Changyi Yu is a filmmaker who has a deep passion for art and has managed to turn her passion into a successful career. She is a freelance director, cinematographer, and gaffer based in Los Angeles. Her love for cinema started during a sleepless night in high school when she decided to become a director. Since then, she has been immersing herself in the world of film, watching over 7,000 movies, and creating her own stories that reflect her thoughts.
What sets Changyi apart from many other filmmakers is her belief in “auteurism”, a term coined during the French New Wave, which distinguishes anyone who controls multiple aspects of collaborative work. As someone who controls multiple aspects of filmmaking, Changyi is a true auteur. She is inspired by the French New Wave and sees art as a way of expressing oneself. Her stories reflect her thoughts and philosophies, and she likes to explore relationships between individuals and the relationship between the individual and the world.
When Changyi came to LA, she found another love within cinema, which was cinematography and lighting. She believes that the story is the most important part of filmmaking, and cinematography is an indispensable element. She prefers to use the camera to explore the deeper meaning of a story than to take unnecessary cool shots. Tied in with cinematography, lighting is also indispensable. Gaffers are the second pair of eyes to the cinematographer, and through experience, Changyi has come to love being a gaffer. She is always eager and excited to work with all kinds of lights and grip equipment, and there is no better feeling than working on set.
Although Changyi has had a successful career, she admits that creating is never easy. She has sacrificed everything just to get a glimpse of it. She has also experienced gender bias as a gaffer, as the industry tends to stereotype this role as a male-dominated position. However, Changyi believes in the power of women, and she hopes to break the ceiling of this industry through her efforts.
Changyi is currently working on several projects as a cinematographer and is writing a film script featuring Asians. Los Angeles is the perfect place for her to work as a filmmaker, as it is a frenzied hub of passionate people from all over the world working towards the same goal. However, Changyi acknowledges that one has to tread heavily and have a good head on their shoulders to make it in this industry.