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Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Issue #68 Author Credits: Liya Swift & Jeff McQ

  #68 – Job Opportunities

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.  


When RRFC gets you learning on-the-job, you actually have the opportunity to launch your career instead of sitting in a classroom. Read below about a Film Connection apprentice who made the decision to learn on-the-job, and wound up with credits on a feature documentary film and working with celebrities like Billy Bob Thornton!

Student Successes
  Film Connection apprentice Jamie Reed wasn’t meant to sit in a classroom     Jamie Reed, Billy Bob Thornton“Since I was little, I would watch movies over and over again,” says Film Connection apprentice Jamie Reed of his lifelong passion for film. “Growing up, I would make tiny movies with a crappy camera that my parents had…I liked film because it could take you out of the world and put you in a different world for a certain amount of time and make you forget everything. Anything was possible inside of movies.”   But when it came time to prepare for a career, Jamie found himself at a crossroads, knowing he needed an education and even scoping out a few film schools, but dreading the idea of film school in general. He didn’t want to sit in a class: he wanted to get involved. “I wanted to get out there,” says Jamie. “I wanted to gain experience through action.”   So when Jamie discovered the Film Connection, the choice to learn filmmaking on-the-set was obvious. “Film Connection was, by far, the best option I could choose,” he says. “I was not a person ready for four years in a college class.”   Jamie was placed with Emmy-winning Film Connection mentor Zac Adams of Skydive Films in Nashville, Tennessee. From the moment he walked into his first session, Jamie knew he was in the right place for getting into the action.   Autism in America“The first day, it was an interview for [Zac’s documentary] movie Autism in America,” says Jamie. “He interviewed a parent who has twins with autism. I helped set up lighting.”   Jamie admits he was intimidated at first by jumping into a shoot the first day, especially with some of the unfamiliar lingo—but his mentor made sure he was brought up to speed. “[It was], ‘All right, this is what this means. So next time when you do it, this is how you do it again like that.’ It was a little overwhelming, but it was exactly what I wanted,” says Jamie. “I wasn’t thrown to wolves and just left to die. I was being taught on the set…He was getting me involved, and it got me extremely excited for everything ahead of myself.”   And the involvement didn’t stop there. As Jamie began his apprenticeship, he (along with fellow apprentice Matt Gibson) ended up playing an integral role in the production of Autism in America, which is narrated by Grey’s Anatomy star Chandra Wilson. “I did audio, I did lights, I shot some footage for it that is actually in the film and helped edit it,” he says. “I didn’t edit it myself, you know; it was me, the director and the editor in the room getting it finished. But yeah, some of the shots, some of the B-roll shots I did ended up in the film.”   For his work on the project, mentor Zac Adams tells RRFC that Jamie and fellow apprentice Matt Gibson are receiving Assistant to the Editor credits on Autism In America, which officially premiered last week in Nashville. “Jamie’s resumé is gonna be pretty big when he’s done in a few months,” says Zac, “because he’s done everything from music videos to corporate, to feature documentaries.”   Talk about getting the full experience.   These days, as Jamie finishes up his apprenticeship, he says he’s been working on raising money for a short film of his own, as well as leveraging his newfound skills for income by doing video work for his own clients, which he says has been “going great!” Besides all that, he’s been working with his mentor on yet another feature documentary called Iron Will, an exposé about PTSD which is being narrated by none other than Billy Bob Thornton! Jamie has once again been running audio, and he shares a bit of what it’s been like on the interviews.   “You know, these guys who look tough and everything like that, they kinda break down in the middle of the interview talking about how tough it is over there,” he says. “We’ve gotten some really emotional interviews…It’s hard, I’m running audio, and I’m listening, but I’m also feeling myself tearing up, but I’m like, ‘Oh, I can’t make any sound because that’s just gonna ruin the whole piece!’ So I just try to focus on audio, and it gets tough, but it’s a great thing to be a part of because this documentary is out there help soldiers or veterans find somewhere to go and actually deal with it.”   Jamie decided on the Film Connection because he wanted to learn by getting involved. Today, instead of sitting in a traditional film school classroom, he’s well on his way to a career doing what he loves. “Some people aren’t meant to sit down in classrooms,” he says. I think what sets [Film Connection] apart is that it gets people involved right away. It’s not a sit-down for four years in a classroom. [It’s] ‘This is how you do a shoot. This is a wide shot.’ You’re right in there….that’s what I love about it. Making connections with the people, getting involved, you’re straight into it.”   


Watch us on Larry King here:
Issue #68


Right – David Lynch Endorsement
Film Connection partners with the David Lynch Foundation

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  #68 – Apprentices in Action
Here’s what some RRFC Apprentices
have been up to!
Martini JeanCongrats to recent Radio Connection graduate Martini Jean on landing a gig as radio host for “AllThingsGeek” on WSRP Radio, where he and a co-host will cover sci-fi, comic books, movies, tech and a number of local, geek-tastic events!    JJ MoserRecording Connection graduate JJ Moser is busy, busy, busy working as drum tech for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros! First Boston, then Sonoma and after that, who’s to say where?!    Stacy TantarosFilm Connection apprentice Stacy Tantaros of Scranton, KS has some good things to say about his first night out shooting: “I got to meet some really cool people from the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City. Listening to them tell stories about all the films they worked just on blew my mind. I got to play with some killer toys, too.”    Spencer MarszalekRecording Connection apprentice Spencer Marszalek of Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania has been helping his mentor program drums for a series of instrumental rock tracks that are bound for NYC. Spencer says, “It wasn’t easy, but I really did learn a lot from doing that. It was probably the hardest I’ve worked the whole time I was there, and I had a blast doing it.”   


  Digital Information Kit – Three Phases

The Three Phases of Our Curriculum

The Film Connection filmmaking curriculum is broken down into three phases.   Phase One pairs you with a local filmmaker in your city, within easy commute distance of where you live. This professional filmmaker will mentor you on film sets and inside the film production company where he or she works while teaching you the creative and production aspects of filmmaking. It is here in Phase One that you will direct your three films, learn lighting, staging, framing, editing, film history, production design, and every other aspect of general film production.   Phase Two is a series of one-on-one meetings with a legendary Hollywood screenwriter or producer with real feature film credits – movie credits you have heard of! You will work one-on-one with this screenwriter/producer to develop your “big idea” for a movie or TV show (or documentary) into a professional screenplay and/or a professional pitch. Please note how rare an opportunity this is. The Film Connection is placing you with a legendary professional who is mentoring you one-on-one to get your very best movie idea out of your head, and onto the page.   Phase Three is the opportunity of a lifetime. You’ll fly to New York or Los Angeles where you get to pitch/present the movie idea you’ve been working on (in Phase Two) to a well-known Hollywood film producer in a private meeting. Not only will you gain insight into how the movie business really works, you will get specific notes on your movie idea. And if you have what it takes, you may even sell your idea!   Click here to learn more about the Film Connection!

  #68 – Mentor News
Nuggets of truth: Recording Connection mentor Conrad Osipowicz weighs in on knowing your stuff, being professional and creating good experiences for artists in the studio
Blue Room in Herndon, VAWhen it comes to audio engineering, they don’t come with a much deeper bank of experience as Recording Connection mentor Conrad Osipowicz. In his years of experience, not only has he engineered and produced a wide range of acts in the studio, but he’s also worked extensively in live audio (including heading up the live mix department of a high-profile Boston radio station) and even testing new products for major companies like Cakewalk. Over the years, Conrad has crossed paths and worked with major artists like Regina Spektor, Dave Matthews Band, The Pixies, Dropkick Murphys and many others. This bank of experience gives Conrad an advantage in teaching apprentices who are interested in many different aspects of the music industry.   Today, Conrad is the owner and chief engineer of Blue Room Productions, one of the most well-appointed studios in the Washington, DC area. While the main studio is located in Bethesda, MD about 25 minutes from the White House, Blue Room recently expanded its reach to include a second location in Herndon, VA, which will also give the Recording Connection yet another convenient, high-quality location for placing our Virginia apprentices!   We caught up recently with Conrad to see how things were going, and as is usually the case with our mentor conversations, he had some keen insights to share about the music business, how to build a studio, and what he tells his students about smart business practices and servicing clients. Below are some of the best nuggets we mined from the conversation.   
*  *  *  *  *
   ON HOW HE GRAVITATED TOWARD AUDIO ENGINEERING: “I guess I’ve always been more on the technical side of the music industry. I played drums for about 15 years. I was always interested in computers and technology. I produce, too. It’s not that I exclusively engineer. I’ll produce with full bands and indie rock bands and up and coming artists here in the DC area, but I was definitely more inclined on the technical side of operations — using the right mics, the right outboard gear, the right software and plug-ins….[I] prefer to work in the studio with a talented producer who can figure out the musical components of the song, and I can just try to make it sound good as best as possible. I was always that way ever since a young age, more into the technology side.”   ON BUILDING BLUE ROOM STUDIOS FROM THE GROUND UP: “It started as an empty room, and I slowly added equipment and software—a vocal booth from eBay, at one point the whisper room booth, a piece at a time—just kind of recording a couple sessions [for] two or three weeks and then buying a new mic on EBay, and then recording another week or two and buying a new plug-in online. Just kind of piecing whatever I could. A lot of my funds, all my resources, all my effort and my free time went into the studio. And you know, now it’s six years later. First of all, the studio is honestly one of the top studios in the area, in DC, where of course we’re limited and only have probably six to eight big flagship commercial studios in the area. And I’ve got at this point some of the best mics, best preamps, best vintage compressors. You’ll find even some very rare pieces and seven foot tall Polish monitors, Lipinski Signature monitors Polish made, and so, some really unique items that you might not find at any other the studio on the East Coast.”   Blue Room in Herndon, VAON WHY HE OPENED A SECOND LOCATION: “We’re really trying to give options to musicians and other producers and even freelance engineers here in the DC area, because it’s not nearly as competitive here as it is in New York, or Nashville, or LA where there’s a studio on every block. Here, it’s completely different, as you can imagine…So, this spring and this summer will be really busy because we’ll have two studios running simultaneously to accommodate different types of artists and people in different areas around the DC area, with slightly more affordable hourly rates in Virginia, too.”   ON WHY HAVING A GREAT STUDIO ISN’T ALL ABOUT THE GEAR: “It’s not just having the gear and getting the expertise. Maybe to work on your own that’s all you need. But if you want to work with others, this is an industry of collaboration and communication with producers, and engineers, and artists, and graphic designer[s], and photographer[s], and all different people in the music industry, videographers, directors. You need to know how to interact with people, how to shake hands, smile, dress appropriately. All those basic things people overlook them and assume that, yeah, if you’ve got the gear and you’ve got the plug-ins, then that’s all you need…Someone who actually knows what button to push and why they’re pushing it, and why the mic was turned a certain way—the experience is ten times more valuable than any piece of gear or any plug-in you can use. You know, engineering in the studio with a band or a singer is about your personality and your smile and your ability to be pleasant and to want to spend time with someone in the studio. That’s 90%-plus of the session. And the gear and your keyboard shortcuts and all that stuff is 10% or less. I have a couple of freelance engineers who pass through the studio and, yes, they might have a great pair of ears and be able to produce a great mix, but if they’re not pleasant or they haven’t showered or they don’t smile, whatever their excuse is—you know, no one wants to spend eight hours, ten hours in a long session with somebody like that.”   ON THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR STUFF IN THE STUDIO: “You know, a lot of people might walk into my studio who maybe have never been in a studio and think, ‘Wow! Awesome gear. How much did everything cost? And, how long did it take you to get everything?’ Yeah, it takes some time and some investment. There’s of course some risk associated with buying hundreds of thousands of dollars of rare equipment, but you’ve [also] got to know what you’re doing with it…If you can do a great mix with just plug-ins in the box, that’s more valuable than any type of gear you could have in the rack.”   Bethesda Studio 1 - Blue Room Productions ON WHY HE STRESSES SIGNAL FLOW TO HIS STUDENTS: “Definitely, a big emphasis on signal flow is really critical for a studio. My setup is not very complex here in the studio, but to be able to troubleshoot on the fly and know why somebody can’t hear themselves in their headphones, or why you’re not getting signal, something like that is critical to running a successful studio and having a pain free recording session with somebody….[I tell students], you know it’s no big deal now when we’re kind of one-on-one and just experimenting, and even have a chance to bring some friends who might play guitar and sing or play piano and they can act as the guinea pig for the session. But, if they have a real client there, and they’re paying $110 dollars an hour for studio time, then you know, they should never be waiting for you. If anything, you should be waiting for them. No one wants to wait for you to patch in gear or fix the headphones or swap out a cable. So, signal flow is pretty critical.”   ON WHY LEARNING HANDS-ON IS IMPORTANT: “I am a firm believer that practicing and learning in the studio in a hands-on manner will always yield a more informed and experienced studio engineer than someone who simply learns via lectures, YouTube tutorials, discussion forums, etc. For that reason, I often encourage my students during their lessons to record a friend’s band, or an individual singer-songwriter who might play acoustic guitar and sing, or play piano and sing. That way, the artist can act as a guinea pig for the students, but also walk away with a professional well-mixed recording. The student gets to practice on a real recording artist in a real recording studio. Everybody wins.”   ON THE IMPORTANCE OF CONNECTING TO THE LARGER MUSIC COMMUNITY: “In addition to practicing technique inside the studio, I am always encouraging my students to participate in the audio engineering community outside of the studio, too. I am a voting member of the Grammys, and not only attend the show in LA each year, but also participate in all the local Grammy events that are presented by the Washington DC Chapter of the Grammy Academy. Additionally, I am a member of the AES (Audio Engineering Society) and just returned last week from the AES conference , which was held this year in Warsaw, Poland. I remind my students that it’s not only a great opportunity to learn more about engineering from experts, but also an unbelievable networking tool to meet other local engineers, producers, songwriters, composers, musicians, etc.”   


  Information Kit – See How Apprentices Learn from Top Music Professionals

See How Apprentices Learn from Top Music Professionals

Dave Pensado, Recording Connection mentor Matt Linesch, and Recording Connection apprentice, Hannah Finegold discuss the Recording Connection’s mentor/apprentice music education approach at the world famous United Recording in Hollywood, CA. United Recording is one of the many famous recording students where Recording Connection students serve their apprenticeships.   Click here to learn more about the Recording Connection!

  #68 – Catching Up

Catching Up
with Brian Kraft

Brian KraftOn Tuesday, May 12, starting at 4:30 pm, our own Brian Kraft was back in Nashville accepting his invitation to attend the 17th Annual GRAMMY® Block Party. Held at Cumberland Park on Nashville’s historic riverfront, the private event was organized by The Recording Academy® Nashville Chapter and was attended by leading members of the Nashville recording community.   The event featured live musical performances from Blackberry Smoke, Taylor Edwards, Janice Gaines, Hunter Hayes, John & Jacob, Meghan Trainor and Lee Ann Womack. Brian got to catch up with engineer-producers Chuck Ainlay, Bil VornDick and Julian King; studio designer Carl Tatz; and the Recording Academy Producers & Engineer’s Wing Managing Director, Maureen Droney.  

  #68 – Announcement!
We’re happy to announce artist, writer, and producer Dennis White a.k.a. Static Revenger is now a Recording Connection mentor! The Detroit native has seven #1 Billboard Club Chart remixes for artists including Swedish House Mafia, Hans Zimmer, Shakira, The Crystal Method, Madonna, with credits on more than 3.5 million records sold worldwide including numerous Gold, Platinum, and Double Platinum Records. Static Revenger’s single “Happy People” was recently nominated by Fatboy Slim as one of the Top 10 Dance Tracks of the decade and his club anthem “I Like That” has more than 12 million YouTube impressions. A multi-talented artist, Dennis White also composes for film and television and co-wrote “The Zing” with Adam Sandler for Hotel Transylvania which features vocals by Cee-lo Green, Selena Gomez, Adam Sandberg and Adam Sandler.   We are looking to match Dennis White with one fortunate A Level Genius Candidate.   Applicants interested in apprenticing with Static Revenger should contact the Admissions Department.
Dr. Drew endorses the Recording, Radio & Film Connection, and CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School of the Arts.
Issue #68


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!

  #68 – Apprentice Media
Check out this work by RRFC apprentices!


Quotes from Students:


RRFC partners with real industry professionals to educate students while they apprentice in real recording studios, radio stations and film production companies all over the world.

For more information, Click here!