Traditional jobs are not for everyone. Translating creativity and passion into paid work can sometimes be a difficult process. The Youth Job Connection (YJC) program helped Derek connect to the film community in Thunder Bay. That connection started him on the path to the independent production, audio and editing work that he is doing now.
Derek has always had an interest in film. He looks at film as storytelling. He is interested in the deeper meaning in films. He loves to watch characters grow and develop. He loves that the viewer’s whole perspective can be changed by this powerful medium. At first, the thought of actually working in film intimidated Derek. “I didn’t know if I had it in me”, he remembers. Before he entered the Youth Job Connection program, he had developed some solid digital skills. He was self-taught. He liked to play around with photo shop and editing software. “I learn by doing”, Derek says “making mistakes, and refining your skills is a process.” His YJC Youth Worker, Sharon De Benetti was impressed by Derek’s talent and dedication. She and Job Developer, Ross Raven made it their mission to find him a placement that would allow him to hone his skills and focus on his passion. They found him a position with Vox Popular.
In July 2019, Vox Popular was gearing up for the Media Arts Festival (formerly the Bay Street film Festival). They needed someone with the skills to create and design digital promotional materials. It was the perfect placement for Derek. He pulled together still shots from the films to put together bio’s of the filmmakers on the Vox website. He formatted and edited posters and flyers. The equipment at Vox was better than what he had been using at home. He was able to work faster and do more. More importantly though, the placement introduced Derek to the film culture in Thunder Bay. Kelly Saxberg, Festival Founder was a true mentor to Derek. A film-maker herself, she was quick to encourage Derek. He worked with the company for 12 weeks and was encouraged to participate in Vox workshops as well. “The workshops really helped me improve my editing skills, says Derek, “I learned about framing, blocking, lighting and establishing shots”.
With the money Derek earned during his placement he was able to purchase a new P/C and set up a makeshift studio at home. “I am always seeking out projects and working on whatever I can”, says Derek. These days its podcasts. He has worked on projects with Voice Actor
and Commentator Katya Stec, which are available on iTunes and Spotify. He is also looking forward to working on some longer projects through his Vox connections. Congratulations on all your success, Derek! We are inspired by your creativity and dedication.
If you would like to access the support available through Employment Ontario’s Youth Job Connection program, book an assessment with our YJC team. Just visit YES to book an assessment today or call 807-623-0768.
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