I didn’t think making movies could be a part of my life, or, you know, writing anything could be a part of my life, because simply, my first language is not English, and there’s no way that I can compete with native English speakers.
But [my teacher] was like, okay, I got the script ready, I just need a person to film it, and edit it, and just to get it into the film festival. So actually, I really don’t know why I said yes, but I just said yes.
It was such a fun experience. I used my phone, and my camera, and I borrowed all the props, like camera phones, and flowers and glasses, and I took them from my home, and, you know, it was just such a … it was a recipe for disaster. It was so bad.
On the day of the film festival, Saturday morning, they were like, “Okay, let’s announce the winners for the event.” And, I was like, okay, that’s definitely not me.
So we were just about to go home, and someone called me on the stage. And they read my name, and they were like, “Okay. Okay, that’s you, and that’s your name. You won the best director.” And I was like, “What are you talking about?”
The best director is usually the highest prize in the film festival, and wins the best picture. And I was like, “Why are you choosing me, I barely know nothing about filmmaking in general, and the whole piece was so bad. This is just so weird.”
So that kind of introduced me to filmmaking in general. I didn’t ever think making movies was a serious career, in my whole life. But now it seems like that will be the case.
You know, I actually thought about transferring to another school when I was a freshman. I really didn’t feel the flow of Putney. It was actually the fall of my junior year, I was watching a debate TV show and they were talking about the topic, what is happiness?
There is a kind of happiness called coarse happiness. It means like raw happiness, uneven happiness. It was that moment I suddenly understood why I am still enjoying it here. Or why I am still enjoying my life, or why I’m so glad I didn’t make the decision of leaving this place.
It was at that moment I understood that what Putney is offering me is the unique experience called course happiness. It is real happiness. I can’t say other happiness is not good, because you will still be happy if you got … new clothes for yourself. That’s not coarse. It’s not smooth happiness. It’s not luxury happiness. This kind of coarse happiness is not easy to get. Not everything can offer you this kind of really peaceful and subtle and tranquil and really delicate way of happiness.