print modeling and Hollywood studio films such as "Bedazzled", starring Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley, "Just One Night" with Timothy Hutton, "Unaccompanied Minors" with Lewis Black and Wilmer Valderrama, and even television shows like "Nash Bridges", starring Don Johnson and Cheech Marin.
Cal was nice enough to share some insight into the production of Day Zero and help inspire future filmmakers. Take a minute to read what Cal had to say about filming.
iflix: Tell us about yourself and how you got started?
Cal: I was raised and lived in mainly Northern California in the Bay Area, though I'm technically first generation Vietnamese American. Filmmaking has always been on mind as a natural storyteller growing up, playing out my own little skits with my brother. It wasn't until 2011 when I envisioned going professional with it, initially as a stepping stone boost for my acting career.
iflix: Is this a full-time thing for you or do you have a day job?
Cal: I currently work full time for the government in Information Technology. I completed close to an 8-year stint with the U.S. Air Force working in communications, but prior to that I had been in the I.T. field before, so I guess I came full circle back to it.
iflix: Which festivals have you screened at and which ones are coming up?
Cal: My show Day Zero has screened and won at a number of festivals such as the California Film Awards, Las Vegas International Film Fest, and the Indie Gathering Film Festival. Some others that weren't technically festivals (i.e. awards shows, etc.) included the Filmed in Utah Awards and the Telly Awards.
iflix: Desrcibe your state of mind just before your very first screening.
Cal: Our very first actual screening was at the Indie Gathering last year in Ohio. To be honest, there was a bit of trepidation because we were screened last and I didn't know if I was going to have an audience! Regardless of the number of attendees, I was just happy to be there. A bit melancholy though as my dad passed away a few months before that and I wanted to dedicate the moment to him, which I did.
iflix: What was your reason for making the series?
Cal: The reason I chose to make the series (rather, get it off the floor as I bought the rights to it after simply being an actor on it), was a gut feeling, admittedly. It was something I had to do. I had a vision, and I knew that I would get to the place I would be and then some, someday. This is now validated by the awards we've been receiving, the comments we've received, the distribution deal we just made recently to air on DirecTV and Dish this fall/winter, as well as the notoriety for pioneering one of the first (if not THE first), long-form web TV series format in the country (if not the world).
iflix: What are your top five favorite movies?
Cal: This is a hard one because I love so many! If I had to pick, I suppose I would have to put Goodfellas at the top, along with probably Superman, The Exorcist, Star Wars, and Scarface.
iflix: What's your next project?
Cal: I believe I am going to be involved in a new military sitcom as an actor, writer and possibly producer/director. Depends. I will continue Day Zero, however.
iflix: What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers?
Cal: I think those aspiring to do web series should really think about filming as if it was for television. For movies, I don't think short films are the best strategy, I would try to get on a feature as fast as possible.
So that was our chat with Day Zero Producer/Director, Cal Ngyuen be sure to watch the series here on http://www.iflixtv.com/day-zero/