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Clark Zhu, ’17, has been interested in making movies since he was four years old.

A filmmaker, and film lover, Clark Zhu, ‘17, has watched hundreds of films and tv series, as well as created his own. Hailing from Xi’an, China, Zhu came to the United States in order to better his high school and college education, while he resides with his aunt and uncle, who own a home in Fresno.

Zhu’s interests in films sparked at the age of four years old, when he first watched Spider Man.

“My interest in film started a long time ago. As far as I could recall, my first film experience was watching Spider Man in 2002 when I was 4 years old. At the age of 12 I began to have a strong desire to study films. From that time on I have become a sort of a film buff: checking movie news, watching movies etc.”

Currently, Zhu makes homemade movies through his school class of video productions, which he considers to be his favorite period, as he teaches himself how to create films.

“I’m currently in 7th period video production class, and I love the class very much,” Zhu said. “I taught myself everything, which caused me to go into many wrong corners, as I made simple problems complicated. As time passed, I found easy solutions to the problems, which made me upset wishing that I had a teacher, so my time wouldn’t have been wasted on such silly issues.”

Additionally, Zhu also makes tribute videos to directors and movies, paying homage to the late Stanley Kubrick, or Marvel’s Avengers on the video sharing website Vimeo, though the procedure in order to construct a short video is laborious.

“My process is pretty simple, first off, I will brainstorm the idea for the video,” Zhu said. “The motive I want to demonstrate is the soul of the whole process. Then I will select the music and collect the clips I want to use. After this, I will start editing which will take quiet a long time. Finally, I will export the finished cut and upload it to Vimeo and YouTube (only if copyright claims on music do not block my video worldwide, otherwise I will delete it right away).”

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The video productions class teaches students how to film and edit movies.

As of December 2014, Zhu uses Adobe Premiere Pro to edit and produce his tribute films, to which he then uploads to Vimeo, which he became a member of in April 2015. Recently, Zhu’s video, ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 Retrospective Official Teaser,’ was reposted by Marvel comics creator Stan Lee.

“Before Stan Lee reposted it, some movie & comic book sites posted my video,” Zhu said. “I think this is one of the reasons that Stan Lee found out my video. Once he had reposted it, the views for the video drastically increased (about 3000-4000 views in an hour). I’m very glad that he reposted it. It is an honor for me that the creator of countless super heroes likes my work. I really appreciate it.”

In the future, Zhu plans to attend film school, where he plans to start as an editor, then continue ahead to become a motion pictures director.

“I’m applying for a Film Production major in these schools: USC School of Cinematic Arts, NYU Tisch School of Arts and UCLA School of TFT,” Zhu said. “Those three are my dream schools. I want to be a film editor, or movie trailer editor in my early years. The industry has a decent amount of job for such position and it pays well. But ultimately, I want to be the director. I want to tell the story from myself, not from someone else.”

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This writer can be reached via Twitter: justus_briggs and via email: Justus Briggs
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