Editor's Letter: Getting a leg up
Issue: November 1, 2011

Editor's Letter: Getting a leg up

Things are tough out there for young people looking to find a job after college, and our industry is no exception. There are tons of talented students currently studying away at schools with a special focus on the production and post world; competition is fierce and expectations are high.

How do you differentiate yourself from the pack? It takes more than raw talent, it takes perseverance, a strong work ethic and a personality that is as un-annoying as possible. And these traits are even more important today because of the number of students who already enter college programs familiar and sometimes proficient on some of today’s latest technology.

In this issue, we talk to a handful of young pros about their high school, college and newly-minted professional experiences. They share their stories and offer some tips that will resonate with newbies and industry vets alike (see page 40).

David Basulto, a long-time Post contributor and filmmaker, teaches media arts and animation to students at San Marino High School in San Marino, CA, as part of an elective Regional Occupational Program. Basulto also oversees two other very specialized offshoots: a News team that creates news programming and a Field Production team, which shoots sporting and civic events.

The program’s main tools live within Adobe’s Creative Suite, and students learn to import, edit, color correct, fix audio and export to DVD, Blu-ray or the Web. They acquire footage on Canon 7Ds and JVC GY-HM100U HD cameras using a variety of lenses.
In addition to tools, Basulto teaches his students to become storytellers. “They pass the course by showing me proficiency in the tools, cameras and basic storytelling,” explains Basulto. “We do short films, docs, music videos and spots/PSAs.”

While some kids take the course thinking it’s an easy “A,” Basulto says many grow to love media and pursue it in college. “One current superstar did the USC Film school program this summer and will be a big director one day,” he says confidently.

What are Basulto’s suggestions for those with stars in their eyes? “Everyone wants to be a Hollywood director, but it’s more than walking down the red carpet,” he says. “It takes a lot of work, perspiration and attention to detail. The tools are here to enable anyone with the will an entry into this industry. It’s exciting — it’s not like the old days where you needed to rent or borrow $100K film cameras, buy film, develop it and then edit on an antiquated or expensive editing system! Carpe Diem kids!”