Film Connection's Student Success Stories, Page 2

Student Quotes

I was very excited to execute this job on my own

“I was able to set up an interview with one of the Artist Producer/ DJ. The goal of the this short interview was to get a tutorial of how this Artist produces his own music. I was lucky to get the interview done at his house. This was a new experience to me since I’ve never interview or film someone at their own house. The environment was slightly small but I had to get creative to the job done. I was able to film the footage and get the interview done within 45 minutes. In addition, it was my first time getting this kind of job done by myself. My mentor Anthony Barkdoll believed that it will be great experience to get this job done on my own since I’ve done it before with his assistance. I was very excited to execute this job on my own and get a feel of how I perform in this kind of assignments.

The equipment I use was a standard FS 100 Sony camera Manual Lens, Monopad, 2 batteries, 1 ARRI Light, wireless microphone. The interview and footage was successful and excited about next week interview. Next week interview is very important because this Artist/Event Coordinator, Producer, Graphic Designer, DJ is a very important piece to this project. It took a little bit of work to schedule this interview but got it done. I’ll be sharing with you on my next blog how this assignment went.”

I’m looking forward to really get involved in production

“The program has been great; I worked on Marjorie Prime as an office intern and got to see the ins and outs of pre-production. Accomodation search is incredibly difficult, especially when you’re trying to work within a budget but I got exactly what I wanted. Although I really want to invest myself in writing it was great to see the ins and outs of production. I finally know how it works and how every position forms intricately to create a masterpiece.”

I must admit I am a little anxious

“I officially transferred to the Editing Concentration this week and I am looking forward to receiving my new textbook and a copy of Final Cut Pro X. I am finally getting into the swing of things as my Mentor, Wes, started to break down the neat building blocks of this powerful editing program. I must admit I am a little anxious as I feel that I still have so much to learn. I really want to learn most of the technical ins and outs of the software so that I can finally focus on what really matters — the creative storytelling process. I look forward to that moment when my knowledge will be enough to finally liberate me, and I can start creating works of art. Thank goodness my Mentor Wes Cobb has a very strong grasp of Final Cut Pro X.”

Off to a great start.

“Today, Shaunn and I talked more in-depth into what his expectations were in how he expects me to come in. We discussed my three movie ideas, to which he gave instruction on how to make solid Log lines, and had me think which of my ideas were stronger than the others. We discussed our next meeting and what he will be doing and how I can learn.”

Met up with Marcelo once more

“Met up with Marcelo once more, we’ve discussed about each other’s endeavors, I’ve shown him my storyboard, in addition to my screenplay to compliment it. He will read this and get some ord spread around about my HotSpot Underground Screenplay. I will hear him again in about a week to meetup up possibly at a newly established production office in Phoenix.”

All I know for certain is that I’ll do everything I can to make my dad proud.

“I just finished chapter one of the textbook and completed the first chapter quiz. Excited is an understatement to describe how I feel to finally be in a film program and hone my skills. I start my apprenticeship this Wednesday and there’s a strong possibility that I’ll be moving to a new house that is only a twelve minute walking distance away from EQ Studios. Everything is starting to improve and I can’t wait for what the future holds. I feel as though this program is going to immensely help me get started in the industry.

The only downside is how difficult it is to do all of this without my dad, who was always my biggest supporter. He taught me film history from a young age and he gave me the confidence to chase after my dreams of being a director. All I know for certain is that I’ll do everything I can to make my dad proud.”

You can feel the good vibes all around.

“Last Tuesday was my first day. I was so excited to be there. Everyone is super nice and friendly. You can feel the good vibes all around. Hector let we work on some extra footage that they had, so I could get use to the editing program. Also, this helped them see how well I could work with documentary footage. Condensing a 15 minute interview to 3-5 mins. I must say that there was a ton of footage to go through”

New Job for MasterChef!

I did such an amazing job for MasterChef last week, that they have hired me to work 12 more hours. The time will be broken between this week and next. I have also been upgraded to the position of Production Assistant P.A., for the Open Call of Master Chef in two weeks. My first job in the film connection was with Fox studios, not bad given that I have not even graduated yet

This week I am planning out my trip to California to pitch my screenplay. Airline tickets have been purchased and hotels booked. It is a race against time to finish the text book, editing my short film, and preparing for my pitch. It’s all or nothing!

Wedding stuff.

“For this past week I’ve learned how to color a video, meaning add color, and brightness effects to it. I colored the wedding video my mentor has me working on, so if it looks O.K. I should be done, or very close to done with it! It’s amazing to me how different, and brighter, or dimmer, you can make a video look, just by editing it. I didn’t know you could make coloring effects, before I learned this. I’m going to meet her today, and I’ll see what she thinks about what I’ve colored.”

Indian Wedding Day

“Yesterday I spent 4.5 hours filming one of the most colorful weddings I’ve ever been privileged enough to be able to be at. I used a portable/handheld digital Cannon to capture expressions on faces, the handoff from one family to the other of gifts to the bride and groom with a prayer at all exchanges. I know it’s a basic camera but it was a start. Using different angles to avoid light was crucial to get all 5-600 guests. I am so excited for day two of this wonderful celebration. Family from all corners of the world, dancing, food, laughter and love. Once again what a beautiful and colorful culture.”


Meeting with my mentor Part 3

“On Tuesday, August 11th I met with my mentor Joe on a beautiful sunny day in Minnesota. We have both been crazy busy, me with my homework and him on some errands but we made the time to get together in spite of our schedules. That day we talked about my chapter 1 and 2 quizzes and also I had the chance to go to his studio to see where he does the editing for his projects. He uses the Apple program Final Cut and I find it similar to the Sony editing software I recently purchased. So we spent the majority of the time looking at and exploring the features of his editing software. It was eye opening to what you can do with the software. There are so many functions and even though he showed me a few of them such as putting footage on a timeline and then editing it by adding transition here and there and also looping the sound to match the footage made my mind swim. He made it look easy since he has been doing that for quite some time and I look forward to when I too can make it look easy…might take awhile but I will get there:). Joe also gave me a small project to work on with my new editing software – the footage we filmed at the White Bear Lake YMCA. He made a backup copy of some of the footage and tasked me with making a movie with the footage he gave me. It is quite the challenge but I feel I am up to the task. Like a rookie quarterback starting in place of an injured veteran player I must make my editing debut.Very excited to see what I can come up with! Stay tuned for more later…”


Camera time!

“Today I met with Mr. Triscari after a longer than usual break in between our sessions. We spent some time going over the assignments that I had been working on for the curriculum and had some discussion about some of the points that we both thought were interesting.

In our first session, he asked me to write down three professional goals that I wanted to achieve for our time together. He was able to take a look at them and see what could be done in regards to making those goals a reality. One of the goals that I had written down was that I wanted to gain some experience in voice over work. I have always been fascinated with the work of Pixar movies, or just any animated movie in general, that mix the creativity of bringing imaginary characters to life through animation with the emotion and personality of someone’s voice. It’s the art of re-creating real life. I also feel like, when done properly, voice over work in a commercial or film production can add so much to a piece. Mr. Triscari was able to discuss with me some possible opportunities he had coming up to exploring that avenue, which left me feeling VERY excited. We then discussed some ideas for how I would go about shooting my documentary project about the boardwalk. He showed me a camera that he could lend out to me and gave me a basic overview of how it works. We talked about what would go into setting up the shots and what I need to keep in mind if I had the intention of interviewing people about their perspective of living in a beach town that is a popular tourist destination. We also discussed different ways that I could shoot it in his studio instead of doing it on location and how many potential problems it would cut down on if it was done in a controlled environment. It was incredibly informative to say the least to even discuss and see how practical the second option would be.

All in all, I left feeling very excited about what’s to come in the future and am feeling antsy about getting to get my hands dirty and do some hands on work. I will be going back Wednesday to meet with him again, primarily to get a better overview of how the camera works that he is going to lend me and to practice with it”


I had my first session last week Friday. It was great!

“I had my first session last week Friday. It was great! My mentor is very knowledgeable and taught me so much within one day. He makes the environment very relaxed and comfortable. During our first session we went over the entire production and development of a movie. He taught me about a treatment and synopsis for a screenplay. Also, we went over the timeline and structure of how a movie is made, starting with the treatment. He showed me some of the programs he uses for editing and writing and showed me an example. I got to get a feel of Final Draft Pro. and Final Cut. Finally, we went over a film they are making. I got to see some of the script and what the directors treatment looks like.”

It’s very exciting and hope to keep the energy and motivation going!

“I was back in the now “official” production office for the film Last Seen in Idaho which will be shot by Fireshoe in just a few weeks! After talking about this history of film for a little bit (mainly how pacing is much faster now), we discussed the logistical things that I have been following up on. I also had the pleasure of meeting our UPM (Unit Production Manager) whom I will be working with and discussed how I will handle the start paperwork/releases/agreements and she will handle the checking in on people and get PAs to move things around, etc..
I definitely have great timing working with a mentor who is about to produce a feature film with some familiar folks from LA. It is a juggle with a day job and doing my assignments and family life, but it’s very exciting and I hope to keep the energy and motivation going!”

Hands on…sorta..

“I was able to see how the footage looked after it was all done and get a general idea of what would need to be done to turn it into a final product. I feel like even that little bit of exposure to being “on set” and seeing one done in real time stimulated alot of thoughts about what it would be like for me to go through the creative process of creating a video on the same scale with the same type of equipment. I’m feeling excited and intimidated about the idea at the same time. It’s a scary thought to have to be the one who’s creating a story out of their own mind and trying to convey the same thoughts to others, but also one of the most REWARDING and unforgettable. I’m excited about the idea of having to create my own documentary and to experiment.”


It all goes back to having a team.

“In this lesson I got to learn the stages of production and what they do. I learned development, financing, pre-production, production, post-production, and marketing and distribution. Another big thing that the chapter talked about was editing. You go from the director’s vision of a film on set to an editor’s vision on the computer. It all goes back to having a team. Without one you wouldn’t get far in the industry. When I was with Jason, we talked about my movie pitch and what I needed to work on. He saw that my script had paragraph’s that were too long so he suggested I make them shorter so people reading it wouldn’t get jammed up. He also taught me a way to make a shotlist. He drew a picture of a scene on paper and showed me where I needed to put each camera in order to have more options when editing. All I have to do now is work on my skit for this coming week as well as an updated shotlist in order to finish filming on time.”


I learned the importance of having an epic second act.

“I have to keep the audience of the edge of their seat and make the characters go through so much problems that it almost seems impossible for them to escape. That’s how my movie or any other movie will gain attention. What is the character risking to achieve his goals? How can I build momentum or tension to the point where the audience feels like they’re there with my characters and make the audience feel what the characters’ feel? After reviewing the importance of a second act with Jason, we took off to film Dennis’s short silent film. We went through a lot of errors since it was his first time directing with us but we tried helping in any way we could. I saw that he felt the pressure of time and starting getting a little nervous. He reminded me of my first time because everything he went through and did I did myself. He was thinking more of shots for the editing instead of playing out the scene just like me. After watching Dennis perform, I had a better idea of what and what not to do on set. Can’t wait to see Dennis and Tal become one of the best!”


And so it begins…

“The history of film is really cool. I like learning about this stuff and the documentary is really good! The assignment was kinda hard just because I haven’t fully figured it out my movie but I think I got it. I still need to watch 12 movies though and the quiz but yah it’s pretty cool!”

I have moved on to the next stage of the writing process!

“This week I was able to meet Eric and Hallie twice and I was able to start learning new editing software. I was able to get some information on the masters in screenwriting offered through the Film Connection. I am excited by this possibility and I am considering this as a next step. My meetings with Ron are going great. I have moved on to the next stage of the writing process!”


Meeting with Wanna Choy

“I met w Jesse and Wanna Choy. Wanna is the founder of Zykyla fundraisers. We All sat down to do an overview of how we will be filming this upcoming fundraiser helping out war vets that are disabled. I got to see the niddy griddy of how all this works through some of the business side. I sat with Wanna after meeting for 30 minutes asking her what more she wanted out of this. Jesse has intentions of getting me to start editing soon. I’m excited about this!”


Interviews and New Footage Film

“This week has been very exciting. I’ve been working hard in getting prepared to get some interviews done for the project that I’m working on. This project is going to be a documentary which is one of my final projects for this program. This week, the goal was to film some interviews and film some new footage.”


I’m excited about the idea of having to create my own documentary

“I was able to see how the footage looked after it was all done and get a general idea of what would need to be done to turn it into a final product. I feel like even that little bit of exposure to being “on set” and seeing one done in real time stimulated alot of thoughts about what it would be like for me to go through the creative process of creating a video on the same scale with the same type of equipment. I’m feeling excited and intimidated about the idea at the same time. It’s a scary thought to have to be the one who’s creating a story out of their own mind and trying to convey the same thoughts to others, but also one of the most REWARDING and unforgettable. I’m excited about the idea of having to create my own documentary and to experiment.”


Set Design

“Helped prep props for an ongoing shoot, and then got tasked to create a fire hose like prop for said shoot. After spraying adhesive to plastic tubing and covering it with a cut dropcloth. After that, I took black tea and painted it onto the hose to give it an aged look.”


Getting Closer

“For this past week, I got a lot of the wedding ceremony part edited and sound synched up. I’ve just been working really hard on putting everything together in the wedding video my mentor gave me to edit. I took a long time trying to synch up sound because I forgot the trick she showed me, which is expanding the track to synch the sound correctly. That makes it so much easier.”

He told me not to give up because this is just the beginning.

“I told my mentor how I got stuck with my script. He said the same exact thing Peter told me. Of course he wasn’t upset that I couldn’t write, instead, he motivated me. He told me not to give up because this is just the beginning. I’m not used to it yet. Lack of focus, stress, and anxiety are just the beginning hurtles I have to overcome. THIS MAKES ME WANT TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF!”

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STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT THE FILM INDUSTRY

Finding Success With The Film Connection

Brian Kraft

by Brian Kraft
Chief Academic Officer and COO
for Recording, Radio, Film and Culinary Connection

The Film Connection was constructed for one purpose in mind. We want you to succeed. We want you to become a massive superstar. We want you to be able to be one of our mentors one day. We want you to enter our program as a nobody and then work you way to the top. We want you to be the next Kevin Smith or David Fincher or Charlie Kaufman. The search for success is something that has been the undoing of many a great individual. Well, thankfully, due to the Film Connection, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. You can enroll in the Film Connection’s film school wherever you are and you’ll be able to access the entertainment industry instantly. We have film school locations all over the United States. The end goal of our film school is to fly you out to Hollywood and have you pitch your movie to a real Hollywood agent. We help you develop whatever ideas you may have into a screenplay, we help you shoot some proof-of-concept films, and we introduce you to the agent. All you have to do is show up and be brilliant! The Film Connection’s purpose is to connect you with people in the industry. That’s why you’ll be working in a real production company while you’re writing your script. You’ll be making connections with people from all areas of the industry. You’ll be meeting other writers, producers, grips, P.A.s and directors. You’ll be really sinking your teeth into the world of film while you’re in our school. You’ll be able to really immerse yourself in the industry. The Film Connection is your best bet for getting your foot in the door. You’ll be working towards making your dreams come true with people who’ve already done exactly what you’re trying to do. You’ll be gaining traction in all areas of your career. Interpersonally, externally, and professionally. You’ll be making the connections you’ll need, you’ll be making the work that you’ll need show people, and you’ll be gaining the experience that will get you hired.