JESSE VALDEZ – GRADUATE SUCCESS STORY
My name is Jesse Valdez and I was born and raised in Riverside County, Los Angeles. I began my filmmaking career in High School, documenting several student activities leading up until the end of the year. After High School, I joined the Marine Corps Reserve and served for five years. Initially after graduating from the Marine Corps, I began working retail in Riverside. However, then I discovered the Film Entertainment Connection and found out a mentor for a film station that was located in the near vicinity of where I lived. I immediately joined the Film Connection and collaborated with my new mentor, who was a working professional Film Editor, cutting scenes for local commercials and documentaries, training me on all the equipment used to create the final product.
I did my research on various Film Schools in the surrounding areas of Los Angeles and Orange County. I was interested, like many others, in the film industry ,but didn’t know where to start. However, I discovered Film Connection I was impressed by the affordability when compared to traditional film schools. I enrolled in the Film Editing program and was provided one-on-one time with my mentor, learning all the skills needed, as the fundamentals of equipment used for editing. I worked alongside of him on various projects such as local commercials and documentaries.
While attending Film Connection, I learned the short cuts and habits of an Editor that my mentor required in his own workplace, such as timing, organization, and an eye for detail. After graduating, my mentor offered me an internship as a Director’s assistant on the independent film, “Rushlights”. I got to travel on Tech Scouts, organize production meetings, as well as rehearsals. Once filming wrapped, I became a Post-Production Assistant on the same film where I imported footage daily, as well as cutting scenes following notes from the Script Supervisor and Director.
Once I graduated, I worked very closely with my student service advisors in the Job Placement Assistance Program. I learned the dos and don’ts of interviewing, always maintaining a professional demeanor, and the correct protocol for responding to job postings in order to qualify for interviews offered. I perfected his resume, cover letter, letter of Recommendation, and Thank You Letter. By working with the Film Connection’s Job Placement Assistance program, I landed an internship with Opportunity Green, a non-profit organization that host an annual conferences, bringing in major successful companies to small businesses. My duties were to edit interviews, panels, and keynote presentations, in which these edited videos are now featured on company website. He also filmed an audition tape that was selected by Food Network casting for his client to be on the hit show Cupcake Wars.
As I continued in the Job Placement Assistance program, shortly after I landed a job as a Video Film Editor for Inland News! I worked with the Job Placement Assistance Program here at Film Connection and within weeks of starting the program, I was working on a movie set as the Director’s Assistant & applied my film editing skills as a Post-Production Assistant on the feature film, “Rushlights” due out in 2011. After production was wrapped, I worked with Student Services on my resume and essential documents to make it in the work place. Right after only our first four assignments, which included my resume, cover letter, letter of recommendation, and thank you letter, I landed a job at Inland News Today as a Video Film Editor.
The Job Placement program at Film Connection has helped me continue my filmmaking career and a resource that should be used to its fullest extent. I wanted to personally thank the Film Connection, especially my student service advisors, for assisting me through this whole process. I saw an immediate turnaround of job responses and call backs after working in the program.