Meet Rebecca Hu-an amazing documentary and narrative filmmaker who doubles as a grade 10 certified pianist.
A Canadian native, Rebecca has moved around the world pursuing her dreams and has developed an extraordinary reputation amongst her industry peers. With her colleagues Peter Godwin, Alan Chu, Isaac Ho, and Lee Rudnichi, Hu leads 1,001 Ways Productions, LLC-an independent production company that releases cutting-edge pieces that leave audiences buzzing.
MO: Where does your passion for filmmaking come from? Who or what were your early influences and inspirations?
Rebecca: It’s hard to say exactly where the passion comes from, but once I discovered it, that was it. There was no going back! I’m doing exactly what I was always meant to do and everything just makes sense.
Countless talented people, including filmmakers and artists, have inspired my eclectic journey making it difficult to narrow down a single source. As a Chinese-Canadian raised in the multicultural city of Toronto, I’m proud and involved with my own heritage while simultaneously aware and respectful of so many other cultures. Exposure to a variety of perspectives, cultures, histories and stories serves as one of the best tools a filmmaker can have.
MO: What’s your favorite part of the filmmaking process? What’s your least favorite or most challenging?
Rebecca: Nothing beats the high of being on set. To see an incredible fusion of your vision and hard work soar from a melting pot of creativity sparks an indescribable feeling. There is nothing quite like it! The most challenging part of filmmaking is enduring the whole process from beginning to end. It can be a physically and emotionally draining journey, regardless of whether you are in preproduction, production or postproduction. Some projects span over decades from their inception to completion. Enduring a project through the ups and down definitely reflects the biggest challenge.
MO: How do you find potential subjects for your films? Once you connect to a story that you’re passionate about what does your creative process look like?
Rebecca: I find my subjects by engaging in world affairs and embracing people’s basic conversations. The more information and personalities I can absorb, the better. My creative process is actually fairly non-linear and slightly chaotic! But it ultimately boils down to:
How do I communicate this story’s inspirational elements to my audience?
How can I stimulate a conversation within the audience?
MO: If you had unlimited resources and access to any actors, producers, sets or locations….what would your dream project look like?
Rebecca: I would love to remake Harry Potter into a TV series. Although the movies were good, there is too much within the books that were near and dear to my heart and that I wished could have been put on the screen.
MO: If you weren’t part of the filmmaking industry or pianist what path do you think you would have chosen?
Rebecca: I would probably have gone into teaching college (film & literature), or become a journalist. I can also see myself working in the fashion industry. Had I gone into any of these fields, I’m sure I would be happy too, but still nowhere near the level of satisfaction and passion film brings me. Filmmaking is just right for me.
MO: What would your advice be to individuals who are passionate about filmmaking and are considering it as a career choice?
Rebecca: Be realistic and be prepared to work hard for a very long time. The old saying about starving artists is unfortunately true in most cases. Even if you are very talented, your chances of becoming the next Steven Spielberg is still next to zero! So if you are not prepared to make certain sacrifices, you may find yourself ill-suited for this lifestyle. Also, I would highly recommend that people intern in the industry before they decide on it as a career choice. The industry’s glamour causes many people to see it through rose-colored glasses. I know I did! The harsh truth is that this industry isn’t right for everyone. So make you truly adore it before you make the leap!