Growing up half-Vietnamese in Hawaii, Phil felt a lot of pressure to become an engineer or a doctor. To his parents’ chagrin, he went to film school in New York instead.
Before his time at NYU ended, he interned at the Daily Show, wrote film reviews for ABC New Radio, and won a student academy award for his short film High Maintenance, traveling to festivals including Sundance, Berlin, and Telluride. Ridley Scott’s company RSA Films signed Phil for commercials and helped him produce more shorts and branded content featured in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, MTV, Pitchfork, AdAge’s “Best Ads,” Short of the Week, and Vimeo’s Staff Picks. His commercials picked up D&AD, One Show, and Addy awards.
But he longed for the world of features. It took over a decade and dozens of failed attempts at screenplays for him to finally co-write TO THE EXTREME, a biopic about Vanilla Ice, yes, Vanilla Ice, which landed on the Blacklist and sold to Endeavor Content with Ramona Films and No Trace Camping producing.
Since then, he has written on an as-yet-unreleased Netflix crime-drama series for Brad Falchuk and developed feature comedy projects with Seth MacFarlane, The Lucas Brothers, Topher Grace, and Jermaine Fowler. He also co-wrote a horror movie for producer Matti Leshem at New Mandate Films and is currently developing a crime thriller series with Boat Rocker Studios
Phil loves darkly comedic spins on pop cultural ephemera, tragicomic crime stories, and left-of-center thrillers. He has a passion for working with new writers, especially those with unique or diverse voices.
He is currently represented by Verve and Industry Entertainment.
Phillip is very knowledgeable about the movie business and is open and willing to share his experiences. Two of the things that I most enjoy are: His openness and availability for answering questions during and after class. He goes above and beyond in providing insightful and detailed feedback which offers a different perspective.
Phillip is a great instructor. He has one of the most constructive, positive, validating attitudes of any writing teacher I’ve ever studied with. It’s my favorite writing class I’ve ever taken. The curriculum helped lots of disconnected things click. I’m super grateful. Big fan.