We had the good fortune of connecting with Delon Ho and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Delon, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Art is the expression of one’s soul, so they say. What is my art and creative career all about? Well, in all honesty, I’m still figuring it out myself. At 24, and with the current state of things, it’s not like I have my full life planned ahead of me. However, the one thing I can tell you for sure is that I’m tired of living by the rules and suppressing my thoughts. I want to tell stories about things I deeply care about, and I want my voice to be heard.
Growing up I had always been very soft-spoken and shy, very much like my mom, but on the opposite side of that spectrum there is my dad, who is a very loud speaker who never stops once he gets started! In social settings, he would always dominate the conversations… Perhaps that’s why I never spoke up? And as a Hong Konger, I think it’s a natural instinct of our habitat to protect our freedom of speech and to have the mindset that we must get a university degree and spend the rest of our life working towards paying that mortgage. The idea of being stuck in a box like a lifeless zombie just urges me to break out of that bubble and do something for myself. Perhaps it’s all just for selfish and rebellious reasons, but I can’t see myself studying business like my dad always wanted me to.
Like I said, I have always been very quiet and not very good at talking, but art has always been my outlet to express myself. As far back as I can remember, ever since I was just a tiny little kid, I had always been passionate about art. However, It wasn’t until I was in college, where I studied visual effects, that I discovered my true love for storytelling and found my passion for cinematography. Honestly, it didn’t surprise me at all, I guess because all my childhood dream jobs had revolved around one main theme: stories. At one point, after watching a TV series about pilots that I absolutely loved, I thought I wanted to become a pilot. And after that had happened several times, I found myself switching what I wanted to become because of a character. When I was a teenager I thought that if I became an actor, I could at least dress up in those occupations. I suppose that I just never realized it but subconsciously I was always amazed and fascinated by how filmmakers moved me with their stories. So now filmmaking has become my dream. I want to be able to do the same, I want to tell stories that will touch audiences, and leave them in tears or laughter.
Right now I am not there yet, but I’m helping Marvel tell their stories, which most certainly is a huge learning platform.
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.
I am a visual storyteller currently working at The Third Floor as a visualization artist helping to plan the cinematography and design the visual effects to tell a better story. What that means is that we create sequences of shots from storyboards and/ or script pages, a rough version of the movie in CG if you may, before the shooting process even begins. We basically map out how they are going to film a story beat from blocking, to staging, to lighting, etc., to bring the Director’s visions to life. Then, after they film the footage, we have to refigure how the actor is going to interact with the CGI elements and how all of those elements can be integrated. Using our layout as a template helps studios save millions of dollars on expensive FX and shoots. I’ve been working for The Third Floor for over two years now, and my recent credits include: Black Widow, Shang Chi, and Eternals.
As of this moment, my ultimate dream is to become a Director of Photography/ Director. However, one of the reasons I went into the VFX field is because of the job stability it offers. If I were to chase on-set crew gigs as a camera operator or something, it would be a tougher and more competitive road because it’s very hard to get into the circle. You need a lot of connections, and most of the time you would just end up doing part-time jobs while waiting for an actual opportunity to arise. I don’t have the luxury of waiting around because I must not only be working, but in order to remain in the US, I am required to be constantly employed in my related field. I do feel like I’m kind of stuck in a comfort zone sometimes because there is so much more that I want to accomplish, but at the same time I love what I’m doing, and The Third Floor is giving me numerous opportunities to expand my career. Although it might seem as an alternate route to my goal, I believe all these experiences are going to be beneficial and come into play to help me achieve my future goals.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Grand Central Market in DTLA is a great place to get food. My go-to is always the Thai restaurant – Sticky Rice because I think they have the most authentic Tom Yum Kung soup I’ve ever had in LA. Nearby the Grand Central Market, of course, there is the famous Angels Flight, the amazing interior architecture of the Bradbury Building, and the Underpass underneath S Grand Ave, all of which are great spots for photoshoots and filming.
Farmers Market by The Grove is also another great place for food, as well as for a date. And then there are great shopping and chilling places inside the Grove, which we can go to afterward. It is also a fantastic Instagramable check-in location.
For an outdoor more active day, we can hike up to the Hollywood sign in the afternoon, and at night we can drive to Griffith Observatory to enjoy a great view of LA.
Lastly, if you are a movie fanatic like I am, I like to drive around and look for film locations. It’s like going on a scavenger hunt because there are certainly a lot in LA. For one, the Bradbury Building, which I mentioned earlier, was in (500) Days of Summer. And as a mega Back To The Future fan, my simple pleasure is finding places like Doc Brown’s House (The Gamble House), Twin Pines Mall (Puente Hills Mall), and Hill Valley High School (Whittier High School) etc.
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?
My shoutout goes to the TTF Family, it truly is a special place at The Third Floor. I am grateful that they saw my talent, gave me my first job after college, and continue to help me grow as an artist. Since I joined two years ago, working alongside countless exceptional and talented artists has definitely allowed me to expand my expertise and creative knowledge. Jim Baker, one of our supervisors, definitely put in a lot of effort in helping me advance my craft; I have learned a lot from him while working together for over a year on Eternals. And I’m most proud of having gained the trust of another one of our supervisors, Gerardo Ramirez, who is a favorite supervisor of Marvel Studios. Recently, he gave me the chance to dip my toes into becoming a lead. I wish I could tell you more about the projects I am working on, but that would be a story for another time.