Why Mentorship Matters for Future Filmmakers

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Calvin Johns (left) pictured with mentor Scott Galeski

From the beginning, Calvin Johns knew that he was creative. He started editing in middle school and quickly took to the craft. Fast forward to high school and he enrolled in his first official video production class. One thing led to another and in Sophomore year Calvin entered his work in the Michigan Student Film Festival, where he received an honor award and felt motivated to continue down this path.

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Calvin soon found out that his talents were recognized by Scott Galeski, founder of the Downriver Detroit Student Film Consortium. This group provides education, tools and mentorship to Detroit and Downriver area high school students interested in filmmaking.

For Calvin, this group ended up becoming like family and through his involvement and Galeski’s support, he won more awards and a scholarship to the Motion Picture Institute. Each year, Digital Arts, Film and Television (DAFT), a non-profit media-arts educational organization, partners with MPI to award scholarships to worthy Michigan Student Film Festival participants.


Calvin (left) walking off stage with his award.

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Kurt Mayry (MPI Co-Founder and CFO) pictured onstage with Calvin Johns and Phoebe Rhode (Carlson HS—Gibraltar) with their MPI scholarship certificates.

Calvin is a full-time student at MPI now and making the most of his on-set and now online learning experience. He is still passionate about editing and is also honing his directing and cinematography skills. Since high school, he has worked on music videos, weddings, short films and commercials. While juggling his filmmaking studies, he works at the cable studio for the City of Wyandotte. Words of Galeski’s that have always stuck with Calvin are, “make it count!” Calvin has done just that and cannot be more grateful for the impact that Galeski has made on his journey. To give back, Calvin has returned to the Downriver Detroit Student Film Consortium as one of the first instructors who is a former student.

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Calvin Johns (right) on the set with his crew.

This year, DAFT has awarded Scott Galeski with their 2020 Educator of the Year distinction. On behalf of everyone at MPI, congratulations to Scott for his dedication and support to the filmmakers of tomorrow.

Don’t let another year go by. Our one-year film program is enrolling NOW for this fall.  Our intimate class sizes fill up quickly and we only start in September. To learn more about our film classes and how we can train you for a career, contact us for a virtual tour during the Covid-19 confinement. Sign up today on-line to learn more or call us at 248-528-1760 or email info@mpifilm.com.

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