Alumni

SteveMazzettaBioPictureRecent graduate Steven Mazzetta ’13, by chance, was offered an amazing opportunity: to work on the set of an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation.

Back in April, Steve’s wife Steph works at a kitchen and bath remodeling company in West Hartford. The company had a chance to audition for an episode of House Hunters Renovations that was being filmed locally. Pie Town Productions, a television production company based in Los Angeles, heard about the remodeling company through their Houzz page and invited the company to audition to be the designer for an episode of the shower. His wife’s boss knew Steve had gone to Middlesex Community College for Multimedia and asked him to shoot their audition video.

Within two days, Steve shot a 15 minute video that featured some questions and answers, and described a design project they were working on. The next day, he edited the show and submitted it online. In just a few days, they got the call that not only were they going to be on the show, but they wanted the person who shot the audition video to shoot the b-roll footage for the episode!

“I was quite floored by the whole thing,” said Steve, when asked about the experience. “Not only did it happen so fast, but video was really not a focus of mine during my time at MxCC. I know my way around a camera and know how to do composition and frame a shot as I do some still photography on my own for personal and professional work, but a videographer I am not.”

Since graduating, Steve has done a fair amount of different types of projects such as websites, logos, graphic design stuff, but not video in a high capacity. But he jumped on the opportunity since he was comfortable behind a camera. It turned out that the production company was looking for someone to shoot the “in-between” shots of the renovation progressing, and they wanted him to work as a Production Assistant on the days where the main camera crew was set to be there shooting.

The production company provided him with the gear he needed to film, and he spent two days shadowing another Production Assistant before going off on his own. He has a schedule of dates when major events in the renovation process are happening and he films the sub-contractors as they work on those key moments, keeping in mind story elements that have developed over the course of filming the episode so far.

Currently, they almost wrapping up the shoot. So far Steve has shot most of the renovation process, scouted locations, gotten appearance and location releases for the episode, and served as the Production Assistant, where he handles the tracking of footage, backing up that footage, and shipping it back to LA. He also helps the main camera crew set up and break down their gear, and in general he assists the producers and director in different ways as they need it.

“This is all so crazy how it happened,” said Steve. “I guess it just goes to show that if you have a few skills in your pocket, and you are able to be adaptable and keep an open mind, sometimes things that you never expected might happen.”

We are looking forward to when this episode airs on HGTV!

hkinneyinternCongratulations to Hollie Kinney ’14, recent graduate, who is now interning at WFSB Channel 3!

Hollie heard about the paid internship from some of her classmates who were interning at WFSB. In fact, two of her former classmates are now working there. She made a connection about the internship with her Broadcast Journalism class instructor, Patience Hettrick, who is the Assistant News Director at WFSB. She also knew people who worked at WFSB who recommended her.

“The industry is about 60/40,” said Hollie. “Forty percent is what you know and sixty percent is who you know.”

Since many programs in the Center for New Media require a hands-on internship, it’s important to become familiar with the internship process. Hollie described the process of obtaining the internship as lengthy, so she was even more excited and thrilled when she found out she was accepted for the position. Hollie felt that where was a lot of competition out there for internships, especially in the broadcasting and media fields, but she was determined to not give up.

And her hard work did pay off. During her internship orientation, she found out that only 5 interns were pick out of 200+ applicants. She was also the only applicant from MxCC to be given the chance to intern at WFSB this summer. Her internship is completely hands-on. She has been the teleprompter for multiple newscasts including the noon show, the 5 p.m. show, the 5:30 p.m. show, and the 6 p.m. show.

“It was very nerve wracking when I did my first show on my own,” she said. “But everyone there is so helpful so if I ever have any problems, I never feel uncomfortable asking for help.”

She has also gone out with reporters on location to shoot breaking news stories and interviews and has sat in on multiple edit sessions with some of the editors that work on putting the news shows together. She has also worked with the web producers wrote a news piece that was published on the website.

“Without the experience that I had at MxCC, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to work in such a competitive and fast-paced environment such as this one,” said Hollie. “Without earning my Associate’s Degree in Broadcast-Cinema I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be currently working for my (hopefully) future employer.  The program teaches you about the technical aspects of the media world, but also about writing for all media outlets (web, social media, news, tv, etc), the importance of networking in the industry, and having self-confidence and determination to reach your goals.  I plan to return to school to earn my Bachelor’s Degree, but Middlesex has given me a foundation to stand and grow on, and I am proud to be an MxCC Broadcast-Cinema graduate.”

Hollie is hoping to turn this opportunity into a career after the internship ends in August. Good luck, Hollie!

Since this blog post was written, Hollie has finished her internship and has accepted a job as Morning News editor at WTNH News Channel 8. Congrats!

It’s always cool to see MxCC alumni in the news. Army veteran Bruce Haag ’05 was featured in The Record Journal about his fellowship at Wallingford Public Access.

Fellowship gives Army veteran role on television [myrecordjournal.com]
For the next several months, a veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan will be working at WPAA-TV through a fellowship program offered by The Mission Continues, a nonprofit with the goal of empowering those who’ve served in the military.

Read the original article here.

Alumni

Dustin Schultz ’10 of The Union Productions, a graduate of the Broadcast Communications (now Broadcast-Cinema) program and Connecticut Film Industry Training Program (FITP), recently wrote a great blog post about advice for college students that want to break into the industry. Since graduating just a few years ago, Dustin started his own video production company that has been quite successful, so taking a page out of his book is a good idea!

College Student Advice: Getting into the Industry [http://dustin-schultz.squarespace.com]
The other day I got an email from a student from a college student in Tennessee looking for advice on how to get into the video production industry and be successful in it. I was definitely flattered by the idea of someone seeking advice and wanted to share some of the answers that I came up with to common questions about getting into this industry.

Read the original article here.

What advice do you have for students that want to work in today’s digital world?

About the Center

Middlesex Community College's Center for New Media is located in Middletown, CT.


The CNM offers innovative associate degrees in broadcast-cinema, graphic design, multimedia, and communication, as well as certificate programs in areas such as interactive entertainment, gaming, 3D animation, new media production, news and sports production, corporate media and web design.


We are a designated Center for Excellence in broadcast education and we prepare our students for jobs in the growing field of new media with a hands-on education.


Learn more about programs at MxCC's Center for New Media at www.mxcc.edu/cnm.


This project was funded by a grant awarded under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant, as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration.

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