Jonathan Demme.

This is the story of how Jonathan Demme almost directed this Carmelo Anthony spot I produced.

I was in LA producing some content with Chris Paul and Ghostface Killah. It had been a long day of waiting around for our shoot during this activation. After the shoot we all returned to our hotel rooms to rest so we can get back the next morning. However, I was still working for a bit for our next Carmelo Anthony shoot. Then I had an epiphany. I had just seen Rachel Getting Married and I called my creative director immediately.

Me: Josh, you seen Rachel Getting Married?
Josh: Yeah.
Me: Why don't we shoot this like that wedding rehearsal dinner scene?
Josh: Yes! You think we can get Jonathan Demme for this?
Me: You know I would try.

The next day, I ended up calling Jonathan Demme's agent to send over our creative to see if this is even a small possibility. A few days passed and I heard nothing back. In those few days that passed, I had gotten the bird flu and that is the sickest I have ever been so far in my life. I even had to get myself to the ER to get an IV in because I was so sick and dehydrated. After I left the ER, I had to go to the pharmacy to get antibiotics. I was sitting in a chair slumped over at Walgreens when my phone rang. It was a 310 number from Beverly Hills. I picked up; it was Jonathan Demme's agent's assistant. I then spoke to the agent. It turns out that Jonathan Demme was very interested and wanted to do a creative call with us to discuss this shoot as soon as possible. I was in shock.

I then set up a conference call for us to discuss this shoot with my creative directors. Josh, Ez and I hid in the edit suite next to my desk to take this call and magic happened. Jonathan Demme began the call with the story of how he saw the NY Knicks returning at JFK. He had a way of storytelling. We could see what he saw, and it was beautiful and cinematic. He was excited and he loved the NY Knicks. I told him how I had this idea after watching Rachel Getting Married and we wanted to shoot this like the rehearsal dinner scene. He loved it. I was over the moon. He asked me flat out what the budget was so he can make it happen. We sorted out the budget. He was on board. It was very exciting and we were very giddy.

Another week went by and I get another call from this Beverly Hills 310 number. At this point, I knew it had to be Jonathan Demme's agent. Turns out, Jonathan Demme had a speaking engagement the day of my shoot in Napa. We were crushed. So we awarded the shoot to someone else instead, who did an amazing job.

Then the night after the award of this project, I was at DNA Lounge seeing Mortified. It was the Beverly Hills 310 on my mobile again. I knew I had to take it. I stepped outside to take this call. Naturally, it was Jonathan Demme's agent. It turns out that Jonathan Demme's speaking engagement was postponed so he was now available to direct this spot. A million thoughts came into my mind at this moment. I told him that I just awarded the job the day before due to the speaking engagement conflict.

And that is the story of how Jonathan Demme almost directed this Carmelo Anthony spot. I am sure you are now on to making more amazing things in the after life.


5 Centimeters Per Second. Makoto Shinkai.

I watch an obscene amount of anime. I did grow up in Hong Kong after all; anime is a big part of regularly scheduled programming growing up. I also love beautiful illustrations. I am fascinated and always in awe of how some of these animes can get through so much emotion through lines. Last night I watched this insanely beautiful one by Makoto Shinkai titled 5 Centimeters Per Second. It is both beautifully drawn and emotionally engrossing. I hope you will also enjoy it!


Banks & Steelz + Guest Lecturer RZA at Handsome Boy Modeling School. The Independent + The Chapel. San Francisco. California. 4.20.2017.

When Banks & Steelz tickets went on sale I immediately got some. My friend Dan the Automator was opening, I love Interpol, I love Wu-Tang, and I own the album. It was gonna get weird.

A post shared by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on

A post shared by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on

Then it got weird alright. Because we crashed Prince Paul's party at The Chapel after we were done at The Independent. Suffice to say, the crowd was losing their minds when RZA took the stage. So there you have it, Handsome Boy Modeling School with special instructor RZA.

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Crown Memorial State Beach. Alameda. California. 4.15.2017.

San Francisco International Film Festival. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. San Francisco. California. 4.7.2017.

I produced the portraits at the San Francisco International Film Festival this year for Helena Price. Usher was supposed to swing by, but he did not. I was very ready to ask him when he was going to take off all his clothes. So instead you get to see a few of the lighting tests. I tried mocking royal portraits mostly. Yes, I always have funny lighting tests. My favorite of all time may be these with Jill Greenberg.

All images below courtesy of Helena Price.

And here are some gorgeous portraits from the festival itself. You can see the rest here:


Flowers in bloom. Golden Gate Park. San Francisco. California. 4.2.2017.

Due to the heavy rain we have been getting here in Northern California, we have been getting wildflowers everywhere. Since today was especially gorgeous out, I had to take advantage of the sunny weather before it rains again. I definitely have a soft spot for cherry blossoms, and while we have nothing like what Japan has to offer, I thought it would be a good day for me to go see everything in bloom at the Botanical Garden and Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park.


Onsen. San Francisco. California. 4.1.2017.

My friend Jasmine asked me where I would like to go for my birthday meal, so I suggested Onsen. As I have not been yet and have been wanting to go. I am so glad I picked this one as it was a lovely space and the food was excellent. I cannot wait to go back to use the bath on a day off. Although I miss the onsens in Japan dearly. Thank you so much for a lovely meal Jasmine!

466 Eddy Street
San Francisco, California 94109

Soft egg custard, pink shrimp, shiitake, yusu
Crispy rice, trout, avocado, green peppercorn, tamarind, fresh wasabi
Asparagus, smoked chipotle, meyer lemon
Local sardine, tamari, togarashi
Monterey squid, sangho pepper, kaffir lime
Tri-tip steak, miso, black pepper
Mushroom dumplings, katsuoboshi broth, cabbage, yam, dill
Chicken, udon noodles, spring garlic-soy broth, broccolini, kimchi, soft egg
Black sesame ice cream, budding, ricotta cake, citrus


Birthday celebration. Mister Jiu's & Li Po Lounge. San Francisco. California. 3.25.2017.

For my 40th birthday I decided to have a banquet at Mister Jiu's. Typically I have a table for 10 for these as otherwise it's too big. But I sent a note out to about 25 people and most people wanted to come. But it was so much fun and Brandon outdid himself per usual for this meal. This may be the best meal I will have this year. Thanks for having me per usual everyone at Mister Jiu's!

Mister Jiu's
28 Waverly Place
San Francisco, CA 94108

Quail Egg: white sturgeon caviar, amaranth
Charcuterie Platter: beef tendon, pig head, La Quercia cured ham
Hot and Sour Soup: early girl tomato, nasturtium, dungeness crab
Salt-Baked McFarland Springs Trout: lotus leaf, trout roe
Tendrils, Greens and Stems: meyer lemon, roasted garlic, fermented tofu, sea urchin
Steak Fried Rice: wagyu skirt, crispy garlic, bottarga
Moo Shu Mushrooms: burdock, celery root, egg
Berkshire Char Siu BBQ Pork: manta buns, hot mustard, pickles
Tea-Smoked Liberty Farm Duck: pancakes, peanut hoisin, chopped liver, 8-spiced duck breast & confit legs
Black Sesame Cake

And since it was my birthday, they sent me a semifreddo.

Then Trina, Sean and I headed over to Li Po Lounge to get Chinese Mai Tais.


Silence! The Musical. Victoria Thatre. San Francisco. California. 3.4.2017.

Since we all need more comedy in our lives, you need to go see this show that is running until 4.1.2017. The only other times when I laughed so hard at a show were at Book of Mormons and Bob Saget. You should definitely have seen Silence of the Lambs to thoroughly enjoy this brilliant show. I hope you get to see it while it's on!

Silence! The Musical
The unauthorized parody of Silence of the Lambs
Victoria Theatre
2961 16th Street
San Francisco. CA 94103



R.T.B. pop up. Dabba. San Francisco. California. 1.15.2017.

Marcia Gagliardi (Tablehopper) and I had dinner at the R.T.B. pop up last night at Dabba. This is by far one of the more interesting and great meals I have had at a pop up. Frankly you are not going to beat the quality of the food at this price point at this caliber for $89 a ticket. Chef Rodney Wages is from French Laundry, RN74, Benu, Morimoto, Saison, United Artisan Caviar, and Atelier Crenn. He is currently doing the R.T.B. pop up dinners at Dabba Friday-Monday nights. You can buy your tickets here:

Lobster Noodle
Tortellini en Brodo
Cheese Tart


Jonathan Rachman Design. San Francisco. California. 1.14.2017.

On my way to Muni I stumbled upon this shop filled with treasures.

Jonathan Rachman Design
1632C Market Street 
San Francisco, CA 94102

San Francisco Botanical Garden. Golden Gate Park. San Francisco. California. 1.14.2017.

Since today was a gorgeous frosty sunny day after the storm we have been getting, my friend and I skipped the movie and went into Golden Gate Park instead. This is my first time venturing into the San Francisco Botanical Garden. The magnolias will be in full bloom in the upcoming weeks.

San Francisco Botanical Garden
1199 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

My coat matched the flora!