Shen Xuzhou: Embarking on a Journey of Dream Chaser to the Cradle of the Movie Making

Shen Xuzhou, a senior graduate in communication major, received an offer and a USD 60,000 scholarship from Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (film major, TOP 6 in global ranking) this graduation season. Being admitted by the minor and top-notch school, he is not playing a game of chance. Looking back at the four years of college life, Shen Xuzhou gained media experience and took film and television internships. For Shen, who will embark on a journey to the cradle of the movie making in the world, everything is reasonable for him.

Graduate of 2023: Shen Xuzhou

Major: Communication

Graduate School: Chapman University

Origin: Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province

Young Dream of Film Studies

Being asked why he likes the art of light and shade, Shen Xuzhou gives a simple reason, that is, love. From the film Dying to Survive watched in high school to the subsequent film Detachment, movies have always brought him a strong visual shock and spiritual experience. Shen, who has worked as an intern in several film crews, said that for him, a film is a team project, and when he finishes a work, he gains a sense of belonging and achievement in team cooperation.

In the current era of rapid development, short videos with the feature of “short, fast and concise”, “entertainment”, and “flattening” are rampant. “Short videos can’t convey thinking about the world,” said Shen. He believes that film is a relatively more complete industrial system, covering a wider range of content, more integrated logic, and better expression of ideas. What Shen wants to do is to speak through the lens of the film and convey the emotion behind the lens, which is exactly his dream of filming.

Interpreting the Passion of Youth in the Media

“I think that the hallmarks of good PR and good communicators are innovation and content. That’s something I learned in my four years at WKU.” This is Shen’s understanding of communications.

As one of the first graduating students from the Communication Department, Shen has led an enriched college life. He joined student organizations such as Student Media and Design Center, Alpha, and Youth League Committee, and had many wonderful internships, such as initiating the project of “Caring for Dyslexia” with peer students and participating in the Wenzhou Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. The colorful campus activities gave him an unparalleled sense of belonging, and the rich internship experience allowed him to personally experience every detail of the film industry system and integrate it with his studies.

What impressed him most was his experience in the Student Media and Design Center. Shen, who joined the SMDC when he was a freshman, is committed to adding more vigor and vitality to the official WeChat account of the university. So he and his friends came up with the idea of making a series of videos, called “Just Talk”, to collect people’s ideas through random interviews with passers-by on campus. By putting forward the idea for implementation, Shen and his friends, starting slowly from scratch, communicated and edited, and finally presented a novel and interesting video work. Likes and praise of the video were widely received after its release, which also planted the seed of dreams for Shen and his friends.

The Dream Starts from WKU

“I think I am more mature and more reliable compared to the time when I was just enrolled at WKU.” Shen believes that WKU provides students with multiple opportunities to grow themselves. Indeed, he received an offer and a $60,000 scholarship from Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, one of the top schools in the film industry. His successful application would be impossible without the growth platform provided by WKU.

He was deeply grateful to Professors Abbigail Ajim, HooiSan Noew and John Chua from the Department of Communication who have provided him with a significant amount of help during the past four years. They have become both good teachers and friends of Shen.

Additionally, the foreign network resources have also become conducive to his application. When preparing the application essays, Shen carefully scoured the official websites of all the universities he applied to, comprehended all the courses, campus activities, outputs, and works of the schools, and then wrote his own tailored essays. “When you’re writing your paperwork, you put all your heart and soul into what you’ve done, what your strengths are, and how you fit in with the programs and characteristics of your goal school. In addition, you need to get a deep understanding of the school’s philosophy, which will help in future interviews.” He said.

Talking about the future, Shen Xuzhou is full of expectations. After graduation, he wants to work in the United States, accumulate working time to join the labor union and make films with the group. All of these are the goals he wants to pursue. May he succeed in the new journey of life.

Translator: Wenwei XIANG