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Meet Hang Ning Tong

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hang Ning Tong.

Hang Ning, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Having involved and learned about video production during my studies in University, I’ve gained interest in filmmaking and started doing freelance video and photography work before I graduate from the University. At the same time I worked as an intern for TV3, a government-owned tv station and also a local production company called AC Creations Media. After graduated from University, I worked in a production company called Untitled Films for about two years and decided to travel to the United States to further pursue a Master degree in Cinematography

Has it been a smooth road?
After finishing my first year of study in the U.S I took the opportunity of OPT (Optional Practical Training) to work for a year in New York before continuing my final year in Los Angeles. During the first half of the year as I worked as a freelancer, there were times that I can only stay at home because there was no job. I was struggling as I had to pay for my rent and living expenses. In the second half of the year, things started getting better. I start working as a Teacher Assistant in New York Film Academy and also working outside of school at the same time. I am glad that I survived my OPT and now I am in Los Angeles finishing my final year.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I mainly worked as a Cinematographer (Director of Photography) in this business. At the same time, I am also known for working as a First Camera Assistant/Focus Puller. I was lucky to work on 2 feature films as a First Camera Assistant during my OPT period in New York. I believe my experience working in Malaysia as a photographer, videographer and editor prior to coming to the U.S helped me strengthen my skill in my field of profession and getting more understanding on how this industry work.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
After the on-going transformation from shooting with film to digital in the past 20 years. Some of the trends and shifts we are currently facing are the transformation from full HD resolution to 4K, Camera manufacturers dramatically shrinking down the size of the cinema camera due to technological advance and the shift of standard super 35mm format to large format in terms of optical (lenses) and sensor size, also due to the growing tech. Another reason is we tend to have non-stopping desire seeking changes, this is well-known throughout the human history. Another on-going shifting trend is the shift of using traditional heavy, costly tungsten lights to the new LED lights that are lighter, more convenient, and cost-effective.

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