Film Connection student Michael Jessop works himself into a job



From his early teens, Michael Jessop knew he wanted a career in film and media, especially in video editing. But as he attended courses at a local community college in his home town of Colorado Springs, CO, he discovered a serious gap between getting his education and actually landing a job.

“Through the traditional system, the problem was that all of the businesses were looking for work experience,” says Michael. “I mean, about two to four years of production experience. And you really couldn’t get that through a normal college system like what I went through.”

That’s when Michael discovered the Film Connection could get him in the door of a local production company as an apprentice. Michael decided to enroll, and was placed with John Lancaster at Castland Productions. Since he already had some training, he and his mentor approached the curriculum from a more accelerated perspective, and Michael saw it as an opportunity to work himself into a job.

“It’s been a very good connection,” he says of his mentor. “I’ve always told him about looking for a job. In terms of the curriculum, he wanted to help speed that process.”

John also recommended that Michael start his own production company so he could work as a subcontractor, rather than simply an employee. “He wanted me to start my own little business just so I can also promote myself in the process,” says Michael.

The result? Just three months into his apprenticeship, Michael has literally worked himself into a full-time level of work doing projects for the company, with his mentor continuing to guide him. “We’ve been jumping back and forth with clients with projects,” he says. “He’s feedbacking on my work I have done so far with clients, and it’s been going very, very well….It’s been quite a blast. It’s been crazy just in terms of the amount of projects since I first started to what I am now. It’s been insane, but it’s been very good work and a very good experience in the process.”

Michael’s traditional schooling taught him some skills, but it offered neither the connections nor the work experience to help him establish his career in film and video. With help from the Film Connection and his mentor, Michael is now well on his way to the job of his dreams.