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Film Connection grad Mark Doster wins an Accolade Award, pursues feature film!

“[Alfred Hitchcock said], ‘It’s not in the bang, but the anticipation of the bang,'” says Film Connection graduate Mark Doster. “People don’t really get that anymore, and I want to, try to bring that back. I don’t like jump scares. Instead of having a clown pop in front of my face, I would love to watch it creep down the hallway slowly towards me and I can’t move.”

It’s that kind of passion for film—particularly in the horror and suspense genres—that not only gives Mark an understanding of what makes for a good scare, but also informed the making of his recent short film Rest Your Soul—a film that went on to earn the Award of Merit at the acclaimed Accolade Global Film Competition! According to Mark, the idea for the film came to him when he was earning money as a dog walker.

“I went in [a] house, and there was caution tape on the basement,” says Mark. “I remembered my boss saying, ‘Do not go in the basement, whatever you do.’ So it just seemed to me like walking into the wrong house, something’s possibly hidden in the house that the owner doesn’t want you to see.”

When Mark came across the Film Connection, he was already studying film in a film school in Denver, Colorado, but he felt he was missing something. “I don’t really do well in a giant class setting,” he told us. By contrast, the one-on-one training and practical instruction he received with his mentors, Johnny Fisher in Denver and Richard Brandes in Los Angeles, really helped give him perspective on the business of film.

“Film sets don’t really run like schools will tell you,” he says. “You have to go see it for yourself. And the production side of things—Film Connection elaborated on that a lot more, the business side, and how serious it is.”

Since completing his Film Connection apprenticeship, Mark has moved to Orlando, Florida, where he’s actively pursuing his dream of being a film director—specifically, in working on funding for his first feature-length film. He says Richard Brandes, his screenwriting mentor, has continued to offer encouragement and support as he takes this next important step. “I’ve been telling him what’s going on and about the budget for this new feature, how crazy it is,” says Mark. “He’s like, ‘Well, I’ve done it before…You can, too.'”

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