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Yayun Hsu reminisces on journey of bringing Westfield Century City Mall’s sizzle reel to life

As a film producer, Yayun Hsu endeavors to make the most of every resource within her reach, regardless of how many or how few that may entail. When tasked with a restrictive budget, Hsu becomes somewhat of a magician, using her imagination to manipulate the resources she has been given and transforming them into useful assets. She is a craftswoman by nature and on set, her mind works without limits. With that, she is well-known for her ability to magnify the scope of any project she works on and to nurture large-scale productions where they might not have otherwise evolved. As a result, she exerts her power to make a high quantity of quality films and to share stories with the world in the most entertaining and engaging way possible. Hsu is not your average producer and fortunately, she makes no plans to slow down any time soon.

Growing up, Hsu had never anticipated that she would develop a love for producing like she has today. Like many other children, she found her passion for film at a young age and thought that it would place her in front of the camera as an actress. As she got older, she began to understand the wider horizons that she could pursue from behind the lens. She was intrigued by the possibility of letting her creativity run wild behind the scenes and quickly became enamored by the different methods and styles available for use when telling a story through film. Today, she can be credited with the crucial role she played behind the scenes of award-winning films like Eli, Embrace the Suck, and Next Door. In fact, she has even developed a wide range of film mediums, having worked on everything from film shorts to promotional videos, live awards shows, and more.

This past autumn, film director, Noah Clark, approached Hsu about the possibility of producing the Westfield Century City Mall’s corporate promotional video. Clark, having worked with Hsu in the past on his commercial for the Whisk Wiper, was confident that she possessed the skill set and the drive that he was looking for to take his ideas to the next level. For this project, Westfield Century City Mall in Los Angeles was looking to capture the fun and enjoyment of their grand opening night, showcasing a distinctive, first look at the re-scaling efforts they had undergone over the previous three years. Hsu was thrilled about the prospect of lending her talents to the project, not only because she would be coordinating the production of their grand opening event film, but also because of the size and scale of the event itself.

“I had never worked on a corporate video of this nature before so it was so much fun. I planned everything to excruciating detail and everyone knew exactly what was going on — almost to a military level. With so many details to consider and changes from the client, the project truly tested my level of organization and concentration, but I like to work quickly and efficiently in general. I was very pleased to help on all of the unique, different tasks and even to learn some new skills,” recalled Hsu.

For the video, Hsu was tasked with coordinating the production of Westfield Century City Mall’s staff, as well as ensuring that a live stream of the opening night ran smoothly and efficiently. Specifically, some of her key roles included keeping contact flowing between crew members, models, and clients, as well as tracking interview times and models’ schedules. During post-production, she also aided in cutting and editing the footage into a “sizzle reel”, which compiles highlights and best moments of the night in one, clean-cut video. Given that the sizzle reel was to be cut the same night of the event, Clark and Hsu worked feverishly to ensure that they met their timelines and provided Westfield Century City Mall with the highest quality content possible under such a strict deadline. Upon completing the project successfully, Clark realized just how instrumental Hsu was when it came to satisfying their clients and felt fortunate to have had her on his team.

“Yayun was a joy to work with and added tremendously to the show’s success. She works hard and is able to complete complex tasks with ease. The success of any project is reliant upon the people involved, and Yayun’s attention to detail was paramount in creating a successful result. This intuitive behavior, mixed with her intelligence, will guarantee her success in this industry,” Clark remarked.

In addition to Clark’s praise, Hsu received positive feedback from each and every client involved. She is pleased to know that they keep their sizzle reel playing on their property and every time she shops in the Westfield Century City Mall, she is reminded of how well her hard work and dedication paid off.

“I feel thankful and lucky that I was chosen to be involved in such a large and important project. More than that, I’m glad that I could use my producing skills to help ensure that the project was a great success,” she concluded.

Photo by Ryan Hwang

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