The Mill is a creative culture made up of talented individuals from different backgrounds. They work tirelessly to perfect their craft and hone new techniques, whilst inspiring and collaborating with those around them.
In this blog series, we will highlight The Mill's artists, technologists, producers and everyone in between, delving into their passion projects.
We sat down with Emerging Technology, Production Coordinator Min-Wei Lee to talk about her latest project 'Ripple' and what inspires her.
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got into your field?
I always knew that I wanted to be involved in the arts in some shape or form. My parents, though very much from the corporate world, both valued art - our little apartment is filled with stacks of old Sotheby's and Christie's catalogues, and every nook and cranny is used to store some painting or another. I jumped around from fashion and jewelry design, to writing and photography, and finally landed on film. Growing up in Singapore where the film scene is (to put it politely) relatively nascent, I didn't really know how to go about pursuing this dream of mine, so I Googled "best film university in the world" and ended up in NYU Tisch School of the Arts' Film & TV programme.
Fast forward to my final year at NYU, I was coming to the end of my internship with The Mill's Content department (❤) when another opportunity arose: the Emerging Technology group (i.e. the bunch of super cool nerds whose heads were always in some VR/AR headset or another) was looking for a coordinator. And as they say, the rest was history!
What inspires you?
I find passionate people, regardless of their field, incredibly infectious. I'm also drawn to creative people who have a strong work ethic (off the top of my head, people like Chris Nolan and Roger Deakins). As for what I find inspiring, I'm moved by stories about the human experience that are thoughtfully and lovingly told, regardless of medium. Without sounding too cheesy, I find beauty in things that come from a truthful place.
What are you currently watching, reading, listening to?
Currently watching: Westworld and uh Terrace House (NO SHAME!)
Currently listening to: Anderson .Paak, Etta James and Bob Dylan (specifically Blonde on Blonde)
Currently reading: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Orientalism (YAY COLONIALISM!)
You attended Day for Night festival as you were part of the project 'Uproar', tell us more about that.I was really inspired by Kinda and Will Arnold's concepts for Uproar when they were first brainstorming for Day For Night. The subtlety and thoughtfulness behind their themes and designs, coupled with Jimmy Gass' wizard Houdini and Python skills, made this piece really beautiful, and completely changed the way that I think about data visualization.
The emerging tech world was very new to me when I first joined ET, so it was initially challenging for me to find ways to contribute to projects, especially during technical execution and installation phases. When I heard that the project needed someone to shoot a behind-the-scenes video, I leapt at the opportunity. I was really excited to be a part of the project, even tangentially!
Tell us more about your short film 'Ripple'.
Ripple is my thesis short film about Jing, a college girl who finds herself out of her depth when she discovers that a distant family friend is being abused by her husband of 20 years. It's a very personal film because the script is based on my relationship with an older family friend who passed away early last year. I wanted to make something in her memory. If I'm being completely honest, it was also a cathartic exercise for me.
How was that experience?
For the sake of the few of you who are reading this, I'll try my best to be succinct, because I could really go on about how making this film changed my life! If this experience has taught me anything, it's that if you are passionate about something and dare to show others your commitment to that passion, people will respond. It was (and still is!) a humbling experience seeing so many talented individuals coalesce around the project and volunteer their time, funds and talent. My collaborators have made this experience unforgettable; it's truly the best thing that happened to me in college.
Was the Mill involved?
Yes! I was in pre-production for the film while I was interning in Content. They not only hooked me up with the awesome folks at Cinema Vision (click here to check out our badass camera package), but also donated to my Kickstarter! Additionally, Evan Bauer in color production helped to get us some time with Nate Seymour who performed his color magic on the film.
What's your favorite thing about working here at The Mill?
Hands down, it's the people I get to work with every day. I've worked in a variety of creative environments and have never felt so inspired to learn from those around me - from the creatives to the producers, this place is bursting with talent!!
Also, the roof decks are pretty dope too I guess ;p...