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Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Issue #91 Author Credits: Liya Swift & Jeff McQ

JIMI PETULLA, C.E.O., and BRIAN KRAFT, C.O.O. and Chief Academic Officer of RRFC,

James Petulla
  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 Jimi and Brian get you working on the job, you’ll learn things one-on-one from the pros that textbook training can never teach you. Read below about a Recording Connection student who fine-tuned his production skills under the mentoring of a Grammy-nominated engineer, and now uses those skills in his burgeoning career as a producer!

Student Successes

Recording Connection student Jordan Robertson becomes an
emerging music producer in Baton Rouge!

Jordan Robertson

Jordan Robertson

“I just love music,” says Recording Connection student Jordan Robertson of his passion for music production. “I bet I have music notes in my DNA,” he adds, laughing.   From as early as age four, Jordan was figuring out the notes from movie themes. “I would hear themes from Home Alone, Boyz n the Hood, and I would just go to the piano and start playing,” he says.   It stands to reason that by the time he came of age, Jordan was passionate about becoming a music producer and film composer. He even had his sights set on a particular recording studio in his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana—namely, Grammy-nominated Sockit Studio, owned and run by music industry veteran engineer Devon Kirkpatrick, who’s worked with icons like Jay Z, Tony Bennett and Timbaland.   What Jordan didn’t know—and what he soon discovered—was that Devon was a Recording Connection mentor, and that he could learn from Devon one-on-one in the studio by enrolling in the program. Jordan jumped at the chance.   “The one-on-one attention, the fact that you’re in a real recording studio, you’re not in a classroom with 20 other students—if you have a question, your mentor is right there,” says Jordan.   In fact, during his very first lesson with Devon, it became clear to Jordan that he had some “blind spots” as far as what he’d taught himself to that point about music production and engineering.   “I brought in some of my original music, and he evaluated my technique that I was using thus far,” says Jordan. “[I was] using too many stereo tracks on one project, like when you played my mix back in mono, most of my instrumentation was gone…I didn’t even know about that at the time.”   Devon told him, “There’s really no wrong way, but I’m gonna show you the right way.” Jordan says. His mentor then showed him some techniques for dealing with some of the phasing issues in his recording. “[It] was an orchestral-type piece, and he noticed the panning of the cellos and instruments,” Jordan recalls. “He recommended how I should pan those particular instruments.”  
The Easy

The Easy

Jordan proved to be a natural in the studio. After completing the basic apprenticeship, he stayed on with Devon to go through the Recording Connection master’s program. For his master’s assignment, Jordan was able to bring in popular Baton Rouge funk band The Easy to record. “The master’s program is excellent,” he says. “[It’s] focusing more on the fundamentals skills you learned in the bachelors program, but focusing more on the mixing-recording-mastering side.”   Meanwhile, as Jordan wraps up his Recording Connection assignments, he’s wasted no time in working to set up his career as a producer/engineer. He maintains a relationship with Devon where he’s able to work on freelance projects out of Sockit Studio, he networks via social media and word-of-mouth, and he has even found some creative ways to generate income online.   “I started an online music production company, Fiya Records Productions LLC, so that’s up and running online,” he says. “I offer online mixing. Clients will upload their mixes to my Hightail account, and I will mix and invoice them for payment. Or they could listen to instrumentals that I’ve done, and they can pretty much buy directly from my site.”   For the long term, Jordan hasn’t lost track of his lifelong dream of composing and producing for film and television. In the meantime, however, he’s putting his newfound music production and engineering skills to good use. He says he has plans to continue working with The Easy to produce a 12-track album; he’s also working with a Christian rapper named Rock on a Christmas dubstep-hip-hop album, and even has plans to collaborate with a music producer from Brazil on some dance/reggaeton tracks. While his passion is more toward music production, he recognizes the value of the recording and mixing skills he learned from Devon, and keeps a level head about it.   “Being a music producer as a career, if the song doesn’t do very well, you still have the side of recording, which is pretty much a never-ending career,” he says, “because clients and people always need to record, whether it’s music or whether it’s vocal overdubs for a commercial.”   As Jordan continues building his new career, he is quick to recognize how his apprenticeship helped fill in the gaps for him. “I learned a lot about myself as a musician and producer since I started with the Recording Connection,” he says. “My whole work flow producing music has changed.”    
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Watch us on Larry King here:
Issue #91 | Page 1


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Mentor News
  NUGGETS OF TRUTH: Film Connection mentor Kevin Sharpley weighs in on
mentoring, making connections and taking the initiative
Film Connection mentor Kevin Sharpley

Film Connection mentor Kevin Sharpley

When it comes to being well-connected in the film industry, they don’t come much more connected than Film Connection mentor Kevin Sharpley. As the owner of Kijik Multimedia in Miami, Florida, Kevin has worked on projects alongside such industry pros as Danny Glover, Darryl Hannah, Josh Brolin, David Lynch and many others. He’s also chairman of the board for the Miami-Dade County Film and Entertainment Advisory Board, a judge at the Miami International Film Festival, and is even friends with the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.   But perhaps the best part of all this is Kevin’s willingness to involve his Film Connection students in all that he does, and even giving them film credit when they take the initiative and contribute meaningfully to his projects. In a recent conversation with RRFC, Kevin chatted with us about everything from the importance of networking to his thoughts on mentoring in general, and even took a few minutes to brag on some of his students’ accomplishments. We’ve mined some of the best nuggets from that conversation to share with you below. Enjoy!  
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  HIS THOUGHTS ON THE MENTOR-APPRENTICE APPROACH AS OPPOSED TO TRADITIONAL FILM SCHOOLS:   “No knocks to traditional film schools—I went to a film school. I got a lot from it…but there’s one thing that I didn’t get from the film school that I graduated from, which is the real world experience. More often than not, especially in this industry, it’s the real world experience that counts.   ON HOW HE STARTED HIS OWN PRODUCTION COMPANY:   Kijik Multi-Media Productions Incorporated “While I was [in school], I really wanted to do real work, so after my first couple of months I got a gig to do a music video. Low budget, maybe seven grand or five grand or something like that. I hired a producer, I just wanted to direct. I hired a whole team. No one did what they were supposed to do, and I ended up doing so many things. The editors that I had they tried to squeeze more money out of me because they had a little more knowledge than me. I’d only been in film school for a couple months. It was just not a good situation.   “My next project, I really pulled my britches up and produced, directed it, sold it…From that point after I produced that second project, I just said, ‘Look, if I can produce a project, let me just start my own production company.’ That’s when…I formed my company to be able to work in that type of environment.”   CHATTING ABOUT ONE OF HIS PET PROJECTS:   “I’ve always been a big believer in storytelling across multiple media platforms, being able to tell the story in time and space. You can tell a story in two minutes, you can tell a story in five minutes, 10, 15 a half an hour, 10 hours or 12 hours which would be a television show—but you can also tell it in the written word. You can tell the story auditorily. You can tell it just visually with a comic book. I’ve always been a big believer in this. We formulated a project to showcase this ability. That project is called The Beach Chronicles. It’s one of- now my company’s bigger projects. It was a small little tiny, baby project and it just exploded.   “That one I wrote as a novel first. My creative director did these animated graphic novels vignettes…We put four of them together, entered them in film festivals, they got picked. That short got passed around to a bunch of celebrities, next thing you know we had all these celebrities on board…We set about actualizing those pieces and they kind of happened organically…David Lynch has his non-profit organization, so the music faction of his non-profit organization had a radio show, [and] they asked us to make a show…We did six episodes. In those, we have everyone from Tommy Flanagan from Sons of Anarchy, Nancy Sinatra, Jimmy Jean-Louis from Heroes…Then the decision was made to do the comic books…so now we’re working with the comic book company and we debuted the comic at Florida Supercon…The list goes on.”   ON THE INDUSTRY EXPOSURE HE’S ABLE TO GIVE HIS STUDENTS:  
Film Connection apprentice Brian Kennedy with Jimmy Jean-Louis of Heroes

Film Connection apprentice Brian Kennedy
with Jimmy Jean-Louis of Heroes

“I do a lot of different things. I run two non-profit organizations, I’m the chairman of the Miami-Dade County Film and Entertainment Advisory Board…And then I run my production company. I do a few different things, and I have had the ability to involve my students in a lot of different areas…I’ve had students that have worked on projects with celebrities that are in a lot of my company’s projects. I have a student [Rocky Shores] who is a producer on a documentary short that’s part of a big documentary series that my company has [Ayikodans Rise]. One of them is narrated by Danny Glover. The other one, we have footage of Josh Brolin and Diane Lane and Paul Haggis and Madeleine Stowe and Maria Bello, Jimmy Jean-Louis from Heroes  “[At the Miami International Film Festival,] I had Omar [Johnson] shadow me the entire time, so he was able to do a lot of different things…He was able to have a face to face with Cheryl Boone Isaacs herself. And even though she runs the Academy Awards, she was one of the biggest marketing executives in Hollywood, period. When you have that kind of situation, and you’re able to have a direct one-on-one with the woman that runs the Academy Awards—he had the ability to ask anything that he wanted to ask.”   ON THE IMPORTANCE OF NETWORKING IN THE INDUSTRY:   “Networking is more important now than ever, than it’s ever been…The industry is changing so much everyday. It’s like stepping on a floor that has squares on it, and then…
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Read more from FC mentor Kevin Sharpley!