Ling Mai Shoots for the Stars - Filmmaking at Hunter CollegeLing Mai Shoots for the Stars
Filmmaking at Hunter College
At 21, Ling Mai possesses an impressive resume that suggests a great filmmaking talent. Not only has he worked on four weddings as a professional videographer, but he has also worked as a production assistant on a few HBO shoots.
“I don’t like to brag,” he admitted humbly.
Like all too many other college students, however, Mai once experienced a time of indecisiveness. I was a business major, then a nursing major and then a media major,” he said. “In high school, I edited with Windows Media, and was pretty good at it. I was placed in the Media block by accident my freshman year at Hunter, and I guess it was just fate.”
Mai discovered he had an inclination for filmmaking. “I was becoming my own boss. I started saving mad cash to buy my own equipment.”
He created his own company called Mighty Mayo Films, which he is “testing out for a business.” When asked why he chose Mighty Mayo Films as his trademark, Mai stated, “It started out with a friend, and it’s called Mighty Mayo Films because you need all the right ingredients to make a film.”
At Hunter College, film majors are required to take at least 10 film classes. Mai noted, however, that “after the first five, everything is repetitive, and the classes just drag on.”
“Save your money to buy your own equipment because the film department’s equipment always breaks,” he advises other film majors.
Although Hunter is a great place to get acquainted with the filmmaking world, the most valuable lessons are self-taught, Mai asserted. “You have to study on your own and develop your own techniques. I learned a lot through trial and error.”
Filmmaking can be a strenuous process, and Mai must often work through trivial setbacks in order to achieve excellence. “The hardest part is shooting, and I always get nervous before every shoot,” he stated. “I want everything to be perfect.”
Mai revamps each film until it meets his incredibly high standards, as mediocrity will not suffice for the aspiring filmmaker. “Seeing the final result is always the best part,” he says, adding that he films for the pleasure of hearing, “Damn. Shit was good, Ling.”
Now in his final year at Hunter College, Mai will soon immerse himself in the film industry. “I want to move to LA,” he said of his post-graduation plans, adding, “It’s so big and nice, and there’s a bunch of people.”
“My dream is to have my own little wedding company and move out to Mexico,” he said, and for an achieved, young filmmaker such as himself, this dream remains in clear sight.