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Meet Yicheng Xue of KNE in Korean Town

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yicheng Xue.

Yicheng, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m now a Director/Producer/Videographer. I was born in Xi’an, China. When I was a kid, my father loved watching war films and playing video games at home when looking after me. Naturally, I was exposed to the world of visual art since then. Because the Chinese film industry wasn’t developed at that time. I didn’t make up my mind to study filmmaking in college. Following my family’s advice, I went to Shanghai to study Clinical Medicine for Bachelor’s Degree after high school. However, the education at Fudan University, Shanghai, really made me re-discover myself. I found my artistic genes in college time. I street danced; I performed in the theater club; I sang in competitions. And in my sophomore year, I bought my first camera and started to shot photos and videos.

After hesitation and consideration, I made my decision to come to the US learning filmmaking a year before graduation from Fudan University. Since then, I started to reach out to film lovers in other colleges in Shanghai, shot a bunch of silly short films, and made videos of street dancing. I did all these on weekends while I was doing a rotating doctor internship in a hospital on weekdays. I got into local film festivals with my short film “Dinner” and a Dance Music Video I made went viral online. Those small achievements made me more confident and optimistic in filmmaking. I finally went to study MFA Cinema Directing at DePaul University in Chicago. I had hand-on experiences on professional sets and worked in different creative departments of film production. What’s more important, three short films directed by me went to local and worldwide film festivals like World-Fest Houston international film festivals, Chinses American Film Festivals, Golden State Film Festivals, etc.

After I graduated, I directly came to Los Angeles, I fell in love with this city soon. Now I work as an independent Director/Producer/Videographer providing service for Commercials, Music Videos, Documentaries, and other video content. I also create still photos as well. I’m also writing a feature script and producing an independent feature film. I have been contracting and collaborating with several local production companies including Narval Films, Moonrise Pictures, Sirin Films, etc. The clients I worked with include Tencent Music, CGTN, Hupu Sports, Xhibition, FBLA, etc. I don’t set boundaries to myself only in narrative films. I also overview of other visual formats. Different ideas and client needs could be accomplished via different formats of visualization. I believe keeping an open mind will make me a better artist. I’m also dedicated to capturing every extraordinary moment in ordinary life.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I went to Chicago to study filmmaking, as the only international student in my directing class, I quickly came across problems. I noticed the cultural difference between me and the local people. We watched different movies growing up, except for the most popular ones. And also, I had difficulties expressing myself precisely. In my mother tongue, I like talking and expressing feelings. I consider the choice of word as a delicate thing. But in a second language, the subtle vocabulary choice between words was always a pain to me.

However, I overcame it anyway. The challenges I encountered in the first couple of years did teach me many lessons and gave me experiences of working in unfamiliar environments. I always love the saying “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.” After graduation, for an international independent filmmaker, I’m very strong at providing service for clients in my community when making commercially-used video content. But it still needs time and strategy to build my name bigger and open bigger markets. When developing original narrative films, it’s always slower than you think to write a satisfying script.

KNE – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Narval Films is a production company I worked a lot with. One of our original short films won the First International Film Festival, the most famous Chinese independent film festival. We are specialized in original narrative content and customized commercial-use video content for clients. I always use KNE as my personal brand. Because I’ve been doing different video content, I’m very experienced in combining ideas and finding the best way to visualize a project.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment for me is when I made my decision to chase my dream, being a filmmaker. I went to one of the best medical programs in China, but I decided to change my career path to an industry that I was totally unfamiliar with. From that day, I did many brave things. I think that only pursuing the career that you truly love, will you make a difference and prove your value. It doesn’t mean that you can make more fortune or the path will be smoother, but it means that you have a purpose to live for. I always feel I have a mission on my back, which is bigger than myself. This mission is Cinema and it always gives me strength, guides me through every good and bad moment in my life.

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