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Issue #207

Weekly Newsletter

by Liya Swift

Student Successes

After 1.2 Million Streams, Brian Abraham Gets In & Gets Working on ‘Generation’ EP

EDM Ableton mentor Jeramy Roberts Austin TX

EDM mentor Jeramy Roberts and student Brian Abraham aka Autti 22

When Brian Abraham joined Recording Connection he was riding high. Under the name “TYRNT” he’d just coproduced the KAOS track with the Australian duo SCNDL. To date, the song has amassed an impressive 1.2 million streams in 57 countries and that number is rising rapidly.   Today, Brian is poised to reach his next benchmark with an EP in the works that features popular vocalists and appears on a chased-after label. Named Generation, also the name of the title track, Brian says it deals with “explaining this new generation” and processes by which “the youth are slowly taking over the music industry.”   Armed with his new name “Autti 22,” Brian says the project also signals his transition to just make the music he wants to make. “I just be doin’ me…I got my own flavor… The song “Generation” was originally just a regular hip hop beat, but I ended up throwing my trap edm sound in, just to try something new. I feel like I don’t sound like no one else in this scene.”   So how did it all come to be?   Flashback to the unexpected success Brian attained with the KAOS track. Rather than gloating, or simply doing more of the same i.e. producing more tracks, he made a pinnacle decision to improve his game as an Ableton producer and artist. Willing to go the distance, he  made the move from his hometown of Harlingen, Texas, to Austin, four hours north. Soon after, he started his externship with composer, music producer, and mentor Jeramy Roberts.   Having spent two decades in the EDM scene, first as a DJ, then as a successful EDM producer who’s broken into the Top 100 in sales charts internationally, Jeramy is the founder of the Electronic Musicians Guild and owner of E.M.G. Recordings. When he isn’t composing tracks, he’s actively involved in producing and releasing music worldwide—and he’s all about sharing his secrets with his most dedicated students.   Known for getting many of his externs releasing tracks while they’re in the program, many of the students who have trained with Jeramy have developed into full-fledged music entrepreneurs who are actively building the careers they want to have rather than simply applying for them.   Shining a light on the delusions many people have about how the music industry works in the 21st Century is central to Jeramy’s approach:   “All artists have misconceptions,” he says. “Then you start breaking down the process…and they very quickly find out that it’s nothing like they thought it was going to be… So once they start to get all this information, then their minds start to pick it apart and go their own way.”   Since he’s started training with Jeramy, Brian has seen a spike in his ability to produce new tracks. He’s finding what once required focused concentration is becoming more and more fluid:   “I’ve started two songs within the past two days, and I’m flying through them faster than I usually have been before. Like way faster than usual, and the ideas that I’m getting are way better, more creative than they have been from my previous songs. I feel like it’s all getting easier now.”   Brian’s also making the most of the insight Jeramy has shared with him on how he can protect his interests as a music creator and set himself on the right path going forward:   “He’s has helped me a lot. There was a lot of the business stuff that I didn’t know before I came into this course…Last year when I signed this contract, I had no idea what the hell I was looking at. So it’s kind of comforting knowing that I have someone that will lead me into the right path…He’s always there.”   For Brian, the focus at the moment is to finish the Generation EP and put the knowledge he’s gained under Jeramy’s mentorship to some serious use. By building his repertoire in an informed way, Brian is learning what it takes to set himself up on the right footing to advance his career as a producer within the world of EDM. And with Jeramy mentoring him through the process, he’s not alone in this endeavor. Speaking of what’s in store for Brian’s project, Jeramy tells us the upcoming release will roll out on “one fat production snowball” after which “the business conversation gets a lot easier…Each one of these milestones is a very important step.”   Watch our in-depth interview with Jeramy Roberts on publishing and distributing tracks!  
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Mentor News

Film Connection mentor Steve Carmichael
Updates Us on Past Students & Deon Taylor’s Q&A!

An expert in commercial film production, Film Connection mentor Steve Carmichael has played a key role in mentoring a number of aspiring filmmakers in the Atlanta area, many of whom have gone on to build great careers for themselves.   Currently based out of RITE Media Group, Steve is known for going the distance for our students, and encouraging them to connect with the pros they encounter and make the most of opportunity every chance they get.   When we recently asked Steve to host filmmaker Deon Taylor (Supremacy, Meet the Blacks). Known for involving students in lots of learning opportunities, Steve was glad to be able to help a number of RRFC students broaden their scope in a long Q&A with the film writer/director/producer who had a lot of insights to share as an entrepreneur filmmaker who’s actively making the movies he wants to make.   We connected with Steve to hear how the Q&A went and to touch base on what a couple of Steve’s past apprentices/externs are up to now.   ON DEON TAYLOR AND THE KNOWLEDGE HE SHARED WITH OUR STUDENTS.  
Deon Taylor film

Filmmaker Deon Taylor talks film with RRFC students

  Steve recognized the tremendous value Deon Taylor brought to our students as he shared his entrepreneurial approach to getting movies made.   Deon spent more than two and a half hours talking with our students, and answering their questions. Speaking of the experience Steve says, “There was a lot of back and forth between them…He is very open to sharing what he knows with students. Among the things that surprised me the most was the emphasis that this is not how you make a movie it’s how you get a movie made. That’s what the conversation was about.   Deon encouraged students to mine their own lives and cultural backgrounds for material they can bring to life and use to better position themselves in the industry. For the self-made filmmaker, finding topics that resonate with him strongly serves as an inner compass which helps guide him towards making sound choices about the projects he chooses to bring to light. The inner compass all creatives possess should inform the projects they helm as well as the ones they go after as collaborators and members of the crew. In doing so, they’ll intrinsically possess real value they can bring to a project, something they can use to further bolster their careers.   ON WHAT FILM CONNECTION GRADUATE STEVEN C. PITTS IS DOING NOW.  
Steven C Pitts

Steven C. Pitts running camera on Janelle Monáe music video

We recently heard a rumor that Steve Pitts was working another big project, and so we decided to ask Steve Carmichael if he’d recently heard from his former extern, who, in the years since graduating, has built a nice career for himself. Turns out, the two had recently been in touch.   He called me about two months ago and he was kind of whispering “This is Steve Pitts,” and he said in a quiet voice, “Guess where I am?” I said “I don’t know.” He said, “I’m on break on the set of First Man.”   Staring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy, First Man is the highly anticipated film which focuses on the life of Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission which led to him becoming the first man to walk on the moon.   In the years since graduating Film Connection Steven C. Pitts, (IMDb) has gone on to build an exciting career in film as an assistant director, camera operator, cinematographer, and special effects person on numerous films, music videos, and commercials.   ON RECENT FILM CONNECTION GRADUATE JASON REINHARDT & WHAT HE DID RIGHT.    

Film Connection graduate Jason Reinhardt

Just prior to Jason signing up with Film Connection, Steve reached out to him with an invite to attend a camera workshop, hosted at a local camera shop and rental company and which happens to be owned by a very well-known camera man who, Steve says, “has got a bunch of movie slates on the wall inside his studio of the movies he’s worked on. A lot of them have Spielberg on there as the director, so this guy’s like a major, major camera guy.”   Jason showed up to the workshop, parents in tow, and took an active part in trying the gear and learning how it works. When it came to getting started he didn’t waste a moment’s time. Despite the fact that the two were already scheduled to have their interview the following week, Steve says Jason approached him then and there and asked, “‘Do you think afterwards we could interview somewhere?’”   During his time in the program Jason not only played a proactive role in growing his filmmaking knowhow, he also made it a point to connect with the pros he encountered, including the well-known camera operator and a friend of Steve’s named Caiti Maloney who had previously worked on The Walking Dead. Learn more about Jason’s experiences.   Prior to graduating, the connections Jason made led to him getting hired on numerous projects and commercial shoots, including a job as a PA on Ant Man 2, and just after graduating, the box office breaker Black Panther!   So what did Jason do right?   Steve’s response is surprising, “He took notes. While it’s true that one of the things we’re fighting here are people’s negative experiences in traditional schools where they have to take notes and log around all these books and that sort of thing but say, we’re getting ready to at an interview with screenwriter talking about the 12 major parts of a dramatic narrative. And, if you think you can remember that’s fine but otherwise here’s a piece of paper and sometimes they’ll write it down. But he wrote stuff down. And he’s a very pleasant young man who’s not afraid to ask about stuff.”   ON FINDING WHAT YOU WANT TO DO AND GOING AFTER IT.   Steve encourages people interested in working in film and TV to get informed about how the industry, or any field their considering entering into actually works:   “So many negative impressions are planted in a young person’s mind or played out especially by parents or the relatives. ‘Oh my God the poor thing is going to starve to death!’ Their fear has no basis in reality at all. My dad was very nervous [too].”   Ultimately, Steve believes one has to dig deep and get honest about the things that interest them, while remaining grounded and curious to learn more.   “It’s a lot like what Deon Taylor talked about. I ask so many people ‘What is it you want to do?’ And they don’t know. For me, that place that tells me what I want to do is somewhere in my chest. I can’t verify an organ, might be my heart. When you hear a message about something that appeals to you that you could never imagine yourself doing. Then ask yourself the question, ‘What would be involved in that?’   You can’t live the life that somebody else thinks you should live and you don’t have to have some big dramatic family to blow up over it. But you do have to face your fears and you have to have to believe in yourself that you can do it.”  
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or call (800) 755-7597

Apprentices in Action

A Day in the Life of Our Students

   Considering he already has experience in Pro Tools, Recording Connection student Sean ‘Glass’ Kancewick (Danbury, CT) is moving at a quick pace. Here’s what happened on day two at Engine Room Audio:   “Today Mark had us make a song for a car chase scene in a movie. We set up drums, mic’d her up, and recorded 6 tracks in through the SSL console, but not before I got to ask Rohan to explain the routing. That is, how things are routing from the big booth XLR wall plate on through the SSL, Pro Tools as well as patching with the patch bay.   From this point on, we recorded 2 midi tracks using virtual instruments. Me and another one of the fellas came up with some vocal ideas and I laid down a few layers of vocals. We recorded some bongos and a few more vocals. We gave it a rough balance and printed the track. Boom! I personally thought, in the amount of time we were given, as a scratch-track, we did pretty good coming up with a quick theme and tracking it… Thought today was def another good day.”        

Corey Jackson and singer Brielle Major, Soul Asylum Studios

Film Connection student Corey Jackson (Atlanta, GA) who externs with Steve Carmichael has been staying busy, shooting footage for not one, but two music videos!   One of the videos features singer Brielle Major on a project with Soul Asylum Studios and is still in the works. The other music video for rap artist BRAYL, just came out and it’s already got more than 370,000 views on Facebook.     
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or call (800) 755-7597