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Communication student shares stories through film

Artistic expression can come in many forms; whether it be through writing, painting, acting, photography or other forms. 

For Jackie Chang, senior in communication, he expresses himself through the art of filmmaking.  

“I like to write story, I like to express myself through story,” Chang said. “…With movies, you can visualize the idea (and) the story in your mind. So, I think that’s more amazing than just write the text down.” 

Chang’s journey to be a film maker came from his love of writing. 

“So, at the beginning, as a little kid I like to write story like on a notebook or something or draw a simple comic or something,” Chang said.  

An experienced film maker, Chang began making films in the 8th grade. Since then, he has made approximately 21 films; but more recently under his own brand, “J Studios,” he has made 10 films.  

 “I was inspired a lot from Hong Kong movies, especially the story telling,” Chang said. “…The way I film is also inspire by Hong Kong movie and some violence part is from Quentin Tarantino.” 

Chang also draws inspiration from his past. 

“The things I’ve been through and I use some more relaxed and positive ways to recreate that,” Chang said. “My opinion of my past and I put more emotion into that.” 

Chang said he has two main styles of films he creates- more serious films and as well as more uplifting films. 

“One is more dark and a little bit violence or dark humor,” Chang said. “Another style is not that dark and (has) more positive ending… Usually that kind of story is more like I want to present some kind of my past.”  

Chang said his movies portray the reality of humanity. 

“Usually, if you watch my film you realize there is no good guy or bad guy or something,” Chang said. “I think, every character, there isn’t a good guy or bad guy, maybe they are all bad. I just think that is closer to humanity. Everyone has their own value and their own purpose to do something or to reach something. No matter which position you are in, you just want to reach something you want. So, maybe they do something extreme to reach the things that they want. So, it’s kind of about human nature (and) their desires.” 

Filipe Araujo, graduate student in electrical engineering, has worked with Chang on two films. In addition to being featured in the films, Araujo enjoys watching Chang’s films. 

“(His films) are pretty unique (and) he has a really wide imagination,” Araujo said. “There are some strong messages behind his films.” 

Chang said he doesn’t necessarily try to tell the audience anything and allows them to interpret the films for themselves. 

“…Every film has different information to talk to people and… usually I’m not trying to teach or educate something,” Chang said. “It’s just creation. I don’t need them to learn something, if they do it’s fine for them. They can imagine something from the film by themselves, they don’t need to follow my idea. I just hope people can start to think about it… and be entertained. I think if people start to analyze for themselves, they care about it.” 

Chang’s favorite part of filmmaking is writing. 

“This is the time when you can be most creative, you can think anything,” Chang said. “You can do brainstorming and you can create all the things.”  

Chang has help from two to three friends to look over his script, then does the filming and editing by himself. 

Chang has been honored for his films, receiving an honorable mention award for his film “Drug Cop” from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) in the entertainment program category. 

 “Of course, I’m really happy and this one is different because I represent Pitt State and the honor to join the KBO Award,” Chang said. “I’m just happy I can honor the school and I can finally represent my school and I hope that the school can also feel proud of me for getting this award.” 

Originally from Taiwan, Chang is also happy to have the opportunity for his films to be viewed by a global audience. 

 “Also, as a foreigner, my film can let people see in U.S.A, and this film in not just in U.S.A. but also Taiwan,” Chang said. “It’s good people here can see the production from Taiwan to here.” 

Seth Snider, PSU graduate in manufacturing engineering, has also worked with Chang as an actor in his films.  

Snider has worked with Chang for three films and said he has seen Chang grow as a director and filmmaker. 

“He’s grown a lot over a period of time,” Snider said. “He’s learning a lot of new techniques… and is always trying lots out.” 

According to Araujo, working with Chang is “fun.” 

“It’s really fun and he’s learning with all that experience and so are we learning too,” Araujo said. “Most of his films he tries to express his imagination… We kind of learn to act and try to follow directions.” 

Araujo said working with Chang is also fun because he understands their situation as students. 

“…He understands our side,” Araujo said. “… So, it’s not hard to follow what he says. He’s also a student, he is a student making a movie and he knows we’re all students and we actually volunteer for his movies…” 

According to Snider and Araujo, Chang is an easy director to work with. 

“He’s a really easy-going guy,” Snider said. “He doesn’t get really angry or frustrated, he’s pretty understanding. He’s not narrow minded. He’ll take input from other people.”  

Chang’s other artistic interests include poetry and photography. 

All his work can be viewed on his Facebook page, J Studio, or on YouTube at J Studio Jackie. 

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