Craft and creativity continues to grow in China, none of which would be possible without the inspired and daring minds behind the ideas and production. We are asking the creative community in China five fun questions to learn a little bit more about the people behind this burgeoning industry. Hope you enjoy! If you think you should be profiled or you know someone creative who should be profiled send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheok is a commercial director, a graduate of the Department of Cinematography of Art Center College of Design in the United States. He worked as an editor and director in the United States. His works were nominated for the Cannes Young Director Award, the American Advertising Association Award among others. In 2017, he moved to Shanghai to start his career as an advertising director. Cheok’s strength is his ability to integrate visual creations from the perspective of design. His clients include Lancome, Fresh, She Uemura, Wuling, Nissan, Watson’s, Adidas, Oppo.
李焯威，广告导演，毕业于美国Art Center College of Design 电影摄影系，在美期间曾担任剪接师和导演，作品曾入围获奖Cannes Young Director Award, 美国广告协会奖等。2017年移居上海开始广告导演生涯，擅长以设计的角度融合视觉进行创作，合作客户包括兰蔻、馥蕾诗、植村秀、五菱、日产、屈臣氏、 Adidas、Oppo 等。
1. How you discovered you were creative? 你是如何发现自己有创造力的?
I remember that when I was a child, I particularly liked to draw and was always busy making something. I often drew Rockman and Masked Rider into one, or I would knead some strange shapes in the game, and put different objects together to become new things. But I really understood I was creative, when my creativity was recognized in high school and college. Because I was studying in the traditional school education system, our education in art sphere was very limited. But fortunately, I had a teacher who made an exception for me, and allowed us to pass exams in different way. I chose to shoot a film, and the process was fun. Later, I began to participate in various film competitions on behalf of the school and gained a lot, which increased my confidence. With that energy, I went to College in the United States, and luckily, I won the College’s Emmys Award and was shortlisted for the Young Director Awards in Cannes. Thanks to these experiences, I have always maintained a positive attitude towards creativity. I think positivity is a prerequisite for finding creativity. It reminds me of David Lynch’s quote “Negativity is the enemy of creativity.” It makes sense that if a person is filled with negative emotions, they will start overthinking, fear, and fear, and creativity will be constrained.
记得小时侯特别喜欢画画和搞些有的没的，经常会把洛克人和蒙面超人画成一体，又会在游戏中捏些奇怪的造型，也会把不同的物件拼凑在一起成为新的东西。但真正认知到自己的创造力能被认可是在中学和大学时期，因为我中学是属于传统的教育体系，艺术类别占比极为有限，但幸运的是有一次老师破例让我们以不同的形式提交考试内容，而我选择了拍片的方式参加考试，发现了其中的乐趣，随后开始代表学校参加各类的影片比赛也有收获，增加了不少自信。而我带著这股劲跑了去美国念大学，而幸运的是当时作品获得了学院艾美奖 (College’s Emmys Award) 和入围戛纳年青导演奖 (Young Director Awards)，也谢谢这些经历，让我一直在创造力上保持正面态度。我认为正面是发现创造力的先决条件。这让我想起了David Lynch的一句话 “Negativity is the enemy of creativity“。非常有道理的，如果一个人充满了负面的情绪，会开始顾前顾后、害怕、恐惧，而创造力会受到束缚。
2. Your main strength as a creative person? 作为一个创意人，你的主要优点是什么?
As an advertising director, I think my main strengths are:
-understanding customer’s requirement, seeing the essence of the brief and finish every task with professionalism.
-efficiency, responsible attitude to the client and production house, doing a jobn in a very limited, short time.
-team awareness, knowing what to priorritize, and what to let go of.
-aesthetic feel, design approach to composition of the picture to captivate the audience.
– 理解需求的能力：理解客户和Brief的需求，看清本质，用专业的角度去完成。( 哈哈 ) 。
3. Your favorite creative project you’ve ever worked on, and why you like it so much? 你曾经参与过的创意项目其中，那个是你最喜欢的项目；为什么你这么喜欢它?
There are several projects I’ve done, that I particularly like. If I needed to chose one, that would be “Watson’s— HWB Awards”. First of all, the client gave us a lot of space for creativity, and was very open to accepting different ideas, which is rare. I got this project from several rounds of pitching. At that time I was a “new coming director”, but even though the process took a lot of energy, but it was a great learning opportunity. Another thing I was very happy about is that this project gave me a chance to try three different styles in one film. Also, the entire team was very cooperative, from the EP’s control of the entire thing, DoP’s input to actor’s performance—pre- and postproduction was smooth. All these elements combined into a wonderful shooting experience.
在过往的作品中，有好几个项目都特别喜欢。真要选一个的话，我会选 “屈臣氏 – HWB 健康美丽大赏” 。首先是客户给了很大的创作空间，接受度高，这是非常难得的。这个项目是从一次又一次的pitch中取下来的，当时作为一名新锐导演，虽然过程花费了很多精力，但却是一次很好的学习机会，而且这 个项目能让我在一支片子中尝试三种不同的风格，巨开心。再加上整个团队的合作精神，不管是监制的把控、摄影指导的input 到演员的表演力等等、从前期到后期都非常让人安心。所有的元素加起来，都让这次拍摄体验感非常好。
屈臣氏 – HWB 健康美丽大赏
4. The best way to destress?对你来说，最好的减压方式是什么？
Going outside— be it a park, or a trip to the nature. Parks are one of the best places to decompress in the city. You’ll see grannies and grandpas doing whatever they like freely, and watching them is fun a lot of the times. It’s like watching a movie with plot twists that you can’t imagine. When I am tired of walking in the park, I will find a comfortable corner, sit quietly so that I can find my piece, detached from the hectic environment. If time permits, I will go to the nature. I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but in the nature, nobody cares about your identity, your income or success. Because everyone is equal: you have water, I have bread, then we can share together, help each other, and this is the essence of how people should communicate with each other.
5. A book you plan on reading?打算读那本书？
Why Buddhism is True. This is a book that explains Buddhism from a scientific to a philosophical perspective. Although I have only just started reading this book, I already enjoy it very much because it explains buddhism philosophy in a modern and straightforward language. It makes me feel calm every time I read it.
For example, it allows readers to get a clear understanding of their emotional feelings, to accept it with a calm state of mind, and to some extent, allowing readers to view themselves objectively and overcome anxiety. One principle mentioned in the book is very instructive. Actually, well-known “live in the (present) moment” is not the end goal. The principle of moving forward is to examine the past, enjoy the present and plan for the future. I highly recommend everybody to read it.
《为什么佛教是真的 Why Buddhism is True》, 这是一本从科学到哲学的角度解释佛教的书。
We invite each of the creatives we profile to tag another interesting person for the series. Cheok suggested Director Angie Su.