We first got to know Yu Jung Hou when she attended some of our events back in 2016, then we started to become really smitten when she brought her short film Fa Fu into our 2020 WMMINTL Film Festival. Since then we're fully head over heels and asked her to join the ranks of our festival judges (and essentially became our golden buzzer judge since it's not easy to impress her!) and have cheered from the sidelines as she became a full time editor working on projects such as The Mandalorian, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, American Born Chinese, Incredibles 2 and recently the feature WILDER THAN HER by Jessica Kozak with Sunita Mani, Kate Easton and Danny Deferrari.
ISomehow, we also convinced her to moderate one of our upcoming post production workshops -- our Rough Cut Lab on 3/29 (more info + sign up to participate via our calendar) so we took the opportunity to get to know her a bit better.
Where are you from? What do you do?
Yu Jung Hou: I'm from Chiayi, Taiwan. Being exposed to media from both the East and the West has allowed me to appreciate a wider range of storytelling. This gave me solid roots for my present-day editing career.
What is your education/background? How did you start working in the film industry?
YJH: I majored in Foreign Language and Literature at Tsing Hua University, and did my graduate studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. I started by cutting short films on the side while working as an assistant editor as my day job. My first real job was a machine room PA at a trailer company called mOcean.
Have you ever done any other jobs within in the industry?
YJH: I've been focusing on editing but had experiences writing, directing, shooting, and producing as well.
What made you want to get into what you are doing now? Who or what are your inspirations?
YJH: I've always loved art, and have been playing music and painting since I was a kid. I realized that movie is a place where I get to do everything I loved. I've also been saved so many times by movies that comforted my heart, I thought I might be able to do the same for someone else if I get into the industry too. My early inspirations including Hayao Miyazaki, Richard Linklater, and Christopher Nolan. Lately I've been fascinated by fun and imaginative movies like Everything Everywhere All At Once, as well as character-driven stories like Close and Tàr.
What have been some of your biggest challenges in the industry?
YJH: I hate to say this, but even though I don't think about it every day, the systemic sexism and racism are real. I've had to work so much harder to be trusted, and more often than not, people tend to think they can walk over me which made a lot of my previous collaborations politically frustrating, instead of creatively challenging (which would've been fun).
Any random fun facts about yourself that you're willing to share?
YJH: I only have one, singular, fun fact (oh no! Am I a boring person?)
Here it is -- I can bark pretty well.
Anything you'd like to plug or promote? (Don't be shy!)
YJH: Please watch American Born Chinese on Disney+, coming out on May 24!