Angry Reader of the Week: Oliver Ike

"I can no longer eat cheap sushi and have a weird affinity for vending machines."

What is up, my friends? It's that time again. Gather 'round, because it's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Oliver Ike.

Who are you?

A wannabe Cary Joji Fukunaga impersonator. I mean, have you seen that man. He is the walking argument that life isn't fair. Wait, sorry. Oliver. My name is Oliver Ike (pronounced "Eee-kay)

What are you?

I am an American born to Japanese parents and like many of my kind, had to study Japanese in Japan. It's pretty good though now. Not great but my "Kansai-ben" is pretty strong apparently. The downside though is after living in Japan I can no longer eat cheap sushi and have a weird affinity for vending machines.

Where are you?

In front of a computer in my home office in West Los Angeles. I lived in the Valley for a long time but really like this area. Close to the beaches and much cooler weather.

Where are you from?

Spokane, Washington. It's a small town about a four hours drive east of Seattle.

What do you do?

I run an independent film distribution and sales company called First Pond Entertainment. We work with filmmakers during all stages of the filmmaking process from development through distribution. We take a film and plot out a unique release strategy that is in alignment with what the filmmaker hopes to accomplish. Whether it be recouping their budget and making some money for their investors or making a career for themselves. The good thing is that there are a plethora of innovative companies that have come along recently that make the entire process more affordable. The problem though then becomes an embarrassment of choices and finding the best fit for your film. One size certainly does not fit all.

What are you all about?

I'm all about rooting for the underdog (Go Lakers!). My focus is on socially-driven documentaries and narratives that highlight underrepresented communities either in front of the camera or behind it. In fact, a good chunk of our films are from the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival where I also moonlight every year in the programming department. Any time you turn on your TV or go to the movie theater, you always see the same kinds of faces. Whereas, as soon as you step outside of your home or that same movie theater, you see a much different reality. My goal is to at least even the playing field a little and eventually help get the entertainment industry to a place where casting a role comes down to who is the most qualified. I think people are much smarter and aware than this industry gives them credit for.

What makes you angry?

A little of everything but mostly, complacency. I think life is just too damned short to stand pat doing a job you don't really like or staying with a person who is "nice to you." Maybe you work a job that pays well but makes you miserable. I've always secretly dreamed that would make my life easier but in reality, I know I could never do that because, what's the point right? Do everything you can within the wheelhouse of your own potential. I don't think potential is pre-determined or stagnant either. I think it can grow with the person who challenges themselves to be better. If you harness your anger effectively and seek out the change you want to see in the world, then I think we can all make this world a better place. So, in the words of Phil Yu, "Stay Angry!"

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