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School of Cinematic Arts students on set of NCIS: Hawaiʻi.

This spring, students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) embarked on an unforgettable journey, shadowing crew members of the hit TV show NCIS. They went behind the scenes with NCIS: Hawaiʻi director Larry Teng who hosted workshops on the CBS series’ soundstage at Diamond Head Studios.

Teng shared special techniques related to camera movement, blocking and visual storytelling.

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Students shadow NCIS Hawaiʻi Director Larry Teng.

“Being able to hear and see the creative process of a veteran filmmaker like Larry Teng up close was invaluable for me,” said Tony Dia, a senior at SCA. “I learned a great deal from him having us direct his scenes, then telling us what he liked and how to improve our craft. A lot of what I took away from the workshop I have been applying to my current film project.”

SCA senior Steven Loya Montoya was equally captivated by the advice Teng shared with students, and witnessing the transformation from set to screen.

“It’s always a great experience to get out of the classroom and get some real hands-on experience on a real professional set,” said Montoya.

SCA is committed to providing students a glimpse into the real-world workings of the film industry and equipping them with practical skills and insights that can help shape their future careers.

“Having professional directors in this case, take their time to share their knowledge with students allows them to understand what a professional working set looks like and what they need to do if they want to enter that world,” said Christine Acham, SCA chair and professor. “Classes are obviously important, but these opportunities will always stay with the students.”

In February, 10 SCA students also had the chance to shadow the NCIS crew while they filmed on location at UH Mānoa. The film school strives to provide students workshops and internships. So far, SCA has facilitated connections for students to intern at various studios such as Disney, Apple +TV, Warner-Discovery and 20th Century Fox.

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SCA students on soundstage at Diamond Head Studios.
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