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Issue #27

Weekly Newsletter

by L. Swift and Jeff McQ


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Student Successes
Victor CobbFilm Connection apprentice Victor Cobb, who studies with Steve Carmichael of Radiant3 Productions in Atlanta, recently got his first crash-course taste in independent filmmaking when he decided to participate in Atlanta’s 48-Hour Film Project. The way it came together for him is proof positive of the importance of connections.   Each entrant to the project is given a genre, a prop, a character name and one line of dialogue, and is expected to deliver a finished 3-7 minute film based those criteria within 48 hours. Even so, for Victor, preparation for the challenge began months in advance.   “We decided that if we were going to create a quality film, we would need quality equipment which would cost us a pretty penny,” says Victor. “That’s where Kickstarter came in.” Victor and his team launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for the project, which raised more than $1900 for equipment and expenses.   Carl Anthony PayneThe production of the film itself is where the connections became critical. Victor teamed with a co-director, Tommie Ingram, who connected him with producer Sharon Tomlinson of Studio 11 Films—who, in turn, had multiple connections to resources, crew and cast, including well-known actor Carl Anthony Payne, who agreed to star in the film!   A 48-hour deadline meant that once production started, the team had to make sure the time was used wisely. Victor collaborated with a team of writers to complete the script in thirteen hours, with a shoot scheduled immediately following. “Because we had two directors on set, myself and Tommie, we were able to shoot one scene while one of us set up another scene and prepared to direct it once the previous scene was wrapped,” says Victor. “We shot for the majority of the day, and our editor was onsite editing around the time the final scenes were being shot. Of course the editor was up editing the film for us from the night of the shoot, right up till about an hour before the deadline the next day.”   Just like “real life,” the production had its share of setbacks and pitfalls, including losing team members leaving just before production started, and technical difficulties cropping up hours before the film was due. However, Victor and his team persevered and delivered their film on time.   “July 10 was the screening of our film, which turned out to look and sound amazing on the big screen,” says Victor. “I must say there is no greater feeling than seeing something you created on a big screen for the enjoyment of others.” Even greater for Victor was the feeling of personal accomplishment. “I had finally done it, I had finally directed my first movie,” he says. “It was now a possibility. The sky was the limit now.” Congratulations, Victor!    



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Justin SlavenImagine what it would be like to learn audio engineering and music production from a producer/engineer who has worked with hip-hop artists like Run DMC, Public Enemy, Jay Z and Queen Latifah, as well as rock acts like Aerosmith, Smashing Pumpkins and more!   Recording Connection apprentice Justin Slaven got that opportunity when we paired him with John King, owner of Chung King Studios in New York City (which has been cited as the “Abbey Road of Hip-Hop.”   Recently, our partner Dave Pensado featured Chung King Studios for a special “Into the Lair” segment for his popular Internet broadcast “Pensado’s Place.” John King brought Justin in to sit in on the segment!    

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In our monthly “mystery supporter” contests, we’ve recently revealed that entertainment industry legends Hans Zimmer, Oliver Stone and Grant Heslov 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!.”   Larry KingThe answer is… Larry King!!   Larry went from being a janitor in a Florida radio station at age 24 to becoming one of the broadcasting industry’s biggest and most familiar icons!   He fully endorses RRF’s mentor-apprentice approach of training up new talent.  



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We’re pleased to welcome not one, but two new mentors to the Recording, Radio and Film Connection: Adam Zaka of VAIN Pictures in Houston, TX, and Todd Sheets of Extreme Entertainment in Kansas, City, MO! Two great professionals with very different styles. Adam Zaka, VAIN Pictures (Film):   Adam’s background is in advertising, writing and production. “I’m basically a creative producer who starts with an idea and gets the team assembled to make it a reality, from partnering with writers to collaborating with cinematographers and directors,” he says.   Adam is currently developing a comedy web series appropriately titled VAIN, and he’s currently looking for crew members to help with its production! This would be a great opportunity for film apprentices looking to get into comedy film production and the growing field of Internet web series. Check out the preview here!  


Todd Sheets, Extreme Entertainment (Film, Radio)
  Todd SheetsIndustry professional Todd Sheets has found a way to blend his passion for film AND radio with his love for the horror genre to carve out a powerful niche for himself. Not only has he been making horror films for the past 25 years, but he also hosts a weekly radio show called “Nightwatch” which covers all things paranormal and horrific!   Todd literally has something in production all the time, and will be a great resource for both Film Connection and Radio Connection apprentices, especially those with a passion for the horror genre.    

Welcome to both of our new featured mentors this week!
We look forward to seeing what our apprentices will accomplish with you!


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Apprentices in Action
Film Connection apprentice Joseph Woods is staying busy with his mentor Jeremiah England of Sound and Shadow Video Production in Kansas City, MO. He recently assisted with audio, lighting and camera operation during a one-day shoot for a video starring Mark Shian. He’s also getting started on a project of his own, with the help of his mentor!     Recording Connection apprentice Brandon Evans absolutely loves Chung King Studios! Only halfway through his apprenticeship, Brandon is currently collaborating on an album with his mentor. Congrats, Brandon!  


Apprentice Media
  Recording Connection apprentice Jordan Robertson is a musician with his own home studio in the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana, inspired by artists such as Herbie Hancock, John Legend, and Alicia Keys. Check out his information below!   Session Musician/Composer/Producer Website: www.sessions-with-jordan.com  His EP “Standing Out” available here on iTunes!     Grandpa's FishHere’s another short film, Grandpa’s Fish, which Fabrice co-wrote, co-produced and co-directed with his mentor, Horacio Jones of Cinemaviva.  


Quotes from Students:

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