Dodge student edits film.
With a passion for post-production storytelling, Chapman film alumnus Zhe Song '20, has added several award-winning films to his portfolio.

International Student Pursues His Vision and Embraces His Voice at Dodge College

As an international film student, listening and speaking different voices is always a challenge and a benefit. Growing up in a different culture and environment developed my views differently, making me better at critical thinking after living in California. Learning how to express myself properly is an important lesson I learned at Chapman.

I was an engineering student in undergraduate school, learning Electronic Information Technology & Instrument. I’ve always wanted to work in the film industry. At first, I wanted to be a technician in film companies. After years of making short films during my spare time, I realized that my passion falls in actually creating films. So, it was a big step for me to change my major.

Here at Chapman, I started a new life. Studying abroad is already a fresh and exciting experience for me; stepping into the magical film world is another.

I studied two important things at Dodge. One is about art. I learned a lot about how to make a good film and how to express myself. Some of the knowledge I have to say is Dodge exclusive. The fantastic faculty bring their understanding, theory, and vision to class. The other is communication. Unlike my past studying experience, making a film is always teamwork. I mostly work as an editor and colorist, which means I have to work very closely with the directors and cinematographers for a long time. How to talk to people, understand their ideas and express my thoughts adequately are critical skills.

I have to say a lot of the professors in Dodge have made me sound and look better. Their experience and theory became mine so I could speak up confidently when I talk with the clients. Their critical thinking behaviors make me calm and good at solving problems. As a result, I, as an editor, and my projects at Chapman, have gotten a few film festival awards.

My experience of working on student projects at Dodge has been beneficial for my career. Because at school, people have chances to make mistakes; great professors and colleagues would give feedback on those. Especially about working with others, I changed a lot on communications after my student experience at Dodge. Speaking up with my voice at a more proper moment makes my working progress more comfortable for my client and myself. Because ultimately, I’m on the project to make the film look great and make the film look great in the way the director and other people want.

As more and more people are coming back to work with me again with their new projects, I become more confident and experienced in my artistic sense and my skills in expressing myself. I attribute all of these to my experience at Chapman.