We had the good fortune of connecting with Choānn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Choānn, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I like being a freelance director because it gives me freedom to choose my own projects, which allow me to chart my own growth and interests I want to explore in film – be it music videos, short films or commercials. I always thought it made sense to be in control of my own career by running my own brand
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Filmmaking started off as something carthartic and accidental for me. I grew up in the 90s before Youtube, so filmmaking wasn’t as accessible as now, but after stumbling across it, I realised what a powerful medium it was for conveying emotions and excitment.
Since that I’ve been obsessed with creating sublime imagery through film. I love the narrative quality of the medium, and how multidisciplinary it inherently is – a combination of music, production design, actors, storytelling etc. That’s something that always excites me, the infinite ways of telling stories.
I’ve been working on music videos for years, and I’ve always interested in articulating narratives through abstract imagery. The power of colours, lighting and camerawork to evoke emotions; it felt more instinctive than logical, which I liked playing into.
Filmmaking is a group sport, which is something that was quite different from my fine art background, where it was often just me and a canvas. I feel where more people are involved, factors like budget and people management become integral part of the art making process.
What I’ve learnt about being successful as an artist isn’t just about self-expression; often that’s the easy part, but it’s also about marrying it with business to create a sustainable practice. People often romanticise the emotional parts of being an artist, but not the financial planning, the rep fees, the branding strategies or the expenses.
Another challenge I feel about being an artist in this current generation, is the deluge of images surrounding us, be it instagram / tik tok / netflix / pinterest. I feel the struggle now isnt to find sources of inspiration, but more to do with finding your own creative voice amidst all this noise, and also craving out your own niche as an artist in terms of what you can offer to the world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m still very new to LA (a couple of months) but I love how diverse it is. From clubbing at Weho to low key cafes at Pasadena, there’s alot to uncover.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I feel sometimes as an artist, your journey can be very lonely. But I’m super grateful to my parents and close friends who’ve given me so much love and emotional support all these years.
My father recently told me success is not just about how many somersaults you can do, but also how you land. I feel alot of my success can be attributed to these people that have given me such a consistently stable and encouraging foundation, for me to always know I’m being supported.
A strong emotional support system is highly underrated in this industry, but its also responsible for how sustainable ones career can go.