For my CIP this semester, I decided to continue the CIP that I previously did during the fall, which is my filmmaking club at Doshisha University. Even though during the spring, Doshisha students have spring vacation from February until April, FBI club still has a lot of filming activities depending on the projects and students. Hence, one of the club members that I am close to actually invited me to join the shoots for her project during this time, so I was able to continue with this activity. I suppose, similar to how many student film projects in America are very network based, here too at Doshisha and Japan at large, film is also a network based domain.
Since shooting schedule is very irregular, there are weeks when I don’t have CIP participation. However, there are also weeks where we meet 2-3 times a week for around 4-5 hours in order to film the many scenes required for the project. Sometimes, shoot schedules are also adjusted based on the weather; especially, Kyoto often snows a lot during spring, so we had to reschedule twice. Our roles also vary depending on the day of the shoot; every member always want to try new responsibilities during a film shoot, so sometimes our roles are exchanged between one another. This is quite different from the US, since our roles are often decided during the pre-production stage, and people usually stick to that role throughout the entire project rather than changing it up day by day.
As aforementioned, since FBI doesn’t meet as regularly during the spring, I decided to join another activity as well for my CIP, called Kyotographie. Through a friend I met on the internet who is currently working at this company (a media editorial agency), I was introduced to Kyotographie. The company is currently organizing for an international photography festival in Kyoto, and they need volunteer help, so I decided to join as well as introduce it to my friend from E class, Kasey Huang. The fact that I was able to find a volunteering job to apply for and even introduce my friend to it really reminds me of networking experience in America as well. Originally, I wasn’t sure of how networking is like in Japan, but this experience proves to me that it is actually very much the same.
At Kyotographie, I get to utilize some of my advertising and communication skills from my actual major, combined along with Japanese, for work. From trying to connect the company to many different local universities in Kyoto to trying to expose the festival and events to many Japanese media outlets and students alike, these experiences allow me to do what I usually do best in English, only now in Japanese. At first, I was originally afraid that my Japanese wasn’t good enough to be used in the work place. However, considering this is a very international company, many people use both Japanese and English; while everything is mostly spoken in Japanese, many technical PR, advertising or art terms are in English, so I was able to do my work just fine. Thus, I feel that this volunteer is a great stepping stone for me to prepare myself for the workforce later if I manage to get a job and live in Japan.
In general, for those looking for CIP, my advice for future students is that having around two or more CIP experiences during the spring would be ideal. This is because even if your CIP are guaranteed to meet, you’re not guaranteed to meet as regularly as the fall semester.