Since picking up a camera at university, Lee Feng Nian has made it his career.
What’s your story?
With a love of language and an inquisitive spirit, I started off wanting to be a journalist, and subsequently entered into a communications course in polytechnic. However, it was then that I found myself inundated with courses that weren’t what I was after.
Interestingly enough, I was assigned a camera during one of the courses and it was then that a connection was formed when I was wielding it. It felt easier to convey my ideas with the moving image rather than the written word. It was a firm handshake between man and machine.
I then enrolled in a film degree at a local university, forsaking the traditional majors from the other local universities.
I now film commercials, promos and branded content. Most recently, I finished shooting a segment of an omnibus movie.
Life always takes you on unexpected journeys.
What excites you most about your industry?
The thing about this industry goes counter against what one would describe as having a desk job. Every single day presents a different challenge and this forces me to solve problems in various ways.
One day I could be in the jungles of southern China battling floods and other natural disasters and the next, in a presidential complex shooting an interview. We wouldn’t know what comes or what goes. This is the most exciting thing about this industry.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Asian and English speaking, I was born and raised in Singapore. I’m happy and lucky to be educated here as I am able to cross cultures and borders easily with a better understanding of the world.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. It’s multinational and multilingual with many people coming here from different nationalities. So the interaction I have with different people comes on a daily basis.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
To have “The skin of a rhino, soul of an angel and the heart of a lion.”
Who inspires you?
It is a combination of various people but mostly, they are market disruptors like Brian Chesky (Airbnb) and Travis Kalanick (Uber). That being said, there is still traditional wisdom to be learnt from the classics like the Art of War.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It is neither the brightest who will succeed nor is success simply the sum of decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is a gift. Those who succeed are those who have been given opportunities and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t. One is a summation of past experiences and I have no regrets going through every single up or down. I have come close to death, experienced failure and tasted success – all of which add up to my world view and the way I live my life now.
How do you unwind?
Listening to good music, watching Netflix and reading up on the latest visual trends on trade magazines.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. Visit the north to chill and relax in the highlands and fly down south to Bangkok where everything can be bought for a fee!
Everyone in business should read this book:
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
Shameless plug for your business:
It’s all on my site. www.screenfeng.com to see some stuff I have done.
Hit me up if you need interesting visual ideas or concepts.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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