Film Connection’s Best of 2021 Issue is Here!
IN 2021…[break class=”double”][break class=”double no-mobile”]
Film Connection grad Shaylah Conley Worked Horror Feature Film & Launched Her Own Production Company.[break class=”double” side=”left”]
When we connected with Film Connection graduate Shaylah Conley she was just wrapping production on one film project and gearing up to start another. In 2021, Shaylah went from dreaming about building her career in film to doing it and gaining the skills, experience, and insight she needed to launch her own production company.
[break side=”left”] That she could do the program remotely and see her hard work get noticed by her mentor were two big advantages of Film Connection for Film Production & Editing.
[break side=”left”] “It was online, so I didn’t have to go anywhere… then you’re set up with a mentor who brings you into the field. So, it’s not like you have to start from the bottom of the food chain and beg your way in. You get brought in and then you can move up depending on you, depending on everything about yourself.”
[break side=”left”] Find out how Shaylah put her goals into action, worked a full-length feature horror film, and even launched her own production company with help from her mentor Christine Chen of Moth to Flame Films and Film Connection.
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Film Connection grad John Lacuesta Got Hired at Mentor’s Studio & Worked Award-Winning Documentary.[break class=”double” side=”left”]
When John Lacuesta found Film Connection, he’d recently graduated high school and had his sights set on pursuing a career in cinematography. Now John’s got a full-time job as studio supervisor at EQ Studios—where he trained as a student extern—is an experienced 1st AC, and he even recently completed an award-winning documentary film.
[break side=”right”] Like others, John recognized the advantage of our one-on-one approach to training in film.
[break side=”right”] “I was just looking at different choices as far as schooling when it comes to film…. The Film Connection was a lot more hands-on. And I was like, ‘This is the new generation of learning,’ you know, ‘This is the new way to do it.’… It was really, really nice, finding out and knowing that I would actually be in a studio… just learning the new things.”
[break side=”right”] Film Connection graduate John Lacuesta talks about the award-winning film he recently worked on and gives us the lowdown on how he got hired at EQ Studios, right where he trained!
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Film Connection grad Jaden Scott Discovered His Love of Screenwriting & Made His Own Film.[break class=”double” side=”right”]
When Jaden Scott enrolled in Film Connection, he’d just graduated from high school with plans of attending NYU. The pandemic led him to reassess his gameplan for the future.
[break side=”left”] “I started writing during quarantine. I tried to write a few scripts. Things didn’t come together. I tried to shoot a movie with my friends. Things didn’t come together…. I was going to go to NYU, but New York itself was… crazy at the beginning of quarantine. So, my parents were just like, ‘We don’t know about that.’ So… I always was looking into trade schools because I’m not really a school person, and a shorter program seemed like a fit for me.”
[break side=”left”] Thanks to Film Connection’s flexible, one-on-one approach Jaden was able to work directly with screenwriting mentor Aaron Feldman who helped him develop and write his screenplay for “IOWA.” In tandem with his training as a screenwriter, Jaden built his filming and editing skills with hands-on, one-on-one direction from Film Connection mentor Patrick Wimp at Digital Hydra in months, not years. Learn more about Jaden’s film and his experiences in the Film Production & Editing Program.
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Dancer/Choreographer Ramone Wilkinson Jumped into Film with Film Connection.[break class=”double” side=”left”]
Film Connection graduate Ramone Wilkinson is no stranger to the limelight. A professional dancer and choreographer, he’s worked with Camila Cabello, Kanye West, TLC, Gwen Stefani, Big Sean, Jennifer Lopez, and done commercials with brands like Apple, Google, and Nike. When Ramone found himself with some extra time on his hands, rather than take it easy, he switched into high gear and pursued his goal of expanding his skills as a visionary creative who could work in dance, in film, and direct and produce a multitude of commercial projects.
[break side=”right”] During his time in the Film Production & Editing Program, Ramone had the opportunity to work and earn professional credits on the stunning “Time is Eternal” film with mentors Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett of Dream Team Directors. He even expanded his knowledge of choreography into the arena of film with one-on-one mentorship from Bayou.
[break side=”right”] “I’ve seen my choreography on big stages and television and etcetera but for me to do it in a film… I never had that experience. I’d never been exposed to that world. So, it was next level for me…. Now here I am. It’s been a great experience…. It’s been awesome.'”
[break side=”right”] Learn more about Ramone’s experiences in Film Connection and find out what inspired him to expand his creative skills into the world of film.
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Film Connection grads Carter Rutledge & Zack Wilson Parrish Made an Award-Winning Horror Film & Got Going in Film![break class=”double” side=”right”]
Film Connection grads Carter Rutledge and Zack Wilson Parrish did their externship training with mentor and Emmy winner, Zac Adams, producer, director, and CEO of Skydive Films. Aside from working on commercial shoots, film videos, and more, all three came together to write, produce, and edit the short horror film, “A Good Mother” which is currently being submitted to festivals and won the Audience Award at the Knoxville Film Festival for Best Tennessee Short Film.
[break side=”right”] Film Connection mentor Zac Adams of Skydive Films tells how the film went from a filed-away idea to being the next thing he and his externs Carter and Zach tackled.
[break side=”right”] “I had the basic idea in my head for 15 years…. I pitched the guys back in the fall and they liked it. I said, ‘Y’all want to make it?’… then the three of us literally sat in my house for a couple days and ordered some pizza and just fleshed it out… over a day or two…. We all three got writing credit. And it’s on my IMDb now. We filmed at his [Zack’s] aunt and uncle’s house in Hendersonville… and we shot on the RED Epic, [with an] all-professional crew, friends of mine. And then we all did the editing at my house.”
[break side=”right”] We recently spoke with the filmmakers to learn more about the making of “A Good Mother,” their experiences in our 6–9-month Film Production & Editing Program, and more.
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Singer Jania Foxworth Became a Director/Screenwriter with Chops![break class=”double” side=”left”]
Film Connection graduate Jania Foxworth (B.B. King, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones) already had a thriving career as a singer, songwriter, and voice over actress when she enrolled in our Film Production & Editing Program. Jania starred as Effie White in the Los Angeles Theatre’s production of Dream Girls, and wowed audiences all over the world as the lead singer of B.B. King’s All Star Band. Just weeks prior to COVID-19 sending Los Angeles into lockdown, Jania was on stage at The Abbey performing the chart-climbing dance anthem “Impulse” by The Perry Twins, which features her vocals. Then COVID hit.
[break side=”right”] What did Jania do? She recognized the opportunity in front of her. A less hectic schedule meant she suddenly had time delve in, learn, and show what she’s capable of as an actor, director, and writer with a unique voice and vision to share with the world.
[break side=”right”] See how Jania worked one-on-one with screenwriting mentor Eric Abrams (Married with Children, Liv and Maddie) on an original story she’d wanted to develop for years. See how she got connected and into production on her own film with Film Connection mentors Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir of Dream Team Directors!