“Science and technology change our world. Journalism keeps track of the changes. I spend ten years watching and filming the world we live in, now I want to spend the next ten years making my fair share of difference.”

TL;DR: Former CNN staff, proudly filmed and produced hundreds of “fake news” for the network. After ten years of studying and working in journalism, I decided to go beyond the role of “world watcher” and become the “noise maker”. Now I’m back in school to figure out two things: digital media and Ph.D.

Chengyuan Xu, or CY and 许程远, formerly a multimedia producer and cameraman with CNN and BBC, is now a Ph.D. student at UC Santa Barbara, studying computer vision and playful visual interactions.

Graduated from China’s top journalism school, CY started his journalism career with CNN in China. Soon he trained to become CNN Beijing bureau’s TV producer, cameraman, and editor.

During his time at CNN, he filmed and produced a wide range of stories. From the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370, to live report from China’s worst massive chemical explosion that claimed the lives of hundreds. The most exciting of all was an exclusive interview with China’s astronauts.

In 2015, he joined BBC as a Multimedia Producer, where he explored fascinating topics that took him from inside a nuclear power station to inside a surgery room.

More than visual storytelling, CY had a strong interest in computational photography, computer vision, and their application. He was a contributor of NewsShooter, an industry-leading database in videography technologies. He was also one of the first certified professional cinematography ARRI camera trainers in Asia.

Started in 2016, CY co-lectured a visual storytelling boot camp course China and Media Matters with veteran reporter Jaime FlorCruz in China’s top university, Peking University for two semesters and fell in love with teaching.

In 2017, CY turned down admissions from UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, etc and started pursuing his doctoral study in Media Arts and Technology at UC Santa Barbara. He is also a Research Assistant at The Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies.

A selection of stories through his lens.

hello.xu [at] gmail.com
cxu [at] ucsb.edu