Arts & Life, Features

LBSU exchange students tell the tale of two cities

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A new course is being created at LBSU that will allow students the chance to visit Germany, this opportunity coincides with a partnership that has allowed film students and professors a unique opportunity to travel abroad.

Marshall Sebastian Kolderup-Lane recently returned from Hamburg, Germany after spending the summer there. The third year Long Beach State student said he’s confident that he now has a couch to sleep on at any corner of the world.

“Germany is interesting because it’s kind of a similar culture and people speak English there so you don’t feel too uncomfortable,” said Kolderup-Lane.

Since 2014, LBSU professors have traveled to HAW in June and professors from HAW travel to LBSU in February for a filmmaking exchange.

Ingrid Weatherall [from HAW] is the strategic manager for the USA and heads the strategic university project “HAW goes USA,” where they develop strategic partnerships with US universities.

The Strategic Cooperations & International Marketing office of both universities oversee the program. Sharon Olson from LBSU works with Weatherall to help students coordinate travel arrangements and such.

It all started when retired LBSU and Electronic Arts Department professor Tom Blomquist became an advisor for Silke Buse, a LBSU German exchange student from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

Buse fell in love while studying at LBSU and needed to extend her stay in America. However, to stay in the program, she needed an advisor and Blomquist stepped up.

“After (Buse) praised Blomquist (to her instructors at HAW), HAW invited Blomquist to visit Germany to spend a week doing seminars with the German students at HAW in their film department,” says LBSU Film and Electronic Lecturer, Bonnie Blackburn.

The funding provides money to bring LBSU professors to Hamburg for workshops and to send HAW professors to Long Beach for guest lectures, explains Weatherall

Similarly, three to five students from HAW’s Media Technology Department travel to LBSU while three to five students from the LBSU Film and Electronic Arts program go to Hamburg annually in the Hamburg Long Beach German-American Film Exchange Partnership.

“Students should take advantage of an international exchange because it broadens your horizons,” LBSU assistant professor of Narrative Film Production, Kent Hayward said.

Blackburn has been to HAW consecutively over the past three years and is innovating a three to four-week summer course in Hamburg for 2019.

The new study abroad opportunity will take the existing FEA 318, Theory of Fiction and Film course and change it into a summer short-term class in a compressed time format. The class is currently in the planning and approval process.

Blackburn said she feels Hamburg has rich educational areas and is like a sister city to Long Beach, with similar features.

“[Hamburg, Germany has] the second largest port in Europe, just like Long Beach is the second largest port in America,” Blackburn said.

During the first day of class this semester, Hayward said he recognized students in Blackburn’s class that he and Blackburn taught during their summer exchange to Germany.

“Their students are motivated. I love it when I see people [at LBSU] that I’ve met across the sea.”

HAW student and LBSU exchange student Julian Lopes Hinz discovered the exchange program after meeting Blackburn and Hayward in Germany two summers ago. He was surprised and couldn’t believe he was chosen to participate in the program.

“We’re here in the heart of movie creation,” Lopes Hinz said.

LBSU and HAW students recently produced a collaborative film edited three ways and produced into a final film called “Oceans Across” directed by Jasmine Sorensen. The film was shot in both Long Beach and Hamburg. “Oceans Across” screened this past February and may head to the festival circuit, according to Hayward.

“I just knew I wanted to study abroad. You could have asked me at any point in my life, as soon as I knew what study abroad was I knew I wanted to do it,” Kolderup-Lane said.

While abroad, Kolderup-Lane was fond of his experience in Germany using a 360-degree camera valued at over $7,000 that had six GoPros attached to it, similar to the equipment used to produce the “tiny earth planet” effect American rapper Kendrick Lamar used in the music video for his song, “Humble.”

HAW instructs a more technical side of filmmaking while LBSU focuses on the storytelling portion of the industry, according to Kolderup-Lane. He said that he learned about sound, stereo systems, psychology in film and superlinear methods of audio-visual media production which is the “super German way” of thinking about things.

“The sound design teacher there [at HAW] is a genius,” Kolderup-Lane said.

In Germany, besides homework, students were assigned a final project and as long as students stayed on top of what was required for that project, they were not required to attend class.

The flexibility provided students like Kolderup-Lane the opportunity to travel extensively.

Kolderup-Lane’s mother is of Norwegian descent so he’d previously traveled to Europe a decent amount, but with HAW’s flexible class schedule, he was able to travel all throughout Germany, to Paris, Amsterdam, France, Morocco, and Spain.

“[The cultures are] similar enough that you’ll be comfortable, but different enough that you’ll be uncomfortable,” Kolderup-Lane said.

The only regret Kolderup-Lane had is that he only went for the summer opposed to going for an entire year.

“Five months is really nice, but in the end you feel like you are being robbed. You only have five, six months or a whole year, but nothing will compare,” Kolderup-Lane said.

Kolderup-Lane felt the best part of his summer experience was the people.

“The experience of cultural exchange is probably the most valuable experience a college student can have at that age,” said Hayward.

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