The Kinjo University in Japan has enjoyed a long partnership with the New York Film Academy (NYFA). The collaboration between the schools allows Kinjo students to spend a few weeks in Los Angeles as they learn advanced hands-on skills in the visual and performing arts.
After just a few days in the New York Film Academy’s program Kinjo students were taken to the Universal Backlot, where they filmed their first projects on the Western and Mexico sets. Students took advantage of the versatility the set provides to complete their class projects.
Universal’s Western Backlot provides a number of settings for students. The exterior is a reproduction of an Old West town, but creep behind the set and it could be a modern-day industrial sight. Travel further onto the set, and it turns into an old town in Mexico.
Charlyne Tsou, the coordinator for NYFA, praised the students’ preparation. “They are incredibly meticulous in designing their story. They only needed a little polish.”
NYFA Instructor Michael Sandoval was equally impressed with his students. He said, “I always love working with the Kinjo students. I found them engaging, dynamic, and respectful. While we needed a translator, I don’t think this got in the way of communication. These students were incredibly sharp and especially warm.”
During their classes, students were given a position on a film crew. Writers, directors, cinematographers, and sound recorders were all trained in their craft. Because of the time restraints of the program, not every student could make their own story, so they worked in four different teams to make four collaborative films.
It’s clear the students were also elated with their experience at New York Film Academy. Runa Yamanouchi, a business student at Kinjo, was surprised that she was able to learn each stage of filmmaking in such a short time, and said, “I learned everything. It was a wonderful experience. I can write and direct a film without a problem now.” Yamanouchi was most excited about the experience she had at the Universal Backlot. “I still can’t believe it happened,” she exclaimed.
Kinjo business student Raina Kobayashi is still processing her time at the Universal Backlot. “Shooting days were really challenging,” she said. “But my crew was really good, plus they all had really positive attitudes. I’m proud of the work we did.”
The two weeks were a positive experience for everyone involved.
“The most rewarding part of working with the Kinjo students was watching them grow through practical exercises in class,” Sandoval confessed. “I was amazed at their level of engagement and ‘go-getter’ attitude. When they picked up on the theory, the look of enlightenment in their eyes was energizing.”
The New York Film Academy would like to thank Kinjo University and the incredible students who took part in the partnership course at New York Film Academy, and the long history of collaboration we have with the Kinjo school. We look forward to your next visit.