Film Connection's Student Success Stories, Page 9
Give your first film project a professional’s touch.
“My mentor went out with me to obtain some landscape shots for my horror teaser. He has an amazing eye as a camera man and he would show me some really neat angles. I felt pretty awesome out there. I’m really excited to start shooting with the talent.”
Write screenplays that make the cut.
“I have finished the Writers Journey, and really enjoyed reading it. A great book. I have bought into the fact that without compelling stories and characters your film will not succeed. Watching the great films I am convincing that this is a dead on fact. I am on a mission to make sure that every film idea I come up with lives up to this.”Christopher Kostolefsky, San Dimas, CA
Get your foot in the door of a legendary film studio.
“I’ll be getting a work schedule this week at the studio. They’ve done everything from Avatar to Jurassic park. Tomorrow I’m putting on the glove that Robert Downey Jr. wears in Iron Man. So stoked! I met some incredible people and I also made another great contact. It was honestly one of the most incredible days of my life!”Mike Dusenka, Pasadena, CA
Connections are everything in this business.
“I’m starting to pick up jobs outside of the program already and looking for other productions companies in the Dallas area for a paid internship once I get out of the program. To say the least I have jumped light-years ahead in my production game due to my connections I have made in this program.”
Gain the motivation required for success.
“I have to remind myself that I am worthy of my dreams. See, I know I am a man on a mission and that I am capable of making things happen with or without help from others. Now that I have a nice camera I plan to write and produce something new based on the books and lessons I’ve been exposed to through my course thus far. I know and have been told I have a gift of telling stories so why not believe in myself and start doing what I want to do and love”
Start a career doing what you love!
“We set up the rough draft to shoot the sequence and I found some images on the internet that were similar to the ones I’d like to take myself. I helped with the special effects I want so I can learn more about effects and Photoshop in general. My mentor compliments my creativity often which I feel is fostering more self-confidence in me. I’m very glad I chose to switch careers into something I can feel good about.”
Build your confidence with hands-on training from the experts.
“My first production as a director in the program is a wrap! Prior to the shoot I made a visual video to shoot of a projector of my subject. It worked well and added a ton of production value to my project. The video is in the final stages of coloring at the moment and will be up soon!”
Receive professional advice from an industry veteran.
“Then we talked about me bringing in the new camera I am getting. He says that we will be able to use it during our sessions and he will teach me everything he knows about it. I believe this is one of the most helpful parts of Film Connection. My director wrote the chapter on the camera in the Film Connection book, so I know he has extensive knowledge on the subject.”Aaron Lenyear, Lawenceville, GA
Use your mentor’s professional equipment for your own projects.
“My mentor gave me his studio and equipment to shoot whatever I want while he’s out of town. I’m planning on shooting a couple of friends playing acoustic guitar and singing. It should be fun. Life tends to be more fun when fear is cut out of the picture. It’s an exciting adventure!”
Perfect your story with the help of a Hollywood screenwriter.
“I’ve noticed so many small things are motivating and giving me ideas for my story and it drifts me off to la-la land to tackle how and what direction it will affect my story. Gives me so many goose bumps! I feel confident still and know that I’m now at the right pace.”
Put yourself in the right place to build connections.
“I did attend a screening at the Anchorage International Film Festival. While there, I was able to meet the filmmakers, ask questions, and help at a merchandise booth. I gave them my name and other info, and I let them know that I am available to help if they needed. They were great people, and it was a wonderful experience.”
Start your career in film.
“Some of my favorite scenes that we were able to shoot was the long steadicam shot of the main character running through the woods looking for the bandit. It was my first time getting to see the squibs set up on the characters to show them getting shot with the blanks and the scene turned out awesome with not many problems. And my last favorite scene had to be the main character finding the hive and uncovering it showing all the goo and breaking through the shell to pull out the resin it looked great with the lighting we had that evening.”Adam LaPine, Snohomish, WA
Identify and develop your strengths.
“My mentor talked about doing the 48 Hour Film Festival. We could get some of the other students from Film Connection to come together and participate in the contest. We could all work on this project and find out what our strengths are as filmmakers. I feel like I am a very strong writer, so I really look forward to co-write the project!”Aaron Lenyear, Atlanta, GA
The best way to start a career in film is to get your foot in the door.
“My mentor’s shoot was such a wonderful experience that I’m not even sure I could quite explain it! I really enjoy working with my mentor and all the people involved with his business. Filmmaking is a wonderful adventure, and this shoot has left me breathless for more!”Emily Allred, Wasilla, AK
From Screenplay to Production, Your Mentors Guide you Through the Process.
“I found how the assistant director breaks down the script into the production board to be very informative. I think this is very important because, as an aspiring writer, it lets you know that literally every word of your script is going to be analyzed.”
Receive Hands-On Instruction in Adobe Premiere and After Effects.
“During my second month I have done a good number of things from learning more about Adobe Premiere Pro to starting to learn about After Effects. I have also gone to more shoots with my mentor that have been really fun and exciting all at the same time.”
Work as a camera operator on real shoots.
“I helped set up/film an interview for a national park history video. I ran a camera for this three camera shoot and we worked from approximately 11 AM to 4:30 PM. I also met another Film Connection student that is studying under my mentor. It has been and is continuing to be a great experience in both filming techniques and editing”
Your mentors will take you under their wing.
“My mentors had a filmmaking seminar and my primary mentor was kind enough to invite me to attend without charge. The seminar was very informative. My screenwriting mentor discussed the challenge faced by many indie filmmakers today with this weak economy. My primary mentor discussed the logistic of getting the films to different festivals. It was a fun day in Santa Monica!”Jocelyn Mahittipongse, San Diego, CA
Get the experience you need to get your foot in the door.
“When I arrived at the studio yesterday, my mentor set me up for a music video shoot. We will be shooting on a green screen at the studio next door. I am really looking forward to this shoot because I need some more experience on set!”Aaron Lenyear, Lawenceville, GA
Perfect your screenplay under your mentor’s guidance.
“I also got feedback from my screenwriting mentor about my screenplay. He had some good things to say about. He considers it to look professional and lean. But he thinks I could have made some things clearer in my writing. I knew that I would have some work to do with my screenplay but it is good to have a professional help me develop my ideas and make it as good as possible. There are a lot of people who know more about screenwriting than me and I can learn something new every time I get feedback.”Aaron Lenyear, Lawenceville, GA
The fastest way to learn is on the job.
“I arrived at the location for the shoot at 2:00 PM and left at 4:30 PM. During this shoot I was able to set up for lighting and also operate a camera on a dolly that slid from side to side. This was especially exciting to me because this is the first time that I have been really able to operate a high-quality camera. I learned about framing shots and the duration of shots after editing for a commercial. This was a great experience.”
Take control of your future.
“I went and observed my mentor as he shot a music video for a collaboration of about seven artists. I stood uneasy at first and felt out of my element as I watched my mentor smoothly go through his self-taught shot list. Then we went on break as we were waiting for the last two artists to show. I had some shot ideas for an earlier artist who had a verse that inspired me to brainstorm. I asked my mentor if I could dabble with some ideas. He obliged as I took over the camera and grabbed the artist from before. I suddenly abandoned all my inhibitions and sunk into a comfortable flow. The artist appreciated my view on detail and my spontaneity. No one really talked to me much that day except for this particular artist. He asked my name and shook my hand, telling me ‘thanks for taking the extra time with me man’. It was though I was literally standing outside of a box that I didn’t know the way in to. Then I grabbed a camera and was invited into this ‘world’. THIS is why I want nothing but to make movies. It’s my way in! It gives me my voice.”
Learn how to perfect your lighting.
“Lesson 7 consisted of another shoot for the TV show. We filmed at various locations and had to use lights to light the rooms. Setting up the lights was a difficult process, I learned that you have to keep on playing with them and experimenting until the shot looks good.”
Gain a deeper understand of how films are financed.
“Overall, I enjoyed today’s lesson very much. The financing structures and pay-out between producers and investors were a great lesson to learn. The film festivals are very informative. I feel that I have made the right decision to choose the Film Connection.”Jocelyn Mahittipongse, San Diego, CA
Learn the technical aspects of filmmaking from your mentor.
“We worked with many different sized lenses and I described the field of view and depth of field of what I was photographing. Today was a very informative day because I felt that having a camera in my hands gave me a better understanding of how it works. I’m not an expert yet, but I am getting comfortable with the terminology and I know I will be able to communicate well with a director of photography by the time I am finished with the program.”