Rockabilly Vince

Middletown, Connecticut | Film Short

Drama, Musical

Justin W. Kim

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

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This campaign raised $2,505 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

50 supporters | followers

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A short coming-of-age film, Rockabilly Vince explores themes of identity, home, and freedom through the eyes of a Japanese American teenager who goes to his local rockabilly club to escape his suffocating home life. The film follows him over the course of one night that ends in a heady conclusion.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

As a first-generation Korean immigrant, representation in front of and behind the camera is important to me. We will be casting exclusively Asian/Asian American actors for the lead roles as well as being committed to having a majority POC and/or non-male identifying crew.

The Story



The conception for this project began from my interest in aging subcultures. I had watched a Wim Wenders documentary about Ozu in which he accidentally discovers an aging population of rockabilly fanatics that have been jiving away since the 70s in Yoyogi Park. I was immediately fascinated. From there, I began to research the rockabilly scene and started to wonder what it would be like if a Japanese American teenager found himself spending time in the rockabilly scene in the 1970s.


This story follows Joji "Vince" Ito as he navigates the rockabilly scene with his friends, Kenji and Mayuko, who make up their local Tokyo Rockabilly Club. Vince struggles to prioritize between caring for his troubled single father and spending time at the local rockabilly club. His conflicting motivations of being a caretaker and a rebellious teen ultimately come to a heady conclusion.


To properly craft this story, we need bring the 1970s back to life. The art department and camera team have been hard at work researching and working to get the look just right. It’s important that we have all the proper tools to build an atmospheric environment that immerses you in the period, whether that means dressing a historically accurate rockabilly biker club or securing the proper lighting and costumes.


We are shooting on 16mm film! This means increased expenses due to the cost of purchasing, processing, and telecining this project on an increasingly expensive physical medium. We need your help to carry this project from start to finish. 

Thank you!


For more information please reach out to

Justin Kim (director) [email protected]

Joey Ellis (producer) [email protected] 


(credit: starting top to bottom Denny Renshaw Tokyo Roller-Kozu Gangs, Jim Jarmusch Mystery Train, Francis Ford Coppola Rumblefish, John Waters Cry Baby) 


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $1,250

Shooting on 16mm film is expensive! We need your help to purchase and process the film.


Costs $700

Locations are crucial to creating a convincing period piece.


Costs $500

Costumes are essential to creating convincing Rock and Roll'ers.


Costs $300

Funds will go towards helping get the best cast possible to set!


Costs $250

Help us transport and feed our incredible crew members.

About This Team

Justin Kim

Director, Writer, Editor

Justin was raised on a steady diet of Korean period dramas and J-Horror movies as a child. Despite, or because, of these experiences he has decided to try his hand at making movies. He is also a film major at Wesleyan University who has directed, photographed, and produced several short films and other senior theses. He is excited to make his first short fiction film! Please lend him a hand. 

Wilson Lai


Wilson is a Chinese-Filipino senior at Wesleyan University hailing from Hong Kong. From a young age, he’s been obsessed with watching and making movies. He’s very excited to be joining this team to help bring this fascinating vision to life. Wilson is almost always extremely busy.

Joey Ellis 


Joey has produced several student productions in the past and is excited to be a part of the Rockabilly Vince crew. Previously he has had internship opportunities at international companies such as Liberty Global and Lionsgate, while all gaining experience as an intern at the Stockholm International Film Festival.

Ale Lampietti 


Ale has produced and photographed multiple short films and senior theses. She is currently in post production for her cinematography thesis Passing. 

Jen Kim 


Jen is a producer and creative director working in NYC. She has worked for various film festivals in the past and is excited to assist this production! 

Catalina Rojter

Assistent Director

Catalina is a film student attending Wesleyan University. She has directed, photographed, and assisted on a variety of short films. She is currently in post-production on her own senior thesis Love Bugs. 

Robyn Rose Valentine

Assistent Director

Senior film student with a passion for diverse stories. Just completed her own film about 2 friends of color and has worked on several others in various positions. Fun fact: Loves Outer Space and can bend her thumb behind her knuckle. 

Rebecca Foster

Assistent Camera

My name is Rebecca, and I am a senior film and psychology major at Wesleyan. I am so excited to be working as First AC on Rockabilly Vince!

Daniel Jarris

Script Supervisor 

Daniel is a senior at Wesleyan University majoring in American Studies. His interests include printmaking, dancing alone in his room, and supervising Justin’s script. This is his first time working on a thesis set and he is really excited to be apart of this amazing crew!

Estella Zeng

Lead gaffer 

My name is Estella and I'm excited to be working as the lead gaffer on this project. I've gaffed multiple projects before. I am ambivalent about owls.

Alexandre Leter


Alexandre has been making short films since he was a teen, and directed his first feature length film Pau in high school, which will soon be publicly released in a movie theatre in Paris. He is now a Sophomore and prospective Religion major at Wesleyan University, and is excited to explore new roles on thesis films such as Justin's.

Hyunwoo Choi-Ward

Lead grip

Hyunwoo is a second semester sophomore and a prospective film major. He is the president of the Wilson Lai fan club.

Viveka Cousins

Lead Production Designer 

I am an English lit major and senior at Wesleyan. I’m from Los Angeles, California and have always loved film but I’m new to the process of film making. I’m working on production design and costume design for Rockabilly Vince. 

Zack Lobel

Production Designer 

I'm very excited to be working production design on Justin's thesis film. I have worked on various film theses and theater productions before this and am excited to bring my experience to this project! 


Camilla Lopez

Production Designer 

I'm from San Antonio, Texas. I am a senior at Wesleyan majoring in Government and minoring in Film Studies. I am excited to be working on production design!

Bastian Silvestre

Production Designer 

Hi my name is Bastian and I am excited to be working on this thesis film. I am currently busy working on my own sculpture thesis. 


Julia Nacario

Asst. Production Designer 

Hi! My name is Julia Nacario and I’m a prospective Film and Psych major here at Wesleyan. For now I’m working on Justin Kim’s senior thesis as an Associate Producer and Production Design Assistant

Darcy Neureiter


Hello my name is Darcy and I specialize in the rare art form of Disco Skiing. This is my first time choreographing for a film but I was the undisputed life of the party at my 5th grade sock hop so I’ve been thrilled to offer my skills on Rockabilly Vince. I love boogie all over town in my spare time. Peace. Love. Elvis Presley.

Declan Bishow

Music Supervisor 

Greetings, some call him a spaceman, others deem him the village idiot. He knows himself only as Declan. He hopes and hopes that this thesis will prosper. Give us a hand please.

King Emeka

Sound Designer

King Ali Emeka (Sound Mixer) is a student at Wesleyan University. He releases music performed, mixed, and mastered by himself weekly on platforms such as Soundcloud, receiving the attention of tens of thousands of listeners. One of his short film's, blu blak (2018), in which he produced, directed, and scored won Best Youth Short in Philadelphia's annual Blackstar Film Festival. 

Daniela Estrada

Make up and Hair Stylist  

I am a junior from Chicago. I have been doing people's makeup from a young age, and am excited to bring my experience to the film.

Current Team