It freaks me out a little bit when they do this. Holds Rainbow…

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

It freaks me out a little bit when they do this.

Holds Rainbow and Yulin dolls in either hand, smushes them together. “Now collaborate!”

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Yulin’s twitter is the main reason I regret not spending more…

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Yulin’s twitter is the main reason I regret not spending more time on twitter. Because when she’s too busy making cool things to tease properly here, she still manages to find time to tease over there.

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Is it okay if I pretend these two goofballs are Lily and James?…

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Is it okay if I pretend these two goofballs are Lily and James? Because look: it’s James’s cassette-tape phone (which I realize is just Sean’s actual phone). And I know they’re going to be different characters and it will be fun and its own thing and all.

But just in the meantime.

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yulinkuang: I cut together a new directing reel! Watch it in HD…

Thursday, May 1st, 2014


I cut together a new directing reel! Watch it in HD if you can, because that’s how we shot it. Featured also is the work of many talented friends who I’m immensely lucky to have in my life, most of whom do not have tumblrs but the ones who do are onthewallnowsineadpersaud, seanpersaud, and marykatewiles. Background song is “Cosmic Love (Instrumental)” by Florence and the Machine. 

I decided to mix it up with a new directing reel format from my old one, this one is pretty much inspired by all the BBC season trailers that crop up in the fall. Lend me your thoughts, friends! And thanks to everyone who sent in music recs for my reel, I listened to all of them and wow you guys have great taste in music and are so awesome for helping me with my musical hangups.

I’m sending this off to some people to send off to more people today in hopes of finding some paid(!) directing work soon somewhere, somehow, so if you guys have any good vibes to spare, that’d be super swell. :)

Much love,


Look at all those bits of things I loved watching!

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clavisa: aeternamente: itsgonnabeathing: Kissing in the Rain:…

Thursday, March 20th, 2014




Kissing in the Rain: Anne & Gilbert

Kissing in the Rain is so sweet and adorable and hilarious. It’s only two episodes in and it’s already just perfect.

Thank you John!

So hey, could this guy’s face be canon? Like he’s part of the #jily #ishipit movement, and he just posts pictures of himself reacting to his irl otp? This particular photoset would be in reaction to the AoGG trailer on the day it’s released.



1) Yes, awesome.

2) I love how it continues to put the pressure on Yulin in terms of what she does and doesn’t canonize. Like, is it cool to canonically hoist an actual person in-world and fictionalize him? Not just a fic or a piece of fanart, but an actual person? I realize that’s what happens to actors all the time, but does a fan who posts a picture of himself automatically grant the same kind of license to fictionalize his actual face?

I assume Ricky would be all over it, and like I said, awesome! But still, funny to me that this whole thing continues to be a never-ending series of wormy can openings for Yulin. :-)

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yulinkuang: #kissing in the rain#mary kate wiles#sean…

Monday, March 17th, 2014


Haha spoiler alert, there’s a story arc buried under those post-title smash scenes. It makes you laugh, but it also makes you think. *nods wisely*

There’s always a story. Even if fans have to invent it or dig it out in meta because the creators aren’t doing their job.

I have no concern that that’s what’s going on here, though. I can’t wait to find out where this story goes.

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Firstly, I just discovered you and your work, and I want to thank you because it’s all so great and amazing and I LOVE IT. Secondly, personally, I’d love it if you posted some of your pre-production notes/film references so that we could get a more in-depth view of the process of making a webseries. I just think that’s really valuable.

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Thank you so much for the kind words! It really does mean a lot, since I felt for a longish while that I was making my work in a vacuum and then sending it off to film festivals where the audience wasn’t necessarily as responsive to my shippy short films, haha. So the fact that you found my work and enjoyed it is so incredibly wonderful to hear, and it’s the reason I keep making work for the internet.

And I’d be happy to do more pre-production/film referencey-type notes. I was planning – still am planning, just been a bit swamped this past week – on adding my production notes on each episode upon my reblog of the episode post. Before I write the first one though, what sort of behind-the-scenes production-y things would you guys like to know? I was mostly going to talk about working with the actors and possibly some of the creative choices we made as a team (along with the DP and production designer and makeup artist, the crew members on set who I usually work with most closely) – I could go into some of the technical aspects as well, though our DP onthewallnow would probably be better at discussing those aspects in detail.

Let me know what you’d like to know and I’ll do my best to answer! (Not just you, anyone in the KITR tag reading this, really.)

Much love,


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yulinkuang: lies: shipwreckedcomedy: Kissing in the Rain is a…

Saturday, March 15th, 2014




Kissing in the Rain is a new series from shipwreckedcomedy in which two sets of actors keep finding themselves kissing in the rain, all while grappling with their off-camera feelings between takes.

Kissing in the Rain – Ep. 1: Lily & James
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Mary Kate Wiles as Lily
Sean Persaud as James

Created by Yulin Kuang

Watch our previous historical comedy series, A Tell Tale Vlog

Disorganized thoughts about episode 1 below the cut.

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Hahaha I love reading audience responses and this one makes me happy. Though when you say the Yuliniverse of student work/Shipwrecked/IDWT, does that mean you’ve watched my student work? o.0 How much did you find? Re: other questions, I’ll hopefully answer them when I get around to doing my behind-the-scenes production-type notes reblog post of this episode.

I’ve only watched the material in your YouTube channels, so The Perils of Growing Up Flat-Chested and First Kiss, both of which I enjoyed, are what I was referring to as student work. I apologize if I mischaracterized them.

And yes, I’m very much looking forward to whatever BTS information about KiTR you’re able to make available at the appropriate time. Thanks!

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yulinkuang: So I’m taking a quick break before I dive down the…

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014


So I’m taking a quick break before I dive down the Kissing in the Rain fan-canon rabbit hole to post some stills from another weekend directing project of mine.

Some of my Tumblr friends might be familiar with a directing series on my personal channel, I Didn’t Write This, in which I take short excerpts of poetry and literature written by other people and adapt them as a directing/filmmaking exercise. We did an episode in which I adapted a short excerpt from John Green’s Looking for Alaskasince we had already recorded the audio for the Kissing in the Rain trailer.

A few weeks ago, I decided to finally check out Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. I’d known about the book for a while and had been putting off reading it because I knew it would hit far, far too close to home (I’m a filmmaker whose creative origin story is tied pretty heavily to writing Harry Potter fanfic.) Reading Fangirl was like finding a long lost diary I’d forgotten I’d kept. I read it in two nights and fell completely and totally in love with these characters and the worlds they lived in, both in fictional fandom and IRL. Since I Didn’t Write This is my way of playing with source material I love, I knew I absolutely had to do a Fangirl episode of IDWT. I want to direct this feature so badly it hurts YOU GUYS ASDLKFJLSDK FLERMMMMMMMM.

I reached out to a few fanartists in the Tumblr tag because I thought it might be fun to use actual Fangirl fanart in my fangirl-directed fan-adaptation, so thanks goes to toerning for the sketches on Cath’s desk and doctorhooper for the fabulous poster design on the wall! We shot one scene adaptation and a few would-be promo stills as well. Much love to the always wonderful Mary Kate Wiles and the awesomely talented Denver Milord for being my Cath and Levi.

This episode of IDWT might take another week or so to come out while I work on Kissing in the Rain (which everyone should go watch Mary Kate being awesome in), so keep a look out and subscribe to my personal channel, maybe? If you like literary adaptations and shippy short films, it might be your kind of thing.

And just because it’s topical, hey look, here’s my old profile. #nostalgia

Much love,

Yulin Kuang
writer  //  director  //  fangirl

Haha. About five people I follow reblogged this in the short time since Yulin posted it, so my dash right now is basically Yulin!Fangirl / Yulin!Fangirl / Yulin!Fangirl / Yulin!Fangirl / Yulin!Fangirl…

Which is perfect. :-)

I know it’s greedy of me, but I really want to see Yulin’s Reagan. But I’m guessing that may have to wait for the feature. Also, Mary Kate as both Cath and Wren. Heh.


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shipwreckedcomedy: New photo post for an upcoming Shipwrecked…

Sunday, March 9th, 2014


New photo post for an upcoming Shipwrecked short, a mysterious musical parody starring Sinead Persaud and directed by Yulin Kuang.

Scheduled for release during a one-week hiatus between Chapters I & II of Kissing in the Rain. We’re keeping the details under wraps on this production for now, but we always invite speculation!

And don’t forget to stay tuned for the premiere of Chapter I of Kissing in the Rain this Monday, 3/10 at 10am PT!

Much love,


Subscribe on YouTube

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Watch our previous historical comedy series, A Tell Tale Vlog

I’m going to be doing my mega-commute tomorrow, so I probably won’t be able to check out the KiTR premiere until tomorrow night. But I’ve taken a closer look at this post, and wanted to do some speculating. I still don’t have any real idea what it will be, but there are some clues. It’s:

  • “a Shipwrecked short”
  • “a mysterious musical parody”

That sounds to me like it’s not a “yulinisworking” literature adaptation, but more akin to the Poe stuff (though in a single episode). And probably comedy? Is “Shipwrecked” always comedy? “Parody” sounds comedic.

Looking at the photos, there are lots of flowers, and lace, and darkness. It’s really dark, in the literal sense. I’m not sure that means the actual video will be dark; I guess the darkness could be an artifact of how and when the stills were shot. But I’ll go ahead and assume the dark, spooky look is a feature of the actual production.

Photo 1: Sinead looks at the camera with a mysterious half-smirk and a hint of mischief in her eyes. She’s lying on her back wearing a lacy white dress (a bridal gown?) on what appears to be a bed, surrounded by vintage-y embroidered (or at least leafy patterned) pillows. Her arms are folded across her chest in the style of a corpse arranged for viewing. She’s wearing what appears to be a thin gold wedding band on the ring finger of her left hand. There are white flowers arranged on the left side of the frame, and a doll with what appears to be a black blindfold over its eyes. And above and to the right of her head, a dark outline that almost looks like it could be… a black bird? Poe’s raven? (It actually looks a little small for a raven, but I seem to recall that the stuffed bird they used in the Poe videos was also smallish for a raven.) MK already played Annabel Lee, so I suspect we’re not talking about her, but there’s definitely a Corpse Bride-y feel to this image, in the literal sense even if not necessarily in the Tim Burton sense.

Photo 2: Sinead sits up on one arm on what we can clearly see now is a bed, with a headboard draped with lace. There are more flowers visible in the background by the side of the bed (dark pink/magenta on the left, and maybe blue on the right?), and a cool vintage wall lamp/sconce with a stained glass shade. Sinead’s head is turned to the side and deeply shadowed, but she appears to be looking toward the viewer with her mouth open in a smile, perhaps talking or singing.

Photo 3: Sinead looks straight at the viewer, her face fully illuminated and small magenta flowers in her hair. This time her look is more serious, challenging, her mouth closed and her eyebrow slightly raised. White flowers are visible in the out-of-focus background.

Photo 4: Sinead smiles at a burning match or candle in her hand. There’s a better view of the floral arrangement in her hair. Blue and green patterned curtains are out of focus in the background.

Photo 5: Sinead walks away from the viewer, parting a curtain formed of old-fashioned keys dangling from strings.

Photo 6: Sinead stands in front of a window, surrounded by white and dark magenta flowers. She looks back over her shoulder, her face in shadow, but with a definite look of sadness, regret, or longing.

So, summing up: She’s a bride, and a corpse. Looking through the songs in Corpse Bride, there’s one, “Tears to Shed”, that is mostly sung by Emily, the eponymous corpse bride, and includes imagery about how if she touches a burning candle she feels no pain, and which the shots of Sinead evoke pretty nicely. And I guess that Poe’s raven and the blindfolded doll could be present to sing the parts of Maggot and Black Widow.

It’s probably something completely different. But that’s my speculation.

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I like that I’ve actually been here, and that the setting is a…

Friday, February 21st, 2014

I like that I’ve actually been here, and that the setting is a lot like where I live, and that walking along a bluff-backed southern California beach poking at little tidepools is in fact something I do (and have done, as my 15-year-old profile pic will attest) a lot of.

One teency thing that seemed not quite right: That Mary Kate is wearing shoes while sitting on the blanket in that one shot. Would someone do that? I would have thought she would remove her shoes immediately on reaching the sand. I’m curious if there’s any backstory or explanatory head-canon about that.

But I liked the video a lot.

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booksdirect: The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. Oh wow.

Saturday, February 15th, 2014


The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

Oh wow.

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I Didn’t Write This – Ep. 3: Looking for Alaska by John…

Friday, February 14th, 2014

I Didn’t Write This – Ep. 3: Looking for Alaska by John Green – Mary Kate Wiles, Sean Persaud

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Baccharis pilularis galls at Solstice Canyon, Malibu I mentioned…

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Baccharis pilularis galls at Solstice Canyon, Malibu

I mentioned before that one of the things I enjoyed about Yulin’s beautiful I Didn’t Write This Ep. 2 (the one with Auden’s “As I Walked Out One Evening”) was the setting. They shot the video in Malibu’s Solstice Canyon, which I’d never visited before. It looked like there was some coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) in some of the shots, but I wasn’t sure, and since yesterday was my once-every-two-weeks mega-commute via Malibu, I decided to check it out on my way to work.

I really loved it. There’s water in the stream year-round, and the riparian habitat along the main trail was super birdyish. I didn’t have my binoculars with me (which was just as well, or I probably would have been late to work), but the southern California nesting season is getting under way, so there was lots of singing. Yellow-rumped warblers, oak titmouses, California towhees, spotted towhees, and white-crowned sparrows were everywhere.

The upper slopes (which I didn’t have time to hike to) looked too xeric for coyote brush, but down near the creek there was a fair amount of it. It was more spindly than the plants I’m used to near Santa Barbara, and the seed heads on the female plants seemed a little less profuse; I suspect that’s because Malibu is warmer and dryer than where I live. There also was less coyote brush overall in the habitat; individual plants were scattered around, rather than occurring in extensive stands.

When I’m around coyote brush I always look for galls. There were relatively few Rhopalomyia californica galls compared to what I’m used to, but I found some that you can see in the middle row of photos above.

You’ll probably think I’m an idiot to feel this way, but I get choked up when I think about the midges that induce those galls. They spend most of their lives as tiny maggots inside the gall, feeding on plant tissue. Then they chew their way to the surface and pupate, their body liquifying before transforming into an adult midge, and then finally, on a particular cool morning, often a day or so after a rain, a bunch of them emerge together.

The females’ abdomens are already orange and swollen with eggs. The males mate with them and die; the females lay their eggs before dying a few hours later.

They live their whole lives for that one day. I’ve never seen a Rhopalomyia emergence in-progress, though I keep looking. Once I found a dead female a day or two after emergence, a sticky trail of eggs connecting her to the plant, dead in the very act of laying her eggs. Will my own life have a dramatic climax like that? Probably not. I’ll just get older and crankier, and eventually something will take me out. But that Rhopalomyia midge died a heroine, fulfilling the point of her existence in her final moments.

Besides the R. californica bud galls, I also found a couple of stem galls made by a moth, Gnomorischema baccharisella. You can see them in the bottom row of photos. A cool thing about these galls is how different the ecology of the gall itself is, compared with the similarly sized R. californica galls that grow on the same plant. The Rhopalomyia bud galls contain multiple larvae, but a G. baccharisella stem gall contains only a single caterpillar. The larvae in the bud galls don’t produce frass (insect poop). I’m not sure what happens to their waste; either they don’t emit any, or it somehow is excreted and carried away by the plant. That latter explanation seems kind of unlikely, but I don’t actually know much about insect/gall interactions, and over evolutionary time scales gall inducers and their host plants have evolved pretty complex relationships.

The caterpillar in the stem gall does produce frass, which accumulates inside the gall. When the caterpillar gets old enough it chews its way out and drops to the ground to complete its development. But now there is a convenient hole in the gall (you can see it in each of the galls pictured above, meaning both of those galls have already lost their original caterpillar), and a bunch of other organisms move in. Colonies of fungi grow on the frass, and fungus mites that eat the fungi, and other creatures that prey on or parasitize the mites. There are whole little worlds in there, and that’s just one type of gall on one type of plant.

When I give in to the temptation to talk about plant galls during docent tours at the marsh, someone usually asks about the nature of the relationship. Are the gall inducers harming the plant? Helping it? And what they’re really asking is, are these good bugs or bad bugs?

It’s a good question. Looking strictly from the perspective of the plant, the gall inducers are harmful. In parts of Australia, where groundsel bush (a close relative of coyote brush) is an invasive weed, R. californica has been imported as a biological control, because the bud galls take the place of flowers, reducing the plant’s reproductive success. In effect, R. californica harnesses the plant’s activity and channels it into producing more R. californica midges, rather than producing more coyote brush.

But the plant’s perspective isn’t the only one. From the point of view of the larger ecosystem, gall inducers are just doing what nearly every other organism has done before it: Finding a niche in the pre-existing biome within which it can survive, adding one more layer to the mind-bogglingly rich assembly of interrelated living things that make up all life.

From that perspective, what gall inducers do is awesome and cool. Certainly the fungus mites that specialize in living inside old G. baccharisella galls would say so, if you could ask them, as would the dozen or more species of parasitic wasps that prey on R. californica, or the hyperparasites that prey on those parasites, or the specialized bacteria that live in the guts of those hyperparasites, and so on, as far as human curiosity can take you. The more I learn about this, the more I believe that people like James Lovelock and the late Lynn Margulis were on the right track in arguing that we spend too much of our time focused on the organism as the most meaningful level of biological organization. We also need to think about life as a whole.

One other thing I liked about Solstice Canyon: Its parking lot was nearly full, but it’s a small lot, and the people who were there were really nice. I think the fact that it’s kind of hidden away on a side road means you’re only going to get people who make a point of seeking it out, and that selects for a certain kind of visitor.

At one point I was standing under a big sycamore, trying to see a woodpecker that I could hear drumming. Two people, an older woman and a younger woman who might have been her adult daughter, were standing not far away. I didn’t notice them paying any attention to me, but when I walked past them the younger woman asked me if I’d been looking for the bird.

“What?” I said, not because I hadn’t heard what she said, but because I’m shy, and a dork, and I’d been shocked out of my big-city bubble by a stranger willing to talk to me.

“Were you looking for the bird?”

“Oh, the woodpecker? Yeah. I couldn’t see it, though.”

“I’ll show you,” she said, and walked back a few feet to point out the bird, an acorn woodpecker that was hammering away at the underside of a dead limb.

“Thanks,” I said, and smiled, and she smiled, and we went our separate ways. And maybe it was just me being maudlin from thinking about Yulin’s video, which made me cry when I watched it — because of the music, and the images, and Auden’s words, and Sean’s delivery — but it just seemed like a really nice thing of that woman to do, noticing that I’d been looking for the bird, and helping me see it.

tl;dr: I had a really nice time at Solstice Canyon, and I’m happy I followed Yulin’s recommendation to visit it.

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