Sacrificing a good salary for the silver screen dream

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 August, 2004, 12:00am

At the age of 34, Jane Sin Yin-chun traded her well-paid career as a piano teacher for a $5,000-a-month job as a movie production assistant.

'I am starting from scratch,' says Ms Sin, a recent graduate of the film production course at the Vocational Training Council.

'Instead of earning more than $10,000 a month from just working three days a week, I will now have to work six days for half of what I used to earn.

'Count me as a crazy dreamer, but I am just one among hundreds of people who have given up everything to be a part of a glamorous industry.'

The film production training course, which is eligible to anyone with Form Three qualifications, attracted more than 1,000 applicants.

Early school-leavers, university graduates and working adults looking for a career change are among the 240 students from all walks of life accepted into the course.

Julia Wai, who used to work as a freelance graphic designer, has also finished the three-month course in assistant directing.

She intends to continue her studies before starting a career as an art director.

'I know the costs I am paying: lower pay, longer working hours, lower position, and uncertainties about the future of the movie industry,' the 33-year-old says.

'But I will regret it for the rest of my life if I don't give it a try.'