FEBRUARY 11, 2022
USA | 4 minutes | 2021
Music video directed by Ya-Ting “Itchy” Yang
Starring Robin Roth, Gabby Weltman, Krosby Roza, and Manny “Urchin” Anderson
Manny “Urchin” Anderson is a real mannequin working in a surf shop at Manhattan Beach. One day, he gets dumped by the staff due to a broken hand. And now, his journey begins.
CineAsian Films (CAF): What inspired the look and color palette of The Mannequin?
Ya-Ting “Itchy” Yang: Those sunny days I have spent in LA inspired the look of The Mannequin. “It’s almost difficult to be melancholy in LA,“ a Taiwanese friend told me before I came here. Indeed, the warm sunlight makes all the colors so vibrant that you sometimes forget those sad and lonely stories unfolding in this city. The color palette is a tribute to my favorite movie, Her. They used red on the protagonist for his passion, loneliness, and hopefulness. And in our music video, red represents Manny’s yearning for the ocean water. You can also find some blue here and there, which implies Manny’s happy ending awaiting him.
CAF: What were some of the challenges you faced during the production process?
Yang: Our wonderful talent, Manny “Urchin” Anderson, often looked directly into the camera, so we had to do another take. We couldn’t blame him, considering it was his screen debut. Ironically, one of Manny’s eyes fell out when we shot the ending beach scene, and the eyeball was blown away by the sea breeze. Fortunately, we came up with some ideas to cheat for the rest of the scenes. There are a number of challenges when you cast a mannequin, but a good team can always overcome the problems together.
CAF: What do you hope people can take away from watching this?
Yang: Life is an unpredictable journey, and bad things could happen to you even if you have done nothing wrong. I hope all of us can show more kindness toward strangers because sometimes we just need a little help to continue. And I also want people to believe that when your heart is set on one thing, the whole universe conspires in order for you to achieve it.
CAF: Are you working on anything new?
Yang: I’m working on a soft sci-fi about a near-future world, where the citizens only wake up during odd-numbered or even-numbered years and hibernate in “The Capsule” for another year. This 15-minute project will be my thesis film for the MFA degree in Film and TV Production at USC.
The Mannequin is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.
Director, Writer, Editor, Production Designer: Ya-Ting “Itchy” Yang
Producer: Stephanie Jones
Cinematographer: Sydney Taylor
Original Music: Gary Malik Thompson