Producer and director Yuji Ueda says his decision to study Media Arts and Production at UTS spanned from an interest in movies and music from an early age.
Having completed a Masters in Media, Arts and Production in 2007 and now working for a production company in Japan, Ueda says that the art of moving pictures is exciting as "no other media can reflect the light beautifully as film."
Having never dabbled in film direction or production, Yuji found himself on challenging turf with Beyond the Clouds, which he directed and co-produced at UTS in 2007.
"It was the first time for me as a director and producer for Beyond the Clouds - 16mm film using an all-foreign crew. I think the most difficult bit was only being able to use English to direct this film and negotiate with local staff.
"I even knocked on the doors of residents in Milsons Point to find the location of this film because I didn't know anyone living in that area."
Whilst working on Beyond the Clouds, Ueda says he was reminded of the role of film and its power to educate viewers and inspire other film-makers and aficionados.
"Beyond the Clouds is about reconciliation between an Aussie man and a Japanese boy. A retired serviceman who has hatred and bad memories about Japanese meets a young, innocent boy and although they have conflict in the beginning, they overcome this conflict, although awkwardly."
"I wanted to do this film because my father was the first Japanese Ambassador of Japan to attend the war memorial ceremony in 60 years. And I thought, 'it's time to focus again on history and pass it on to the next generation through short film'. I'm hoping this short film can give some ideas for both younger generations of both Australian and Japanese."
Yuji Ueda filming
Currently working at Toho Studio (in Tokyo) (where the films Godzilla and Seven Sword Samurai were made), Ueda is a 'studio man', helping to assemble nick nacks on set such as lighting, stands, reflectors and almost anything related to pre-production and shooting.
"My main job is to maintain the kit which is related to film and commercials. On the commercial shooting day, we have four members to help set the lighting in the Studio, set up the stand, set reflectors on certain places and so on. Toho Studio now has 12 stages, which is the largest in Japan and each of them has some shootings every day."
Having lived in Canberra, Moscow, Washington D.C., Canberra, Tokyo and Sydney, Ueda says that living in different cities has its advantages and ultimately, impacts the final product when it comes to film-related projects.
"I guess I do find myself picking up bits of different cultures and putting them into my work.
"When it comes to film, I can always think about different cultures and compare them inside film - I can accept varieties of values and backgrounds without prejudice."