To master a craft, you need the tools of the trade – ideally, state-of-the-art tools.
Thankfully, Sony EDU, the electronics and entertainment giant’s educational services arm and new partners to the Woodbury Filmmaking department, is in the business of supporting would-be masters. The company recently put some money behind the film program — donating $15,000 in equipment and camera training as part of their Sony Camera Workshop.
Held on Sony’s cutting-edge soundstage at the Los Angeles Media Center, this inaugural EDU training weekend for photography and filmmaking welcomed 15 Woodbury students in special training sessions taught by working professionals, including Woodbury’s own cinematography professor Angelia Sciulli.
According to George Larkin, chair of Woodbury’s Filmmaking program and the one responsible for coordinating the partnership, the workshop combined hands-on operations — camera, grip and lighting equipment, technical lingo, set procedures, aesthetics and analysis – with a feel for storytelling, through the Sony gear. Students found their way to either the high-end Venice Camera, deployed for commercial shoots; the Camera section, structured around short documentaries in cars, fashion, or a coffee shop; or Photo section with special shoots around Los Angeles.
For students, the benefits didn’t stop with high-level training on pro equipment. Erika Ranglova, a Woodbury student and aspiring director from Prague, won a $2,000 camera in a Sony raffle. Turns out it was her first camera – and the first time she had won anything.
Students were universally effusive about Sony and the experience of being on the front lines of photography and cinematography at its most creative. Said Gabby Gorven, “I learned how cinematography can push a narrative within the product you are trying to sell.” For Larry Vasquez, the big takeaway was learning to find nuggets during seeming downtime – in his case, witnessing how his workshop instructor, Nino Rakichevic, was able to capture moments backstage, once models had left the runaway. “Fashion is not about just taking pictures but selling the product — clothing — by telling a story,” he said, a refrain that echoed his classmates. Also impressed by the experience, Stone Taul said, “I would recommend this to anyone who has any interest in film because it allows you to make connections and gives you the opportunity to learn from very talented filmmakers who are currently working in the industry.”
“Sony’s EDU Team is committed to supporting the next generation in the EDU community,” said Joseph Stamper of Sony EDU. “Through working with institutions, students, and faculty we aim to support future creators.”