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Issue #24

Weekly Newsletter

by L. Swift and Jeff McQ

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Student Successes
Shameka ColeJust a few months into her Film Connection apprenticeship, Shameka Cole is already seeing many of her long-term dreams come to reality—most notably, the opportunity in June to direct her first music video in Atlanta, GA, for none other than Maybach Music Group hip-hop artist Tracy T!   Originally hailing from New York, Shameka moved to Atlanta in 2007 and found herself in the midst of a blossoming community of creative people like herself. Even from an early age, she says she could hear the music and envision every detail of what the music video could look like. When she enrolled in the Film Connection this spring and began her apprenticeship at Radiant3 Productions in Atlanta, little did she know how many opportunities would come from that decision, or how quickly they would take shape.   “I love it. I’ve never been through a program, even in college, that has opened up so many doors for me.” says Shameka.   Tracy TNot only was the music video with Tracy T a great success for the practical experience it gave her, but Shameka says it has also opened up other connections as well. As it turns out, reality TV star Mama Dee was present during the shoot, and was so impressed with Shameka’s work that she approached her and asked if she might be interested in shooting another music video with her!   “We exchanged business cards and made a connection,” says Shameka. “It was a great experience.”   In addition to her dream to direct more music videos, Shameka aspires to be a screenwriter, and is currently collaborating with screenwriter Mark Gibson on a feature-length thriller in the vein of TV series Revenge. She also has a long-term goal of directing her own feature films. Through the Film Connection, Shameka Cole continues to make great strides toward seeing these dreams come to light. Congratulations, Shameka!  

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Fabrice Murgia making the most of his Film Connection apprenticeship
  At the Recording, Radio and Film Connection, we find that our students who go the furthest are the ones who make the most of the opportunities that on-the-job learning provides. Film Connection apprentice Fabrice Murgia is a great example. Since starting his apprenticeship with Horacio Jones of Cinemaviva in the San Diego area, Fabrice has assisted on numerous shoots and is rapidly becoming an integral part of the studio.   Says Fabrice, “Horacio is now assigning me the entire raw footage and trusting me with full content editing, selecting and adding soundtrack, and video editing…I have also put together some promotional videos for his company to market services like aerial videography and corporate videos.”   In addition, Fabrice says two short films are on the docket over the next month, including one for the San Diego 48-Hour Film Project, which he will co-produce and co-direct. In preparation, Fabrice says he’s doing everything from production budgets to location scouting to auditions.   “We have a crew of 10 people and 6 actors. We even got an amazing composer from Hollywood,” he says.   Meanwhile, Film Connection Career Services has given Fabrice a lead on a paid gig with a local production company with the possibility for full-time employment after he finishes his apprenticeship. Fabrice has also set up his own brand, ID11 Films (id11.com) and is working on getting the funding for his first feature-length film. Way to go Fabrice!  



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Announcement
Eddie KramerAndrew Holscher, who completed his Recording Connection apprenticeship earlier this year with Greg Hainer of Scorpio Sound in Los Angeles, recently had the opportunity to attend “The Eddie Kramer Experience,” a Studio Prodigy Master Class sponsored by the Recording Connection last month, in which a small group of engineers gathered in an LA recording studio for an intimate workshop with noted engineer Eddie Kramer. Afterward, Andrew checked in with the Recording Connection to tell us about his experience.   “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says. “It was just amazing seeing such a skilled engineer work up close and personal, rather than watching something online or something. Being in the same room was a real treat. …Not only was it a great learning experience, it was also a great networking experience.”   Andrew HolscherBefore enrolling in the Recording Connection last year, Andrew had also attended SAE for audio engineering, but didn’t finish. It gave him a unique perspective to compare the two programs and tell us why he ultimately went with the Recording Connection.   “[SAE] wasn’t quite as hands-on as they advertised,” he says. “SAE was the first step, and they didn’t really help you after that, whereas this mentorship with you guys was like the first step and also an instant connection…You already have a connection with the mentor, and possibly anybody else you meet along the way with the program.”   Since finishing his apprenticeship, Andrew has gravitated toward the post-production side of audio. He’s gotten several gigs as a freelancer and is actively looking for more opportunities. He is also considering continuing his education with the Recording Connection’s master’s program.   Andrew largely credits the connections he made as a Recording Connection apprentice for his successes so far. “It was the start of my career,” he says. “It’s amazing. Finding the Recording Connection was, in a way, the access to the industry that I was looking for.”  

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Writer/Producer Ken Aguado teaches Film apprentices about perfecting the pitch
  Britney Tobin & Ken AguadoLast week, noted writer and producer Ken Aguado (The Salton Sea, Crazy As Hell), visited the LA Center Studios, where he offered helpful advice to Film Connection apprentices during two pitch meetings.   During the pitch meetings, Mr. Aguado offered key insights to students about the importance of the pitch, emphasizing that being early for the meeting is still late.   “Start your pitch by setting the stage for your listener: your personal connection to your material,” he says. “It is your opportunity to explain why the story is worth telling.”   Ken is the co-author of The Hollywood Pitching Bible, a must-read for aspiring filmmakers, writers and producers. He’s also currently working on a reality TV show called The Italian American Cook. We’re honored to have Mr Aguado advising our Film Connection apprentices!  



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Announcement
In our monthly “mystery supporter” contests, we’ve recently revealed that entertainment industry legends Hans Zimmer and Oliver Stone are endorsing the Recording Radio and Film Connection and the way we train our students. Thanks to all of you who sent in emails to guess our latest “new best friend!.”   The answer is… Grant Heslov!!   Grant HeslovGrant is a major actor, producer, writer and director in the Hollywood scene, frequently working with major players like George Clooney and Ben Affleck. Recent producer credits include The Monuments Men (2014), August: Osage County (2013), and 2012’s Argo, which won the Oscar for Best Picture. He also produced and directed 2009’s The Men Who Stare At Goats, and produced The Ides of March (2011) and Good Night, Good Luck (2005).   We are thrilled that Grant Heslov has endorsed our mentor-apprentice teaching approach—but that’s not all. Grant has also offered to hear film pitches from our Film Connection apprentices, which means if you enroll in the Film Connection, you could be pitching your own script to an Oscar-winning film producer!  



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Announcement
Red Tuxedo Mastering ServicesThe Recording Connection is pleased to welcome yet another world-class engineer to our family of mentors: Richard Stratton, co-founder and Mastering Engineer at Red Tuxedo Mastering Services in Atlanta, GA!   Richard started in music as a guitarist, playing countless gigs through the 1990s and early 2000s before leaving a successful IT career to pursue audio engineering full-time. Since co-founding Red Tuxedo, Richard has done work for many major artists and known corporations, recording, mixing and mastering for some of the biggest names in the business. Red Tuxedo’s client list includes Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Sugarland, TLC, Indigo Girls, Eisley, OutKast, Disney, Tyler Perry Studios and many others.   With over 20 years of professional audio experience, Red Tuxedo has a simple philosophy for the mastering process. “At Red Tuxedo we were musicians before we were engineers…our philosophy is to ‘stay out of the way’ of the music.”   The Recording Connection is honored to have Richard Stratton teaching for us, and we look forward to what our apprentices will learn from his expertise!  



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Apprentices in Action
RRF apprentices! Send in your music, photos, and short stories to career services for a plug in next week’s newsletter!   Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @RRFCONNECTION   Find us on Facebook for updates, news, and more!  

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Quotes from Students…
   



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