Sean Lew On His Directorial Debut- 'II: An Unspoken Narrative'
The pandemic has certainly been hard for all of us but Sean Lew is clearly making the most of it. Sean Lew who is merely the age of 19, has successfully transformed into an epitome of talent within the entertainment industry. Besides being a professional dancer, choreographer, award winning chef, actor, writer, creative director, editor, philanthropist, pianist and singer, Sean recently dipped his shoes in the the art of direction.
A native of Los Angeles, Sean, who is of Chinese, Japanese and Mongolian descent, started dancing when he was able to walk. Inspired by his two older sisters Sarah and Sirris, Sean took his first dance classes when he was four and started competing at the age of five. He has received many winning titles in national and championship competitions and was given the opportunity to join The Pulse on Tour as an Elite Protege, which allowed him to hone his dance technique. Sean started to choreograph at the age of 10 and soon after received 1st Overall Champion at the ASH Nationals.
Perhaps best known for his two seasons on the hit NBC competition series “World of Dance,” Sean is now adding director to his ongoing list of credits as he premiered his first film ‘II: AN UNSPOKEN NARRATIVE’ on February 26, which he wrote, directed, choreographed, edited and starred in.
‘II: AN UNSPOKEN NARRATIVE’ expresses the narrative of one guy going through his life by himself while learning the concept of balance in an unconventional way expressed by the form of movement and storytelling. II depicts an unspoken narrative expressed through dance revolving around balance where two different concepts make you realize your worst moment to make your great moments greater. This movie is a passion project that Sean put all his efforts in and perfected for more than 4 years. The result is no doubt something no less than a masterpiece.
Sean Lew recently sat down with Deception Magazine in order to discuss the creative process behind his directorial debut and discusses what he holds in mind for his future plans.
Hi there Sean, thank you for joining us on Deception! How is 2021 treating you so far?
Thank you for having me! 2021 has been a rollercoaster to say the least but i couldn’t be more grateful to be on the path that I’m currently on right now.
How does it feel to be entering the world of directing. You are just 19 and are already a phenomenal dancer, choreographer, award winning chef, actor, writer, editor, philanthropist, pianist and singer. How do you intend on balancing all these elements together when it comes to things like time management?
It’s so funny that you ask because I still yet have to remind myself that I have been entering the realm of directing. Going through different roles and areas of my life, I never intended on being a director or writer or editor or all of those things. To me, I always led with one mindset and that became the fact that if I had a vision or a message that I wanted to share the world with, I wanted to make it happen no matter what.
And anybody who works with me, if I can make their jobs easier and more comfortable on my end, that’ll be my priority. I know that what happens in my head can sometimes be very confusing or too ‘out there,’ so it’s my job to make sure that if I ever ask anyone to be a part of a project of mine, they fully understand what I see in my head, so that way, we’re all on the same page and passionate about the same thing. I don’t really like saying that I want to master any craft because I fear that I would limit myself from elevating my own art on different levels.
Congratulations on II! Is there anything that you can tell your fans about the film?
Thank you so much! I think the film, “II: An Unspoken Narrative,” was created for multiple reasons. First off, I’ve always seen dance as an accessory to a narrative or dancers being extras for a scene but never the protagonist of the story. My hope is that directors can watch this and realize that dancers pour their life into their movements, giving life to the story and that dance has the capability to become the lead to any narrative if we go at it the right way. And second, I just want this film to inspire people.
As cheesy as that sounds, this film contains so many life experiences and life lessons of mine and I hope that every time someone watches this and re-watches it again, they learn something new about their own battles or just their own life. I don’t expect everyone to love or understand this film but I do hope that it can touch certain people that need those missing answers to their lost questions.
How was the creative process like with the film? Did it go as smoothly as planned or did you face any sort of challenges during the production stage?
The creative process was farrrrrr from perfect. Maybe the quite opposite of perfect. Before stepping into the set of a shoot, I try my best to write everything down to a T but I don’t think I’ve ever had a shoot where it went exactly to plan. Honestly, it’s never a shoot of mine if something didn’t go wrong. We went from injuries, to weather issues, to car break ins, to flight delays.
And all those challenges were 50x harder than you would imagine because me and the whole production team, is pretty much a 3-people team. But to be honest, looking back at it, that’s what makes the entire film worth it. Knowing that we put literal blood, sweat, and tears into this, makes me so honored and proud of the team that I got to work with.
Where do you garner your major motivations from when it comes to your professional journey?
My main motivations come from the fact that I get to wake up every day to see another day, which means it’s another 24 hours of figuring out how to inspire others and leave an unforgettable influence to this world, just in case I don’t get to see the next day. Also, seeing the impact that my craft puts on others, makes the whole journey so special.
It blows my mind, like LITERALLY blows my mind to see people crying over some of the pieces I’ve created because they can relate to the tough moments or greatest moments that are presented in my projects. I couldn’t do what I do without my friends and family. That includes my fans because they are my friends.
What according to you was the most enjoyable and memorable moment in your career so far?
I’ve had some very memorable moments in my career but if i had to pick one off the top of my head, it would be doing World of Dance NBC with Kaycee. Like that entire experience gave me the greatest gift in the world, my partnership with Kaycee. Also, it pushed my limits to creating pieces and seeing dance beyond what I could have imagined.
I never thought I would be able to reach that many people in this world with my choreography. Or even just dancing. The finish line in that competition was never the prize or the finale. There never was a finish line for us, as we stepped into the competition. It was just an opportunity and the start line for us to inspire the world with the help of a bigger stage.
What are the top three things in your bucket list regarding 2021?
My top three things in my bucket list, ooooooooo, that’s tough.
One, I hope to book a movie as a lead. That’s a real stretch haha but it’s been a goal of mine since as long as I can remember. That’s maybe part of my motivation in creating “II.” haha
Two, I hope to be able to travel again like I used to and meet so many new people as we dance till the night becomes day.
Three, Maybe collaborate with a big fashion brand. hahaha
What’s next for you? Any upcoming project/collaboration that you are currently working on that you’d like to hint your fans about?
ACTUALLY, funny you say that because me and my sisters are working on a really really special collection. It’s been more than 8 months since we’ve started on this but I’m so proud of us on this secret project that we’re working on and I can’t wait to share it to the world.
But besides that, I just want to learn new things and meet new people. Let the universe take me to where I’m supposed to go. And just constantly create to inspire.
Lastly, is there any message that you would like to convey to your supporters from all around the world?
Thank you. If it wasn’t for this pandemic, I would find a way to make sure I can meet every single person that’s ever supported my journey. Also, don’t forget to live your life outside of social media. I still remind myself of that but it’s so easy to get pulled into the media and become gullible to the things people say about each other.
We don’t know the people we see on our screens, no matter how much knowledge you have about them. We all have our own battles, so just don’t step into someone’s life with judgment. Just come in with an open mind and heart and move on if it’s not for you. Thank you again for every person who has stuck with me. You guys are the true legends in my book.
Interview By- Pankhuri Bhutani