Editor, Filmmaker, Storyteller
Zhongyang, Jongyoung, Jonyon, John.
If you read at loud four times,
That's my name.
In Chinese, the word "creativity" is made up of two characters: 创, meaning "innovation," and 造, meaning "manufacture." Without both, artistic progress would stagnate.
During my three years of education at Chapman University MFA program in film production, I was given the opportunity to put my thoughts into action. I edited seven fictional narrative shorts currently in festivals traveling around the world. I also directed a 15-minute documentary about a Hmong Dance Troop defending their title at the Hmong International New Year Festival as the Hmong culture begins to fade without a homeland.
As an undergraduate student, I studied journalism at the University of Missouri, during which I helped film a documentary on mental health issues among international students that was broadcasted on the China Global Television Network. For my undergraduate thesis project, I crafted a marketing campaign with my teammates for Ocean Spray that placed 3rd in the National Student Advertising Competition and inspired the launch of Ocean Spray's Pink Cranberry Juice.
Telling a story in a non-native language in front of a group of foreign audiences was not easy for me, but I had my "aha" moment when McDonald's Asian introduced the McRice Burger in 2013. Food must adapt to local habits and tastes, whereas storytelling transcends language and cultural barriers. Recognizing and identifying with one's audience are skills worth developing, which is why whenever I introduce myself to Americans, I often say: "My name is Zhongyang; I come from Changsha, China, the hometown of Chairman Mao and General Tso, the chicken." By acknowledging differences and embracing shared values and experiences, we can traverse the gulfs that we think divide us.
I have chosen to embark on this endeavor through video, the medium that speaks to the largest audience.
Welcome to my site.