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Meet David Woo

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Woo.

Thanks for sharing your story with us David. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was, in general, a really curious kid growing up, and as I got older, I became increasingly curious about people’s stories. The human condition can be tough sometimes, and as I experienced more of the world through traveling, I discovered my calling in visual storytelling.

More specifically, I wanted to help give people a voice and spark conversations. I studied film production in school at first to make compelling narrative work, but almost immediately after graduating, I bought a DSLR and went into photojournalism working mostly in Asia. I thought that field fit my personality much more. So I covered protests, disasters, marginalized communities… you name it. I wanted to be a war photographer.

However, there were challenges. Firstly, I found it difficult to make a living, and secondly, as people became more polarized, showing photographs of disasters and tragedy just wasn’t making enough of an impact. Positive visuals leave much more of an impression.

So I went back into filmmaking and focused on cinematography and cinematic documentary work. I want to help social businesses share their stories and inspire other brands, organizations, individuals, and prove that we can, in fact, bridge profit & purpose. I spent several years working in Tokyo, Japan but felt it was time for the next chapter and just recently moved to Los Angeles.

Has it been a smooth road?
There were challenges every week, if not every day. Being a cinematographer and filmmaker is a tough career path.

On the one hand, you’re trying to express yourself and your vision to the world. But on the other hand, you have to be realistic and make sure your bills are paid. The hustle is real. I found myself taking more gigs that didn’t really fit into the vision I had. I was also living in Japan when I first started working professionally so the climb was slow due to things like the language barrier, cultural differences, etc.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with David Woo – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I strive to create meaningful, intimate stories that can inspire change. I want to help brands work hand in hand with grassroots organizations and individual good-doers. I work as a cinematographer/director of photography on cinematic documentary style projects. On certain projects, I work as the director/creative director on a project as well.

I primarily try to work with already ethical brands or companies that are in the process of shifting their model to include sustainability and ethics in their business model.

I’ve worked with brands like Patagonia, Lush, and Greenpeace just to name a few. I’m most proud of the intention behind the projects I choose to work on. I think as a small business owner, it can be difficult to shift my attention away from making a profit in maintaining my creative integrity and my original vision. I’ve been blessed to have a somewhat balanced lifestyle so far in making a profit and creating purposeful projects.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I’ve visited Los Angeles a few times over the last few years and I really enjoyed the energy. In almost every part of town, you’ll come across somebody who’s either working in the film production industry or trying to get their foot in the door. I love how hard working everybody is.

For sure my least favorite thing is the traffic. I’m a terrible driver and it’s been a while since I’ve driven a car. The trains in Japan are so convenient that there wasn’t really a need to drive so coming back to the U.S. 6ish years later and having to go through the heavy L.A. traffic is a nightmare.

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