Mei Leng Yew
Our 11th insight comes from the talented director Mei Leng Yew. Having written and directed a number of project, Mei Leng finally shares her own story, and tips that helped her along the way!
Are you currently working on a personal project?
At the moment, I'm in the edit of my documentary "You Can't Do Nothing, Can You?", a 30 minute film that explores how ordinary citizens can take a stand against a political system they don't believe in and protect the lives of vulnerable refugees. It is about grassroots activism, a shared humanity and everyday strength in the face of adversity.
Have you always wanted to work in the creative industry? If yes, can you tell us why? If not, how did you land your current position?
From a young age, I was addicted to reading and I would constantly ask to be taken to the library. At the heart of every good film is a strong story, so it's no surprise I'm doing what I do.
What has been your biggest achievement to date and why?
Every film I've written and directed has been commissioned or funded by an outside partner. In today's tight-fisted and risk-averse film industry, that's huge.
What would you describe as you biggest obstacle so far?
Like every other creative industry, filmmaking is full of setbacks and rejection. You have to be able to pick yourself up after the 9th disappointment and put yourself back out there, in case the 10th attempt works out.
Taking a lighter note what and who inspires your creative process?
There are so many great documentary filmmakers in the world but I'm constantly inspired by the people I meet who then become subjects in my documentaries. It's important to be able to see the significance in the most everyday of moments.
What words of wisdom do you have for other creatives?
Build a network around you of true friends, creative or otherwise, who understand your energy and your ambitions. They will be your encouragement through each failure and will celebrate every success at your side.