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Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories August 31, 2015 Author Credits: Liya Swift & Jeff McQ

BRIAN KRAFT, C.O.O. and Chief Academic Officer of RRFC, can HELP YOU LAND A JOB

  Here are just a few of the latest jobs & opportunities for RRFC students & graduates this week:     


  Click here to see full details on the jobs currently available. Visit the official RRFC Job Board for more opportunities, and check the RRFC Blog for news & updates!   Contact Student Services for more information on logging in.  
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When RRFC gets you learning on the job, you gain the tools and skills to forge your own path, and even launch your own business! Read below about a Film Connection graduate who went from having no prior film experience to launching his own film production company in a few short years!

Student Successes

Intersecting business and creativity: Film Connection graduate
Taylor Giddens starts his own production company

Taylor Giddens

Taylor Giddens

When we caught up recently with Film Connection graduate Taylor Giddens, he was finishing up some invoices for his Atlanta-based production company, Kelly Productions. “Making sure my editor and my team are on schedule for our project, so just kind of doing some paperwork tonight,” he said.   Seems difficult to believe that just a few years ago, Taylor was an early 20-something with a dream to pursue a film career, but zero film experience whatsoever. In fact, Taylor says it was his wife who first encouraged him to jump into a film career.   “She told me just to try it,” he says. “Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work out. You don’t want to have any regrets of not even trying it at all. So, she pushed me over the edge, and I just jumped into it.”   Taylor began searching out film schools but came up short, at first. “They were all pretty pricey and required me to move away,” he says, “and I already had a pretty well established business that I had started in Atlanta.”   When he discovered the Film Connection, Taylor knew right away it would be a great fit, not only because he could learn hands-on with a real filmmaker, but also because he could do apprentice without having to leave Atlanta. “I’m the kind of person that if I want to learn something, I’ll go out and do it myself,” he says. “That’s why I liked the Film Connection…you teach yourself with a mentor. Instead of sitting in a classroom all day, you’re actually hands-on.”   Even so, Taylor says that for him, having no prior experience, the learning curve was a little steep at first. He recalls the early days working on-set with Film Connection mentor Carl Millender of Starmaxx Media:   “When we first went on set, I didn’t know a lot of terminology,” he says. “So it was a huge learning curve when someone was like, ‘Hand me this, or hand me that. Or can we do this? Let’s do this shot.’ And I didn’t know at all what was going on…I was trying to fake it but without looking like an idiot and trying to learn.”   Before long, Taylor says he caught on, and before he was finished with his apprenticeship, he was even assistant directing on some of his mentor’s projects. His learning experience went far beyond just the camera work. “I learned more about how to, and how not to, run a set, how the process goes,” says Taylor, “how to do stuff in preproduction while you’re shooting in postproduction, the dos and don’ts.”   1008513_10151630767511544_14751182_o When he graduated from the program, already having some prior business experience, it seemed a natural next step for Taylor to take his newfound skills and start his own production company. Today, he stays busy with a variety of projects, ranging from commercial, corporate and wedding videos to creative projects. “If it has anything to do with a camera, I’m ready to go,” he says.   Along with the corporate and commercial projects which keep the bills paid, Taylor continues to create a number of short films while raising money for a feature-length film. Since launching his company, Taylor now has several high-quality shorts to his credit—the latest of which, a fan film called Breakfast With Clark, placed second in the Superman Fan Film Festival. “We’re really proud of that one,” he says. “We had a lot of fun with that.”   As he continues to build his career, Taylor looks forward to a day when creative films can take up his whole schedule. “I’d love to be producing films 100% of the time, but that’s a very lengthy process,” he says. In the meantime, however, he’s finding the intersection of business and creativity by taking a more creative approach to the projects he does for clients—a tactic which is also helping him compete in the growing Atlanta film industry. “We’re trying to establish ourselves as not just, ‘Hey, we’re not just gonna show up and shoot it,’” he says. “We’re like, ‘Hey, we’re gonna do a training video, but how can we do it in a creative, fun, cinematic film way?’ And that’s helped us out a lot.”   As for his wife, Kelly, who first prompted him to pursue a career in film—Taylor says she continues to be a huge support, and the company is named after her.   “She’s kind of like the mother of the production company,” he says. “She cooks all the food, and she likes having people over, so we’ve shot some films at our house and on our property, our neighbor’s house, or have used our house for the base of the shoot, for base camp. She’s been very supportive, and sometimes she’s more supportive of me than I am of myself.”     A few years ago, Taylor Giddens had only a dream. Today, thanks to the hands-on training he received with the Film Connection—not to mention the support of his wife—Taylor is establishing a successful film career. Not bad for a guy with no previous experience.   “In a few short years,” he says, “…Yeah, I believe that I’ve come a far way.”   *Check out Taylor’s work in Apprentice Media below!    
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8-31-15 Apprentices in Action

Here’s what some RRFC Apprentices
have been up to!

Victor Smith

Victor Smith

Film Connection apprentice Victor Smith (Athens, GA) recently got some great on-the-job experience taking part in a shoot for a medical project. Wide shots, close-ups and multiple takes were all on the shot list, requiring multiple lenses and impromptu adjustments!   
Steven Pacheco

Steven Pacheco

Recording Connection student Steven Pacheco (Apple Valley, CA) recently got two guitarists he knows from the band Versa into the studio to record a few guitar tracks. “The band and I are gonna work on six songs altogether,” he says.   
Jocelyne Berumen

Jocelyne Berumen

Film Connection apprentice Jocelyne Berumen (Green Bay, WI) went on-set for a music video shoot for the band Daphni where she got to wear multiple hats including: grip, PA, and “fog girl.” Despite encountering a few setbacks out of their control, Jocelyne was impressed: “The entire time though, the crew remained calm and professional. Remaining calm in difficult situations is something I really cherish in people. The shots were beyond beautiful.”   
Mikey Mac Conover aka STR!X

Mikey Mac Conover aka STR!X

Recording Connection student Mikey Mac Conover aka STR!X is playing the AVALON in Hollywood, September 6th!   Originally from New Jersey, now based in North Hollywood, this bass music producer / artist drops mid tempo dubstep and banging electro house.   Get tickets here!   


Dr. Drew endorses the Recording, Radio & Film Connection, and CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School of the Arts.
August 31, 2015


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8-31-15 Mentor News
NUGGETS OF TRUTH: Recording Connection mentor Nick Chahwala shares secrets of his studio’s competitive edge
Recording Connection mentor Nick Chahwala

Recording Connection mentor Nick Chahwala

Recording Connection mentor Nick Chahwala is an industry pro in the truest sense of the word, not just because of his Grammy-nominated work with artists like Mariah Carey, Katy Perry and T.I., but also because of his cutting-edge approach to recording and producing quality records. Over time, he’s developed his Atlanta-based recording studio, Bravo Ocean Studios, into a one-stop shop for high-quality recording, production, branding and artist development. What’s more, he recently hired one of his star students, Recording Connection graduate Garrett Pace (whom we featured in the June 29 edition of this newsletter), to be his primary staff engineer!   In a recent conversation with RRFC, Nick talked about some of the secrets of his studio’s successes, including streamlining the studio workflow and entering into artist development. (He also bragged on Garrett a bit.) As is so often the case, a lot of what he said is quite useful to many of our students hoping to break into the business, so we’ve mined some of the best nuggets from that conversation to share with you below.  
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  ON WHY HE FELT THE NEED TO INCREASE STUDIO EFFICIENCY: “In the industry, sometimes it’s not about the best quality of the product, but it’s also about the speed and how fast you can get there, the timing of things. So basically there was like thousands of dollars that I was losing, and literally when I would hear the product that someone had beat me out on, it wasn’t about, ‘Oh my God, it was the best quality, or the best song.’ It was like it got there first, it fitted their need at that point. And then they were able to go back later after it was produced and get it technically and everything, you know, to where it needed to be. That’s on the production side of things, but as far as engineering, you know, I’m still a stickler about quality; it’s a huge thing for me. So I’ve tried, every single day, to work on my technique on recording and producing to where I can still have a phenomenal sound, but not cutting everything up into layers…So efficiency is a big thing because one, we don’t wanna loose money; two, we wanna beat anybody else, get our product out first.”  
Studio C in Bravo Ocean Studios

Studio C in Bravo Ocean Studios

ON HOW HE SPEEDS UP THE WORKFLOW WITHOUT COMPROMISING QUALITY: “Everything is like doing eight different concepts or techniques all built into one, into your [Pro Tools] workflow…So, for instance, if I have a tracking vocal, and that’s my main tracking vocal and that input’s engaged, that’s the only one I’ll ever use that entire session. I never shut that out of record and then go to the next track and put that track in record…If that vocalist is singing on that track and I’m listening to it, if I know it needs to be redone, she knows that if I start this over, she’s got to get immediately right into the first verse again…I’m comping while she’s still doing the second take, and I’m still listening…I’ve got my set ups already so we already have a mix….[Using] different Pro Tools flows, hierarchies of vocal levels to where they’re just continuously recording so they’re just in it. They don’t even know that we exist, they are just constantly recording for 30, 45 minutes, and we’re doing over 60, 70, 80 tracks of vocals perfectly pitched, perfectly lined up, timing, harmonized, and first small mix, all by the time they get out of the booth…We get paid a lot for our mixes and our efficiency, so it just works. That’s just one of hundreds of things that we do inside of Pro Tools to make sure we’re efficient.”   ON WHY HE LOVES TO WORK WITH EMERGING ARTISTS: “You know, we’ve done a lot of major stuff. We’re Grammy nominated for doing Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, No Mercy, the entire record with T.I. Which are great records, but honestly, I think the best stuff that we’ve ever worked on is the stuff we work on with emerging artists, because they still have the drive, the hunger, and there is still a lot of discovery. With major artists, they might be looking for a new sound, but they’re there already…But the stuff that we’ve worked on for emerging artists, for instance our artist Ulrika–and another artist of ours named Prisca, she got compared to like an Ellie Goulding, Annie Lennox, Prince…Every producer can get in the big sessions like Katy and Mariah that we’ve done. And that’s fine, but if you can break your own artist, you’ve really created your own path.”  
Control Room A in Bravo Ocean Studios

Control Room A in Bravo Ocean Studios

ON WHY (AND HOW) HE ADDED ARTIST DEVELOPMENT AND BRANDING TO HIS SERVICES: “Development is record production and finding an avenue and a voice for that specific artist or band. As soon as we nail that, we get right into the branding, we develop the website—we have incredibly talented photographers that work for the biggest magazines that are in-house. So we do the branding, their look, the photography, the clothing style, their social media management and their themes, what they look like out there. And then we have partners, too who are on Facebook, YouTube, all those kinds of things including YouTube partners and stuff like that. It’s [based on] what they need and how big their budget is, but instead of just grabbing that one budget for recording, we try to grab multiple budgets to try and make sure, after we’re doing the most important part, which is production—we want to make our work make sense, by putting it in the right business and the right avenue to get out there as best as possible. And why not do that if we know how to do it already?”   ON WHY HE HIRED HIS APPRENTICE GARRETT PACE, AND HOW HE’S DOING NOW: “Of all the students that we’ve had, he’s been like the best. I think when he first got here the whole thing for him I told him was to get out of his comfort zone continuously. He’s the only one who’s done that…he became my best student, and then he became the leader of a couple production groups that I put him on and then now he’s my head engineer. And now that he’s through the program, I hired him to stay here at the studio to become my head engineer, so he does all the studio engineering…It’s only been five and a half, six months that he’s been with us. Came in with hardly any kind of ear or any kind of understanding of production, and since that time has put out multiple records and entire projects of full blown albums. And now he has the key to the studio, to where he’s taking all our studio sessions. Last night was his first major [label] artist…I was out at dinner and I couldn’t be there, so I was like, ‘You’re gonna have to take it, you’re gonna have to produce her vocals for her album.’ He came, stepped it up, and now she’s asking for him by name.”   
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Want to Improve your Performanceship?

Get Onstage Success!
Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson

Live music producer Tom Jackson has worked with artists including Sean Mendes, Taylor Swift, LeCrae, Magic!, The Tenors, Gloriana, Francesca Battistelli and hundreds more to transform their performances. Crafting a compelling show is all about learning the language and connecting with the audience in a way they’ll understand. Tom teaches these skills to artists of every level, style, and genre.    “Tom makes a major impact… he is a true creative partner who helps realize the artist’s full performance potential.”Matt Serletic, Producer Santana, Celine Dion, Aerosmith, Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas   “Tom Jackson is a jaw-droppingly outstanding live music producer. A true master, and I don’t mean that lightly! I’m recommending him to every serious performing artist I know.”Derek Sivers, Founder CD Baby and HostBaby  

Come to Nashville! Tom Jackson’s 2-Day Live Performance Bootcamp takes place on
Friday-Saturday, September 25-26th, 2015.

  Included are two full days of fun and enlightening instruction and a chance to play for music industry pros at the evening Showcase!   We’re happy to offer this intensive 2-Day Live Performance Bootcamp for only $299. Seating is limited so act quickly!   **Hotel arrangements, lodging, food and travel are not included.  

Follow the link here, then click on the “workshops” tab and scroll down to “Tom Jackson Bootcamp.”

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CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School of the Arts can get you learning one-on-one
from an award-winning chef in a real restaurant!

For more information, Click here!

Check out this work by RRFC apprentices!

Apprentice Media



Quotes from Students: