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Renaissance Man

Film Connection's James Petulla on apprenticing and educating. Call him a revolutionary, but James Petulla's method of learning by doing is really just a "a throwback to the Renaissance period," where you learned your art by paying your dues and taking advice from a true master. Through his Film Connection program, aspiring moviemakers all over the country are becoming working moviemakers—and learning from the best in the business. Here, Petulla talks about bringing the 12th century into the 21st. Go »

 

Enter the World of Film

Is James Petulla the savior of American adult education? One thing is certain: Petulla's radical, yet time-honored approach to teaching could shake higher learning to its unstable core. He is founder and president of Entertainment Connection, a California-based program that applies the old world concept of "apprenticing" — i.e., a learning experience where students receive personal, on-the-job training from a seasoned professional. Go »

 

Launch a Film-making Career

What's the hot, new way to launch a film-making career? An old-fashioned apprenticeship (externship). CyberFilm School gives an enthusiastic thumbs up to Entertainment Connection's educational method. "The old adage is true–it's definitely who you know," says Sherwood Jones, an editor and postproduction supervisor at Tapestry Films in Beverly Hills. "This is why internships have become an increasingly effective way to get the proverbial foot in the door. Many producers and production managers no longer look to resumes but instead turn to colleagues for their hiring recommendations," Jones notes. Go »

 

EntertainmentConnection Works

It's your "in," your "foot in the door" to the media biz. Entertainment Connection does what its name implies: "connects" you to someone in the business. Which brings me back to my original statement: College is a waste of time and money. You want to do something with you life? You want to be somebody? There's one sure fine way to reach that goal: apprentice (extern) yourself with a pro. Apprentice, Familiar sounding work, right? I guess the first image that comes to mind is "The sorcerer's Apprentice." Remember that episode from Fantasia, the Disney film with Mickey Mouse and the walking brooms? The idea of an "apprentice" has been around for centuries. Think about it. Could there be any better way to learn than watching and being taught by a pro in his own environment? Go »

 

College Won't Get You a Job

Four years at a university is no longer the best path to making a lot of money. It's not just cyberpunks who can make it without a sheepskin. Being booted from Brown didn't do much harm to Ted Turner's career. Nor did dropping out of the University of California at Los Angeles hurt show-business tycoon David Geffen, who was a multimillionaire at 25 and is now, at 49, worth a billion dollars. After a few semesters at college, Geffen left to get some real training in the mailroom of the William Morris talent agency. Of course, the Morris agency, like most employers, did not hire people without college degrees. When Geffen's transcript arrived in the mail, he intercepted it and substituted a forged letter. Even the talent agency was more interested in the credentials than the talent. Go »

 

Steve Jobs: "Glad I dropped out"

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer Inc., told Stanford University graduates that dropping out of college was one of the best decisions he ever made because it forced him to be innovative. He said his real education started when he "dropped in" on whatever classes interested him — including calligraphy. He told the graduates that few friends could see the value of learning calligraphy at the time but that painstaking attention to detail — including mastering different "fonts" — was what set Macintosh apart from its competitors. "If I had never dropped out I might never have dropped in on that calligraphy," Jobs said. Go »


 

Read the Letters We Receive


All Florida Mediaworks, Tallahasee, FL
Bassett Productions, Burlingame, CA
Blue Visual Effects, Philadelphia, PA
Blue Visual Effects(2), Philadelphia, PA
Borres Productions, Bridgeport, CT
Brigadoon / Roja Productions, New York, NY
Center City Film & Video, Philadelphia, PA
CQ Television Network, Columbia, SC
Dixon-Cain Productions, Winnetka, CA
DTP, Inc., Theodore, AL
Fantascope Entertainment, New York, NY
Bryan Hickox Pictures, Jacksonville, FL
Bob Hoffman Video Productions, San Diego, CA
Alyson Horn Casting, Los Angeles, CA
Lions Share Pictures, West Hollywood, CA
Lions Share Pictures, West Hollywood, CA
New Line Cinema, New York, NY
Newman / Tooley Films, Los Angeles, CA
Olegna Productions, Harrisburg, PA
Perfect Score, San Francisco, CA
Picture This, Portland, OR
Preston Productions Inc., Baltimore, MD
Rehab Counselor, Santa Barbara, CA
Rehab Counselor, Fort Wayne, IN
Smash It Up Productions, Alberta, Canada
Tapestry Films, Beverly Hills, CA
Taylor Pro Video, Milwaukee, WI
The Telemedia Group, Wilmington, NC
The Telemedia Group (2), Wilmington, NC
Toronto Pictures, Toronto, ON
Toronto Pictures (2), Toronto, ON
Transtar Productions, Denver, CO
The Working Group, Oakland, CA

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