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March 28, 2014
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This week we are offering these jobs to our students:

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  • Casting Recruiter for casting event (Apr. 25-27) - Louisiana
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Student Success Stories

Film Connection graduate Ian McCamant pitches his scripts to Hollywood!

Ian McCamant

Over the past few weeks, Film Connection alumnus Ian McCamant has been working with his new LA manager on sprucing up his scripts to pitch them to Hollywood.

Ian describes meeting his manager and what has been happening since. “I met him in Hollywood while I was out and about, and we exchanged business cards,” he says. “The next time we met up, I showed him my thesis film from college, and he liked it so much that he asked to see some of my scripts. He checked those out, and ever since he has been helping me tighten the scripts up to get ready to pitch to producers and some of the contacts I’ve made out here so far. My manager has really helped push me in the direction of other writing jobs and opportunities.”

Ian and his manager are currently streamlining the plot elements and filling in the grey areas of his script “The End of History.” They are gearing up for a second-round pitch of the script to producer Evan Atrowsky (Cabin Fever, Fanboys), as well as shopping the script in other places.

Recording Connection apprentice Jalyan Birl gets hired by his mentor studio!

When Drive Studios in Toronto decided to undergo an expansion for corporate sound, commercials and additional genres, they chose to hire from within. Recording apprentice Jaylan Birl, who had been apprenticing at the studio with audio engineer David Rizun, was hired on the spot to help them with their upcoming projects.

Control Room in Drive Studios 

“Things are going great!” says Jaylan. “I’m starting to work with the studio, making records for bands such as Walk off the Earth and The Flatliners.”

In addition to his new duties at Drive Studios, Jaylan has been working on his own music, and is currently mastering his own album at Drive Entertainment. He will be bringing more bands into the studio, as well.

Film apprentice Mike Dusenka works on behind-the-scenes documentary for Dolce Films!

Dolce Films

Film apprentice Mike Dusenka is having a great time with mentors Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett at Dolce Films in Los Angeles. After serving as lead editor for a music video Daniel recently shot, Mike is now working on a behind-the-scenes documentary for the video, with fellow film apprentice Youp Zondag acting as assistant editor for the project. In addition, Mike is working on editing another documentary, and is currently eyeing an in-house position as a digital editor for the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club in Universal City!

CONTEST: Can you guess who now supports the Recording Radio & Film Connection?
Contest Hint 

Hint: He is from a major country in Europe and lives in Los Angeles. His studio is in Santa Monica and he is considered one of the top three composers in the entire music industry. He is known for his use of orchestras mixed with electronic music. He doesn’t record his orchestras as a whole, but instead records the individual instruments and layers them in the mix.

He told us “The way you educate your students is the only real way to do it. I love the Recording, Radio and Film Connection because it makes sense and it is how I learned and how I made it. Your method works because it worked for me mad everyone else I know. My mentor was the great George Martin of The Beatles and I was his apprentice. That’s how I broke in. I support the RRF as the best way to break in to this business.”

Contest Hint

We reveal who our new best friend is in next week’s newsletter. If you’d like to guess, please sign up here. Guess right, and you could win a brand new Abelton Live or Pro Tools software package in the box! Entry must be received by 4/21/2014 - Good luck!

Film Review

Film Review: 'Chef'
Reviewed at The Charles Aidikoff Screening Room, Friday March 14, 2014
Running time: 115 Min.

With Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Amy Sedaris, Emjay Anthony, Robert Downey Jr.

by Britney Tobin

This film can be best described as a “feel good” flick best served with a full buffet (or a full stomach)! Make reservations beforehand because you WILL be hungry afterwards!

John Favreau

In essence, Chef is a journey told from the perspective of an aspiring big time chef named Carl Casper (played by Jon Favreau, who also wrote and directed the film) as he finds his way both creatively and professionally as a restaurateur, while at the same time trying to become a stable father to his young son.

The audience is left to assume that Carl is separated from his wife, the mother of his child, due to his overwhelming work load as a chef at a popular restaurant, and that he must find an alternative to free himself from harsh critics, a horrible boss, and a weak kitchen environment for his own well-being and for the sake of his family. As with any artist, the biggest struggle for Carl is identifying and establishing a sense of autonomy.

As a film, Chef isn’t completely dependent on the creation or presentation of food or the work and life of a chef, but instead plays on all the senses, stepping back visually from completely immersing the audience in the art of gastronomy (a fair move, since the food is distracting enough as it is). One of the trendier aspects of the film is its inclusion of social media features (Twitter, Facebook, Vine, etc.) as related by Carl’s son, Percy. This brings in a great deal of comedy when Carl can’t understand how or why he is the butt of jokes on Twitter, highlighting the generational differences with his son. The father-son bond built between Carl and Percy is relatable and honest (minus the obvious real-life child labor laws).

Chef is a piece by Jon Favreau, for Jon Favreau, for families, and for anyone who likes food! (Who doesn’t?) Favreau’s performance as Carl Casper is family-friendly, rather than the stereotypical vulgar and explosive high-pressured chef character. Nevertheless, Favreau’s attempt to combine heartfelt drama with comedy is for the most part successful, even though, overall, there isn’t much antagonism throughout the film, leaving you craving just a bit more. Of course, the quick relief to that conundrum is to find a nearby food truck as you exit the theater.

Apply to the Recording Connection Mentor News

Sam Levine, mentor at Flying Monkeys Entertainment, talks film producer strategies

Flying Monkeys 

Film Connection mentor Sam Levine of Flying Monkeys Entertainment in Los Angeles spoke with us this week about potential business strategies, creating “win-win” situations for marketing, and the ethics of being a producer.

When bringing a project together, he says, you must be able to multitask or oversee many other roles, balancing not only the workload but also the budget. “Whoever cuts the check is always right,” says Sam.

He went on to say that the overarching goal of a producer in every situation is to always try to achieve a “win-win” for the group (the director, writers, producers, cast and crew). In order to do this, you must figure out what the mutual “win” is, whether it’s money, views, awards, or anything else--and if it’s more than one of those things, which is most important in ranking.

A producer has to keep in mind the target audience for the film, and the rules that are established for maximizing sales and reach for the film will be based on that audience. Thus, when it comes to delegating and distributing power in the production team, Sam suggests it is best that the writer(s) and director are left out of this so-called “box” that the rest of the group must keep in mind—that is, the target audience.


From a financial perspective, Sam says that as a general rule of thumb, producers should never cap out over 7% of the entire production. However, this balance can be achieved in many different ways, which is why being a producer is such a coveted yet difficult position in the entertainment industry. “Any director can produce a film. Not every producer can direct,” he says.

Finally, considering the increased role of the Internet in the film industry, Sam suggests that if you are going the Youtube route, you may want to consider incentives to getting more views with contests or giveaways. Sam himself is currently executive-producing a web series called “Peter and Wendy.”

Recording Connection mentors brag about their students…

David Hughes

Recording mentor David Hughes (Shine On Studios, Oakland, CA) says his apprentice Andrew Tintle was recently flown to Chicago for a contest he won, in which his music is now included as part of a compilation CD. Andrew currently assists in jazz and R&B sessions and is currently reviewing for his final exam. David says he also stays in contact with former student Robert Ballejos, who reportedly runs his own label now.

Recording mentor Mike Johnson (Clear Track Studios, Clearwater, FL) tells us he has hired his apprentice Zach Morin and is thinking of training him as a full-time assistant, adding that Zach has great people skills and would be an asset to the team. Another apprentice of the studio, Archer Brady, has graduated and is now working at Strange Weather Studios in New York City.

Control Room in Clear Track Studios
Apprentices at Work

"This past week I started learning about tracking songs. There was a lot on preparing for the meeting with the client(s) which is really important. Things like taking notes on the musicians and their instruments, positioning of mics before they arrive to the studio, being ready for unexpected changes, being open to different things but also keeping it organized. It helps in setting the studio up to know all the mics and which ones work best for which instruments, it makes it much quicker. I’m excited and ready to jump in with my ProTools arriving!"

- Jessica Sherman, Chicago, IL, Recording

Kevin Peacock

"Let me start by saying that I am probably the most excited I’ve ever been so far in this program, now that this second half begins with diving into mixing and applying the techniques myself. To me, this is where the technical side and personal creativity come in to play. Since my current assignment is a 4-stage process, I can’t wait to hear the end result. STAY TUNED..."

- Kevin Peacock, Wilmington, DE, Recording

“This week my mentor asked me to go through some of the footage from a show MIHP produces and put together some footage to send to a news station that is doing a piece on the show. While the clips that I cut together are just going to be looked through and then taken from, this still felt like my first official assignment. I was pretty nervous about selecting the best clips from the footage and making sure to use the shortcut keys I have learned so far. I think this was a perfect first stepfor me to work on!”

- Victoria Bever, Santa Barbara, CA, Film

Victoria Bever

Check out Recording Connection apprentice Chris Jerome’s tune “Drop The World” for free on Soundcloud here!

Scene from Peter Chapman's Sizzle Reel

Film Connection apprentice Peter Chapman created a sizzle reel containing a scene from his Chapter 17 assignment! Check it out here!