Meet the people behind our award-winning work across the globe. Up next is our incredible Senior Producer from our team in Shanghai, Avril He.
Before joining MPC Avril spent 6 years working at The Loft Films, working on several large productions with acclaimed directors such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Martin Werner, Eli Sverdlov and Nick Gordon for global brands. During these campaigns Avril was exposed to the world of VFX and realised her passion for pursuing a career behind the camera.
In addition to her exemplary skills as a producer Avril’s background in performing arts as an actress, singer and dancer means that even during the most testing of projects there’s a reasonable chance that our team in Shanghai is kept entertained.
At MPC Avril has worked with admired directors Dai Shu and Somei on recent campaigns for Shiseido and Bilibili.
Can you share your story with us – where did you get your start? How did you get to where you are today and what has your journey been like in both work and life?
My journey to MPC has been quite varied. I’ve worked in several different industries including manufacturing, property and entertainment. The lead actress role in a network series made me realized that I’d love to persue a career in the magic behind the camera. Soon after, I joined The Loft Films as production producer, where I had the chance to work with several acclaimed directors, such as: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Martin Werner, Nick Gordon, Eli Sverdlov on large global brands campaigns: Qualcomm, BMW, Nike and so on. During these larger projects, I was exposed to the world of VFX, where the enchanted truly happens.
What do you love about being a producer?
I would say the sense of satisfaction and recognition after the project has been delivered, especially for those projects that you really like and poured your heart and soul into. And the fact that you always learn something out of every project with every project being different. And the opportunity to have the chance to work with various creatives and talented people and artists is also a fun part.
Can you tell us about previous projects you’ve worked on?
BMW – Wonder Dad | DIR: Martin Werner | Role: production producer
Nike – Shanghai Never Done | DIR: Nick Gordon | Role: production producer
Shiseido | DIR: Dai Shu | Role: Post Producer
Bilibili | DIR: Somei | Role: Post Producer
What were your passions or hobbies growing up?
My mother said from an early stage I had a huge interest in performance arts, dancing, singing, playing instruments, she supported me and found good teachers for me. I danced professionally for seven years and practiced piano for three years. Nowadays, playing piano at home after work gives me peace of mind.
How would you describe your cultural background and what impact does that have on your outlook?
I think being a Chinese and working in Shanghai, with the majority projects targeted at the China/Asian market definitely helps me as I’m able to understand the client’s needs and way of working. The advertising industry in China is still not very advanced with a lot of industrial standards and rules; I really love the fact that one of our team’s goals is to help clients understand the post process and our pipeline, which makes us the pioneer post production studio in China.
Where are you currently based and how have you found the lockdown experience?
I’m currently based in Shanghai. At the beginning of the pandemic, I had to stay at home for 2 weeks on my own, which was a bit of a tough time. I feel very lucky that China’s covid situation has been controlled quite well, unless we’re going to major public places like metro stations, hospitals etc., we don’t need to wear masks anymore and we feel safe with it. I recently received my first covid vaccination as well, which I’m delighted with. My heart goes out to those less fortunate in their situation right now.
If you could go back, what one piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
I think to be less stubborn. I tended to be a little too prejudiced when I was younger. As time has gone by, I have realized that most things are not always how you first see it, changing your perspective often allows a completely different outcome.
Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led to your success in business?
Resilient, organized and clear thinking. To be able to manage projects, one needs to have clear understanding of what needs to be done and logically plan it, and face potential or unpredicted issues or requests calmly in order to find the best possible solution for it.
Who has positively impacted/inspired you in your career, and what’s one lesson they taught you?
My old boss Lem Geok Choo from The Loft Films definitely should be the answer for this question. She was essentially my mentor and taught me how to be a producer, what does it mean by being a producer, I feel that this industry in China is lacking this.
What’s something interesting you’re currently working on?
I’m currently working on a campaign for a global company which involves many CG elements including: CG city, CG train and a massive amount of motion graphic elements, directed by Somei, one of China’s most famous C4D artists.