Be My Guest | Chinese cinematographer in US: 'I want to learn things and give back to Chinese industry'
Cinematography is not just about shooting techniques and breathtaking visuals, but it is also a way of communication and a narrative of telling stories. Chinese cinematographer Nan Li is recognized for his one-of-a-kind style in capturing images and his camera language featuring an East-meets-West perspective.
Born and raised in China, Nan Li graduated from American Film Institute in Cinematography. His work has been seen at the Houston, Vancouver, London, Los Angeles, and Rome International Film Festivals. In 2022, his work Boogie Rage won the Gold Remi Award for Cinematography from WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival.
"The most important thing about being a cinematographer is that you are also telling a story with your lens," Li said, adding that his habit is to read the script a couple of times before shooting a film. "Each time you get a different understanding."
As a Chinese, Li said he has always been trying to expand the influence and spread the voice of the Chinese community in the U.S. through his work. When young filmmakers came to the U.S. for further study, Li always encouraged them to strive for excellence and give back to their motherland one day.
"That's my goal. That's why I chose to stay here. It might just be a small step for the community, but a big step for myself," he said.
How did Li embark on the journey of a cinematographer? What should a DP pay attention to when shooting a film? How did Li manage to earn the achievements? Watch the video now to find out.