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(Oct. 31, 2002, Gazette)

Lights, camera, business

Norm Li
Norm Li

Business student Norm Li wants his work to shine in the spotlight. That’s why he has turned a childhood fascination with movies into his own company.

“I remember when my dad first purchased a video camera. I ‘borrowed’ it to make my own little movies, and I’ve been making them ever since.”

He is now the founder, owner, and operator of Q Productions (Q), a small video production company based in St. John’s. “I know it’s difficult but I would like to work my way up to a Hollywood feature film director.”

Currently in his fifth term of his B.Comm. (co-op) degree at Memorial, Mr. Li says he started the company to gain more experience combining his business and video production skills. He is currently spending his work term running Q.

“I have more time to actually focus on fulfilling my clients’ needs now and I can dedicate more time to projects.” And his dedication so far has already paid off. Q has been recognized by organizations including MediaJamTV, Kinetic Marketing Ltd, Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship, Graphic Effects, Industry Canada, and a number of others.

In 2002, Q was contracted by MediaJamTV, a new youth television show, to produce and direct a segment about the breakdance culture in Canada. The segment, which will air on CBC television next October, caught the attention of MediaJamTV and they’ve invited Mr. Li to produce more segments for the show. Mr. Li is also currently producing an event DVD from the Cypher North national dance competition that was held in Ottawa this past August. Earlier this year, he was involved in screenplay and project support for Industry Canada's Information and Communications Technologies 3D animated promotional video.

Mr. Li considers the Industry Canada project to be one his biggest accomplishment so far. “I had the opportunity to consult with Ottawa’s top video production companies and professionals in the field. Many of these companies worked on special effects for well-known feature films, television commercials, government, promotional, and corporate videos.

Aside from events, corporate, industrial and promotional videos, and short documentaries, Q also offers a prestigious wedding video service. Competing against companies that have been in this business for upwards of a decade, he feels that Q has something unique to offer.

“My main goal is to make sure that clients do not want to press the fast forward button while they’re watching their video.”

Despite his growing success, he also has faced a number of challenges since starting the business.

“It can be pretty difficult and stressful to operate a business and try to promote its growth while enrolled as a full-time student. There is also an increasing financial burden as technology constantly needs to be upgraded.”

However, in the end, his love and dedication for filmmaking drives his success. “Although Q is a fairly new company, my true passion for media really helps me continue with what I do. I take each challenge and look at it in a positive way; it's all about doing something I love to do.”