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Meet May He

Today we’d like to introduce you to May He.

May, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I think I’ve wanted to be a director/editor ever since I saw Requiem for a Dream (2000) directed by Darren Aronofsky in middle school.

I was a kid that spent entirely way too much time staying up late and watching movies and T.V. until the a.m. on school nights. As a pre-teen or teenager going through puberty, my hormones were raging. Mix these raging hormones with some very powerful films and you have an incredibly emotional individual. I really did grow up on films and T.V. It helped me develop a taste for the things that I like and don’t like. And everything that made me cry I was fascinated by. Sad or happy tears, I wanted to know how something could physically move the waterworks inside a person. Whatever it was, it must have been amazing.

I joined a film club in high school to hang out with friends and watch more movies. I was in the film room every chance I got, my mom practically had to drag me home. After I graduated high school, I went to Art Center College of Design. It was the best  experience I could have ever asked for. I’m incredibly thankful to have met the people I did in school.

Has it been a smooth road?
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, and if anyone ever tells you it has, they’re lying. I’ve really had to fight my parents on my career choice. I’m Chinese and so are both my parents. I don’t think any Chinese parent would be happy to hear that their daughter wanted to study and pursue Film as a career. This might be bold of me to say, but I’m not sure any parent would be too jazzed about that news.

It’s a tough industry and business. Especially for a woman and one of color (even though things are changing). People often say, “that’s just a passion, not a career.” When people say that, it means you love it, but it won’t make money. Although there are people in the industry that do make money. Why do they make money? They are really good at what they do. The only way to be really good at what you do is to spend time on it and that’s driven by a love for what you do. I understood my parents completely. I just knew that I really loved Film and I was gonna spend a lot of time proving it.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a director/editor. I mostly do commercials. I think people often overlook commercials because they’re not considered profound pieces of work. I think commercials have the potential to be incredibly earnest. What’s more profound than trying to make a human connection? Anytime I’m making a commercial, I think about “middle school me” and what moved her.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think the advertising and commercial industry is situated in a place for amazing growth at the moment. Everybody is constantly looking at screens. It’s time to make something worth looking at.

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