Highly sought-after film producer, Olivia Jun’s, reasons for producing are twofold: she loves producing, and she’s good at it. Whenever she generates an idea for a film, she works feverishly to not only complete it, but to do so in such a way that leaves a lasting impact on her audiences. Throughout the process of producing, she is known to take leadership, partnering with her director, opening lines of communication with each department, determining who best to conduct each role, and more. She loves the opportunity she gets to solve problems and determine how best to minimize or eliminate potential risks. Even dealing with seemingly mundane tasks such as budgeting and scheduling are of interest to her. She is never afraid to take on a new challenge and when issues arise, she is the first to find a solution. Above all else, however, she is always determined to find a way to keep her coworkers engaged and excited about the project at hand.
“I like to make things happen. It’s a dream come true. When a director or writer comes to me, I get to put the plan in action. It’s exhilarating. I want to get us to our end destination, but I love to relish in the journey. I think a good producer’s job is to be a creative partner of the director, spending time with them to prepare and to determine how to think together as one mind. The producer should be someone he or she can rely on and trust to help make the film the best it can possibly be,” told Jun.
As a producer, Jun has a particular affinity for identifying the potential developmental gaps of a film’s progression and proactively determining how best to account for them. She has an eye for potential error and an adept ability to problem solve. Whether she is securing permits, balancing budgets, or managing working relationships on set, she is highly motivated with an energy that her fellow cast and crew members feed off of. Those who have worked with her in the past on films such as Esther, The Gift and Life, Death, and Rebirth, know her to be a contagiously positive presence on set and understand why she has progressed so successfully through her career thus far. She is even well versed in the art of producing commercials, knowing exactly which elements of an advertisement to emphasize and how to keep a consumer from switching the channel.
In 2017, Chinese director, Xueou Yu, consulted with Jun about joining her in producing a film called Donna,a warm hearted, short film about a woman who comes home from work in an exhausted state, only to hear a knock at the door and open it to reveal her crush. Jun found herself instantly compelled by the storyline, loving the film’s message that even though you may be battling through a difficult situation, life may offer you kindness as you persevere. In addition, she was eager to work with Yu again, having experienced her talents in the past. Lastly, she was intrigued by the fact that Yu’s idea for the project was to have it shot in 35mm film. In the past, she had created a short documentary about the story of Moto Art Studio in South California, called A Piece of Metal, in 35mm film and later, when it was presented by Harper Bazaar men’s style China, her love of this filming style was solidified even further.
After Yu expressed her vision for Donna, Yun was instantaneously determined to make it one of their best films yet. She began the casting process almost immediately, insuring that her selections were true to the characters in Yu’s script. She then began selecting crew members that would mesh well on set and the necessary camera equipment to shoot the footage in 35mm film. From the start of the project to the very end, Jun handled the smooth running of all elements on set from volunteers to wardrobe selections. She was motivated by Yu’s taste and view for the film and found herself dedicated to ensuring that that mindset was translated into the brains of everyone involved. As a result, the film earned an Official Selection at Filminute, Film Fest 52, as well as at the 2018 Influx Magazine Awards. Her hope for the film is that it will continue to carry through film festivals this year and that it will hopefully have a lasting impact on a number of audience members. Influencing the minds of viewers is one of the many things that brings her great joy in her profession.
Jun’s work on Donna further solidifies her philosophy of producing. She chose a project she liked, and she produced it with love. Sometimes, she has to remind herself that producing is her job as opposed to simply something she does for pure enjoyment. She cannot help but thrive in an environment where she does what she likes, and she likes what she does.
As for the future of her career, Jun has a few films in the pipe-works for the rest of the year. She also hopes to grow her presence in the industry on a global scale. In an effort to only work on meaningful projects, she can remain confident that these messages are ones worth spreading across the globe, in a world where positivity struggles to break through. All in all, she hopes that she will be able to continue along a path towards greatness as she continues the exciting journey she calls “work.”