Searching for Don ‘Half-Pint’ Santos is a short documentary that takes the audience on a journey to find Don Santos, a former member of 1990’s R&B group, Immature. The documentary will focus not only what happened to Don Santos, but the actual journey to find Santos.

I grew up in the 80‘s-90’s listening to Hip-Hop and R&B. Anything from gangsta rap to east coast hip-hop to slow jams were bumping on my walkman. Don’t get me wrong, I’d get in some grunge and alternative in there as well. But, R&B and Hip-Hop just called out to me.

A couple years later, I would reminisce with friends and talk about how music wasn’t like it used to be. We were beginning to sound like our old people who didn’t understand the current music that was “popular!” We’d talk about the R&B artists like Shai, Jodeci, New Edition, Hi-Five, etc. Those artists could make any girl swoon. Their songs had emotion and soul. Someone would start belting out a song from one of the artists mentioned. “If I everrrrrrr…fall in lovvvvvveeeee….”

And then the topic of young groups came around. So we’d list the boy bands like New Kids on The Block, Backstreet Boys, and N' Sync. But then it would always go back to the R&B and hip-hop groups. We’d bring up Kriss Kross and ABC, of course. Then the topic of Immature came up. The great thing was that they are close in age to me and a lot of people in my group of friends (they were born in 1981). Someone would point out that “Roger” from “Sister, Sister” was Batman from Immature. Some of us might remember that Immature even made an appearance on “Sister, Sister.”

And then someone popped the question, “Did you know there was a Filipino in Immature?” Wait, what? There is? I thought they were all African-American? Some people could recall that there was. We’d then ask more questions about him and the group. I’ve had tons of those conversations but the reason for him leaving the group was never consistent. People said this; people said that. We also began to wonder what he was up to now.

Later along my filmmaking career, I also thought it would be a great idea to make a documentary about him. However, I felt that the timing wasn’t right, as I didn’t have the right resources to contribute to the film yet. In 2011, having the resources and knowing that the group was all turning 30 this year, I felt like the timing was perfect. So here we are, well on our search to find Half-Pint. And, it doesn’t hurt to know that the group is expected to release an album this year.

In a time where there weren’t that many Filipinos, let alone Asians, on screen, Asian Americans would point out an Asian American on screen if they saw one. When people saw Rufio (Dante Basco), in Hook, they went crazy. The character became iconic. When people see so few of someone their own skin color or who looks like them, they go crazy when they actually do. Word would spread like wildfire saying so-so is Asian or or even part Asian. People would maybe look up to or admire those stars or celebrities. It might have even given people hope or aspirations to do the same. Or it would give people the desire to achieve something great--something that they felt was unreachable. But since fans see someone of similar color accomplish something few could do, they feel like they can do it to.

Asian Americans felt a sense of pride, especially if they were of similar age. It was the same feeling as if your friend was there on screen. It felt like that person on screen could relate to the Asian American audience. And because of that, we felt that the audience, especially myself, would take interest in finding a person who was once in the limelight whom we might have looked up to or admired at the time. It’s like looking for that long-lost friend.



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