Columbia Film Professor Visits WAB


Western Academy of Beijing students were treated to a special guest on Thursday, as Columbia University Professor Richard Peña visited campus to talk about short films.

In front of an audience of about 100 students, teachers, and parents, Richard spoke about the different aspects of film, gave a brief historical introduction, and spoke about the unique qualities of short films versus feature.

"Filmmaking, in a way, is all about decisions," he said, listing the shots, music, perspectives, and beyond that directors must choose before a film is created. "Decisions count even more in a short film. It's a form that comes with its own features and maybe even limitations. Short films are their own creatures, not just a reduced version of a feature film."

After the brief lesson, the audience watched a short filmed entitled El Adios and then workshopped the film as a group. Professor Peña called on the students and parents to analyze the decisions the director made, discussed creative elements, and explore how things could have been done differently.

Special thanks go to WAB's Chinese Parent Link, who helped fund Professor Peña's visit.