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Issue #21

Weekly Newsletter

by L. Swift and Jeff McQ


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Student Successes
Youp ZondagFilm Connection apprentice Youp Zondag’s journey toward a film career has taken him quite literally further than most. Originally from Holland, Youp moved to the United States with his parents specifically to pursue a film education. Initially settling in Houston, TX, he began taking classes at The Art Institute of Houston, but his stay there was short-lived because, as he describes it, his classes were unchallenging and vague and left him uncertain as to his path.   “I wanted to combine hands on theory with the practical aspects of filmmaking,” says Youp, “but I was afraid of being around the wrong crowd — slackers at typical art schools and the overall arrogant nature of the university system. The equipment there was laughable, not to mention the tuition [and living expense] costs (estimated $10,000+ for room and board alone per quarter!).”   Then Youp discovered The Film Connection, and his life began to change.   Shortly after he enrolled in the program, the Film Connection staff worked closely with Youp to assess his career goals and find him the perfect match for a mentor. He began working locally with Film Connection mentor Elsa Maxey of Star Video Production, and remotely with screenwriter Tom Malloy of Trick Candle Productions in New York, during which time he learned about such things as “guerilla filmmaking” and the importance of b-roll filming. Soon after, Youp migrated to Los Angeles, where he was paired with Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett of Dolce Films. “In the first week of moving to LA I was on set,” he says. “I met Andrew Lane, the producer of Hannah Montana. You get to see how things work in the real world.”   Los Angeles Since making the move to Los Angeles, Youp has taken great strides and made some great connections to further his film career. He’s been able to meet and collaborate with other film apprentices, assist on music video shoots, and immerse himself in the Hollywood experience. He also had a productive and informative pitch meeting with an industry professional to pitch his feature film script—a meeting that resulted in Youp working on a second draft of the screenplay. As he learned, “You can have a great story, but if the characters are flat, it won’t sell.”   At only 19 years old, Youp has already had an incredible journey in pursuit of his dream, and with the Film Connection he has gained a well-rounded experience in the film industry. And his journey isn’t over yet. Youp’s next stop: Toronto, Ontario, where he will be learning more about the aspects of budgeting and film financing. Not only has the Film Connection saved him a lot money on his tuition, but it is also giving him the practical resources he needs to begin making money doing what he loves!   On his last day in Los Angeles, Youp and fellow Film Connection apprenetice Mike Dusenka scouted famous film locations in and around the L.A. area, drawing inspiration from Film Connection’s “Famous Shooting Locations” (which you can also check out here, on social media).   Best of luck as you continue your journey, Youp! We can’t wait to see where the journey takes you next.  


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Recording Connection graduate finds success abroad!
  American Recording Studio Logo As proof that a Recording Connection apprenticeship can help our students find success anywhere in the world… Shortly after completing his Recording Connection program at American Recording Studio in Memphis, TN, Jacob Collins had to return to his home country of New Zealand when his visa expired. But when it came to finding work, Jacob was able to pick up where he’d left off. “Since [moving back to New Zealand], I’ve been recording the odd bar cover band and mixing them live,” he says. “But earlier this year I started working with one of the biggest live sound companies in New Zealand and Australia. I’ve been working on shows like Ed Sheeran, Hugh Laurie and Sole Mio, as well as plenty of corporate events and parties.” Congratulations Jacob!  

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Mentor News
Mark Christensen, chief engineer and studio owner of Engine Room Audio in New York City, has one of the most impressive resumes in the music industry, with clients that include The Killers, Trey Songz, Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, The Ting Tings and many others. His knowledge and expertise have helped make Engine Room Audio one of the busiest recording studios in the world.   Engine Room AudioMark also happens to be one of the Recording Connection’s most acclaimed mentors, and this week during a 3-hour meeting with our Chief Academic Officer Brian Kraft, he shared about the remarkable success his apprentices and graduates have been having in finding employment after completing their audio engineering and music production programs.   Many of Mark’s apprentices go on to assistant engineering and even full-time positions at the studio. When Nakor Zuluaga began his apprenticeship in 2012, he spoke no English. Today, thanks to Mark’s expertise and the Recording Connection’s hands-on learning approach, Nakor is now a full-time engineer at Engine Room Audio. “He is the best assistant I have ever had,” says Mark. Kudos to Nakor and Engine Room Audio for proving every day why the mentor-apprentice approach is the best way to get started in the recording industry!  


Mentor Shout-out
  John Winters“John Winters has been doing a great job and is definitely going places – he’s always bringing artists in to record!”  

– Jason ‘J’ Intell, Recording Connection mentor at Omina Laboratories, Sacramento, CA


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Apprentices in Action
Engine Room AudioRecording Connection graduate Nakor Zuluaga hired at the Engine Room in NYC!   Read more under Mentor News to learn about other student successes at the Engine Room.  

“Where are they now?” Checking up on Film Connection alumni from Red Line Studios in NYC

  Red Line Studios is a premiere production company in New York City specializing in film, television, commercial and post-production work, with a client list that includes MTV, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., NFL and many others. Owner Matt Pellowski has been mentoring students for the Film Connection since 2010, so we thought it would be cool to follow up with a few of them and see how they’re doing!   Joseph Watson   Before:   “100% of me wants to be working in production making just enough to afford a hole in the wall in Manhattan!”
After:   Joseph went on to do sound for a number of high-profile clients, including the National Football League.    Austin Willard Austin Williard   Before:   “I would like to be working for a film studio, or even freelance. I just want to put my creativity to use and learn as much as I possibly can.”
After:   Austin went on to work on numerous reality television shows.    Zane Bares   Before:   “I see myself as a professional, working film editor at a respected establishment.”
After:   Zane went on to work in the art department for MTV, and continues to do gigs for Red Line on a regular basis.    Set Jeff Woolf   Before:   “I’ve always been interested in directing. Creating something that others can enjoy. I would like to pursue a career in directing in television or film.”
After:   Jeff got hired to work for the HBO series Girls.    Erika Rodgers   Before:   Dancer, aspiring actress, interested in film production.
After:   Red Line Studios hired Erika as an actress for several projects after graduation.    Shelly Cresanti   Before:   “Someday I want to be sitting in a theatre watching an amazing film and be able to say, ‘I did that.’ I want to bring dreams to the move screen.”
After:   Red Line has hired her for a number of different shoots.    Janeth Perla   Before:   “I would love to dedicate my time to coming to learn more about film, and taking the opportunity to do whatever I have to do to be in this film industry.”
After:   Janeth worked at Red Line for a year after she graduated the program, before moving on to other things.    Krista Garramone   Before:   No background in film whatsoever but equipped with a degree in communications. Krista wanted more experience on film sets so she could decide what she wanted to do.
After:   Krista is currently employed at Red Line Studios.   

Apprentice and Mentor Media

  Tha Remedy Recording Connection apprentice and rapper Tha Remedy has launched a new project on GoFundMe to raise funds for marketing, promotion and branding for his new album. Inspired by Tupac Shakur, Tha Remedy considers himself “The Conscious Rapper” and has a genuine passion for the music he creates. According to his manager, Christine Perez, “After all donations are collected we will put money BACK into a community, charity, or donation of our choice to pay it forward.”   With a goal of only $1800, $5 can go a long way to help launch Tha Remedy’s first album, music videos, tours, and more! Take a look here! www.gofundme.com/tharemedy07   Check out Recording Connection graduate Terrell Pinkney’s new website for Pro Tools training, beats and mixing/mastering services: www.werollup.com   We Roll Up Entertainment  


Quotes from Students…

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