Film Connection's Student Success Stories, Page 6

Student Quotes

This is so amazing and going to be great for the future.

“A couple weeks ago I got asked to be interviewed for the RRF Newsletter, which was just shocking/awesome. I, of course, said yes! Jump forward a couple of weeks and the newsletter came out and I’m still shocked and awed. This is so amazing and going to be great for the future. I am very thankful.”


And I can’t wait for more to come!

“This is my first blog post so bear with me. I started a little over a week ago working with my mentor. I lived in upstate New York, and decided to pack my bags and head to the Big Apple. At eighteen years old no less. I began working with my mentor only two days later on an independent film called “The Lennon Report.” So far I’ve had the chance to meet people like Rafael and Gabe Francisco, of Francisco Productions. I’ve been speaking with people like grips, gaffer’s, and PA’s trying to help my mentor get together the many different people it takes to begin shooting a movie. So far I have enjoyed every minute of it. And I can’t wait for more to come!”


About a month ago, I finished the first draft of my screenplay.

“About a month ago, I finished the first draft of my screenplay, and am now about half way finished with my second draft. There were a lot of lessons learned in the past month, including: make sure actions sequences are relevant to the characters’ growth, be willing to take a break from your work and come back to it later, read many screenplays, and assume the role as the student (learn something new and question your work) whenever you reach a landmark.”

It was yet another pleasant call with my mentor.

“John Raffo and I went over my progress on my screenplay. As of now I have 23 completed draft pages. Not necessarily saying it’s my best work, but it’s great to build off of to improve upon. John and I agreed that he would read over my first act as soon as I complete it, it’s a way for me to start off on a strong as possible note with the first act, as opposed to working on 3 acts then rewriting it all. Not that I have a problem with it that is. He and I also went over some screenplays and movies for me to watch. It was yet another pleasant call with my mentor.”

The director made me a producer.

“The director made me a producer and I handled all contracts and made sure all crew members signed in. I helped with the make-up artist, sound, and other jobs on set. Around 12am we began production until 8am. While crew took a break I broke down and cleaned up the set. Most of the crew left and the reaming finished the last three scenes.”

To me, that is the best way to spend my afternoon!

“I am a man of many questions and stories, as is my mentor, so we spend quite a while – I’d say at least 4 rounds of coffee – talking. Though like I said it is a high point of my week being able to talk to someone who not only has the same love and values for the industry, but can also extend advice about it. To me, that is the best way to spend my afternoon!”

I’m going to go full steam for it!

“I’m seeing all of these movies with new eyes between James working on his own movie in the editing room and seeing these other classics. I think I’m starting to realize what made movies timeless. Yes, it was ingenuity, but the art of eye-candy and continuity is ever shifting. I’m hoping I can catch up to things in Chapter 3. Now that I know what my project is, I’m going to go full steam for it!”


That’s why I’m here.

“This is getting easier for me to do and honestly I’m enjoying it. I was really worried about sounding really uneducated but now that I think of it that’s why I’m here. I’m educating myself and letting whomever reading this see the progression that I’m making.”


Proud of my progress!

“My screenwriting mentor and I went over the third Act Structure of my story, and we talked about how my story should be more grounded and have a believability factor that makes my story engaging, along with a major morality moment in my story. I am now writing my screenplay and written a few pages. Proud of my progress!”


The shoot was so much fun and reminded me why I stick to this road.

“The shoot was a complete success! Setting up lighting took a little bit longer than I had anticipated, but the home owner Linda was very gracious and told us we didn’t have a time limit to shoot on Sunday. She was also very helpful and even had her son bring us Pizza. That woman is a wonderful god send to me. After rehearsing with Marion at my house, I realized the scene was just too short and I suggested to Marion that we improvise a little bit and maybe do a cat fight between Chelsie and Natasha. It was absolutely wonderful working with Marion. We portrayed the two characters that hated each other magnificently and then smiled at each other after each take. The shoot was so much fun and reminded me why I stick to this road.”

Met with my screenwriting mentor.

“My screenwriting mentor and I will be talking again next week from today on Monday to discuss those things he wants me to work on to get a better and more clearer idea of what my screenplay is about. I really enjoyed the extensive and informative conversation that we had.”

Can’t wait to see where this will take me next!

“Fresh week and I had a very busy weekend. Working with my mentors last Friday we were on set filming the Flo-Rida Seagrams Gin Concert as well as interviewed some of the Seagrams Gin calendar girls. Was a great experience and I had a great time working. That brought me home around 2a.m then we were back on the road by 7:30a.m on the next day to film a few interviews for Inside Edition. Can’t wait to see where this will take me next!”

I will let you guys know when I win my first Oscar!

“Today is the last day of my internship. I have been at Make It Happen for 7 months now and I can see a huge difference from where I was to where I am now. RRFC gave me a certificate so I am officially a graduate of their program. Now, I just have to decide what to do with this new skill that I have. My current job films enough footage at their events that I will have plenty of material to keep me busy, however I am not sure that anything I would edit for them would be resume worthy. For now, it will at least make sure that I don’t go long periods of time without editing something and that will help maintain my new skill set. I helped edit a few different pieces over the last two weeks and I still go into each project feeling like I am in over my head, but once I start the process, each step has started to come naturally. I am exponentially faster than I was when I started my internship which was the goal, so I feel like I’ve gotten to a place where it is now my responsibility to keep up my skill and continue learning about the new technology and programs that are available to editors. I also got my first paid “editing” job from film connection. I am transcribing about 7 hours’ worth of interviews and it is taking forever. I can type pretty quickly and it still is just a long slow process. So, that’s it… I will let you guys know when I win my first Oscar!”

Today was my first day out with my mentor.

“Welcome! Today was my first day out with my mentor. I must say they are a great group of people and I know this will be an awesome a rewarding experience. While working he takes his time and goes through things step by step and then after it’s my turn! He showed me how to capture film right off camera, convert it to the proper format. Sounds easy and it is to most but to most something’s are new. Until next time!”

The creative flow that comes with making movies is so exciting and energizing.

“I’ve never really realized before how much work is put into making a film! It’s crazy! There are so many jobs to be done and every single one of them is important! I am so excited to be able to be a part of making a film and working as a team with people. Filmmaking is a huge project and there are so many different parts that make the whole movie Realizing these things has only made me more passionate about wanting to make films! The creative flow that comes with making movies is so exciting and energizing. Everyone is working together to create a vision that they are all passionate about.”

I had a lot of fun on set watching everyone do what their great at.

“Today we filmed “The Long Goodbye”, a short film that was made in about 8 hours. I learned how to; set the scene, light the scene, and work with actors. We filmed at a bar that was open just for us. We were a crew of about 8 people. With the bar empty, we were able to set the scene the way we wanted with no interruption. I filmed some behind the scenes footage with a Canon camera. I have never used a camera that also filmed before. I worked with everyone on set and learned a little about everyone’s process. I helped manage all the equipment, moving the cameras to the next shot position. I had a lot of fun on set watching everyone do what their great at. In the end I feel that everyone was impressed with my performance.”

I still have a lot to learn but so far I’m excited and ready to learn more next week.

“At my last couple sessions I have become more and more familiar with terms and what certain techniques are called. I’ve learned how to properly use bins and how much easier it is to import and label items. Labeling makes everything so much easier and organized. It can save lots and lots of stress and chaos. I’ve also been able to edit through footage on final cut pro. I’m getting more and more comfortable with short-cut keys and there purposes. I still have a lot to learn but so far I’m excited and ready to learn more next week.”


Now I must write, my screenplay depends on it.

“Today I’ve met with my mentor to review over chapters 1-8 of the book to refresh our memory and knowledge of the lessons we went over. In addition, I am meeting him next week from today to make sure I have the treatment ready, along with a screenwriter to work with, because we’ve read and gone through the lessons so, not necessarily for there to be catch-up, that the screenwriter will be on the same level as me, so he will assist me in writing the screenplay after he reads my synopsis, then the treatment, and give me some notes. Now I must write, my screenplay depends on it.”

My mentor had me editing the video of the music shoot.

“He told me what he wanted for the beginning (which we were working on for today) and left me to my work. It was really fun and he seemed really pleased with what I made for him at the end. So a very good day!!! Final Cut Pro X is coming quite easy to me. I like the interface and I like all the things you can do if you know the magic words.”


This excitement stems from the shear quality of experience being shared.

“Today we finished the introduction to the anatomy of cameras, lens selection, and lighting. Though comprehensive in foundation, I move from this chapter with only a small glimpse of the full picture developing in front of me. I am very excited to see what future lessons contain. This excitement stems from the shear quality of experience being shared. I have already had hands on experience with 30 year old film cameras and seen million dollar camera arms in action.”

I got a second to show my passion for film, which was very nice.

“Yesterday was my first official day. He was very interested in where I stood in film at this very moment. He asked about my equipment, cameras, technique, etc. He asked about my previous projects and wanted to see what I’ve been working on in my spare time. We had discussions about a schedule, parking, and how things would typically go down. We talked about my movie ideas and he was very interested in one of pitches. I got a second to show my passion for film, which was very nice. That just about raps up the first session!”


Joey is giving me so many opportunities!

“I stayed quiet at the beginning but by the end I was in the middle of it and helping and feeling like an assistant, that was really great. Joey is giving me so many opportunities and help that I can’t help but be so happy that I have him as my Mentor.”


That opportunity came in a wonderful way.

“One of my goals was to make videos for a living, and that opportunity came in a wonderful way. This completes my lessons and I will be continuing to make videos and applying the lessons I have learned along the journey which, hopefully is just getting started!”

It was my first time to dis-assemble a professional camera from the start.

“We had an editing session with the footage shot at the historical house as well as set up the gears for next day’s interview. Personally, I was quite familiar with editing with Premiere and since it was done in Final Cut, I had an overview of how similar these two are. On Tuesday, there was an interview between two people who talked about eating healthy. I operated a side camera that was on focus of one of the speakers. After it was done, we remained to clear out the gears. It was my first time to dis-assemble a professional camera from the start.”

Learn the fundamentals of Cinematography from a professional filmmaker.

“For roughly two hours today, Steve Carmichael and I discussed the foundations of a camera. We talked about how lenses work on a fundamental level, as well as what kind changes can be observed when “playing” around with the settings. We discussed the terminology (F-STOP, ISO,POV,FOV,ETC.) and how they all work together towards getting the shots desired.”

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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.