SVA Film & Animation

Alumni Blog: Justin Ho


‘12 BFA Cinematographer and Director, Justin Ho, might be the hardest working guy in show business – he is already on his second feature. 

I’m working on my own feature film titled Minor Motion Picture. The film raises and attempts to answer a lot of the questions we all have as young children. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Where are we going in life and what will the future bring? These questions are considered through the film’s main character, Emily Tambelson, cutting between her life as a child, and an adult. As a child she overcomes challenges brought on by friendships, relationships, love, loss and family. Now as Emily is older, with more knowledge, she revisits the same questions. Nothing will ever repeat itself, yet life can seem very cyclical.

I started writing the script after graduating. At the time, I moved back home to Jersey for a year, and spent a lot of time contemplating what I should do with my life. I scavenged through my bedroom, finding old toys, and pictures I’d drawn. I became an archaeologist of nostalgia, looking through old yearbooks and watching films I made as a kid. I wanted so badly to return to the past and relive those moments (I still do, actually). I feel very lucky to have had a great childhood, but in a lot of ways, that’s also what’s holding me back – I’m constantly wishing things were simpler again.

When we’re young, we all have dreams of what we want to become, ideas of our future — in the distance, all these doors we can enter. But when we graduate and reach the damn doors we find out they’re locked. You need to find the right key to unlock even one. Then behind the door, more doors –“Doorception”! We continue through life, trying to get these damn keys from ourselves and other people, trying to enter one of the infinite doors, to the infinite possibilities of our future.

So I figured I’d pick a lock of a random door. I don’t know where it’s going to lead, or if I’ll ever get it open, but I decided to pick it anyway. We started filming July of 2013, we just wrapped production this past May.  Now, it’s off to post production. Except I haven’t had a chance to edit anything for a while – and, because it’s a self-financed, zero budget film, I’m out of that stuff called money, and need to work on some other projects.

I’m hoping come December I can continue editing my own film, and get some quick pick-up shots in January. No matter what else I do; I still see is that damn door. But the lock seems a little looser. We’ll see.

View Justin’s thesis film Placebo here.


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