Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Favorite hangout in Japan:
Shimokitazawa. There are lots of cool vintage shops, plenty of interesting cafes and restaurants, good izakaya, and it’s not too far from Shibuya!
What do you do at Custom Media?
I basically oversee everything related to video, from pre- and post-production to prompt delivery on budget and to the entire satisfaction of our clients. I love my job because it is varied and challenging, and the team is great!
Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I moved to York, England, when I was 18 to go to the University of York, and got a bachelor of science in film and television production. As you can imagine, it was quite a culture shock! I interned at QVC home-shopping network and at NHK Cosmo Media Europe—I was a production assistant for a program called Somewhere Street. So I have pretty much always been doing film and TV. About one year ago I moved to Japan and went to language school for six months. I worked at a Japanese TV production company for a couple of months, and then I was really pleased to join the Custom Media team.
What first sparked your interest in video?
When I went to university my friends and I formed a filmmaking group and we made tons of stuff together and that really got me into it. That environment of being on a set, making something and seeing it through from just the seed of an idea, to a script, to a fully realized shoot, and to watching the finished product play out in front of you was really cool.
Where do you get your inspiration to come up with video concepts?
I think we listen to what the client is looking for and then we put our creative spin on it, bringing our own unique vision to meet their expectations. With In Japan TV, our YouTube channel, I would say I am much more motivated by things that I think we should be trying to promote. For example, one of the new series we started is called Women at Work, and I pitched that at the start of my time at Custom Media because I knew that female empowerment in Japan is extremely important. There are so many organizations doing incredible work for that subject, but there isn’t really any platform that showcases it.
What are the most important things to consider when creating a video?
A lot of people think the focus is on the shoot itself—the flashy part when you get all the actors and the cool-looking cameras in. It is not that at all: it’s definitely the meticulous planning. You have to consider the concept and tone and plan what equipment you need to come up with specific shots. How are we going to get the equipment there? Who is on set? Do we need to get food for everyone on set? When are we going to take breaks? Even though it’s not an exciting part of video production, it is so important and shoots would fall apart if you didn’t have them in place.