Woo Nguyen '16

Name: Woo Nguyen

Year: Senior

Major: Biology (Film Minor)

Hometown: Cupertino, California

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Woo in under 140 characters?

Bay Area born and raised, aspiring filmmaker, basketball fanatic and die-hard Lakers fan. My real name is Hy-Long! (pronounced: He Long).


You are very involved on campus through your personal video production business. Are you an official member of any organizations on campus?

Yes! I am the Historian for both the Vietnamese Student Association and Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society here at USF. Basically, I’m the guy with the camera.


When did you start creating videos for organizations on campus?

My first video gig on campus was back in my sophomore year when I was asked by a friend to create a promo video for Vitality SF, a dance club here at USF. I was really nervous because, honestly, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I pretended like I did! Fortunately, I didn’t mess anything up too bad, and the club ended up really liking the video. Looking back at it now, it’s crazy to see how much I’ve improved!


How long does it usually take you to create videos for USF organizations? How about your own personal projects (like your film for campus moviefest)?

It really varies so much from video to video, but on average, I’d say about 3 hours for simple videos and up to 20+ hours for more complicated videos. This year for Campus Moviefest, my short film “THE HIT” took about 12 hours to edit (mainly because we were on a time constraint). I usually have a steady stream of video projects that I am constantly working on, so it normally takes about 2 weeks after shooting to completely finish a video and deliver it to the client.


Have you always been interested in film/video production?

I’ve always enjoyed making videos for fun, but I never thought I’d chose to pursue film as a career until maybe about a year ago. Back in middle school and high school, I used to make dance videos of myself and post them on YouTube. You can probably still find them online somewhere, they are really embarrassing! But if I never made those videos, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. So much has happened to me these past two years in terms of my film/video production opportunities, and it’s crazy and ridiculous to think that it may have all stemmed from a freestyle I did to a Justin Bieber song back in 2009 (there’s your hint).

(Her Campus would like to officially confirm the existence of aforementioned video(s). They are actually really easy to find and we highly suggest looking for them)


What is your favorite film/video you have ever created?

Right now, it has to be my most recent film, “THE HIT.” Check it out! It’s a ridiculous action short film that was made in about 2 days:


Who are your favorite film directors and or producers?

I am a huge Christopher Nolan fan. I just love how his films can be dark and gritty, yet at the same time, elegant and awe-inspiring. I enjoy movies that really make you think and leave you jaw-dropped by the time the credits start rolling. Inception and Interstellar are easily two of my top favorite movies of all time, not necessarily because of the story or plot, but because of overall theater experience. In 20 years, I might not remember exactly what happened in Interstellar, but I will never forget how I felt after watching it in theaters. It sends chills down my spine every time I think about it.


What are your post grad plans? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I'm planning on attending graduate school to study film production/cinematography. Just 2 years ago, I would have never thought I’d be on the path that I am right now, so I can’t even begin to imagine where I’ll be in 10 years. I think I see myself somewhere in LA, hopefully working in the film industry, or maybe I’ll be with the Los Angeles Lakers! I can dream right?


Who would you cast as yourself in film about your life?

Would it be wrong to say Leonardo DiCaprio? An asian Leonardo DiCaprio.


What inspires you as a filmmaker?

People inspire me. We may come from different places, speak different languages, enjoy different foods, have different hobbies, ect. but we all have that one thing we are passionate about. When someone puts in the work and effort to pursue their dreams, no matter what it is or what other people think of it, that’s inspiring. Coming into college I wanted to become a doctor so that one day I could have a positive impact on other people’s lives. But when something is meant to be, life has its way of pushing you into that direction, no matter how much you try to avoid it. I’ve come to accept the fact that this is the path I’m destined to take and that I can still make a difference in this world. As a filmmaker, I want to tell the stories that aren’t told but need to be told, and ultimately, inspire hope and change. But first, I need to actually inspire change in my parents so they will let me do this (half joking)!


Any last comments or additions?

Check out my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/woonguyen.

Shoot me an email if you want to work on something together! Or if you just want to say hi: [email protected]