Jimi Petulla & Brian Kraftcan help you land a job in Recording, Radio/Broadcast or Film!
Here are just a few of the latest jobs & opportunities for RRFC students & graduates this week:
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT FOR STARZ ENTERTAINMENT – Englewood, CO
POST-PRODUCTION ASSISTANT FOR DREAMWORKS! – Glendale, CA
ON-AIR HOST NEEDED FOR UNIQUE RADIO SHOW – Nashville, TN
VIDEO PRODUCER/EDITOR FOR CHICAGO CUBS – Chicago, IL
MEDIA ASSISTANT NEEDED AT CNN – Atlanta, GA
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT OPENING, ANIMATION – Greenwich, CT
LIVE AUDIO ENGINEER NEEDED AT HISTORIC EVENT VENUE – Manchester, NH
PRODUCER’S ASSISTANT NEEDED FOR 30-DAY SHOOT– Philadelphia, PA
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR FOR ANIMATION DIRECTORS – Atlanta, GA
RECORDING ENGINEER @ ASPEN MUSIC FESTIVAL (summer) – Aspen, CO
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!
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When Jimi and Brian get you working on-the-job, not only do you get valuable experience you won’t get anywhere else, but you can form lasting working relationships that help solidify your future!
Read about a Film Connection graduate who now works for his mentors full-time—it’s a perfect example of how the mentor-apprentice approach works to break you into the industry!
Film Connection “Dream Team” mentors help make dreams a reality
As an innovative writer/director team, husband-wife duo Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir are rapidly gaining a reputation as powerhouses in the Hollywood film industry. Their feature films, documentaries and music videos have won awards in film festivals around the world; they’ve done projects for major corporations and important industry producers; they’ve worked with music icons like Coldplay and P. Diddy; and they’ve even helped discover stars like Matt Bennett of Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” and Lea Michele of Fox’s “Glee.”
Daniel and Bayou refer to themselves collectively as The Dream Team, not just because they’re living out their own dreams as filmmakers, but also because they believe in using their talents to help others fulfill their dreams (their motto is “Let our dream manifest your dream”). This mentality is a key reason why this dynamic “Dream Team” are now among the Film Connection’s top film industry mentors. Talking with this couple, it’s apparent that they truly understand the power of mentorship in this industry. Daniel cites several key mentors on his own path to success; Bayou taught film in one of the most prestigious art schools in the nation (Parsons The New School in New York), but actually prefers the one-on-one mentoring approach after her experiences making films alongside some of her students.
Among the apprentices they’ve taught for the Film Connection, they’ve formed a special bond with Mike Dusenka, a passionate, aspiring director who jumped in with both feet during his apprenticeship, and stayed on after graduation to work for the company while he continues to forge his own career. Mike’s ongoing relationship with the Dream Team is a perfect example of what happens when the mentor-apprentice approach is done right. We recently had Q&A sessions both with Mike Dusenka and his mentors, and we were so impressed with what they had to say about their collective experience that we’re sharing both conversations here below!
Q&A with Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett (The Dream Team)RRF: So how have your experiences been with Mike Dusenka?Daniel Lir: “I think Mike is a really, really unique person because he wants to learn so bad. He’s so passionate about the program and about filmmaking, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get a production done and to learn. He has a very fresh viewpoint about learning, which is refreshing. He has finished the program, and now he works for us as an employee. He’s really getting the star treatment because he wants to contribute so much that we just make him a part of everything we do, whether we’re signing a management contract or whether we’re working for producers who have multiplatinum hits, or whether he’s learning about how really different [things work] together from financing to casting. He’s really just involved in every aspect. So basically, from being a student with the Film Connection to actually being right in the center of the industry is a pretty amazing transition, I would say.”
RRF: Sounds like you guys work well together.Daniel: Yeah, we work extremely well together, and he’s very involved. He’s gone from being a student to helping the company with his daily promotion to going to meetings to being involved in the development of the contracts. You know, basically everything you need to actually run a successful company, he’s really able to get to learn and get insights into that whole process.
Bayou Bennett: After training Mike for a while, Daniel got him to a level where we could actually hire him to edit music videos and things. . . We’re also mentoring him as the director, so when we’re doing our feature films and whatnot, he can continue working on the music videos and commercials. He’s learning, basically all of our secrets.
We keep it positive [on set]. That’s really important for Daniel and I because you need everyone to be on the same page, it needs to be a positive environment. Mike is absolutely one of the most positive people I know, and it really adds to the environment that we really highly always recommend and create, not only on our sets, but in the office, because that’s the only way to be.
RRF: Have you had any significant learning experiences that made you think, “Wow, that really saved me a lot of trouble!”?Daniel: Yeah, for sure. I mean I think having written this one feature or screenplay under the guidance of Doug Claybourne who has seen about 30 movies go from script to screen, and all movies you’ve heard of—The Fast and the Furious, War of the Roses, and Hearts of Darkness: Filmmaker’s Apocalypse—I think under his guidance, I really learned about how to make a character likeable and how to create conflict and how to create a character journey that is something that an audience would really identify with, and create a world and character that audiences would really want to be involved in or care about. That was extremely valuable.
RRF: What do you think is the most valuable aspect of being a mentor?Daniel: You know, that’s a really important question…I think the value of it is that you can be a real kind of a lighthouse for students and filmmakers, because if you have someone who’s experienced and has recognition, and has worked with celebrities and has had successes, they’re able to give students a pathway that’s kind of lit up as opposed to [being] in the dark. They’re able to cut out a lot of unnecessary confusion and lack of knowledge and lack of how to approach the industry. So I think it’s a really very, very powerful position…I graduated from a very top film school, but because I didn’t have a mentor, I was very in the dark for many years about how to go about doing things correctly. And having had a mentor in the last two years myself, who produced movies for Francis Ford Coppola, I could see how much that helped me to have that kind of mentor. So to be able to be that to someone else is really empowering.
Q&A with Film Connection graduate Mike DusenkaRRF: Your mentors have some pretty amazing things to say about you. What do you have to say about the program?Mike Dusenka: The program, to me, has been extremely beneficial in the fact that I’m a very driven and motivated person, and this program really compliments that because it gives you the skills, and then there’s the people in the industry you have to know to really get your foot in the door and get started. For me that was very, very beneficial and it really opened my mind to how I can make a living and a career as a filmmaker and to continue to be solvent throughout the rest of my filmmaking.
RRF: What is it about Film Connection that was different from the other film schools you looked into?Mike: Well, the Film Connection really caught my eye because it is affordable. I will not be in debt, and I get actual skills that I would not get at a traditional film school.
RRF: What has been your favorite experience on set so far?Mike: My favorite thing on set that I’ve done with my mentors Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir is being the director of photography, and directing how the shot will look and where the lights will be placed, and the mood according to the lights and the camera angle.
RRF: How do you feel about working for your mentors, going from an apprenticeship to being part of the company? How has the transition been?Mike: The transition has been excellent. To be completely honest, Daniel and Bayou are my best of friends, really good friends…I was able to become familiar with how they run things, and how things should be done [to] maintain business. They really, really trained me on that and how to be an expert filmmaker. Now that I’m working full-time with them every day, it’s just like I’m continuing to even learn more…
RRF: Have any projects of your own in the works?Mike: Well, for myself (not with Bayou and Daniel), I have been directing a music video for an incredible artist named Jean-Luc from Rwanda, Africa and he’s got a really cool R&B song. It’s been a four-day production, actually, and I’ve been working on that. We have our last production day coming up here real soon, and it’s going to be a great piece.
Film Connection mentors Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett are taking the skills, expertise, and connections they’ve gained over the years and are using them to empower and prepare the filmmakers of tomorrow. Every single day, this Dream Team is helping Film Connection graduate, Mike Dusenka, manifest a dream all his own. Who will be next?
“Traditional culinary education to me is the apprenticeship mentorship approach. This is the way our culinary industry started out. I believe the mentorship approach to culinary education is a sound one. The profit loss statement of every culinary operation looks to productivity and efficiency as its number one priority. Having to re-teach culinary graduates is not only inefficient but also costly and time-consuming”— Bill Bracken, Owner of “Bracken’s Kitchen” Food and Beverage Consulting, Los Angeles, CA
THE BEST WAY TOGET A JOBIN THE INDUSTRY WITHOUT GETTING INTO DEBT
Catching Up with Brian Kraft & Jimi Petulla
We caught up with Brian Kraft just long enough to hear about his recent trip to Vegas.
While there, Brian had the opportunity to meet with the guys from Audio Mix House (Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Dr. Dre, Flavor Flav, Ziggy Marley). With fully-appointed Ocean Way sound systems, Solid State Logic (SSL) consoles, Avid Pro Tools HD, and lots of vintage microphones and gear, the possibilities of what we might accomplish together are virtually limitless.
Brian Kraft and Shevy Shovlin then met with industry legend and studio manager Zoe Thrall and chief engineer Mark Everton Gray of Studio At the Palms (Usher, Eminem, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Maroon 5, Celine Dion). Over lunch, the four of them had a fantastic conversation talking about, among other things, the hard work and dedication Mark and Zoe put into breaking new bands, the current state of the music industry, the changes a-foot, and the opportunities that come along with every change in the biz.
To Zoe and Mark: Brian sends a warm thanks for your time and all the amazing work you’re doing!
At RRF we believe the greatest wisdom in the world benefits no one if it is not shared and made useful.
We work hard to stay on the cutting-edge of mentor-led education. The more we know about YOU, the better equipped we are to create the tools that will help you hone your craft and break you in to the industry you want to work in!
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When you operate a recording studio that works with lots of clients—ranging from major corporations like Disney and M-Audio, to comedians like Bob Saget and Billy Crystal, to celebrated musical acts like U2 and Justin Bieber—you get to learn a thing or two about studio etiquette.
Recording Connection mentor Steve Catizone’s studio, Sanctum Sound in Boston, Massachusetts, sees many clients just like these on a regular basis—so it comes as little surprise that Steve is particularly passionate on this topic. As he trains his apprentices in the arts of miking, recording and mixing, he also makes sure they understand the proper way to deal with clients that come into his studio. The first few times in the recording studio can get your adrenaline pumping, he says—but he urges his students to remember the rules of the road!
“Don’t be too opinionated when you’re talking to the clients,” says Steve. “Just sort of listen and absorb. See what the climate in the room is, and make sure that if you do say something, it’s tactful.”
In Steve’s mind, allowing the client’s vision to drive the project is an important concept to learn and remember, especially for creative people who can so easily get caught up in the moment. It takes an element of self-discipline. “If you’re a creative person, [if] you create and you write, the minute you start thinking analytically for the first time, you feel like the creativity shuts down,” he says. “It’s only because you’re using the opposite side of your brain. You’ve got your analytic side [and] you’ve got your creative side…So until you learn how to bridge those two together, it’s going to be a minute before you get creative again. That comes with time.”
Another important element to studio etiquette is something Steve refers to as “hang-ability”—simply being a good person to hang around with in the studio. “If people enjoy having you in the room, it’s a big thing,” he says. “A lot of that comes down to personality and basically just being a positive force in the room, and being creative, and knowing when to offer up ideas and how to tactfully do so, and knowing when to not be the guy ‘doing your job’ but just being cool to hang around with.”
Working with clients in the studio day after day, Steve places a high value on the idea of teaching apprentices in the studio one-on-one, because it gives them a better understanding of how the studio really works. “The whole one-on-one situation with people who are in the industry doing things is far better than being in a classroom, being told the general consensus of what everyone needs to learn,” he says. Steve also puts a high premium on helping apprentices work on their own stuff. “We’ve been sitting down with people on the project that they’re working on, that they’re actively curious about, that they’re taking home with them and working on day-to-day, and coming back to us, and we soup it up with them and just give them a lot of food for thought. So they leave excited about going to apply some of the stuff that they’ve learned.”
For others who might be thinking about trying to get involved in the recording industry, Steve’s advice is fairly straightforward: “Just dive in head first,” he says. “I mean, to be great at anything, you need 10,000 hours so you just get the process started. Get in and absorb as much as you can.”
Camilo Cedeno recently began apprenticing with Steve Catizone at Sanctum Sound. Here’s what he shared with us about his experiences:
“Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my experience with Steve so far. I have had a great time learning with him. Every single week I look forward to learning new things as he is extremely knowledgeable in production, business, and engineering related subjects. He wastes no time when we have our lessons in bombarding me with new information. Even during casual conversation, he lays down knowledge that is valuable to my own creative process as a producer and to my growing knowledge base of engineering.I feel that he gives me gentle but honest feedback when it comes to the work I have done so far, not simply pretending to like everything I show him.In the few weeks that I have been working with him, I definitely feel a greater handle on what it will take for me to have a successful career in this business. He has taken much of the scattered knowledge that I have learned on my own and given it structure and flow, where it now makes more sense and serves more as a reliable roadmap.”
These Recording Connection graduates are now working in the audio recording and music producing business because of the education they received and the connections they made through our school. Some are now Chief Engineers, others are recording studio owners, and still others are producing. Click here to view our full Digital Information Kit.
Their teachers listen to the Gold Records our teachers produce. Advantage: Recording Connection.