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  • Writer's pictureMathias Choo

From Passion to Paycheck: My Journey as a Filmmaker

Updated: Jan 14

In the vast tapestry of digital storytelling, individual journeys color the narratives we encounter. This entry is an invitation to understand the context and the person behind the stories that will populate this blog.


Twilight hues cast over a serene landscape, with gentle waters nestled among the foothills, captured through the lens of a Sony handheld camera, a testament to early storytelling adventures.
Early storytelling adventures with the Sony Handycam.

A Childhood Fascination Turned Lifelong Pursuit

It all began with a handheld camera - a gift from my father that unknowingly charted the course of my future. Capturing random videos evolved into a serious hobby as I delved into editing, effects, and storytelling. This childhood pastime became the bedrock of my career.


Academic Endeavors and Early Accolades

The hobby matured into a pursuit as I earned my diploma in filmmaking, culminating in the final year project which I produced - "10:30", which went on to win awards at film festivals. My academic journey continued at Nanyang Technological University's School of Art, Design, and Media. There, I directed "Rocketship," which soared through film festivals and clinched the Best Live Action award (Student Category) at the 7th National Youth Film Awards in Singapore.


A detailed view of AVID's video editing software interface, showcasing a complex project timeline with multiple tracks and clips—a glimpse into the professional editing process.
Navigating the AVID editing suite: Precision and complexity to bring stories to life on screen.

Cutting Through the Industry

Post-graduation, I entered the production house arena, editing content for television and broadcast. This period was a deep dive into the technicalities of professional editing, learning to navigate various formats and software like AVID, while contributing to significant projects viewed by hundreds of thousands.


A Leadership Chapter

Transitioning to 8VI Global, I expanded my expertise from editing to leadership. Managing post-production teams and traveling for work presented a steep learning curve, where Final Cut Pro became my new tool of choice. I had the opportunity to direct the company's branding video, and embraced additional roles in event photography and studio broadcast, all of which I look forward to recounting in subsequent posts.


Hands manipulating a melting clock in a surreal scene from 'Take Pause,' an experimental dance film, reflecting the fluidity of time and the creative exploration in freelance filmmaking.
Exploring the avant-garde: A frame from 'Take Pause', an experimental dance film. I channeled the director's vision into a tangible narrative, editing rhythms and movements that later graced international film festivals as an official selection.

The Freelance Frontier

Now, as a freelancer since early 2023, I've continued to adapt, taking on projects that necessitate a versatile approach to storytelling—crafted for the quick scrolls of social media and the discerning eyes of festival audiences.

 

This blog marks the latest chapter in my narrative, one I'm eager to share with you. Stay tuned for detailed accounts, reflections, and the lessons gleaned from behind the camera.

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