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Nick Andrews

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Irwin and Florence Rosten Foundation
February 26, 2013

Thanks to the Irwin & Florence Rosten Foundation and it's support of the MAPS Media Institute, the youth of Montana have an incredibly special and rare resource for creativity and knowledge not easily found in the wild west.

It's hard to imagine such a beneficial program with direct contact to the professional film world could be found in rural Montana. I have seen first hand the intimate understanding of film technique and craft the kids are exposed to, and then challenged to put to use, creating commercials for real world clients, music videos, and films.

I was first made aware of the program by a friend in a college film class, a MAPS graduate and star in her own right at film school. She put us in contact and soon, we were head first producing a statewide commercial, written, cast, and dreamt up by the kids, for the Governor's office! It was such a rewarding experience working with their quality content, and getting to teach them one on one about professional film set practices, working with green screen, and child actors...also a dog actor.

Several years later, the kids came to a local film festival, packed with Hollywood power hitters, and in a few days time and many late nights, crafted an amazing documentary short on the untamed power and importance of mentorship, of which I was humbled to partake. The beauty of this program is allowing the kids to get dirty, get their hands on the gear, and get creating. In this business, you must have firm, unbridled creativity, and the technical knowledge of the craft to bring your vision to life. Giving the kids the opportunity to learn and practice at a young age and fostering a relationship with top established film professionals to mentor them provides a level of skill and confidence I've never seen before. But with these bright minds, the mentor street certainly isn't a one-way.

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