We had the good fortune of connecting with Khoi Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Khoi, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“Passion is loving something enough to suffer for it” by Jürgen Moltmann. The quote in and of itself explains a lot about our line of work. A lot of filmmakers are passionate individuals who dove into this world to create something; not just to make a living. But it’s a journey that come with thousands of obstacles, rejections, failures that will raise self doubts along the way. That’s why sometimes we need a reminder of why we got into it, and that’s what this quote is for me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my journey into the creative world as a musician. Beginning at 2 years old, I played the piano all the way until I made the switched into cinematography 5 years ago. With that level of understanding (along with the ability of perfect pitch) with musicality, it very much influences how I work in film. Often we would share photos references in preproduction as a way to communicate the feel of the film, however I find that I have a much clearer image of what’s the film going to look like with pieces of music instead.
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?
I’m not much for social life since working in film doesn’t yield much time. But if I had ONE day to show my best friend around it’ll the following. Go to an escape room at 60out (one of the BEST places around town), followed by a trip to Gen BBQ for all you can eat self serve Korean BBQ and finish the day with a visit to Victoria beach spot with the hidden castle. Though I’m not sure if ANY of these are valid at the moment given the pandemic…
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s a bit of a list when it comes to people who have made an impact in my journey into filmmaking, but the most recent and notable one is a cinematographer name Johnny E. Jensen, A.S.C.. While I was attending Chapman University for an MFA in Cinematography, Johnny was one of the cine professors. Not only did he mentored me in the past few years with countless advice and passing on life long experience, but he has also open many doors for me in this industry. And even though I have graduated, he still continues to support and guide me through difficult questions I have about the ever-evolving industry.
Photographs by Antonio Zamarripa, Ryan Murtha, Shane Faye.