From biology to dramatic writing, Aaron Khaw, a second-year graduate student at Missouri State University, has explored many paths to fulfill his desire to be a film and TV producer.
Khaw is pursuing a master’s degree in dramatic writing in MSU’s Department of Communication, Media, Journalism and Film (CMJF).
A native of Malaysia, Khaw began his bachelor’s degree in biology at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota.
“Science was the ‘elite’ category in Malaysia,” Khaw said. “I also loved animals as a child and thought I would become a veterinary doctor, which is why I pursued biology in the first place.”
But when he was nearing graduation, Khaw was no longer confident about his science choice. He then moved to San Francisco for a short time, where he remembered his love for Hollywood.
“I grew up watching Hollywood shows and always wondered about the filmmaking process,” Khaw said. “So, I decided to pursue a film and television production certificate from Orange Coast College.”
In 2019, Khaw directed and edited the documentary titled, “Empty Vessel.” When it was chosen to be showcased at the Newport Beach Film Festival, he knew he had found the right path.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Khaw lost the opportunity to work as a production assistant for a Nike commercial in New York. So, he returned to Malaysia and worked as an editor and producer at Comberry Studios, a German media production company.
“I worked on short-form documentaries for about eight months,” Khaw said. “After that, I knew I wanted to come back to the U.S. for grad school, so I came to MSU.”