NHS alumni Ashley Dasom Lee

Rachel Yokota, Managing Editor

Photo provided by Ashley Lee

Northwood Class of 2018 graduate Ashley Dasom Lee lives her life through a camera lens. Her portfolio after high school as a producer rapidly expanded from filming for Northwood’s television program, NTV, to assisting with the production of BTS’s “Permission to Dance” music video filmed at the United Nations General Assembly and producing for viral internet personality and illusionist Zach King.


Lee’s passion for producing film emerged when she joined NTV as a senior, where she worked as a camera operator. Despite this official role, Lee was still able to delve into the other aspects of filmmaking due to the freedom that NTV granted for personal projects.


“NTV allowed me to make whatever I wanted, and I knew that this was my last high school year if I were to do anything film related,” Lee said. “I decided to make a film for the Orange County Film Festival and try everything and every position within making a film. And then, I realized producing was what I was really good at, and so I went with that route.” 


While Lee was at Northwood, she met many teachers and coaches who have supported her and her passion for film. While he no longer teaches at Northwood, one of these remarkable figures in Lee’s life is English teacher Phil Roh, who taught Lee in her FORCE Critical Theory and Literature class.


“I emailed him to get in touch with him a few years ago and I sent him a film that I did and some of my poetry too, and he was just so proud of me,” Lee said. “It’s so reassuring to hear him and the other teachers I’ve kept in touch with say that they’re proud of me for what I’ve done and what I am doing.”


Lee is now a senior at Chapman University, and credits her choice to attend to the encouragement of the college and high school students she met through NTV’s FilmEd* summer program. As a college student, Lee has produced commercials for businesses such as Halaballoo and the construction company Bobcat, along with over 15 independent films and shorts along with poetry and photographs. She is now in the final stages of producing her senior thesis film for her major in creative producing, which is a documentary on a family of undocumented immigrants titled “El Soñador.” 


“If I could give advice to incoming students, I would say high school is the time to do it and try new things,” Lee said. “I decided to go out for ASB my sophomore year going into junior year and I didn’t get it. I tried out for swim captain and I didn’t get it. And then I tried out for class council and then I didn’t get it. I also tried out for Link Crew leaders and didn’t get any of it. It was really heartbreaking, but I got into NTV. So whatever you do, don’t stop trying.”