Bernard Badion did almost everything to make sure his recent film was a success, but the one thing he didn’t do was “Leave it to Chance.”
“Leave it to Chance,” a romantic film written, directed and produced by Cal Poly students and alumni will be recognized for it success at the 2005 Chicago Filipino American Film Festival this month.
Last year, a group of students produced the romantic feature film based on a Filipino couple contemplating the issues of their relationship.
The film was featured in the Christopher Cohen Center in April 2005, with an outcome of more than 800 people attended.
Badion, the film’s director, writer and executive producer, began his career as a sophomore putting short films together with friends.
“My junior year I was one of the writers on the annual Filipino Cultural exchange play,” Badion said. “That is when I started getting really serious about that stuff and after the play I was like, ‘Man, maybe I should really make this film (“Leave it to Chance”).’”
Badion raised money through donations and sponsorships in order to put the $15,000 full-length feature together, devoting much of his own money to the project.
“There is no film program at Cal Poly, and we really wanted to make a movie. So we kind of made all the stuff happen, even though there wasn’t a film school to help produce it,” Badion said. “The whole thing was paid for by myself and the cinematographer.”
After their April premiere, the “Leave it to Chance” crew submitted the 100-minute film to festivals across the nation. The film was accepted by the Chicago Filipino American Film Festival and will screen Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“It makes us more known and it’s a big deal even to get accepted because so many people make movies,” producer Eileen Chiao said. “It is a very competitive industry so I think getting into the community and onto the East Coast (screen) gives us more credibility.”
Crew members will attend the festival this weekend to support and celebrate the film’s success.
“We have been entering a bunch of film festivals ever since our premiere in April, but it just so happened that this is the first one that accepted us and we are really excited about that,” Badion said. “It kind of takes off the pressure of waiting around to get into a festival.”
After the movie screens in Chicago, “Leave it to Chance” will begin its West Coast tour, starting in the Bay Area and moving throughout California, Washington and Arizona.
“We don’t know how long the tour is going to last, but at the end we are going to bring it back to San Luis Obispo before the DVD comes out,” Badion said. “Hopefully we can bring it back on (its) one-year anniversary.”
Badion said he is working on finding a distributor for the DVD, which will help hit their target market in the highly populated Filipino American areas. “Leave it to Chance” also has a large following online, especially amongst the MySpace Web site community.
Many of the Cal Poly students who worked on the film have graduated and continued to work in the industry.
Badion currently owns the “Leave it to Chance” production company Brownplay Productions. He currently produces industrial videos and documentaries and writes scripts for his upcoming pictures. Eileen Chiao also works in the film industry in Hollywood.
“Right now I am working in West Hollywood in a literary management company that represents writers, directors and producers,” Chiao said. “What we did in San Luis Obispo is completely different from big picture Hollywood.”
Badion said he would continue to concentrate on film writing and hopes to work with fellow members of the “Leave it to Chance” crew.
The “Leave it to Chance” tour schedule will be posted on the film’s Web site, www.leaveittochance.info.