Digital Journal

Changyi Yu: The Challenges and Triumphs of Female Filmmakers


Changyi Yu, a talented filmmaker, has encountered numerous challenges as a woman in the film industry. She said, despite some progress, there remains a significant underrepresentation of women in crucial behind-the-scenes roles, including directors, cinematographers, writers, and producers.

One noteworthy achievement in Changyi’s career is her involvement in the creation of a Nike commercial – Icon of LA. The commercial took a groundbreaking approach by featuring an all-female team in key positions, including a female director of photography, assistant camera operator, gaffer, director, and producer. The collaborative efforts of these skilled women resulted in a groundbreaking production that aimed to showcase their exceptional talents and abilities.

Motivated to challenge industry stereotypes, Changyi wholeheartedly believes in the power of women and actively seeks to inspire others to pursue careers in grip and electric, as well as other roles such as director and cinematographer. She places great importance on the art of storytelling, utilizing cinematography and lighting techniques to delve into the profound depths of a narrative, prioritizing substance over superficial aesthetics.

As a freelance filmmaker based in Los Angeles, Changyi has worked on a diverse range of projects, including her recent role as a gaffer on a television series, and she has several upcoming ventures as a cinematographer. Additionally, she is currently engaged in writing a film script that features Asian characters, aiming to contribute to greater representation on the big screen.

Recognizing Los Angeles as an ideal starting point for aspiring filmmakers, Changyi acknowledges the city’s vibrant film industry, which attracts passionate individuals from all over the world who collaborate towards a shared goal. Within this dynamic community, Changyi has found her place, actively contributing to the industry’s growth while advocating for and promoting the work of fellow female filmmakers. She firmly believes that fostering inclusivity and diversity within the film industry is essential for it to genuinely reflect the voices and experiences of all individuals.


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