Meet the Finalist: Sunny Wai Yan Chan, "Godspeed"

Tell us about yourself, and about Godspeed.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, I decided to chase my animation dream in the United States three years ago. Now I'm a grad student in Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), focusing on animation and shot layout. "Godspeed" is my graduate thesis project, which is about a son saying goodbye to his mother at the airport. I wanted to tell a story inspired by my own childhood experience and I'm glad it resonated with a lot of viewers.

Share a memorable moment you experienced working on this project.

That moment would be when my mentor, Professor Bill Tessier, was giving his speech at the school's quarter-end animation showcase. He was describing one of the student film contestants anonymously, from how they first met to how he had seen him improve. I began to recognize that he was talking about me and started to get emotional. I got flashbacks of all the years I have been chasing my dream far from home. I'm thankful to have met him since I began studying at SCAD.

Name 3 collaborators that you'd take with you to any other project.

The production of Godspeed was very tight-scheduled. I'm blessed with really talented friends, especially the following three who helped me the most:Brian Lesiangi - Art Director and VFX SupervisorYuna Chen - Lighter & CompositerAster Lai - Lighter & Compositer

3 tips you’d like to share with aspiring artists in your field:

I always remind myself to apply the following three qualities to as many aspects of myself at work as possible:- be genuine- be passionate- be perseverant

What do you hope to achieve in your career in the next 5 years?

As I’m graduating in the end of this year, the following five years is really unpredictable. I hope that even though I may be jumping from one workplace to another, I can focus on improving my animation and camera skills. I also want to absorb as much as I could about the industry from all the different environments I put myself into. Apart from work, I would love to create a new short story and collaborate with my friends. It's always good to have a fun little side project.

Godspeed is nominated for Best Animation Short of the Year at the New York Film Awards.

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