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Chaochen Li

Chaochen Li

MFA in Film and Television Production '20

546 project shot in Fall 2019 semester
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1) Congratulations on your nomination for the ASC Student Heritage Award. Tell us about your project and what about it makes you the most proud? 
My project Mr.ThisForThat is a 546 project I shot in Fall 2019 semester. It’s a story about a girl from a broken home being visited in her closet by a mysterious creature who promises her anything she a price.
What I’m most proud of is that it recently got a feature take.
2) This is a wonderful success. What has been a challenge so far in your time at the School and how did you learn from it?
546 was probably the most challenging time for me. The challenge was about trying to figure out how to shoot the film with limited resources and time. Because it’s a class project, we had to figure out how to use our budget effectively. Planning was extremely important. The whole process of making this film made me grow a lot as a cinematographer. It emphasized the importance of pre-production. I remember I had clear idea of when to shoot and what equipment I was going to use every time I step on set. 

3) Why did you choose to study at SCA?
I chose SCA because I believed it would pull me deeper into the film world. It was an easy choice. I worked in the camera department for two years in China before I came to SCA for MFA. Although the working experience was great for me, I knew I needed some time to really learn the craft. I have to say, the things I learned in SCA and the people I met in SCA are truly invaluable for my future career. 
4) How has SCA prepared you so far for the career you want to have?
I think the most important lessons I learned in SCA are collaboration and punctuality, two most important things in the film world. Creativity is definitely important but filmmaking is never done by one individual. Learning to communicate and work with other people is the most important thing SCA taught me. Punctuality means being a reliable person and being respectful to other people, and it was the first lesson I learned in SCA. I truly believe these two things SCA taught me has given me a foundation for a bright future.

5) What advice do you have for prospective students looking to apply to SCA?
It’s going to be three years well spent, and you will cherish those memories forever, like I do. 
But, be prepared, "Reality Ends Here.”