When Leon Ng first began working in the film industry as a production assistant, his parents were hesitant to give his career choice a ringing endorsement.
“They were like, ‘Are you sure you want to be a starving artist?’” recalled the founder of LNG Studios and the Real Estate Channel.
“After seeing how passionate I was about what I was doing, they were very supportive.”
Granted, the 33-year-old is no longer a production assistant, which makes it easier for his parents to give their stamps of approval.
When he was looking to start his own business in the late 2000s, Ng said there was a big gap to be bridged between the real estate market and 3D scanning technology used for viewing homes and businesses remotely.
Because his passion was already in animation and gaming, he felt it a natural fit to offer 3D rendering services for both the exteriors and interiors of buildings.
And Ng said it wasn’t a coincidence that he launched the services in Vancouver instead of Hong Kong, where he grew up.
“Vancouver, especially in real estate, has experienced a lot of growth,” he said. “A lot of big gaming studios are from here, a lot of big film studios are from here. It was quite easy for us to find some good talent, and a lot of our clients were open to trying new things.”
Going along with his background in video production, Ng also co-founded the Real Estate Channel when he was in his mid-20s. The channel, which broadcasts both via TV and online, runs real estate listings and provides viewers with video tours of different listings.
Ng’s passion for combining film and technology has been a constant throughout his career. But he also spends his off hours volunteering as a board member for organizations like the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival.
“It’s a way to give back, and in some ways it was a very good learning process for me working with others who are in the same boat,” he said. “Instead of being the boss of your own company, you’re working with different people on the same level.”
Where you live now: West Vancouver
Highest level of education: Bachelor of arts in film studies, Queen’s University; diploma, New York Film Academy, Vancouver Film School
Currently reading: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Currently listening to: EDM Music (Calvin Harris); Acoustic (Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran)
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Professional athlete or famous musician/artist
Profession you would most like to try: Professional helicopter pilot (for now I will operate drones)
Toughest business or professional decision: When first starting out, I had to make the tough decision to either start my business in Vancouver or Hong Kong. Looking back today, I’m so grateful that I chose Vancouver
Advice you would give the younger you: (1) Focus on one thing you excel at until you have established a strong base in your industry – you can’t be all things to all people. (2) Don’t diversify too quickly; again, make sure you have a strong base first. (3) Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions (even if you think they’re stupid)What’s left to do: We’re continuing to explore high-end 3D printing, virtual reality and app development in the coming years. In addition, we’re working on a community-driven project that allows Vancouverites to visualize the past, present and future of the city
Join us to celebrate the 2015 Forty under under 40 Awards January 27, 2016 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.