SF School of Digital Filmmaking Grad Screened New Film at the Hollywood Reel Film Festival

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Former Google engineer and San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking graduate Naga Kataru’s film, Boxed In, screened at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival (HRIFF).

A former Google engineer, Naga Kataru is an SFSDF grad and independent filmmaker

Being a filmmaker is 50% technical, 50% non-technical.

A recent graduate from the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking, Naga Kataru, screened his short film Boxed In, at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival (HRIFF). The inspiration for Boxed In stemmed from Kataru’s fascination with the managers who run self-storage facilities and the collection of things that accumulate in these units over the years. Originally conceived as a documentary, Kataru turned it into a short film about a reclusive self-storage facility manager who is forced to face his fears and the world again when his only friend and connection to the world vanishes.

A former Google engineer, Kataru has always been interested in how things are made. Wanting to explore the mechanics of filmmaking, he took a sabbatical from Google and enrolled in the 5-week film program offered by the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking (SFSDF). In that workshop, Kataru completed a short film and enjoyed the experience so much, he quit his engineering job at Google and enrolled in the 1-Year Digital Filmmaking Program at SFSDF.

Though he had no background in filmmaking before enrolling at SFSDF, Kataru quickly saw that his tech experience and skills were transferable to his new career path. He says, “Being a filmmaker is 50% technical, 50% non-technical. In post-production and video editing, you use a lot of software. Coming from a software background, it was easy for me to pick up.”

Kataru acknowledges that the film training at SFSDF was fundamental to his development as a filmmaker. The 1-Year Filmmaking Program enabled him to explore everything in filmmaking, including editing, shooting, and directing, and the small class sizes gave him ample personal attention from professors. In the program, Kataru completed 5 short films, one of which recently won an award under the public service programming category in the Accolade Competition, which recognizes filmmakers who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity.

For other tech people interested in filmmaking, Kataru recommends that they explore their passion. He shares, “As an engineer for a very long time, you’re only using one part of your brain. In filmmaking, you’re using other parts of the brain and what you learn in tech you could use in filmmaking and vice versa.”

The San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking is currently accepting applications for their digital filmmaking program and workshops. For more information, visit http://www.sfdigifilm.com.

About the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking
The San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking (SFSDF) offers film workshops and programs that teach students the art and craft of filmmaking. The school offers a unique, hands-on curriculum and small classes that encourage mentorship and nurture creativity. SFSDF faculty is comprised of accomplished directors, producers, writers, musicians, editors, actors, art directors and sound designers. Students learn using the latest technology and equipment in digital film.

SFSDF offers a number of exciting and challenging film workshops, many of which can be taken part-time. Their immersive 1-Year Digital Filmmaking Program is designed to prepare students to pursue a career in the film, TV and new media industries. Their 2-Week, 5-Week and 3-Month Filmmaking Workshops give students a valuable hands-on experience into the art and craft of moviemaking. Their new 6-Month Documentary Filmmaking Program trains students who are ready to delve into the world of non-fiction filmmaking. All of their film programs and workshops have a project-based curriculum that combines classroom study with hands-on filmmaking using professional equipment.

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Jeremiah Birnbaum
SF School of Digital Filmmaking
(415) 824-7000
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