Yihan Lin

Cinema and Television Directing (MFA) '21

What would you say has been the most surprising thing you learned at Columbia? 

The most surprising thing I learned at Columbia was to collaborate with a film crew. It was really fascinating to have people from different departments like cinematography, lighting, production design, and sound design creatively contributing to a project, which helped realize my (directorial) vision and push me toward the territory that I was not familiar in as a director. I also learned so many skills from each collaboration with these amazing people. 

What experiences or courses at Columbia do you feel have been most beneficial? 

The most beneficial experience at Columbia was the College’s connection to the film industry. Learning arts may sometimes mean a disconnection from the business world to some extent, but (through the Columbia experience) I know I have the support needed for me to transfer from school to a professional careerColumbia has set me up for success through film sets that strictly follow professional rules, internship and network opportunities promotions and guest speakers from the industry at different courses. 

What are your plans for after graduation? 

I’m going to work in a production company in China and seek opportunities to make my first feature film. 

Do you have any advice for current students? 

My advice would be to utilize the resources around you as best as you can. People here are more than willing to help! And meanwhile, you must listen to and identify your own inner voice: who are you and who you want to become. 

If you were going to sum up your experience at Columbia in one sentence, what would you say? 

A wonderful journey to help me grow into a mature filmmaker.