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Conversations with Bob Yong

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bob Yong.

Hi Bob, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I think it all began with Pokemon and Sailormoon for me. I was spellbound by the incredible beauty of moving images and art in all of its forms. I remember being obsessed with the Batman movies directed by Tim Burton as well as anything that involved exciting VFX like the Harry Potter and Matrix movies. Hailing from Malaysia where opportunities in film and entertainment is uncommon, it has been an incredible privilege to be part of this industry and be at the forefront in exploring innovative ways to tell great stories. I took a big risk when I was 18 to leave home to pursue this lifelong love for storytelling and it has been the greatest decision in my life.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’ve always been confident in my talent and my abilities but I definitely was not expecting the mountain of challenges that I had to overcome. Making any kind of art comes from a very personal side of you and that can set yourself up for heartbreak when sometimes it seems like the world isn’t paying attention to it or if circumstances in your life make you feel like your work isn’t acknowledged. One of the earliest struggles is learning to grow thick skin and to not beat myself up when things didn’t go my way when it came to my career. The biggest struggle perhaps is leaving home and all of my childhood behind, not knowing how big of a sacrifice it was ten years ago. As I move forward in life, every step feels heavier and heavier as my childhood home feels further and further away. That being said, I’ve been learning to cope with this and have been using it as a source of inspiration for my personal project.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I have a deep love for storytelling through animation and camera. Trained as a CG generalist with experience with every step of the animation pipeline with a specialization in character animation and layout. I primarily work in 3D software packages and am most recently learning to use game engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine for my work. One of my proudest achievements was when my undergraduate thesis was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2016 Student Academy Awards. The biggest takeaway for me was knowing that my film resonated with a large audience and that people cared about the story. As I work towards future personal projects, I want to incorporate the same level of treatment for storytelling so that people from all walks of life can connect with. I’ve also had the privilege to work on several films and projects as a previs artist. These include Spiderman Homecoming, Pacific Rim Uprising and a few others that I am unable to disclose at this moment. I try to approach everything I do with an honest and open heart. Nothing fulfills me more knowing that my work has moved someone or just the fact that it has brought a smile to someone’s face. I’d like to think that I have a knack for telling stories that emphasize on the human connection between all of us. Some of the major themes in my work are family, childhood, memories and love in its various forms.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
My dream or end goal for my career is to one day give back and nurture the next generation of filmmakers in an educational setting. I love to help others grow and have always admired the teachers that have guided me in my journey. It hasn’t been easy but I am so thankful to have met all these guardian angels in my life as it has inspired me to be a source of strength and motivation for the young aspiring filmmakers out there. I must confess that I enjoy learning so much that perhaps this may just be an excuse to go back to school.

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