Seng Chheu

Motion Pictures & Television / BFA

It's difficult for a gay kid in Cambodia to express themself. I know first-hand. The culture and expectations, from the standpoint of society and family do not gel with the desire and need to be onself.

Entering a creative field was never an option for me. I could forge a career doing anything else. But I didn't back down when I spoke up and expressed my desires: to pursue a career in film. It didn't help my case that I couldn't articulate exactly what I would be doing, but they sent me off with their best wishes.

As I began my studies at Academy of Art University, I realized pretty quickly that directing, producing and cinematography didn't seem to a good fit for my interests and dreams. Editing appealed to me, but not enough to see my future staring at a computer. And then I stumbled into a production design course. I signed up having no idea what it entailed. I found myself enthralled by the end of the class. Production design required so many different types of skills, many of which were all in my wheelhouse. Others, I was eager to learn.

Production design is such a big part of film, and under-appreciated, in my opinion. My dream is to be an art director on a TV series, assisting the production designer in bringing the director's vison to life.

My days at AAU coming to close, the opportunity proved to be a stunning achievement in my life. Not only was I the first college graduate in my family, but I was also able to find and pursue my passion. This achievement was not taken light-heartedly, the stress of family expectations muddled the happiness I would have felt. I went against the ‘path’ laid out for me and took a risk, along the way doubting myself and envying other students who seemed free to follow their hearts with ease.

Even with the doubts and stresses from the family, I was glad I traveled my path. The history, technique, and possible applications made the venture worth the stress and risks. The success and passion that I found during college has made me confident in the future and allowed me to hit the ground running.

And I even got to branch out and express my artistry through making jewelry.

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