Interview with Producer Jeff Spike Wong (THE 13TH NOTE)

THE 13TH NOTE was the winner of BEST FILM at the May 2022 Experimental/Music Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

This idea started over 20 years ago when I was selling Steinway & Sons pianos in CA.

I used to program the player pianos to play Master of Puppets by Metallica & no one knew it was a metal song. Most folks thought it was Chopin or Beethoven.

When I got the A/R director position for Kawai Piano Gallery of Houston, I met Yan Shen and I immediately signed her to be a Kawai artist. And with her accolades & Doctors degrees in both Music & Piano, I knew I wanted to do something special with her. From there the idea of a live show with Rusty Cooley and Yan Shen developed. Unfortunately, I was relieved from my position and that live show went away with it. Until 2020 when I had coffee with Yan to just catch up and the idea of Rusty & her came up to be a film in place of the live show and rest is history.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

From Preproduction to Wrap 11 months there and about.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?


4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Covid Mandates

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Very Touching Emotionally.

Gratitude and Thanks from my heart to all that participated in that video.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I grew up in a show biz family, My grandfather was a star actor in Taiwan, and I grew up around sets and stages.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Song Remains the Same – Led Zeppelin

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I am learning who does what, where & how, but I am a huge marketing guy coming from professional sales, so the festivals that interacts like yours is a winner for me/us.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

My 2nd year with FilmFreeway and I am very happy with the results as well as the huge selection of festivals I can show my work to. Totally Awesome!

Old saying in the business…Got to be seen if you want to be relevant to what’s going on.

10. What is your favorite meal?

The meal with my soul tribe/loved ones.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

Rusty Cooley will be launching a new season of Rusty Cooley’s Guitar Autopsy on YouTube.

Karim & I are on the team to bring the world that product.

Zach Mullin has written another screen play, that’s being developed.

I wrote a screenplay that is shelved at present time due to the attention of other projects that is
right in front of me. But rest assured, I will be making more films in the future, and they will be
positive & heart felt messages just like The 13th Note. That’s in everything I do.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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