SoFTA Graduate Representative's Address——Yimin Lin

July 31, 2020

Hello everyone, my name is Lin Yimin, a final year student from School of Film and TV Arts (SoFTA). It is an honour that today I have the opportunity to share my perspective of 4 years experience at XJTLU.

Last year, we shot the graduation video for each school/department. At that time, I imagined that when I graduated, maybe I will have the opportunity to sit in front of camera, and see a bunch of lovely junior tortured by this work again. But what I didn't realise is that today, due to the coronavirus I have to record the graduation video by myself. And Maybe some of my friends are taking the screenshots for making the meme. OK jokes aside.

Many people think that the daily life of SoFTA students, such as anchoring a programme in the studio or a director sitting in a folding chair with sunglasses and holding a fan. However, if you remember that sometimes there were a bunch of unkempt people holding the video cameras and running on campus, that's not barbarian, it's me, and SoFTA students.

For every student who enters SoFTA, all of them are the people who carry the great ambition. Therefore, how to make these "great artist" sit together peacefully and participate in a teamwork? Rigorous, complex, and multifarious assessments requirements.

There is a meme quite popular in our school that someone who holds a paper outside the window with the words: run away. So we can see how hard it is. You might be wondering how could we bound to each other under this tough situation? The first step is: order food. One of the most popular pick-up lines in China is "have you eaten yet?" Every time when someone suggests to order food, the studio will soon get lively like food market. We start to talk to each other, sharing the pain and hair we lost when we fight with the assessment. Therefore, it is starvation that bonds everyone together. We quickly became friends, and gradually know how to collaborate with others. I enjoy the time after our Dean - Adam gets off his work, and then, we started order food and enjoy the delicious food. We spent countless nights together at SoFTA, and the hair we lost could have gone all around the world. But seeing the work I've created is as exciting as seeing a newborn baby, and of course I'd be dead if she didn't come out. And, after I gave this presentation, I hope our Dean will not set a camera in the studio, please.

Due to the pandemic, we had to finish the last semester on the Internet. I miss Luciano's experimental film; I miss the screening days organised by Jaya, and I miss the days tortured by programming and Roger.

It's true that SoFTA is a newly established school, but because of this, we have the least limitation and the most freedom to create. We not only cooperate with different majors, but also complete the assessment together with other departments. Moreover, most of us have different future directions. In our courses, everyone has the opportunity to experience different roles, including editors, photographers, directors, designers. We switched between different scenes, editing studio, television hall and post production studio. It means a lot for me.

Before I entered XJTLU, I loved video games and CG animation. I once believed that I could become a game designer or illustrator in the future. However, in the second year, it was the first time I touched the digital camera, and I found that I was so obsessed with this heavy thing, which will tap a hole in your wallet and suck your money. Now I am going to study photography at the Royal College of Art (UK), but without diversified courses I learned before, I may lose the opportunity to explore myself and what I truly want.

For SoFTA students, we have no shortcut, no business skills. A beautiful title and exaggerated self-display is useless. Of course, it is hard to deny that there are always a few successful people fishing in troubled waters, but who wants to be them? The only thing we can do is to practice, practice, and practice, to be the best person, even the best of best. You just need to be very, very good at what you do, which takes a lot of your personal time. When other people play video games late at night and hang out with friends, you are still writing tens of thousands of words of scripts, filling in every detail in the illustration, editing more than 100 gigabyte footage, and modifying the wrong code again and again.

For my personal experience, photography is not a very romantic career actually. It requires you to constantly improve your skills and do a lot of literature reviews to support your art works. It's more like a craftman than just picking up the camera and pressing the shutter. Our capacity to create resonant work is inseparable from our life experience. We bring the past painful experiences, self infatuation, scars and tears of failure, the joy of success into our works, at least we should do so.

Just like other parents, my parents were also very worried about my future, and this is the first time they feel powerless. As a merchants' family, they have to face an unfamiliar major and a new department, everything is brand new. They could have sent me to a traditional university, or command me to choose a major that seems more "stable". However, they did not choose to do so and supported me all the way up to now. I still remember that one day before the college entrance examination, my father said, "No matter what you want, I will always be there and support you. I don't care how much money you make in the future, our family will always have your place, and the only thing you need to promise is that be passionate about what you do. Your life and healthy is the best gift for me and your mom. "

Some students have been struggling for four years in a major that they are not interested in. They are required by parents to choose the university that has a high ranking, instead of choosing the school or major they truly want. Two of my best friends struggled for almost two years in the major they totally dislike. They cannot choose SoFTA because their parents thought it's hard to earn big money in the future. I used to be lost, and kept thinking these questions like my friends: if I won't succeed in the future, will I be laughed at by others? Can I really prove myself? What if I regret in the end? However, finally, in the final-year, they chose to start over and pursuit their dreams. Although we should have graduated together today, they chose to spend another two years at XJTLU to embrace their future.

Time will never be the biggest rival defeat us, only ourselves will, and I am glad that they find the new path. I think today, we should also give an applause to these people, in my heart, they also "graduated". These experience makes me clearly know that every decision we make should be taken by ourselves. We should make our own achievements and take responsibility. As a student of SoFTA, we need to overcome all the difficulties, don't care about other people's doubts and facing your own future.

July 31, 2020