First promotional video, made in 1991, to raise funds for Roots in the Sand which was eventually completed in 1998 and aired by PBS 2000-2004. Still distributed by Center for Asian American Media, a PBS consortium. The takeaway from this is that when you don't have a track record, which I didn't, you have to take the risk of shooting your toughest scenes first. I knew how the doc would open, so we went up in Niaz Mohamed's crop duster with his very experienced pilot at dawn and shot the opening sequence for the promo and the film. I went from gurdwara to gurdwara hunting for the cantor who could give me the opening song. Found him in Santa Monica! The whole thing cost me under $6,000 thanks to donated equipment and deferred-payment services.
This short was made in 1995 from 16 mm, Betacam, and archival footage acquired up to that point in time. Most of the interviews were on video, but we were shooting the events and exteriors on 16mm as far as possible to match the texture of the archival footage. Making this for Rosario Saikhon's 80th birthday celebration presented the opportunity to thank her, her family and the community for their cooperation and support. It was screened at UCLA where it got some attention, so I used it to raise finishing funds. It also gave me the opportunity to test subtitles vs. voice-over on audiences, and voice-overs won!