Hold, My Head

FEBRUARY 23, 2023
USA | 8 minutes | 2022

Music video directed by Jerry X Lee
Featuring Pei Wesley

Hold, My Head

Pei helps his manager film a birthday video for his son.

In English and Mandarin Chinese.


CineAsian Films (CAF): How did this collaboration come about and what inspired the concept behind Hold, My Head?
Jerry X Lee: The artist Pei Wesley is my younger brother and as he was finishing up his debut album, “More Bitter Thn Sweet,” he asked me to direct a music video for him. I was very excited by this opportunity but at the same time, I struggled for weeks to choose a song for the music video and find an idea that resonated with me. All I knew was that I wanted to make something that told a separate story and thematically elevated the narrative of the original song. 

Pei Wesley’s album centers around his complicated relationship with his absent father and perhaps no track on the album better confronts this relationship than the song “Hold, My Head.” Wong Kar Wai’s 1995 masterpiece “Fallen Angels” was a heavy influence for the music video as it captured not only the thematic but also the aesthetic essence of the song. 

The film contains a sequence in which the protagonist (Takeshi Kaneshiro’s character) takes his drunk restaurant manager’s camera and records himself singing before the film cuts to a montage of the protagonist’s day-to-day moments with his father. I was drawn by this father-son relationship and decided to recreate and re-contextualise the sequence by having the same actor play both the manager and the father. I hoped to use this casting decision to emphasize the sense of yearning for a father-son relationship that is at the core of “Hold, My Head.”

CAF: What were some of the challenges you faced during production?
Lee: Finding location was incredibly difficult as we were on a low budget. We did not secure our locations until one week before our shoot. The other major challenge was getting the performance, as Pei Wesley is a first-time actor and I was very unsure about his acting abilities. As a result, I deliberately chose to work in an improvisational method on set, as I figured that it is easier for non-actors to react in the moment, rather than trying to remember lines. However, as a director, this was also my first time choosing to exclusively improvise with actors on set and so I was also very nervous about directing with an unfamiliar method. Luckily, we managed to cast a brilliant and seasoned co-lead, Zhan Wang, who was generously mentored Pei throughout the shoot. The performance method was a risk and challenge for me but it ultimately seemed to have paid off. 

CAF: What do you hope people can take away from watching this music video?
Lee: I hope people can resonate with the central relationship of the song and music video, that is a complicated father-son relationship that is filled with love, resentment and yearning.

CAF: Have you been working on anything new?
Lee: I just finished writing a first draft of a feature called “Slipstreams” and I’m starting to rewrite it. The story is about a regretful delivery biker running into an ex-business partner who ropes him into spying on a mysterious couple. I’m not sure when this feature will be made, but hopefully it can be realized someday.

The interview was edited for clarity.

Hold, My Head is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your project.


Director, Editor: Jerry X Lee
Producer: Sarah Evie Barry
Cinematographer: Ahmed Uthman
Also starring: Zhan Wang

Follow and Support the Team
director: @jezm9
artist: @peiwesley