Capturing Quarantine Oral Histories
Interview with Chan Woo Kim



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Chan Woo Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. After a move in 2002 to the Philippines, a 2005 move took him and his parents to Cook County, Illinois, where they settled up to the present day. His high school education at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois proved to be filled with academic, personal, and career-focused success - after realizing his passion for movies, he became a member of his school’s film club, and went on to create his own production company (Kim, Chan Woo Productions) and his own films. At the same time, he worked on projects in collaboration with John Hersey High School. He rounded out his education and graduated as part of the National Honor Society in 2018. During high school, he also participated in summer film programs, at the University of Southern California and Columbia College Chicago, and began his internship for producing, assistant directing, and production assistance with Warner Bros (2017 to present). His interest in film led him to study filmmaking with a focus in directing at Columbia College Chicago, where he’s set to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2022. His goal as a professional filmmaker is to use the films he creates to deliver his message and voice to the audience, and inspire them.

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Columbia College Chicago




sophomore, film, filmmaker, COVID-19, pandemic, Chicago, Illinois, United States, coronavirus

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Arts and Humanities | Education | History | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Chan Woo Kim, a sophomore filmmaker at Columbia College Chicago, recounts his experiences and feelings living through the Coronavirus pandemic as of the time of the interview. At the start of the interview, Kim gives details about his background growing up between several countries, his middle and high school experiences and early hobbies. Following the exposition of his early life, he narrates the story of his college experience, both socially and academically, as well as describing his jobs. Kim’s perspective is especially valuable as he compares how his current experience as a ‘remote’ filmmaker (filmmaking being an extremely hands on, in person profession) is vastly differing from what he has gotten accustomed to in his two years at school thus far. Even with drastic changes to his lifestyle because of the virus, he remains positive and hopeful, and recounts how he has lifted up the spirits of others and his own. Kim’s unique take on being resourceful and optimistic during a patch of crisis in life is a lesson humanity needs during a time of sorrow and despair, and many themes in his story may also prove to be extremely relevant for others in the arts today.

Conducted in spring 2020 by an Oral History: The Art of the Interview student, this interview with a fellow student in the class reflects on the pandemic and how it impacted their life. The interview is conducted based on the life history approach to oral history.

Interview with Chan Woo Kim