Film Connection Mentor Dean Baker Gets Apprentices Working on Reality Show Retool

Dean_Baker_Rob_ChiolaDean Baker of Post FX Digital Studios in Orlando, Florida is the type of guy who wants to get stuff done. He wants to start projects and finish them. He wants to surround himself with people that feel the same way. “I don’t want schleppers.” Dean says. “ I don’t want people that are just going to fetch coffee and run errands. I want people who jump in, that want to grab a camera and start filming.”

Dean is a Film Connection mentor. He loves to get people invested in the craft of filmmaking. He wants to help young, up and coming filmmakers both get their foot in the door and gain real-world work experience.

Dean knows that sometimes the best way to get someone involved in the craft of filmmaking is just by throwing them in the deep end and helping them learn to swim. Most traditional film schools have their students sit in hours upon hours of lectures about film history and film theory. But Dean knows that the best way to get someone excited about filmmaking is to actually just get them on-set, participating on real projects .

“About 15 years ago, I was a VP on a project called Cycle Fever,” Dean explained. “It was a motorcycle travel show. I’ve maintained a connection with the producers. The show didn’t sell back 15 years ago and just recently, in the last six months, the producers came around again… they came back to me and said, ‘We’d like to do something. What are your thoughts?’ Well, my initial thoughts were, ‘We need to re-tool. Maybe a reality show?’”

And that’s exactly what Dean did. He partnered with the Film Connection to help find young filmmakers who were hungry for opportunity. “I’m using Film Connection apprentices on the show,” Dean said, “I’ve got them editing and kind of going through footage.” Apprentices Logan Blue and Rebecca Thomas jumped at the opportunity. They’re each contributing behind the scenes and lending their talents towards redesigning the show.
Dean even used this opportunity to hire a former Film Connection student, Rob Chiola. ‘When Cycle TV opened back up, Rob is one of the lead guys on that,” Dean said of how Rob is fitting into the project.

Dean doesn’t wait for his apprentices to get comfortable before giving them responsibility and work. He throws them in the deep end. “I want them to get a lot of experience, whether it’s editing, shooting, lighting, gripping, whatnot.” When questioned further about this approach, Dean explained. “The thing is, I’m not a school. I don’t grade classroom projects. We’re working on real projects. Client projects. I watch them like a hawk. They’re out there with real strict supervision.”

Dean really goes above and beyond for his apprentices. You can tell that he’s really committed to both helping them make their way in the industry but also improving as people. Not everyone is willing to just jump headfirst into the unknown, but that’s what Dean demands of them. And, as such, it helps them grow as people. “It’s really about somebody’s passion and willingness to either be right or wrong but completely just jump into the pool. I don’t care how hot or cold it is, just jump in!”

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