History Major, 2010
Freelance Director, Cinematographer / MFA Student, UCLA
Arriving at F&M nine years ago from China, knowing absolutely nothing about what I wanted to do, I simply went with what I was interested in, history. Over the next few years, the F&M history department taught me far more than just the course of history. The recurring process of writing, re-writing, reading, re-reading and, most importantly, thinking and re-thinking offered me a solid foundation for whatever field I might go into in the future. In my junior year, I discovered my passion for filmmaking, and my education in history and the humanities in general strongly influenced the kind of film stories that intrigue me.
After graduation from F&M, I moved back to Beijing and started working as a freelance director and cinematographer. My analytical and critical thinking skills provided me a big advantage in this highly competitive field. In 2014, I began studies for my MFA degree in film directing at UCLA, one of the most prestigious film schools in the world. What I learned in the F&M history department is still helping me tremendously to this day.
Yiran Zhou '10 at work behind the lens: