Q and A with Alexander King Chen writer and producer of Inhuman Love, His film won Best Artistic Director and Best Visual and Special Effects Awards and was nominated for Best Fashion Film and Best Music Awards at LFFF2020


Photo Above: from the left- Singer James Yang, Actor Tony Capatch, Actress/Singer Stephanie Hesterberg, Creative Director Alexander King Chen for “INHUMAN LOVE”

Q. How and when did you become interested in filmmaking?

A. 5 years ago, I started incorporating, music, plot, ballet, story and visuals into my runway shows. 2 years ago I felt fashion was a bit limiting and I was looking for a broader spectrum to convey my thoughts, so I turned to film.


photo below: Our show “BEAUTIFUL HERITAGE”


photo above: Our show- “DEATH OF A DYNASTY”

Q. What is a fashion film?

A.I love this question bc there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer to it. It can embrace everything, yet it can be as simple as a digital catalogue shoot. But to me, it needs to have a volume of crafted costumes especially made for the piece. We would build the clothes first, then simultaneously evolve the story around the costumes. Rather than the other way around. The story should be built around the principle [FASHION]


Q. Why make a fashion film?

A. Wow, I’ve got a lot to say about this. I LOVE music, visuals, story telling, set design, costume design, architecture, actors, actresses, models, everything and everyone! 2 years ago, my mother passed away, my world crumbled and my heart sank into the abyss. Before her death, she did 10 years of community service, while she was blind, in a wheel chair, and on dialysis, yet her caretaker would push her in her wheel chair to go see patients in hospitals twice a week. In this dark hole, I turned to music, and started writing my own songs. When I was ready to emerge, I noticed how selfish and greedy I was. Even someone whose blind, and in a wheel chair has so much heart and passion. Its then, I decided to dedicate 3 years of my life to 3 very worthy causes hoping to carry on her act of kindness. The first being INHUMAN LOVE = save the things we love before we run out of time, metaphorically referring to mother earth. 2nd KILL-Burn = embrace creativity & love and not let social media wash us all out. 3rd Are You In Heaven = pay homage to the animals that have perished for our survival.

Kill Burn
Inhuman Love 3
Are You in Heaven

My last reason, fashion itself for the past few years has been very restricting. From what’s trendy now, to cyber-bullying to cultural appropriation. Most of the times, a designer just wants to design, and appreciate a culture. And to tell their story. Sadly, it can be misconstrued by the general public bc it’s fashion. Which for me isn’t the case. I love culture. I was born in the states, my heritage is Taiwanese, and I went to school in London and Paris. Culture is what we need and bring awareness to so we don’t forget it (not in a demeaning manner of course! or capitalizing way!). Therefore, it’s extremely important for me to use culture/language/civilization as an element of inspiration to capture what I believe in. A fashion film can do all of that. It allows me to create my world. Sure ppl can hate our films or be offended by it, but it gives me my freedom, to combine everything that I love- visuals, art, architecture, performance, plot, set design etc… Everything that goes on in my mind!

Q. What makes fashion film different to other short film genres?

A. I think the difference would be that the story is being created for the clothes/costume/fashion. We create the clothes, then come up with the story to complement and coincide with the designs. Our 3rd film, is actually a fashion THRILLER!!! it will be rated RRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! hahahhaa

Are You in Heaven

(Above: Our 3rd film “Are You In Heaven”)

Q. Do you have friends making movies as well and do you sense competition amongst you. What do you think of their movies?

A. So far I have no friends in this business. I have a lot of creative friends, actresses, directors, producers, but fashion film is super new in Taiwan. Everyone I’ve encountered has been more than welcoming towards me. Helping me, assisting me since I’m so new in this unchartered territory. However, I do have to say that the short films/movies industry in Taiwan isn’t as ripe yet. “Packaging” something is relatively new here. Sadly, when working on films in Taiwan, Art Direction, Costumes & Hair and Make Up is the first budget they cut. Costumes are definitely the first to go! The projects I’ve worked on in film, some have cut my budget by 85%! Some say the producers or film studios pocket the money. That’s why with our films, I decided to say “screw you all”! Art Direction/Costumes are the first I SLAMMED all my money in and bet on!!!! THANK YOU- TO Which left other ppl with very little money. But luckily most of the ppl that worked on our film were friends. Thank you Friends! Also and luckily! Adam Hayes and Nick Hayes are the most intelligent, understanding, kind and artistically inclined directors! They are the most amazing creative duo I’ve ever met!!!!! Thank you Adam and Nick for your brilliant Directing, Editing, CGI, Art Direction etc and thank you for everything!!


Photo Above: left to right- Me, Adam, Nick & Sherrie our AD

Q. What were you looking for in your characters?

A. The first thing I ask actors during auditions, is if they can “cry on que”. Because I cannot act to save my life, so I’m stunned at actors being able to cry on que. If they can, they’ll usually steal my heart!
At the same time, I look for ppl that look a certain part for their designated role. Tony Capatch, our lead in “Inhuman Love” plays a military man, looking for sex in an underground club. We casted over 20 male actors, he was the last one to show up, when I saw him, I knew he was the one!


Photo Above: Our Lead Tony Capatch

Our Lead Stephanie Hesterberg

Photo Above: Our Lead Stephanie Hesterberg

Stephanie Hesterberg as well! She plays a consultant that works in the “underground” sex club, and when I saw her, it was her! I didn’t bother casting any other female leads!!! She’s the one! And also! They both can cry on QUE!!!!!!!

Q. What was your original concept for making the film?

A. To explain to ppl that “we need to start to save the things we love before we all run out of time”. We need to do it now. It’s not tomorrow, its not next year. The time is NOW!!

Inhuman Love

(Photo Above: Inhuman Love)

Q. What was the biggest challenge for you in the process of making the film?

A. I was also the producer. Luckily 2 of my dear friends Jazmine Huang and Fiona Kao helped me out at the end. I’m extremely unorganized and my thoughts are all over the place. We created 44 costumes, 2 scores, 14 characters, had 15 locations, built 3 sets from scratch, invited visionary directors Adam Hayes and Nick Hayes to fly in from NYC to Taiwan, had a team of 67 ppl from 7 different countries involved. The biggest challenge… to make sure everything happened! Which it did! Thanks to everyone involved!!! HBF Directors are unbelievable! They made it happen! And our TEAM too! We didn’t have that many professional film making ppl on the team. Just a lot of amazing friends willing to help us out and believed in us. Thank you ALL!

Inhuman Love Team
Inhuman Love Team

Q. Why do you think filmmakers should participate in film festivals?

A. Film Festivals are amazing, I had no idea what they were last year! This year due to covid, I understand that festivals usually are a great place to meet new friends and old. A place where creative minds can gather to share their works, or even find future partnerships. Since I didn’t get to see and feel that this year cause everything was done online, it was amazing to see the plethora of creativity being showcased on one platform. If someone’s film is selected, it’s awesome to be a part of something that everyone believes in. And it is this reason, I had the courage to finish the 2nd and 3rd film bc “Inhuman Love” was so well received globally. But even if our film isn’t selected for a film festival for screening, that’s okay too! In the beginning I was sad & bothered. But then at the same time, that also gave me the urge to do better! To improve myself. To figure out what the causes are. So hopefully I can get better at what I do! ?

Q. How did you decide about clothing, jewelry and make up for the film?

A. I started designing the clothes first. Then simultaneously the plot came into place. Both worked off of each other. Then came the era in which our story took place, so I started making a lot of the jewelry and millinery. I also outsourced too. Jade Chiu, a friend of mine makes incredible jewelry! She flew her pieces in for us from NYC! Thank you Jade!
With make-up & hair, I kind of had some things in mind bc of the plot and era. My dear friends are super amazing SFX make-up artists Victor Chang and Esther Yang. I kind of painted them a picture of what was in my mind, and they took the ball and kept it rolling! LOVE THEM! Hair too!

Due to the complexity of Hair and Makeup

Photo Above: Due to the complexity of Hair and Makeup, it took roughly 5 hours a day, Esther & Victor hard at work

Esther and Brett working on hair

Photo Above: Esther and Brett working on hair

I personally feel a lot of the times when we film things, thru the camera, everything becomes a bit more flat. So my rule of thumb is to usually drench it with a whole bunch more. I really don’t like things that are flat and basic. I like everything to be theatrical & excessive! I know my formula might not resonate with some directors. But at the end of the day, it’s like producing a fashion show. It’s someone’s thoughts and beliefs. That’s why it’s so amazing to work with HBF Directors. They would never say no, and would make sure my views and beliefs are seen! They are so encouraging, every step of the way!

Q. What are the key elements to making an effective fashion film?

A. it must be something beautiful at the end of the day. Fashion is all about creativity and beauty, well… at least it used to be! But I guess beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Therefore. So long as your committed and determined what your doing is beautiful, then step on that peddle! And zoom full steam ahead and believe in yourself and leave all judgements aside (for a while). Let your work engulf you! Oh! at the same time, to all the brands out there!!! @HBFDIRECTORS are AMAZEEBALLLSSS! They will make ur brands wildest dreams come true!!! IN THE GREATEST OF FASHION & STYLE!!!!!

 HBF Directors Adam Hayes & Nick Hayes

(photo above: HBF Directors Adam Hayes & Nick Hayes @hbfdirectors)

Q. What is a difference between a fashion film and advertisement?

A. One is greedy the other should not be. Just kidding! Also, to all fashion brands out there. PLS PLS PLS help and use ur money to create and bring more awareness to things that matter to our existence! Bernard Arnault, Delphine Arnault, Kering, Francois-Henri Pinault, Capri Holdings, Richemont… Just think of it as impact investing! Fashion should not just be about profitability. It’s time to show the world what fashion can offer! Not just clothes. But love, empathy, creativity! THE MONEY WILL COME! u can make a difference! (pls don’t ostracize me, but it’s worth the plead!)

Q. How does video advertising attract customers and brand awareness?

A. I’m too new to this industry. I’d say I don’t know. However, being the person that I am, I have my 2 cents. Our world has gone a 360 with social media. video advertising doesn’t pull in what they’re used to. Please try hard to be more creative. Be more inclusive, yet daring, beautiful, yet eccentric. Its time video advertising broke out of its shell and evolved like the rest of the world.

Q. What is your suggestion for making some budgets for a film?

A. Don’t be afraid to do everything yourself! Sure that isn’t great suggestion. But if you believe in urself and your passion is there. It’s all fun and games! If you feel bothered you’re doing everything urself, then maybe u can try to change the attitude abit. I learned so much this time by doing a lot of things myself! I created some of the props, some jewelry, sets, costumes, I even wrote the music. Having said that, it’s the vision and passion that comes as a part of it. I believe there’s never enough budget for everything anyway. I wonder what would happen if I got enough budget to do something… Nope, it’s never happened. So if that’s the case. Gotta learn, do and make! Until it happens that you get enough budget, enjoy the process. 4 months prior to filming, I moved into my office, slept on the floor for 4 months. The first thing I did when I opened my eyes each day, was a bunch of staff around me. I’d brush my teeth and start working, until 4am. Not taking any days off for months. AND I love it!! and have not once, complained.

me painting the floor for a scene for Inhuman Love

(photo above: me painting the floor for a scene for Inhuman Love)

I slept everywhere. Even under the door to my office. Bc there was no space left

(Photo above: I slept everywhere. Even under the door to my office. Bc there was no space left)


Q. What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers?

A. Don’t let the small things bother you!!!!!!!!!! There will be a million random things that can bother you. With films, I’m learning that everything is interlocked and connected, it’s like a massive engine where a bunch of people in different fields come together and it needs to be integrated smoothly! Every little detail can go wrong and effect the whole picture! However, you need to trust yourself and others that you hired them for a reason. I am working with someone now that is a pain in the effing ***!!!!!!!! But… I’m trying to not let it bother me! Haha as she’s there bc she’s amazing at what she does! Good luck to all the ASPIRING FILM MAKERS OUT THERE!