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WEEKLY NEWSLETTER September 2, 2019 by Liya Swift


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Recording Connection graduate William Reyes
Gets Hired and On-Path.

  

Recording Connection graduate William Reyes

A deeply devout Christian, not long ago William Reyes was trying to find his career path in life. Less than one year later, he’s graduated Recording Connection for Audio Engineering & Music Production, has an EP in the works, and he’s even got a job as an Audio Editor working with his former mentor Rob Malloy at War Drum Mixing. We recently spoke with the hardworking graduate and music producer to learn more about his journey towards realizing his calling and making the most of it day-by-day.   What led you to Recording Connection in the first place?   “Well, actually it is a long story, and I told the same story to Rob at War Drum…Fresh out of high school, your mom, grandmother, teachers, everybody asks you ‘What do you want to do after high school?’ …And I honestly did not know…I just always gave the lame answer, ‘I’ll just be a doctor or something,’ just something to say to get them to stop talking. [Then, I thought] I actually want to have a career in something I like, but I didn’t know what it would be…I’m very religious. I grew up in the church…So I prayed, I asked God…’What will it be?’ And it was prophesized to me one day in church that it would be music. So I was like, ‘Okay, cool.’ Then after that, everybody kept asking me, ‘Are you in school yet?’ So I took that as a sign.   I asked Him, I was like, ‘I really want to go to a school that I don’t have to learn math, science, and history before I even get to the thing I paid for to learn about.’ And next thing I know, I’m googling…I found RRFC, and the first question I asked was that question, ‘Can I just go straight in to learn what I want to learn?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah.’ And it just kind of all fell in place. Then I applied, and here I am today, graduated.”   After receiving the calling, did it become clear to you that music had always been an intrinsic part of your life?   “[I] remember being in a car with my mom or anybody [listening to music] and I would just be like, ‘Oh, do you hear how that comes in, and how he says it!’ and this, that, and a third. I always had that, I always liked the way something would come in, or even movies like when Darth Vader’s coming down and the Imperial March was playing. I was just like, ‘Oh, [the music] just makes it all look good and all dramatic and stuff.’…The one time music ever made me cry was [in] Titanic. It wasn’t that everybody died… it was at the end…the flashback and that music was playing the “Heart Will Go On” song…It just makes you feel some type of way.”   Tell us about your experience training with Recording Connection mentor Rob Malloy at War Drum Mixing. 

Recording Connection mentor Rob Malloy

  “He’s very professional…He just does it because that’s what he likes to do. He’s not in it for fame or glory or any of that. I like that quality about him— that he wanted to teach —and then he taught me…He just really has a good mentor quality. You know what I’m saying? Almost like a coach. People can probably relate, like you have a coach that even on the personal side, he’ll still give you advice maybe about a girlfriend in high school, that kind of thing, but then he’s still going to teach you to play football, you know, get that ball down the field. He has that nice coach mentorship [style]…asking me about like how’s my family doing… then he says, ‘Okay, now we’re going to teach you EQ’ing.’”   We heard you recently got hired by Rob.   “Yes, I just started. I’m hired on. I’m in the door… just doing editing work. I’m not fully mixing or recording people yet. I just know that there’s bigger things to come. So I just want to get into that actual mentality that he has of just, ‘Hey, if you want it, you can get it.’”   The EP you have in the works, Been Humbled, deals with the theme of your finding your way in life. What can you tell us about that?   “[The song] “Inner Conflict” is about when I was told I would do music. So after that, I went and wrote a song about it…In the beginning of the song I’m telling myself, or just speaking to the audience saying, ‘I guess I can make something out of myself’… then the second verse is…like the evil side telling me that I can’t make it…That’s what I felt at that moment when I wrote it.”   What’s your advice to Recording Connection students on how they can make the most of their externships?   “There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Ask. And practice, because the modules give you little sample songs, download [them] and then you can practice… They really kind of make it to where if you want it, you have to go get it. And I learned that from Rob. I don’t know how other mentors are going to be, but if you really want to learn this, read the modules and then of course the mentor’s going to further [help you] do it, but you’ve actually got to do it and then ask the questions. ..And help as much as possible in the studio sessions… Even learn how to turn on mics, how to set up the mics…The modules tell you [how to do it] but when you’re actually there yourself, it’s a lot different.”   Learn more about Recording Connection’s programs in audio engineering and music production, beat making, hip hop, and more!      
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Roundtable with Film Connection mentor
producer Richard Brandes, Los Angeles.

  
writer, director, producer and Film Connection mentor Richard Brandes

Film Connection mentor Richard Brandes

In order to be sure we’re continually setting our students up for success, we’ve started having bi-monthly meetings at our “headquarters” in Los Angeles. During these sessions, one of our mentors will come into our offices and sit down with our Admissions and Academic Facilitators teams to answer our questions and shine a light on how our students can make the most of their in-industry training and the real-world opportunities they encounter during their externships.   Our most recent conversation with powerhouse producer/writer/director Richard Brandes (Jeepers Creepers 3, Penny Dreadful, and Devil In The Flesh 1&2) yielded some great insights we’ve just got to share.   As a longtime Film Connection mentor with over two dozen films to his credit, Richard has enabled many students to gain experience working on film sets and earn credits on various commercial productions. Some externs have even been invited to pitch their original scripts to various producers within the mentor’s professional orbit. In fact, one recent graduate’s film is now being cast, thanks in large part to the opportunity Richard was able to provide him.   Read on to learn more!   RRFC Team: How did you get your start in film?   “I went to UC Berkeley and majored in something completely unrelated to film. I had employment in that field for a few years after I graduated, but always in the back of my mind was this nagging thing, ‘I really want to make movies.’ So, I quit that job and I moved here to L.A. and lived out of my car, and I thought that I really wanted to do the acting thing.   I was taking an acting class, and decided I didn’t really want to do the standard stuff that everybody was doing out of the books and everything. So I thought I’d take a stab at writing a scene and I wrote a scene for myself and a friend of mine, who was also in the class, to do as a showcase for agents and casting directors. That was received really well by the class and the showcases with the agent…so I got a lot of encouragement with the writing. So I thought, ‘Well, maybe I should take a stab at writing a script.’ I didn’t have a clue how to do that, obviously, so I spent a lot of time at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Library, here in Hollywood, reading every script I could get my hands on. Then I read Syd Fields’ book and I thought, ‘Well, I’ll take a stab at it.’ I had a story that was kind of nagging at me. So I wrote that script. Around the time that I finished that, I went in to read for a commercial. The casting office was in a building here in Hollywood.   I came out and bumped into someone who had seen a showcase of that scene. At the time he saw the showcase he was an agent. But we got to talking. He was no longer an agent and had just produced his first film and started a production company with a partner. He remembered the scene I wrote and asked me am I pursuing writing. I said, ‘Well, I finished my first screenplay.’ He asked if he could read it. He said they’re looking for somebody to write their next film. They read my script, and I went in for a meeting. They told me that the script was too expensive for what they were doing, but they wanted to hire me to write their next movie. So I ended up subsequently writing the next four films. Then that particular person, he and I ended up partnering and making a few films together. His name is Kurt Anderson. Great guy. We’re great friends to this day.”   RRFC Team: With content creation and stuff, it isn’t actually doing it and putting things out, it’s getting the right people to see it. How do you suggest someone who’s trying to do things independently, reach out to folks who could advance their career?   “That’s a really good question and it’s a tricky question because the business is a lot of who you know, and networking with people, and getting your foot in doors and that sort of thing…I think one of the things I can emphasize is, when opportunity knocks, be prepared, because sometimes it only knocks once. Your first impression is really going to be the one that counts. So if you’re trying to establish yourself as a writer, have a good script ready for that sort of opportunity.   One of the things I tell students these days [is] with technology being what it is, with the internet and YouTube and cameras and everything…When I first started out, it was shot on film. It was cost prohibitive for somebody like myself to go, ‘I’m just going to go shoot something.’ Even if I shot something, ‘Who’s going to see it?’ and ‘Where am I going to put it?’ But nowadays I think YouTube’s a great place to showcase yourself, because studios and production companies and agents, they have people that are assigned just to kind of cruise [the web] looking for these things.”   RRFC Team: Could you help them out as far as finding out how to get that screenplay filmed or what’s that process like?   “Because of some of the things I’m currently doing [for a very widely known cable TV network], I have the ability and opportunity to make a lot of movies for [them] if that’s what I choose to do. Obviously I can’t write all of them. So I explain to them [the student] that if they have an idea that would be suitable for them, that’s a way that I can possibly help them get on the map as a produced writer. I have a student right now, Darren Dowler, who I developed an action project with as part of the class, and I have a distributor I’m supposed to make three movies a year for who likes action projects. And so, when we were talking about what project we should develop and he mentioned the idea that he had for this action project, I said, ‘Well, you know, I have a need for that sort of thing. So why don’t we take a serious look at that?’ Right now we’re looking to cast our lead.”   Learn more about Film Connection for filmmaking, editing, cinematography, and more!    
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Want to Get to the Greek? Here’s Two Chances to See These Amazing Artists!

 

Chance #1 – TYCHO & Chrome Sparks!

  Presented by 89.9 KCRW & Goldenvoice, producer, composer, songwriter TYCHO and Chrome Sparks will be at the Greek Theatre Los Angeles on Thursday, September 5th, 2019. Doors open at 6:30. Show starts at 8pm. Wanna go to the show?   To enter, you and the +1 you want to bring to the show, must have valid U.S. ID and live in Los Angeles County or Orange County.   Win a spot on Goldenvoice’s list, by being the first to do the following (exactly) by 3:00 PDT on September 5th, 2019.   1) Follow us here @rrfconnection on Instagram.   2) Comment in our latest Instagram post “I love @tychomusic and #RRFC”   3) Only one IG account can win for either Tycho or Mac DeMarco (below), not both.   ATTENTION: We will follow you back and DM you to award tickets so make sure to check your DMs. If we cannot direct message you for any reason, we will award admission to next person who correctly follows these instructions. If you are deemed ineligible due to age, lack of ID, or any for other reason we deem appropriate, we will award admission to the runner-up. Eligible to all students, graduates, applicants, and residents of Los Angeles County or Orange County, CA who are over age 18 and have valid U.S. ID.   Didn’t win but gotta go to the show?   Get tickets here.  

Chance #2 – Mac DeMarco with Cate Le Bon!

  Presented by 89.9 KCRW & Goldenvoice, see Mac Demarco and Cate Le Bon will be at the Greek Theatre Los Angeles on Friday, September 13th, 2019. Doors open at 6:00. Show starts at 7:30pm. Wanna go? To enter, you and the +1 you want to bring to the show, must have valid U.S. ID and live in Los Angeles County or Orange County.   Win a spot on Goldenvoice’s list, by being the first to do the following (exactly) by 2:30 PDT on September 13th, 2019.   1) Follow us @rrfconnection on Instagram.   2) Comment in our latest Instagram post “I love #MacDeMarco and #RRFC”   3) Only one IG account can win for either Mac DeMarco or Tycho (above), not both.   ATTENTION: We will follow you back and DM you to award tickets so make sure to check your DMs. If we cannot direct message you for any reason, we will award admission to next person who correctly follows these instructions. If you are deemed ineligible due to age, lack of ID, or any for other reason we deem appropriate, we will award admission to the runner-up. Eligible to all students, graduates, applicants, and residents of Los Angeles County or Orange County, CA who are over age 18 and have valid U.S. ID.   Didn’t win but gotta go to the show? Get tickets here .       
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