VA approved filmmaking school for US military veterans
Kenneth N. Roy is an IAFT Cebu Filmmaking Alumni. His hometown is in Ashland, Massachusetts, USA and he is a US military veteran. Filmmaking has always been one of his interests and when he learned that a film school in Cebu, Philippines is accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA approved), he grabbed the opportunity to learn how to make films.
IAFT is eligible to accept students from the US military under various VA programs including the Chapter 30, Chapter 31, Chapter 33(otherwise known as the Post 9/11 GI Bill), Chapter 35 program and the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)program. The GI Bill was designed to provide education benefits to veterans and military servicemen. Eligible members of the Armed Forces and their beneficiaries are granted up to the full amount in tuition fees, as well as a housing allowance and a stipend for books and supplies. It is a big “Thank You” to the services that the veterans have rendered to the US government.
This US vet turned filmmaker had a blast during his stay in IAFT Cebu. Let’s hear what our IAFT alumni/US vet/filmmaker has to say about IAFT.
What have you been up to lately?
Writing, thinking, creating an entertaining movie…actually, three: one action film, one comedy and a documentary. It might seem like a lot on my plate, but when I get ideas and write them down, the idea starts developing and takes form, like a grapes fermenting into a fine wine. So, these three genre’s are my focus to develop and write.
Why did you decide to pursue filmmaking?
After a career in the military, I wanted to do something ‘off the wall’ and use my experiences in organization and management to create something positive, to become an artist and use my imagination to make an entertaining piece of art.
How did you learn about IAFT and what made you choose IAFT for your film education?
I wanted to be in the tropics and be warm, and when I looked at the VA’s list of schools that offered filmmaking, well…. Destiny. The small-town environment that Mactan Island has, along with a variety of restaurants, resorts and friendly people…that all contributed to my decision.
How has your education and experience at IAFT helped you?
I now have a road map to generate a first rate film. There are many steps involved (writing, producing, directing, editing, etc.), and now I know how to realistically reach my goal…not to mention I now have a network of talent locally and internationally from which to seek advice and support.
How would you rate your education and experience at IAFT?
There are many tools in my ‘filmmaking toolbox’ now, and to get that education was at times challenging, but those tools are nonetheless in my box. As for the experiences, having hands on education and access to filmmaking equipment on site, that’s something great for learning as well. On a 1 to 10 scale, I rate my education and experiences as a 9.0, but because there was no snow and the temperature was always above 75 Fahrenheit, I rate it all a 9.5.
What’s the one piece of advice you would like to give all IAFT students and film-makers in general?
You have the tools all there (ie. you don’t have to run all over Hollywood and pay for each rental), use them!! Borrow from the cage and SHOOT!! If you like writing and want to perfect it, keep pinging the mentors until you have a solid product. Hmmm…. That’s two… ok…
My ONE piece of advise is: If you’re serious about a career in the Film industry, IAFT gives you the opportunity to practice your craft and walk away with a marketable skill, and that is what the students I’ve met come from around the world to learn at IAFT.
What has been your most memorable experience at IAFT?
To see the future. No, I don’t mean my IAFT Blockbuster “IMPOSSIBILITIES”. I mean to see my class with students from Germany/Chile, Iran, Norway, Philippines and the USA come together not ever knowing each other, and to see their talents honed as they work to form a team that cohesively worked to produce a film…many films.
What do you think of the mentors at IAFT?
Mentors from England, Italy, US and Philippines were a very diverse group. I looked at each one as having something to contribute to my learning and I believe I got the best of their knowledge and experiences back whenever I asked them a question.
What do you enjoy most about filming?
Directing provides the biggest challenge, and the biggest reward for my efforts.
What career path do you think you will follow?
I am pursuing some writing projects, and hope to create something really special.
What are your favorite films or actors and why ?
From the action and swashbuckling of Errol Flynn, to the coolness of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, to the comedies of John Candy…. I like to laugh, and I like the action.
Who are your inspirations in the film-making industry and why?
Warner Brothers. They made Errol and Buggs Bunny cool…and they were brothers!!
Which famous celebrity would you want to star in one of your films? Why?
Clint Eastwood. He’s still so cool.
What is it like living in Cebu?
Small town living on Mactan, but with big city shopping, eating and entertainment right over the bridge.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of the filmmaking process?
Editing, as there’s so much to learn that can enhance your films.
What part of the film making process do you find most rewarding?
Directing as mentioned, but also writing as it’s the creative process that I enjoy.
What projects are you working on right now?
I’m writing three scripts: Action, comedy and documentary.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to write and have a project brought to the screen.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
Not really sure: US or Cebu, but still writing!!
Are you a military veteran or a dependent and you want to learn filmmaking, acting or 3D animation?