He’s clever, he’s talented — and he always keeps it real. Charles Choi is a sophomore media studies major from Los Angeles with a minor in film studies. The Foghorn sat down with him to chat about how he got started in film and how his experiences dealing with mental illness helped him create his most recent work, “Sorry, I’m Just Tired.”
Kate Sagara: When and how did you first become interested in filmmaking?
Charles Choi: It was back in 2012. My mom thought I was doing homework, but I was actually in my room watching “Looper” — the science fiction, action movie. At the end of that movie I thought, maybe I can have a future in this. Little by little, that interest took over and what started as an idea became a passion that never really stopped.
KS: What has been your biggest challenge as a filmmaker?
CC: Taking the first few steps to actually try things. I think the fear of failure always gets to people and it got to me, which is why it took me years to actually begin to physically make any films.
KS: What’s been your biggest accomplishment as a filmmaker?
CC: Having a platform where I can tell stories that matter to me and other people is my most important accomplishment. With the movies I make, there is a common theme around [elements of] mental illnesses like depression, anxiety or suicide, because they were personal aspects of my life that I struggled with. Having a way to tell my stories in a way that matters to people makes all the work worth it in the end.
KS: What’s your favorite movie that you’ve made?
CC: I would probably say it’s the [most recent] film that I’ve made. It’s called “Sorry, I’m Just Tired.” It’s a short film about a girl who suffers from extreme insomnia and depression. It was a little more experimental than what I’ve made before, but it’s probably the most personal and raw film that I’ve made so far.
KS: Is there anything else you want to tell readers?
CC: For anyone else who is thinking about pursuing something that they’re afraid of, it’s important to keep in mind that you will come to a point of decision — a point of looking back — and you don’t want to look back regretting not trying things. It’s always better to try and fail than to never try at all. It’s your mistakes that guide you to where you want to be.
You can watch Charles’s films on Vimeo at freesocksfilms.
Check out our latest Fogpod episode between Charles and our scene editor, Sarah, to learn more about Charles’s inspiration behind his latest film and his involvement in upcoming Campus Activities Board events.