Take It Slow

: Narrative Short
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Development


An inexperienced bisexual man goes on a date with a younger gay man, and finds out that his preconceived notions on gay dating culture don’t stand up to reality.


At a coffee shop in Brooklyn, Chris, a bisexual thirty-something, nervously waits for Derrick, a gay twenty-something, who is already late to their date. Chris, who has not dated many guys yet, worries that he will be overmatched by the young and glamorous Derrick. 

When Derrick finally arrives, he senses Chris’ unease, and suggests that they take their beverages to-go. Relieved, Chris agrees, and they leave to take a stroll in the park.

When they reach the park and fall into conversation, Chris begins to see that Derrick is not at all what he expected, and that they align in more ways than he could have imagined. 

As they move through the park, the pair start to connect on many different levels. They find that not only do they have a shared sense of humor, but that their goals in dating are quite similar. Chris realizes that he may have misjudged Derrick, who is also interested in moving slowly and cultivating intimacy and authentic connection. And he is surprised to learn that Derrick is also coming into the conversation with his own hang-ups, fears, and emotional baggage.

By the end of the date, as they leave the park and prepare to part ways, Chris realizes that with Derrick, what he thought would be outside his comfort zone, suddenly feels like home.


Based on a real-life experience, “Take It Slow” is an intimate love letter to the queer/AAPI community, which will give voice to a segment of the queer community that is not often seen or heard from: the “late bloomers” - those of us who are out and proud, and have been so for many years, but who struggle to get out there and date, and who fear they won’t be able to keep up with the velocity of modern-day dating culture in the big city. Surprisingly, there are many more of us out there than one might imagine.

Simultaneously, the film will address various stereotypes on gay dating culture, which have historically sought to label queer men as inherently promiscuous, wild, and sexually deviant. But for those of us in the community, we know that our dating habits and wants/needs/desires in romance are as diverse and varied as the community itself. Thus, “Take It Slow” will grant visibility to queer men who are choosing healthy relationships for themselves in spite of society’s expectations for them, and despite what others in their community might demand of them.

Furthermore, the film will feature two Asian leads. Romance between Asian characters is seldom seen in American cinema, as too often the “Asian love interest” is treated as little more than an accessory to another. Therefore, we're interested in depicting an Asian couple whose presence on screen will not be tokenized, and who will be seen in all their unique, effervescent humanity.


Roku Long - Producer

Roku Jingwen Long is an award-winning writer, director, and producer born in Beijing and now based in New York. She specializes in international and cross-cultural film and commercial productions. In 2023, her short film Echoes received the Best Director award from Vesuvius International Film Festival and was officially selected by Micheaux Film Festival. Her other short film Dear Vanessa has been selected by the NewFest LGBTQ+ Film Festival. Her fashion film project Immortal Mind has been selected for competition at BAFTA qualifying Bolton International Film Festival. In 2022 and 2023, her film projects, Echoes and Tropical Seeds, won the Jack Larson Award for Collaboration and the Emerging Filmmakers Grant from Columbia University. From 2015, she worked in professional TV writing, commercial directing, and producing. Her past clients include Riot Game, PUBGMobile, Blackpink by YG Entertainment, Advene Design, and many others.

Education: Columbia University School of the Arts - MFA Film Communication; University of China - Bachelor of Arts, Film, Theater and TV Production

Chase Lee - Writer/Director/Lead Actor

Chase Lee is a Brooklyn-based actor and filmmaker who was most recently seen playing Lorenzo in Edward Einhorn's The Shylock and the Shakespeareans at the New Ohio Theater in New York, and as Chase Wonder in Andrew Zebang Yang's short film, The Supporting Actor.

Chase has trained at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, with La Escafandra Teatro in Pereira, Colombia, and at the Atlantic Acting School in New York City.

As a filmmaker, Chase has written, directed, and starred in two of his own independent short films: Host With The Most, and Hi, How Are You? He is passionately committed to bringing queer/Asian stories to life with tenderness, care, and a bit of flare!


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