We had the good fortune of connecting with Tham Singpatanakul and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tham, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I feel like making a decision is such a difficult thing. It requires a lot of factors to determine the choice. When I get older, the factors pile up and get more complicated. And that makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes when I have to finally choose something. Even though there are so many reasons that potentially distract me from the goal, I do believe that the only reason that will surely keep me going on is that I love to do it. It needs to step back for minutes, stay peaceful with myself, and ask myself loudly (yet internally) if I still enjoy doing it. There are times when I feel very discouraged with what I was doing, but once the answer is absolutely I still enjoy working on it, I keep going on with it. And yes I’m still keeping up with my goal to be a successful producer by working on film-related projects almost every day. I would recommend following your heart and you will know whether to keep going or give up.
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.
My art is to bring my distinct southeast Asian Background into the mainstream art of filmmaking. I believe that my perspective towards the world is different from the people who were born and raised here. There are many subjects that I’ve been through in my life and I feel like they should be addressed on an international stage. So when I work on any projects, I try to input my opinions and perspectives into them. I want the audiences to feel the authenticity of the messages I send and to recognize the viewpoints of the minority in the world. It’s not easy to make it successful in a brief time as the rooted system is so established in the business. But as I see more and more Asian representations on films and TV shows, I feel like my works will be successful soon.
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 try not to make it stereotypical, but, as a Thai person, the first thing to do is to take my friend to my beloved Thai restaurant. I just discovered one recently called Mesa Thai Cuisine on Western. I feel like they serve authentic local Thai foods that might not be found in any other Thai restaurant across the LA area. The recommended menu is ‘Yum Kanom Jeen Pla Thu Moo Yor,’ which in English is Spicy Thai Rice Noodle Salad with Mackerel and Pork Sausage. It’s spicy and flavorful. After a good meal, I would take my friend to the Griffith Observatory. It’s such a grand spot to appreciate the beauty of LA in full 360 degrees. After that, I would recommend my friend to turn west to the coastal area like Santa Monica and Venice. They are such nice and enjoyable beaches that can’t be missed. Wrapping up the day, I would bring my friend to explore the WeHo bar scene. I love the nightlife and I think it would be fun to hop on the bars there. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I would like to shout out to my alma mater, Chapman University. The school gave me a chance to explore my interest in the film industry and to start building up my career with practical experience. I can’t imagine where I would be right now if I didn’t have support from encouraging professors, energetic classmates, and resourceful staff. Thanks to them, I feel prepared and confident to make myself big in the business.
Second, I would like to thank the filmmaking group called Fortune 8. I met Jasper Chen, a co-founder of the group, through online networking during the pandemic, After a 2-hour conversation, he invited me to be a part of his projects to make short films and web series with his fellows. And that’s the beginning of my real journey as a filmmaker. I’m still with them today and we’re so excited about a new upcoming project that will be released this summer. Stay tuned!
And last but not least, I won’t make it here if I don’t have such supportive parents. As an international person, it’s not that easy for me to start a new life in a foreign land. But they always give me understanding and support. They help pushing me towards the goal with all the resources they can provide. Love you mum and dad!