We had the good fortune of connecting with Andree Lin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andree, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Ever since I was a kid, I have always been drawn to creative arts. My parents exposed me to different kinds of arts at a pretty young age. Even though neither of them was an artist or worked in an art-related field, they took me to see plays and made me learn the piano. We would visit museums or go to the movies during the weekends. Therefore, my childhood was filled with artistic activities. As a quiet, shy kid, I gradually learned to express myself through drawing, writing stories, and playing music.

However, it was never my parents’ intention to make me an artist. For them, making art was a “habit” and should not become my career choice. As a result, in middle school, I had to give up most of my artistic activities and focus on my academic performance. Cinema was the only thing that’s left for me. Every weekend, we got to go to Blockbuster and pick one movie we’d like to see. I watched films from all over the world, many of which I didn’t fully understand until I was older. I vividly remembered watching a coming-of-age movie, “Emporte-moi (1999, directed by Léa Pool)”. At that age, I felt that no one else in the world understood me. Yet, I saw myself in the character of that movie. The image from that film stayed on my mind forever, and it was then when I decided I wanted to work in the film industry.

Of course, my parents were not happy about my career choice at first. There were fights and tears, and I overcame many obstacles to arrive at where I am today. I worked at many jobs before becoming a sound designer, but almost all were art-related. Those that weren’t, I just could not stick to them. Therefore, I think the short answer to this question is that I can not imagine myself doing anything else because I love what I do so much.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As someone growing up in a small town where its last movie theater closed in the early 2000s, it’s impossible for me to imagine how to set foot on the path of becoming a filmmaker. Yet, I was determined to do so. Perseverance is what brought me to where I am today. Before becoming a sound designer, I worked as a translator, a kitchen helper at a cafe, a project manager at an NGO, a librarian, an intern at an art exhibition, and a volunteer at film festivals. With each job, I built my connections and got closer to working in the film industry. Finally, I landed a job as a PA at Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” and worked my way up from there. Up till today, I’ve worked on 8 feature films and more than 25 shorts. Because of my life experience, I am an expert at analyzing the stories when designing sound for movies, which sets me apart from those who approach sound design in a purely technical way. As a sound designer, my proudest moment is when my soundtrack brings the audience into the stories and puts them in the characters’ shoes. With sound, I want to tell stories of the underrepresented groups, and nothing gives me more joy when I know the films I sound designed are showing on big screens, giving voices to people who are usually unheard in mainstream media. What I want people to know is that, it’s never too late to pursue your dream. It’s not going to be easy, but if it’s something you are absolutely passionate about, you will find ways to overcome the obstacles.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First of all, I would take them to all my favorite museums: the Broad, LACMA, Hammer Museum, and the Getty. I would also take them to Universal Studios because my best friends all love movies as I do. I’d take them to the Last Bookstore for an adventure and the Grand Central Market for lunch. If they want to see a movie, I’d take them to my favorite Laemmle theater in Pasadena, then stop by Joy on York Blvd for Taiwanese cuisine. I’d also take them to Little Osaka (Sawtelle Japantown) for Japanese food if we were visiting the Santa Monica Pier. Finally, I would pick a hiking trail in the Angeles National Forest to show them the beautiful natural scenery in SoCal.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shout out to my dad because he is the person that introduced me to the arthouse cinema. I am pretty sure he did not mean to, as he wasn’t a big fan of me working in the film industry. My dad did not receive any higher education in the arts, and he works at a regular desk job. However, he always picked European arthouse films during our movie nights. I like to joke about how he must have regretted it because I ended up becoming a filmmaker instead of a doctor as my parents wanted me to be. My dad is the person who made us watch “Sense and Sensibility (1995)”, had a collection of books by Yasunari Kawabata, and learned to play the piano as an adult. We’ve never talked about this, but I believe I got my artistic soul from my dad.

Website: https://andreelin.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreelin

Image Credits
Shan Wu, Wes Wu, Vokee Lee, Pratyusna Sahoo

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.