Mentor News | Student Successes
Film Connection student Dennis Catalan
For Jason’s teaching style, part of helping students find their niche includes giving them opportunities in their areas of interest. “We just shot basically a mini-feature…called ‘Paula Peril: The Serpent Cult’ (in Apprentice Media below), and my students were highly involved,”
says Jason. “One of my students, [Tal Broome], pitched me some ideas creatively, like, ‘Hey, I wanna build some stuff and I know how to do it.’ And I was like, ‘Great. Draw me up some sketches and make a pitch.’… Since then, I’ve introduced him to some production designers in town…And then Dennis Catalan had expressed some interest in doing VFX, and so he pitched me some ideas. I was like, ‘Yeah, man.’”
Jason stresses, however, that the students themselves have something to do with the opportunities they create for themselves while working with him.
“I think all my students have a shot; it’s up to them on how far they want to go,”
he says. “But somebody like Tal and Dennis recognized that they had a talent that, if they didn’t tell me about it, I wouldn’t know. So they did a really good job of marketing themselves like, ‘Here’s what I can bring to the table. Here’s what I can do.’ You can’t be afraid to speak up.”
One of the biggest things Jason tries to impart to his students is a strong work ethic. For him, it’s all about the craft. “You don’t just walk onto a set and suddenly go, ‘Oh, you’re a director now,”
he says. “You really have to earn that position…It’s trial, it’s tribulations and hard work, but you have to let people know that you can do it. So bring confidence, and bring skill and lose the ego, and lose the sense of entitlement, and things like that and just go out and do the work.”
Altar prop built by Film Connection student Talmage Broome
Jason also says he gets a lot of fulfillment from mentoring students as well. “It’s fun because they all bring something different to the table,”
says Jason, “but at the end of the day, we’re all storytellers, and I’m just trying to give them the best tools that I can to try and find their own voices…I’m excited to see where these young filmmakers that I’m starting to mentor go. I’ve already seen a lot of potential in everyone. I’m excited to see what their journey looks like, because it is definitely a marathon in that sense. I hope to inspire them to do great things.”
Learn more about Jason Winn at www.jasonwinndirector.com.
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