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On location: Film Connection student Steven Deleonardis does paid travel gigs filming for his mentor’s studio!

Steven Deleonardis enrolled in the Film Connection because he liked the idea of learning on-the-job with a mentor. Little could he have known that within a few months he would be taking paid travel gigs with his mentor studio that would take him to locations across the United States, and even Hawaii!

“It’s been great,” he says. “I get to travel to different parts of the United States. And it’s interesting—it’s like personal development. That’s stuff I’m interested in, so it’s a win-win. I get to work with cameras and get paid for it.”

Steven first took interest in filmmaking at a young age when he and some neighborhood friends started shooting with his parent’s camcorder. When he got out of high school and started researching film schools, he found the Film Connection. “It really made a lot of sense to me, and it sparked that again for me that I could see that I could actually work at a production studio,” he says.

Since being placed as an apprentice with Hector Ramos at EQ Studios in San Diego, Steven says Hector and others at the studio have really taken him under their wings, teaching him both the business and technical aspects of film production. “[Hector has] taught me a lot about…he’s more the business aspect,” he says. “He’s helped me a lot in that, just to deal with clients and all that. And then the main guy, Andrew, is one of my other mentors there. He’s taught me everything from shooting [to] editing. So he’s been a big help there, too.”

As Steven has progressed as an apprentice, the studio has begun trusting him with more assignments, including paid ones. Lately, he’s been spending lots of time doing location shooting in places ranging from Miami to Hawaii. He explains that these opportunities came largely because he made himself available. “Just always being open to taking opportunities, taking everything I could get, it led to that,” he says.

Steven says he continues to work on his own projects on the side, and has a long-term interest in the latest trends. “I’m really interested in the future of filming and where it’s going, how it’s going to progress,” he says. “I see myself working on traditional films with my own production company, and getting into virtual reality films as well, really just in that technology. I’m really passionate about where virtual reality is going.”

For the time being, however, Steven is happy to continue learning on-the-job and getting paid to do what he loves. “It’s been awesome,” he says. “I’ve done so many cool things in the studio I’ve been working with.”

Keep on making it happen Steven! Happy travels!