When he’s not busy conducting for Marching Band, he’s producing and writing scripts for Northwood’s next NTV episode. Senior Max Lee is not afraid to pursue his passions despite the time commitment of these two activities. He sat down with The Howler to discuss his experiences with both film and music and how they have impacted his life.
David Huang and Victor Chang: How did you get into film?
Max Lee: I wanted to become an animator at first but I wasn’t too good at drawing, so I turned to filmmaking. In addition, listening to music and stories are two of my favorite things, and I felt like filmmaking was a perfect culmination of the two.
DH and VC: How about Marching Band?
ML: My sister Janice, who graduated in 2017, was in Marching Band at the time. Seeing how much fun she was having, I wanted to join too. My friends all wanted to do Marching Band and we all decided to join together.
DH and VC: Both NTV and Marching Band are very big time commitments. How do you maintain such a diverse schedule?
ML: Yes they are, so it’s crucial to be organized and cognizant of time. I try to stay ahead with homework and other tasks. It’s all about using the little time in between to the full extent and sacrificing a couple hours of sleep when needed.
DH and VC: What motivates you to continue pursuing these?
ML: Love for both Marching Band and NTV. I have so much fun doing them that they outweigh the stress.
DH and VC: Have you ever found yourself applying skills that overlap between music and film?
ML: All the time. Creating music is a creative process because even though there is music written out for you to play in ink, how musicians interpret the music in their own style is what makes every music and musician different. In the same way, how filmmakers take the script written out in ink and interpret it in their own style and make it their own makes all the films out there different and unique from one another.
DH and VC: Do you have any future plans involving band or NTV?
ML: In regards to band, I hope to continue playing music as a hobby in the future. I might join a college Marching Band, but I have to wait to see if it’s practical or not. For film, I’m applying to plan on pursuing film major and a career in filmmaking. However, there’s definitely a lot to prepare for in this field. On top of college essays, I also have to make application films that fit the prompt for the schools I’m applying to. It’s a constant creative process that I’m involved in: trying to come up with a new story to tell. But as stressful as it gets at times, it’s entertaining and keeps me occupied.
DH and VC: What is one piece of advice for those who intend to pursue these interests?
ML: Never lose passion and love for it. Both music and film requires a huge amount of dedication, but as long as you never lose the passion and love, it won’t feel like stressful labor. You’ll enjoy every single moment of it. Always remember why you first fell in love with either music or film and treasure it to help make others feel the same way.