“We were not allowed to take pictures. Our contact said to treat the apprenticeship like the movie Fight Club – It does not exist…..”
- PHOTO/FILM PRODUCTION APPRENTICESHIP @ KENNETH COLE – New York, NY
- TELEVISION STUDIO PRODUCTION ASSISTANT NEEDED – Grand Rapids, MI
- CO-HOST OPENING FOR RADIO MORNING SHOW – Dallas, TX
- SOUND DESIGNER NEEDED, VARIOUS PROJECTS – El Segundo, CA
- CREW & PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS FOR MUSIC VIDEO – Patterson, NJ
- OPENING FOR RADIO BROADCAST ENGINEER – Denver, CO
- SOUND ENGINEER FOR CONCERTS AND LIVE EVENTS – Orlando, FL
- MUSIC DESIGNER NEEDED – Charlotte, SC
- RADIO BOARD OPERATOR – Philadelphia, PA
- TWO F/T RADIO PRODUCER OPENINGS – Austin, TX
This is what Recording Connection
graduate Robert Wiley told us after he’d completed a very hush-hush stint at composer Hans Zimmer’s world-renowned Remote Control Productions
—an apprenticeship RRFC had gladly helped him obtain.
Rewind a few months. Robert, an aspiring composer/engineer, had just completed his Recording Connection apprenticeship with Donny Baker at Open Call Productions
in Los Angeles when the opportunity arose for him to spend some time at Remote Control
. On his first day there, we received this vague email from him: “I really can’t get into a lot of detail on what’s going on … NO pictures, no Facebook and no Twitter … But some of the composers there are working on some major projects for film and TV.”
We waited to hear more…
As Robert eventually got back to us and told us the kind of projects he was being exposed to, we understood why he’d been told to treat it like an apprenticeship that didn’t exist. “Every week we were able to sit in [and] assist composers and engineers with projects for about two hours,”
he told us. “It was sort of slow because they had just finished up the movie Interstellar and Hans was not there…I was fortunate enough to sit in with one composer who was working on music for the TV show Chicago PD, using MIDI to manipulate the sound he needed to match the action that was going on…As I was leaving, they were gearing up for Madagascar 3 and the Batman v Superman movie coming out later next year.”
There’s more…but if we told you then we’d have to kill you…
Apparently, Robert’s education at Recording Connection made an impression on the people he worked with at Remote Control—particularly when he told them how he’d been trained on-the-job by a mentor. “You might be getting some calls from possible students because I do brag about the school!”
he told us. In addition, Robert’s work ethic and skills are already getting him known by the right people. “Chris Strong, my point of contact there, said I did a good job [with my apprenticeship], and that if he had any openings he would recommend me,”
says Robert. “He said he would put me down on the short list and wants me to keep in touch.”
Between his apprenticeships at Open Call
and Remote Control
, Robert feels even more focused on where he believes his talents can be best utilized, and he has high hopes for the future. “It was a memorable experience,”
he tells us. “I want to thank you for arranging [it].”
Robert’s experience is just one example of the doors that can be opened by an on-the-job apprenticeship!
Just keep it under your hat…after all, it doesn’t exist…
As Frank Gillis
reached the end of his Recording Connection apprenticeship at The Vibe Recording Studio
in Ft. Myers, Florida, he was determined it wasn’t going to be the end.
His mentor, Chad Zuchegno, explains: “In his last class, Frank was like, ‘Hey, man, I’m done, but I don’t want to be done. Can I still be here for sessions?’ And I said, ‘Yes, come on in.'”
Frank did just that—he came in, all the time, as often as possible, just as he’d done when he was a student. “I was just there every day that I could be, as late as I could be, trying to learn and being involved as much as I could,”
That persistence and constant availability led to Frank getting hired at the studio. Even though the Vibe was fully staffed with two full-time engineers, Chad agreed to bring him on, part-time at first, but with the option of becoming full-time.
“He just made himself a fixture, and I had no choice but to give him a job,”
says Chad. “He made himself available, he proved himself and paid his dues, and he is actually really good at what he does, which helps. He’s doing good.”
Since coming on board, Frank has had the opportunity to help with mixing on some fairly big projects, including one with a hot up-and-coming Florida country band, Grayson Rodgers
. “I was running Pro Tools while Chad was running the board,”
says Frank. “The last thing I thought I would ever do is work on a country album, but I’ve learned so much from being able to be a part of it.”
For Frank, the learning has continued even after finishing his apprenticeship, including the chance to learn the ropes on a new SSL 4000G
the studio had installed a few months ago. “I think that’s what this thing [with the Recording Connection] is about – really, you’re learning how to learn more, teaching yourself how to learn, and how to dive deep and figure it out,”
Frank says. “Things do come a lot quicker now, everything from the SSL to Pro Tools, because I have that solid foundation from the program.”
It’s apparent talking with mentor Chad Zuchegno that he’s impressed not only with Frank’s performance in the studio, but also his persistence. He believes Frank’s experience serves as a great example for others looking to break into the industry. “If you put in the time, it pays off,”
he says. “It’s the only way to move ahead in the industry. I teach a bunch, and have over the years, and those still working in the industry are those people, the ‘Franks’, who are always here, always willing to help out, even if they are just hanging out and learning.
This is a career where you’re not entitled to anything,”
Chad continues. “You need to earn your keep, and continue to learn and strive to do great things…Persistence is key. When you’re willing and learning, you become employable when the time is right.”
Obviously, that persistence has paid off for Frank Gillis. Congratulations, Frank!