Phillip Wong Productions

Involvement – Non-Profit+Political – Leave No Footprint

           As fundraisers have become more and more important to the various issues and causes, the need for bringing people together, crafting messages, and raising money has become integral in society. 

          I have believed that we are fortunate to be able to do the jobs we do, and we should all use the opportunities we have to try to make more of an impact, lend our skills, and use our deep knowledge and experience to help worthwhile contributions at every level.

            I have taken jobs that have budgets that are too small and ideas that are too big, but the projects can do much, much more, with knowledge, thought, experience, a cross-pollination of production platforms and unique perspective. 

            I worked on the Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012 in Pennsylvania, setting up field offices and helping to organize ground games – and while I thought Barack Obama was talented and intelligent, I chose that involvement because I understood Chicago politics, and what their priorities were.  Unlike corporate or government programs – we had to work with motivating people who were not being paid. Getting consistency, clarity, simplicity, and visible success while only having patience and calm as tools, was a different production form.
My attending and shooting the 2008 inauguration was a vindication of my belief that “process” can often overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.


          The Guggenheim’s annual gala,  was an opportunity in the wake of  the 2008 financial meltdown.  They had to continue raising money, but had to cut costs and still bring in contributions.
They had chosen to have Peter Hoffman, the owner of Soho’s Savoy restaurant , cater the event and Savoy’s had never produced an event of over 400 before.
We closed all gaps, melding staff, for both service and kitchen, while producing with numerous constraints, and on the fly. Working on a loading dock was a different experience for Savoy, but a normal one for our team.


          A friend had been working with New York Times publishing as they launched a book tour for two books: The Essential NYTimes Cookbook, and In the Kitchen with Food You Love, with both Amanda Hesser and Melissa Clark.

           An event was planned at Chelsea Market with a tasting that would highlight a program to feed children at New York City schools. Amanda Hesser’s book had interviewed and published the recipes of dozens of chefs and 20 of them offered to do a tasting.

         But their budget was FAR off.    I agreed to helping with this project because of the School Food Program aspect, but accepted helping them, only if I could re-design the entire structure of the event.
It became an unusual event, but highly successful for both the chefs, the authors, the program directors, and the audience.          

           Food and Wine Magazine bestowed annual awards to new and emerging chefs, that was part of an overall program to support the restaurant industry’s growth. At this event, established restauranteurs provided tasting tables that I covered with photographed food elements that the restaurants were reknown for.
Another jewelry designer from London was launching a line in New York. The launch was sponsored and calculated to draw attention to new focus in the mining industry on responsible and sustainable mining techniques.
We pulled everything together including the security service and designing and constructing the design cases to showcase and internally light the jewels.

          Working seamlessly with countless other companies on the launching of films, awarding Elton John for his service to fundraising to combat HIV/AIDS at iconic New York buildings as varied as the Public Library and the cathedral of St. John The Divine, we have sought to utilize our experience with the need to raise funds for worthwhile causes.