As I grew up I spent most of my high school years working hard, long hours, in my family’s restaurant. A couple years after my graduation I found myself still in the food industry, working as a sushi chef in uptown New Orleans. I did this for 5 years, occasionally having the opportunity to do some freelance work as a lighting assistant with a local photographer, as film has always been my true passion. However, I always yearned to break into the film industry somehow. At the age of 25 years old, and supporting myself entirely, I thought this field to be a pipe dream, as I wouldn’t be able to afford, or even devote the time to attend film school and get my training. Luckily, with a little research, I discovered the Film Connection.

The Film Connection provides me an affordable opportunity to work in a hands-on environment with my very own MENTOR, while offering me the flexibility to work around my job schedule! I have to admit at first, I was a little skeptical because I didn’t know what to expect. However, after meeting my mentor and going to my first television series film shoot, I knew I was on the right track and had made the right decision for my career.

I’m three months into my program and feel that I’ve gained more knowledge than I could have ever learned in a classroom. My mentor has many years of experience and is involved in many projects including commercials, television, movies, and corporate gigs of which I’ve been able to observe and be a part of. I feel like I have now been trained accordingly and have become part of the team. Most importantly, I’m already making connections and have been offered several paid positions. I’ve even earned myself credit on a HBO project as a “Boom Operator”! The Film Connection is a wonderful way to get your foot in the door if you’re willing to dive in and get your hands dirty!

— Charla Mascagni, New Orleans, Louisiana

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