BCPC is a community that encompasses all of post production, all over the world. Some of our members are lively on Facebook, some are lurkers, and many are dedicated volunteers within one of our many programs. Every two weeks we introduce a member from somewhere in the world, to highlight and celebrate members of this amazing community.
Today, we're meeting the wonderful Milli Lo, who has recently joined the BCPC London committee.
Milli, it sounds like you've been busy! What projects are you involved in at the moment?
I am currently a First Assistant Editor on 'Brexit', a TV movie that will be airing on Channel 4, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. It's the first time I've been involved from shoot-stage, so it's been very hands-on but such an amazing learning experience and I'm enjoying it very much.
In addition to this, I have also been in production for my own documentary, 'Estelle', which we have been filming for quite some time now. It's a slow process, but hopefully, when it is (finally) finished, it'll be all worth it! And when I'm not on a long-form project, I edit film and TV trailers for clients such as the BBC, HBO, Netflix and many of the London-based trailer houses.
How long have you been involved in BCPC, and in what capacity?
I have been a part of BCPC since the very first London meet-up. My good friend Sian is VP of the London division and kept me up to date with all the meetups and activities the group runs and I love being a part of such a welcoming and supportive community. Originally, I started as just a regular member and turned up to all the meetups, but I am now part of the committee as a volunteer. It just means I keep doing what I've always been doing though, go to meetups and chat with people, but now I get a cool BCPC t-shirt to go with it! My main goal as a committee member is to help others coming into the industry by offering them candid advice from my own experiences. I believe that it's important to pay-it-forward by supporting and motivating others, as people like Sian and others have always done for me.
Was there a defining moment growing up when you decided you wanted to be in the creative industries?
My dad has always been a big film buff, so my brother and I would often watch a lot of films that were probably pretty inappropriate for our age when we were growing up. I remember weekends sat on the floor by my dad's armchair watching films with him and during those times being incredibly immersed in the stories that were unfolding on screen. The way he talked about his favourite films to me though was the real reason I wanted to get into film and TV. When he recalls the first time he went to see 'Blade Runner' (his favourite film) at the cinema, his eyes light up and his voice changes. He tells me about how he felt when he came out of the screening, his interpretation of the story and how beautiful he thought Sean Young was, a memory so vivid to him even after all these years. This made me realise that I wanted to be part of those productions that really play a part in people's lives, stories that people remember for lifetimes.
What achievement are you most proud of in your career so far?
As silly as this may sound, I am most proud of having the courage to go freelance! It was such a scary process at first as I am definitely someone that like to plan in advance and likes to know what I'm doing well ahead of schedule. The uncertainty of leaving my full-time job as a Trailer Editor was pretty terrifying! But, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. I've met some incredible clients, colleagues and friends along the way and it gave me the opportunity to throw myself out of that comfort zone. As a result, I've definitely felt more confident and it's just made me even more hungry to learn and experience different things - both in and out of my career. I've always been an ambitious and driven person, but now being in charge of my own career and work has made me feel even more empowered.
What and where is your favourite place to unwind after a long day? How do you self-care?
If I'm honest, I'm really bad at self-care! I like to keep busy, so I find there is always something else to do when I've finished work. However, whenever I can, I meet up with friends for dinner and a catch-up, or I'll go and catch a film at the cinema with my brother. I've recently joined a gym again to hopes of taking better care of myself seeing as I'm sitting down and staring at a screen all day, so I do enjoy my sessions there too. I've also made a list of 30 things to do before I turn 30, in an attempt to stop talking about the things I want to do and just doing them. I'm grateful to have amazing friends that are encouraging me to finish this list and even tag along to some of the destinations or events I've been ticking off! I also love to take photographs when I travel and try to upload a daily travel pic to my Instagram account every day.
What is the one thing outside of your work that you geek out about the most?
I'm a big foodie, so love exploring new and interesting places to eat. I also love listening to live classical music, so spend too much time (and money!) on concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, especially their film screenings where the orchestra plays the score live. But generally, I'm just a big nerd and love everything to do with comic books, graphic novels, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and many more!
What is the best advice that has ever been given to you?
Be kind and respectful to everyone, as you may be meeting them on your way up, but you might see them on the way down as well. The industry is a small one and it's important to remember that no matter how well you've done, or how far you've come, there is never any excuse to treat someone with disrespect. People will remember how you've treated them, good or bad - I know I've definitely banked a few memories! - and you don't want to be remembered for being that person! It's a good piece of advice that I like to adopt as part of my everyday life, as well as for work.
If you won the lottery today, and never needed to work again, how would you spend the rest of your life?
Travelling the world and snapping photos along the way! I often wish I took more time to travel when I'm not working, but jobs often roll from one to the next. I am going to try and take time out for me in the future and travel as much as possible!
What are people always surprised to learn about you?
I think for those that are outside of the industry especially, are always surprised to learn how overly career-orientated I am. I'm a very ambitious person and like to put in the extra effort and go the extra mile, which often doesn't give me much spare time which a lot of people outside of work don't quite understand. I guess there can often be a stereotype about East Asian women and our supposed "meek and mildness", but most of my East Asian friends and I are complete opposites to that stereotype! We're all strong, independent and driven women and that often breaks the image that people have of us when they first see us. I am very chatty and sociable and can be direct at times, which catches people off-guard. I'm proud of my heritage, but I even more proud of bringing my own brand of flavour to it.