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Issue #262

Weekly Newsletter

by Liya Swift

X
Student Successes
 

Persistence Pays Off! Radio Connection grad Ray Dosky
Gets Hired Prior to Graduation!

  

Radio Connection graduate Ray Dosky

Radio Connection graduate Ray Dosky already had a successful career as an IT professional when he reached out to us to look into taking his love of sports radio to the next level by getting mentored by a radio pro. The “pro” we placed him with (remotely, due to the pandemic) was none other than Gow Media Chief Operating Officer, Craig Larson, a seasoned professional with thirty years’ experience, who’s done everything from working as a field sports reporter, to producing and hosting radio shows, to station programming. We caught up with Ray to learn more about his training with Craig, get the scoop on the new job, and garner a few bits of advice to share with you!   How did you find Radio Connection in the first place?   “I found Radio Connection online. I was doing some searches, just kind of just school searches and stuff because I was reaching out to some of the news and radio media platforms here in Nashville [pre-COVID]…. And they said that ‘We don’t bring on interns or volunteers unless you’re a student in college.’ Well, that’s great, you know, because I already graduated with a bachelor’s, so I was like, ‘All right…Let me see what’s out there.’ I found Radio Connection, and that was it.”   What was it like training with Craig?   “It was great working with Craig. I mean, he would give me constructive criticism. There were some times he’d be like, ‘You say um’ or ‘Wait to get your punchlines,’ and all this stuff. And at times I would still struggle with it, but…it was a lot of fun. A lot of fun. I really enjoyed my time with him.” Lots more on Ray’s training with COO Craig Larson in our Straight Talk video below!   Craig also connected you with WNSR operations manager and producer Adam Johnson, who ultimately hired you. How’d that come about?   “‘[Craig said] there’s a guy I want you to reach out to. His name’s Adam Johnson. He’s around in your backyard. You know, I would love for you to connect with him and see where it goes.’… Adam and I talked…. I told him I was in Radio Connection and that Craig, you know, he’s my mentor. And he said, ‘Well, do you have a demo or something like that?’ I’m like, ‘No, not yet. I’m getting to it. It’s towards the end of the school year. I’ve only got two, three months left…but, like, if there’s an opportunity for me to come in and sit with you guys to kind of see how things roll, I’d love to come find out. I’ll volunteer my services.   He said, ‘Well, we actually have a Fantasy show usually on Sundays…’ I said, ‘I’d love to sit in…. I’ve got content, I’ve got material, I’d love to do it.’ So he [said], ‘All right. Well, we’ll see what we can do…but right now we can’t bring anybody in the studio because of COVID….So he said, ‘Let’s revisit it in a couple of months, see what happens.’   Time goes by. I continue on with my education, my conversations with Craig, my airdrops…I continue on with that. Come September, I’m three to four weeks out to completing the school. Like, I’m done with the program, and, you know, I’m trying to figure out what I need to do, and…I asked Craig, ‘Do you think I should reach out to Adam? You know, sports is in full throttle.’ He said, ‘Well, shoot him an email or call him….I sent [Adam] an email…oh, no, I sent him a text, and I asked him, ‘Do you have any openings?’…and he says, ‘Right now, we don’t, but if you want to come in, you can come between our 9 to 11 mid-morning drive and sit with my guys…. I said, ‘Well, I’m still working in the IT field. I don’t know if that’s going to work. If you got anything on the weekends, I’d love to come in.’ And he said, ‘Well, I’ll see what I can do.’…   Two days later, he reaches out to me, he’s like, ‘Actually, you know what? We’ve got a show for you on Saturday mornings from 8 to 9 and possibly another show from 10 to 12. You’re going to do the prep football talk from 8 to 9, you’re going to do the college countdown to kickoff with our afternoon guy. Are you interested?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m interested.’ And he said, ‘Well, come in. We could do your paperwork, hire you.’   I’m like, ‘Excuse me?’ He said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to bring you on.’…Just come in Wednesday, we’ll get you training for two days, and then it’s you to go on that Saturday.”   [Ray has quickly gone from producing 2 shows to 5! He’s starting to ad-lib and join in during the shows too.] Watch video below to learn more.   What’s your advice on how Radio Connection students can build strong professional relationships with their mentors?   “Well, you got to think of it this way, these guys are busy too, right? I mean, they’re doing their day-to-day activities. They’ve got their own work, their own responsibilities, they’ve got their own families…So you got to make sure that if this is something you want…. I mean, if you’re gonna go at it, go at it 100%…. Don’t try to half-step it because you’ll get as much as you give. …   These mentors you meet up with will be lifelong mentors, friends, what have you. I consider Craig a friend now, you know? And it’s amazing how the relationship really kicked off. I mean, one thing I would like to note is that when talking to Craig, I told him [that] growing up, my favorite player was Ken Griffey Jr., and Craig mailed me a Ken Griffey Jr. card. I was like, ‘Dude, that’s…’ I mean, that’s first-class, right?”   Follow Ray at @nfl.junkie   Learn more about Radio Connection, and how you can start building a radio or podcasting career you love.  
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Mentor News
   

L. Michelle Salvant on 1st Person POV Filmmaking
& Training Tomorrow’s Pros.

  

Film Connection mentor L. Michelle Salvant

Filmmaker and founder of L. Michelle Media, L. Michelle Salvant is a powerhouse creator who brings stories of faith and the African American experience to light through a variety of cutting-edge media and technologies. We recently connected with the busy Film Connection mentor to discuss mentorship and learn more about The 2020 Life Film Immersive Journal which uses the first-person point of view as a vehicle for self-knowledge, growth, empathy, and change in our world.   Your 2020 Life Film Immersive Journal coming out on January 14th is filmed through a 1st person perspective. What can you tell us about that project?   “Essentially what we’re doing is we are using our [Snapchat Spectacles] to capture life from a true first-person point of view perspective, hands-free… The 2020 Live Film Immersive Journaling Series will be a series of 10 journals over 10 years, the first of which comes out in January 2021…We’ll release a journal a year for this decade.”   Do you think there’s power in being able to show another person’s lived experience through a first-person perspective?   “We’ve made a couple of film pieces in VR, just kind of showing you story and what it’s like to be in that person’s shoes. I am convinced that filming in this perspective not only evokes empathy in those who watch it, but for you as the filmmaker [and person] who’s capturing the footage…For me, when I went back [to view the footage], it was life-changing…. It was almost like having an out of body experience; you’re not on camera, but you’re so present…. You see how you live life and how people respond to the life that you live….I think that the power just goes beyond almost what I can put into words. And what I’ve seen has compelled me to record the decade in this manner. …   Me being a Black woman, who is middle aged, that is, in fact, one of the entries that is a part of this journal. It’s called “40 Year Old Black Woman.”… I think it really gives people a closer look at who you are, beyond the protest. What about the mothers who’ve lost sons as a result of police violence and brutality? What happens after the news cameras leave and after the protests stop? What is her personal reality like?…These types of immersive stories really can take us on the inside and really get us back to a point where we start seeing people as people, as human beings, as a mother whose daughter or son is never coming back home…. One of the first people to pilot our concept of making film in this manner is a mother who lost her daughter when her daughter was in her teens. So not only do we get a chance to look into her life, but she gets to look into her life and see how she’s really doing.”   How are you mentoring Film Connection students during COVID-19?   “So, we are doing a little bit of a hybrid…We’re doing a lot of online mentoring. So, Zoom has been one of our tools of choice…. It’s more personal. It’s more one-on-one. It’s more focused. And when we do meet in-person, it just makes those experiences that much greater.   We’ve brought in other filmmakers to come in and speak to our learners. Now granted, this is not a lecture in front of hundreds of people, this is more of one-on-one interaction where they can ask as many questions of the filmmaker as they want. They can learn how to conduct themselves in those situations and make connections for the future. So, we have taken that kind of a three-way approach, the one-on-one talks from us, the hybrid where we do come in-person…and then the talks with our partners and other experts.”   How can people see the film?   “We’ve put it in a format where people can respond to the film, say what they’re feeling, and even ask questions while they’re viewing it. Those responses then come directly to our team. All of this comes alive in a physical journal by using Augmented Reality, which creates a truly Immersive experience for the participants.”   What’s your advice to those of us who have some fear or trepidation that keeps us from pursuing our goals and dreams?   “If you never do, you’ll never reach that goal. And so, the thing is, when you turn away in fear, you are doing something, and you’re doing something that’s producing a result that’s contrary to the dream that you said you had. And I think another thing that we have to understand, as much as it looks like successful projects just kind of came out of nowhere, they really come out of years of work. It comes out of years of doing. It may not be 10 years, it may be a year. But I guess my point is the success that you’re looking to achieve, the dream that you’re looking to come to pass, is going to come from the very first step, and then the second step, and the third step, over time…. Time is what’s going to produce the real results, contrary to what you might think. So, I think a lot of times the time cancels people out. They feel like, then it’s not going to happen or they’re not good enough. But the reality is, when you’re seeing these successful projects, the media is on the project at that time, not the process that the person went through. It’s okay to be in a process. It’s okay to be in a process to your greatness. It’s okay to be in a process on the road to your dreams. But if you leave that road, you’ve stopped the process altogether. And that’s contrary to what you said you were going to do.”   Want to learn how you can train in film production, film editing, and more with Film Connection? Learn more here.  
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or call (800) 755-7597

Mentor News
   

Roman Molino Dunn on Being a Working Producer,
Composing Soundtracks & Who He Trains

  

Recording Connection mentor Roman Molino Dunn

  Recording Connection mentor Roman Molino Dunn a.k.a Electropoint, co-owner of Mirrortone recording studios (NYC, NY), is both a Billboard-charting music producer and award-winning composer who’s composed original music for some of the biggest brands and networks including Michael Kors, PayPal, Maserati, NBC, HBO, E!, A&E, MTV, Oxygen, BET, Bravo, Netflix, Discovery. We recently connected with Roman to talk about what it takes to be a working, professional music maker, discuss his recent work scoring Latinx psychological thriller Huracán (now available on HBO Max), and more!   There’s a misconception that the musicians and creatives who actively work in music are somehow airy-fairy or laissez faire. Care to dispel that myth?   “I think if you want to be in the industry, you know, music or music-related industries like entertainment, you have to treat it as a profession, so there is no airy-fairy way to remain in it…. I think there’s an attention span to certain genres of music, meaning like, the general public will become obsessed with the genre and if you’re gifted in that style you might have a ‘moment.’ But the people that we employ at our studio, it’s not really about being great at any one style. It’s about being professional so that when that style transitions into another one, you’re still a person whom people would want to work with. I think that part’s more important and that’s just basic etiquette, I think, professional etiquette. That’s a lot more important than musicality, because the musicality’s kind of a given. That’s the starting point really.”   What kinds of work does the team at Mirrortone do?   “If it has to do with audio, we do it. It’s not just music, even though we’re musicians, we also do a lot of audio post-production. And that’s born out of doing anything that we can in music…I do a lot of film scoring, so we ended up also doing a lot of audio post-production for these films that I’m scoring, so, doing the foley, the sound design, the 5.1 mixes. And because we’re a recording studio, we show up organically for advertising agencies or podcast companies that need to record, because after all, we have microphones and great recording equipment, and we know how to edit that stuff. So, if it has to do with audio, we do it. But we specialize really in just those three things which are producing for artists or recording artists, scoring for films, and then audio post-production [which is] is really a large facet, meaning that we do it for a lot of very large podcast networks because that’s a really big thing right now. And sometimes that plays into music, like doing the actual theme music for these podcasts, or the underscore for them if they have the budgets…. Most things that we do, even if it’s commercial, if it has to do with audio, there’s an aspect of artistry to it.”   So, Huracán, the film you recently scored, how did get brought onto that project?   “So Huracán…that was through social media. We were both fans of each other…I followed the director. He liked my work, I liked his work, and one thing to led to another, [and] he wanted me to score the film. That’s not the usual route. The usual route is there’s sometimes pitching…I get a lot of pitches through my manager, so those are coming to me. But the pitches you get through managers generally are pitches where you’re competing against other people…The odds of getting them are far worse than if you actually have a personal connection and somebody already appreciates your work. Because most of the films that I’ve done have been because I have a relationship with the director, or they’re already a fan of what I do.” Check out Roman’s personal website: romanmolinodunn.com.   What’s Huracán about and did its subject matter inform the choices you made in composing the score?   “Essentially, it’s a psychological thriller about an MMA fighter, a mixed martial arts fighter who’s suffering from dissociative identity disorder. So, there’s a lot going on between the internal struggle and the external struggle that this character is facing, so that informed the musical decisions that we were willing to make…. A lot of time in film scoring, you want to help move the story along, so you’re kind of clarifying what’s going on for the audience. But other times, you’re actually painting the subtext. And then in a film like this, where the character has both internal and external struggles, there’s a lot of different layers that need to be going on at the same time. And the way we figured out to do this was to blend organic instrumentation and hybrid instrumentation, so synthesizers, electronic instruments as well as orchestral instruments. And then, sometimes it’s a composite, meaning playing some orchestral instruments and programming them into synthesizers so you can apply different effects to them. And those really were the two sides of this character and they start to morph into one another and then separate, depending on what’s going on, and back again. You really have to watch the film to understand how they interplay, but knowing that, hopefully the score would make more sense when you are able to watch it.” More on this in our video with Roman, below!   What’s your advice to people who are interested in scoring music for film? Is there a particular film or films you suggest they watch?   “I think that you need to treat it like a fan. You need to consume as much of it as you can, so there’s two parts to that really. There isn’t a film score that is representative because the beauty of film score is that, and the beauty of film in general, is it’s this all-encompassing mixed media…. I mean, there are great film scores that are jazz. There are great film scores that are, for lack of a better word, classical, you know, 18th-century classical or 20th-century classical. But then, there’s also electronic scores, there’s hip hop scores, and you can’t really learn anything from any of those scores by themselves because it’s more about how they interact with the film. What you could do is you could choose a composer and follow some of their work and see if they have a way of helping the narrative.   But honestly, I think the absolute best film scores, and I’m sure people would disagree with me here, are the ones that you don’t necessarily remember, but you thought the film was amazing. Because that means you were totally in the world [of the film], and you weren’t thinking about any one aspect of the film. Now, the further you get into it, the more you will start to notice every aspect and remember every aspect and it’ll still be a great film. But that just means you’re already fully engrossed in the craft and you can’t really appreciate it without appreciating the constituent parts. But I spent a lot of time listening to film score radio. That’s a really great place to start because you’ll hear the variety. You know, like if you go to Pandora or Spotify, there’s film scoring stations and they’re really good, but the problem there is you’re listening to music that was written for the movie without seeing the movie. Not to take anything away from the score because I have my own film scores I want people to listen to without watching the movie, but the real beauty is in how they interact with the film.”   Busy as you are, why do you choose to mentor with Recording Connection?   “People who are coming through the Recording Connection are saying ‘This is what I want to do. I’m taking control of my own situation and I’m finding people who can help me.’ I think having that kind of specificity to your desire is really powerful and those are the kind of people that I would want to work with.”   Want to learn how you can train in music production, audio engineering, beat making, and more, with Recording Connection? Learn more here.  
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