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The Work That Made Me: Chris Chung

Curly director Chris shares his love of Nike's cheesy 'The Mission' and the projects that make him envious

The Work That Made Me: Chris Chung

Action-comedy director Chris Chung has created award winning work in film and television alongside TVC and content for Gymbox, Voltarol and Sony amongst other brands. Chris' background in martial arts and stunt coordination plus his ability to inject comedy into the most unlikely scenarios gives his work a distinct and inimitable style. 


The ad/music video from my childhood that stays with me…

The Nike: Mission ad as it was so ridiculously fun, cheesy and just massively entertaining. I remember going to school and how much of an impact it had on me and my classmates, and how we all were inspired to recreate moments in the ad. I’d love to see something like this again.


The ad/music video/game/web platform that made me want to get into the industry…

I watched a lot of music videos coming from Colin Tilley, super glossy, slick and just brimming with energy. I think the ‘Look at me now’ video he did for Chris Brown was amazing and I spent hours watching the video in slow motion to study the cinematography, VFX and how he cut the video. 


The creative work that I keep revisiting…

I like to revisit Michael Mann’s ‘Collateral’, from the way the film is shot, scored and paced… it’s a masterclass in filmmaking and achieving a synergy between the actors and all the departments. 


My first professional project…

Was for Sony Playstation, and actually through a competition we won through MOFILM. I came up with the creative and directed it with the help of some very talented friends and a nifty camera rig. 


The piece of work that made me so angry that I vowed to never make anything like *that*…

I have a few projects which annoyed me at the time, but I think it’s all part of the journey in growing and nurturing your voice as a filmmaker which sounds a bit cliché, I know... I think what happens next is the important part, with a different perspective after some lessons learned you can go at it again.


The piece of work that still makes me jealous…

I don’t really get jealous, probably envious… as a filmmaker I know you’re constantly wrestling with problems and arising issues that so much has to go right to make a good piece of work, and so when someone makes something special, you just have to take your hat off to the makers and use that as inspiration and drive for your next piece. A recent piece which has inspired me most is the Audi – Escape ad.


The creative project that changed my career…

‘Handuken’, it was my first proper short, the first time I got to work with a crew, from a DOP, an editor and a RED cam. There were so many lessons learned on that project and I was lucky enough to be working with an amazing cast and crew. The short went on to be a finalist in the Virgin Media Shorts where it premiered at the BFI IMAX, won a handful of international awards, got BIFA longlisted and got me my first paid gig as a director. 


The work that I’m proudest of…

Is ‘Soho Jimbo’, I’m still in awe of the whole team, from my producer, dop, our actors and everyone on set. We had just two days to shoot this proof-of-concept action-comedy with a bunch of ambitious one takers and action sequences which involve swords, triads and an exploding bird. Yes, an exploding bird. It was an incredibly demanding and ambitious project, but it was the most fun I’ve ever had on set and helped me get these TV idents for Sky Sports and Voltarol.


I was involved in this and it makes me cringe…

I’ve probably been involved in a few things that are cringe worthy back when I worked in corporates or was a camera trainee but it’s all part of the journey. Nobody ever sets out to make something cringey and I admire the artists and filmmakers that continue to try and push the envelope even if that means you end up making something that misses the mark.


The recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…

I just finished shooting for a company called Wirex, it’s not a flashy ad or anything sports related but it’s a series of films which are being used as a soft guide for Hong Konger’s who are coming to the UK to start a new chapter in their lives. They’re guides to the property market, getting a job and where to find your favourite Asian cuisines. It excited me because it reminded me of why I’m here and my identity, my grandad, my parents, would’ve had to come here with little resources and support to make it work and I’m glad to of worked on a project which aims to help others making the same transition.


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