Huan Manton: Behind the Lens

Recent film production graduate Huan Manton is already securing opportunities in the entertainment industry through LMU alumni and former classmates, working as a freelance camera assistant, director of photography and colorist.

“The film school’s network of alumni is one of the best resources,” the Denver, Colorado native said, “we bring each other onto jobs.” Relationships matter, and according to Huan, those he made in the School of Film & Television (SFTV) have opened doors.

Each week Huan can find himself working on any number of projects, ranging from music videos for Mexican pop stars to documentaries on environmental issues to short science fiction films.

“Careers in film production are all about freelancing while you rise the ranks,” Huan said. “It is not like a finance job where you go to the same office everyday, doing the same thing – it is constantly changing. That is just the nature of the industry.”

Huan says he was initially drawn to LMU’s internationally lauded film program because it seemed to have a very strong sense of community, with a focus on collaboration. SFTV had everything he was looking for – a small school and big launching pad in the heart of the Los Angeles.

“I learned as much from my peers within the film school as I did from the courses,” Huan said. “Most of my collaborations are still with my peers – proven to be a very strong community.”

One of the many projects he collaborated on with fellow classmates was his senior thesis film, entitled Lucid, which tells the story of a lab technician who brings objects out of people’s dreams, and in turn, tries to use this technology to bring her ex out of one.

“I had a great crew, collaborators,” Huan said, “really helped me make a very polished project.”

Huan is currently submitting the well-received short to a number of film festivals, including New York, Toronto, Berlin and Sundance.

And though LMU’s film production track kept Huan extremely busy, especially on weekends when he would work on his peers’ film projects, he still found time to study abroad in Ireland and China, and take part in the social justice club, Oxfam.

Looking to the future, Huan says he aspires to make films that raise awareness or incite action towards social and environmental justice issues.

He cites the recent documentaries Blackfish and Queen of the Sun as aspirational favorites.

As for what advice Huan has for incoming Lions:

“Take every opportunity within the LMU community that you can,” Huan said. “Do not be afraid to find yourself through your actions.”