Film Connection's Student Success Stories, Page 3

Student Quotes

The sound!!

“While editing a video, I’ve been using Adobe Premiere Pro, and it’s been the first time I’ve used the software ever, and really the first time I’ve edited something that’s longer than five or eight minutes, except for maybe the practice video I used when I started the internship. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve already gotten faster, so let’s just hope I can get even faster! The bottom line is I’ve learned a lot about using Adobe Premiere Pro!”

Lower Thirds

“I have had quite the experience learning After Effects! My mentor, Christine Chen and I got together so she could show me how to do lower thirds. This was my first time to do ANYTHING on After Effects, so I was pumped. It seemed easy enough, and pretty straight forward.”

I feel super excited and motivated

“I feel super excited and motivated because I’m learning the software as I’m learning how to function different cameras in different scenarios. Learning both concepts at the same time feels great because I get a full feeling of the field in Cinematography and the Editing part. It allows me to work on my own raw footage as I keep learning using Premiere Pro.”

It’s a very awesome experience to work on something that is such a massive collaboration

“This week I got to sit behind the wheel and do some hands on editing all by myself! For the second of Holly’s music videos, Shane allowed me to sculpt the whole thing from start to finish. We laid down the music and I began cutting and dropping footage. Again, I could see that the editing process wouldn’t be too hard for me because of the organization of the footage. Everything was easily accessible and so I managed to make some pretty good progress before we called it a day. The first draft is not quite finished yet but Shane seemed very pleased with the progress I made. Its incredibly exciting to be behind the wheel and having a chance to creatively craft this narrative in whatever I see it with all the components made ready and available to me. As excited and proud as I am, I cannot help but think of the long hours Holly put in when she wrote the lyrics and the music and envisioned it herself, and I cannot help but think of the long hours Shane put it in to shoot it, and the long hours he put in to be able to afford the equipment we shot it with. Its a very awesome experience to work on something that is such a massive collaboration of talents and energy. I’m eager to see how Holly likes the videos we’ve prepared for her.”

Project Feedback and New Program

“Today I got word from my mentor, Christine Chen, that we’ve finally heard feedback back from the clients whose projects I’ve been working on. The great thing is that both projects have only minor adjustments that need to be made, so that makes me feel great about not having a laundry list of things that needs to be corrected. The only suggestions the clients had for me were to either make a clip shorter or to insert more of another family member, and that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. I can handle that! It makes me feel great when the client is happy with the work that’s been done and they only have minor fixes such as that.”

Third Day of Editing

“Today at the studio I learned about the important aspects of organizing your media, before you put it together. If you are disorganized than you are going to have a tough life in this position. The experience itself is more than I can ever learn in any other school. This is how to learn film editing.”

Been a long time coming.

“I know I haven’t posting on here as much as I should be but for good reason. I’ve been really busy grinding in the editing dock with my mentor learning the ins and outs of what goes into post production. I’m really excited to say that I’ll be wrapping up my time with film connection within the next 2 weeks. The program has given me invaluable experiences that I’ll forever take with me as I make my way up in the industry. Learning the filmmaking process from pre-production to post has been an absolute joy. I never thought I would enjoy “school” so much. It’s been a long time coming but I’m beyond excited to complete my program and get my hands dirty in the industry.”

It was fun seeing the need for character creation in a story

“This week I was able to work with Joel on creating character descriptions for his current screenplay. I was able to go through the script and pick and choose what and how the characters should be portrayed. Using Story O I was able to upload the info and even use pictures of actors I thought would fill the roles. It was fun seeing the need for character creation in a story, but also how they are developing through the story.”

I started learned Premiere, which is very different from Final Cut

“This week I learned about wiring, including how to strip and splice wires together. Also I got the chance to help renovate the house they are building for crew members to live in. Back at the office I learned how this production company organizes all of their data and files on each computer. Also I started learned Premiere, which is very different from Final Cut, so it will take me a little bit to learn all of the functions.”

I’m beginning to become more confident in painting a landscape

“This week, I’m beginning to become more confident in painting a landscape in a descriptive way. I am actually having a lot of fun describing settings and placing characters in those settings in my mind (on the page is slightly more difficult, and I’m working through it). Something that I’m noticing as I write my screenplay is that every interaction involves significant, minute details, and when I change an interaction, I have to go back to the character’s descriptions/scene setup in order to be consistent by making sure every minute detail makes sense leading up to that interaction. A perfect example of this was how I forgot to have a character leave their shoes on in a meditation class so that later when a comedic/awkward moment needed to happen, there was no Velcro shoe for another characters’ hair to get caught in, so I had to go back and create/explain why the character did not remove their shoes.”

It is great to meet peers in the field.

“Another highlight of this past week was that I met two fellow film students. It is great to meet peers in the field. I hope to meet more talented filmmakers throughout the weeks and months of this program. And I hope that I will be able to collaborate with the filmmakers I have already met.”

Second Film Shoot

“I don’t think I’ve talked about the second film shoot I went on. That film shoot, was my mentor and someone else filming a lot of athletes working out basically. It was really cool. I got to help set up lights, and other equipment, and see her film these athletes do a lot of pull ups, push-ups, squats, dead lifts, and someone was also doing a bench press I think. I saw my mentor get a lot of really cool slow motion shots on that shoot, and it gave me a good perspective of how to get shots that just look really good.”

I’m freaking loving the feeling.

“So lately I’ve been so busy. Work is literally piling up on my computer and in my head as well. I am stressing out, but hey this isn’t an industry for those who are looking for a relaxing career. There’s plenty more, but I feel the knowledge I’m gaining. I never felt so determined and confident about doing homework. This is what I love to do. And whether it’s reading a script or watching a movie, it’s only building me as a creator and I’m freaking loving the feeling.”

I’m learning a lot about being more detailed in my storyline

“I had my session with my screenwriting mentor the other day. This time my treatment looked much better. I’ve learned I need to have someone else read my stuff before I turn it in, to get an outsiders perspective. I still need to make a few changes, but all in all this went over much better. I’m learning a lot about being more detailed in my storyline. One thing that has made me feel good in all this is Ron telling me that I have a natural ability in something that is not easily learned. Phew! That’s really good to hear!”

Keep an eye out for the video in my upcoming blog posts!

“Over the past five weeks I’ve been very busy, working my summer job, keeping up with my film business, and meeting with my mentor at Backseat any chance I get. My summer job is full time so I am only off on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to meet with my mentor lately, but one highlight over the past few weeks was our shoot in Camden, NJ for “But Deliver Us From Evil”. This is the same movie we did down in North Carolina and now we are working to get some final shots needed to complete the film. Doug and I are also working on a Behind The Scenes video for “But Deliver Us From Evil” which should be done with-in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for the video in my upcoming blog posts!”

My screenwriting mentor and I now have scaffolding for my screenplay.

“It’s a very basic framework involving an overall story and order of events. I also decided how I want to begin my story and I will be writing the first 2 scenes this week. I had already written a first scene and now I’m going a different direction. One thing that I really like about my screenwriting mentor, Brian, is how he encourages me to develop ideas without developing them for me or over suggesting things. What I really needed a person who could help me maintain my confidence level in my own ideas and style, and he does that well- offering ideas around practicality and considerations without controlling or impacting my story too much.”

I went on my first film shoot! That was amazing!

“For this week I’ve finished editing the wedding video my mentor gave me to edit, and I went on my first film shoot! That was amazing! I got to film the entire thing! This is the first film shoot I’ve been on, and I filmed it along with my mentor filming it with another camera as well. It wasn’t too hard really, because a lot of what I shot was the characters sitting and talking, and it was a lot of fun, partially because I already knew a lot of the camera controls, and how they work. It was great to be-able to do that! Also this was my first time on an actual film set, so that was just surreal!”

Student Services

“Alex in student services was really great!”

It was a very eye-opening and inspiring viewing

“I was paired up with my screenwriting mentor, who happens to be Ron Peterson, which is totally awesome, because Ron taught screenwriting at the school David Lynch founded. Alex, my advisor, thought this would be a good mentor for me because I am so inspired by the structure of Lynch’s stories and the mood he creates within his films. We had our first phone meeting on Saturday, June 6th, and we discussed sequencing of stories and the language of screenwriting. Also, I watched the documentary The Burden of Dreams, which is about Werner Herzog’s difficult journey of making the film Fitzcorraldo. It was a very eye-opening and inspiring viewing, and later today I will write a paper on what I believe his philosophy of film to be and the archetypes within his films and within another film I am inspired by.”

This first week of Film Connection went great!

“I was able to learn the general scope of what I will learn here at Film connection along with what will be expected of me down the road. I learned that there is more than just directing or producing. I need to become an auteur, an individual who has a clear vision of what direction to take a film project and how to keep everybody in sync with that vision. I discovered that a cast is important when making a film. They can either make or break a story line. I also have to be careful with setting a tone for a picture so it reflects on screen what is on set/in my head!”

Soon To Be On A Film Set!

“My mentor wants me to look at more scripts that he wrote. I can’t wait to read them because his choices of stories are really interesting. They’re all really unique. He also told me how he’s soon going to start shooting two of the scripts I read already. I’m super excited because soon I get to be on sets and location and observe everyone’s roles!”

I really like my books by Syd Field.

“They are so helpful & topping that with Ron’s teachings, I understand why knowing the base of the story and all the little parts of the story that connect to the bigger ones are so important in the structure of the treatment. You can’t build a house without having blue prints. You can’t wing it; and you can’t create a script without a treatment of the story first.”

I feel like I have found a wonderful guiding voice

“I started working with my screenplay mentor last week, and after our second meeting I have some real structure (or “scaffolding” as he referred to it) to build my story on. I feel like I have found a wonderful guiding voice that is encouraging me to develop my story without suggesting anything explicit, so the ideas are coming from me- I guess I really needed someone who would help to keep me on task, especially as I have no practice or understanding of what it means to undertake this task of writing a screenplay. I’m finally feeling like my work can become a riveting story without me (I’d been considering scrapping my idea for something more conventional). He also pointed me in the direction of other non-traditional stories that have parallels to my concept. We discussed how to incorporate archetypes and other storylines without unnecessary explanation.”

Time Flies!

“I’ll be closing out this program with a new job, happier life, and new friends made along the way. I know I still have a third of the program still to go, but I’m talking as if I’ll be leaving tomorrow. It’s just that two more months isn’t long at all. Well….I better get back to work my blog readers.”

Third Draft Completed! 118 Pages!

“Polished more of my script today having shaved off a page of work. I have strong confidence that I’m getting closer and closer to finishing it. Going to start storyboarding soon and speak with my screenwriting mentor John Raffo as soon as possible!”


Finding Success With The Film Connection

by Brian Kraft
Consultant for Recording, Radio, Film Connection and CASA Schools

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.

Film Connection provides affordable, unique education models coupled with mentor-based (externship) programs that can be engaged remotely or in person.

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