Wait. Your Students Made What?

Time to Read: 7 Minutes

Not long ago, Jay Guerriere, professional editor and cinematographer, visited Trebas Toronto with a unique request.

Before explaining his request, he played some movie footage to a classroom of students. The footage was from Red Pine City, starring academy award nominee Eric Roberts, known for his roles in The Dark Knight, Doctor Who, and Runaway Train. This film had been shot on the other side of the country in a harsh winter with a crew lead by veteran director Frank A. Caruso. It was to be Frank’s last movie, and he wanted it to be good. Really good.

When the footage finished playing, Jay explained that the film still needed work on visual effects, sound design, dialog editing, and post-production. Kalman Szegvary, head of the film department, turned to the students and said, “What do you think? Are you interested in working on this project?”

Months later, the names of these students can be seen in the movie’s ending credits.

So how exactly did this opportunity come about?

Film Studio in Residence Program

In 2022, Trebas partnered with Factory Film Studio, a film production company based in Calgary, known for producing a number of feature films, including Red Pine City.

This partnership resulted in the Film Studio in Residence Program at Trebas. This program allows participating students to get a taste of working in the film industry alongside professional screenwriters, directors, and producers.

Factory Film’s Chief Creative Office, Michael Patrick Lilly, felt that Red Pine City could benefit from the talent at Trebas. Not long after, Jay Guerriere visited Trebas, and students began working on visual effects, sound design, dialog editing, and post-production for the film. Let’s take a closer look at each aspect of this collaboration.

Visual Effects

Trebas students Sydney Emrys Bergeron and David Bart worked as Visual Effects Artists on the film, under the supervision of faculty member Thane Lucas.

“We first met with the directors, and he told us about the problems he wanted to fix,” said Sydney. “This included gunshots and blood effects for the main character.” 

Sydney appreciated the experience of dipping a toe into the real world of the film industry, trying out different tools and effects, and seeing the practical applications of what she had learned at Trebas.

“I really enjoyed the pressure of having a real deadline and needing to meet it. It was so much fun seeing the finished product.”

Visual Effects

Dialogue Editing and Sound Design

There are a number of issues that can occur when recording dialogue and sound for film, including boom mic issues and background noise. This is where dialogue editing comes in. Trebas students Ryan Harris, Nikolas Lukosius, and Ghalia El-Kurdi worked on this aspect of the film.

“It was an awesome experience to work on a feature film that incorporates the lessons from my assignments,” said Ghalia.

It is common practice to record multiple versions of the same dialog lines. As a result, part of Ghalia’s job involved listening to these similar tracks and choosing the best version for the film. After that, the editing process began.    

Other tasks included recording new dialogue lines, smoothing background noises, removing nonessential sounds, and providing Foley sound effects.

“It catapulted me ahead in terms of working and getting to practice in a real-life scenario.”

After she worked on the film, Ghalia received other opportunities to work on future films.

“If you’re able, take a chance like this. You never know what it will lead to.”

Dialogue Editing and Sound Design

Sound Post-Production and Mixing

Audio instructor Kenny Nguyen served as Sound Post-Production and Mix Supervisor for the project, overseeing the mixing of the dialogue and ensuring the final project was up to a high standard.

“It was very challenging and also rewarding to brainstorm and figure out how best to make the film sound better with my team,” said Kenny.  

As the Mix Supervisor, he served as a connecting point between the film’s producers and the students working with them, providing guidance when they needed it, and giving the final approval for all editing decisions.

“For students, at the end of the day, it's about exposure and experience, and an opportunity like this one is not something you should miss out on.”

He explained that students should be looking for different opportunities and ways to boost their experience, including volunteering in order to prepare themselves for future paid roles.

“This experience will help fast-track students into the film industry and set them up for the future with a credit and first-hand experience, something that means a lot to have this early in their career.”

Sound Post-Production and Mixing

Post-Production Supervisor

Trebas Head of Film, Kalman Szegvary served as Post-Production Supervisor, overseeing the final aspects of the film with the director and producers before the final project was completed.

“It has given our students the chance to get their first feature film credits on a movie that will be seen in theatres and worldwide on streaming services,” he said.

He looks forward to future collaborations from the Film Studio in Residence Program.

What’s Next?

A result of the partnership, many participants have attained their first credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), a vital mark of experience for working in the film industry. This is only the beginning though. Stay tuned for updates about student involvement in other feature films, including the upcoming Cape Holy Christmas.  

It’s collaborations like this that make studying at Trebas a stand-out experience, allowing for cross-department collaborations between film and audio students on real-world projects.

Want to learn more about the Film Studio in Residence Program? Or maybe you have questions about studying audio or film? Email info@trebas.com to connect with one of our advisors.

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