Student filmmaker explains intentions behind project that led to - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Student filmmaker explains intentions behind project that led to lockdown

Hiroki Kawanami talks about his video project intended for a film contest last this month. Hiroki Kawanami talks about his video project intended for a film contest last this month.
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

It was a simple idea but Hiroki Kawanami said he didn’t realize dressing students in Ninja costumes for a short video project would result in a campus scare.

“So, we were trying to make a movie called, Ninjas vs. Vampires,” Kawanami said. “It sounds stupid. But, we were trying to make a one-minute movie about ninjas.”

Kawanami is a transfer student who arrived on the Arkansas State University campus last summer.

“I think it was some kind of misunderstanding,” Kawanami said.

Shortly after Kawanami’s costumed characters showed up on the west side of the Carl R. Reng Student Union, a 911 call was placed to Jonesboro Police.

“We had four students, females. They were very upset when the officers encountered them,” Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said.

“When we were trying to shoot, I saw some students running out from the campus,” Kawanami said. “They told me to run away because there was a guy carrying weapons. We were also panicked so we ran into University Hall.”

Kawanami said the A-State campus became the backdrop for the short movie because there’s no transportation provided for international students on Sunday. He claims the intent of his project was not harmful or intended to incite fear.

“Not to scare,” Kawanami said. “(It was) for my career.” 

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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