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Testimonials

Over the past 4 years we have been helping a number of school districts, schools, individual teachers, and students.  Administrators and professional mentors have also shown their enthusiastic support for our programs.  Below are a few comments of those who have been involved in Utah Film Mentors and their workshops.

Individual Testimonials

Administrator

 As a longstanding supporter of the mentor program, I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous impact it has had on our school's approach to teaching the art of writing and creating student films. The invaluable guidance and support provided by Mr. Garrard and the team of mentors have significantly enhanced our students' creative expression and storytelling skills, fostering a profound sense of self-confidence and accomplishment.​

Looking ahead, I firmly believe that a commitment to this program will not only enable us to expand our outreach to a broader spectrum of high schools across the state but also create an environment where students can explore their creativity and develop essential communication skills. The prospect of having Mr. Garrard dedicate more time to each participating school, without the burden of time and financial constraints, is indeed an opportunity that holds the potential to revolutionize the way we approach film education in Utah’s CTE classrooms.​

My experience with the mentor program has been transformative, and I am convinced that its continuation and expansion will be instrumental in shaping the future of film arts education in our state.​

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Thank you for considering this recommendation. Should you require any further information or clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.​

 ​

Sincerely,​

Kristina Yamada, CTE Educational Specialist, Utah Board of Education, kristina.yamada@schools.utah.gov
 

Teacher

...UFM programs extend beyond just film education; they impart invaluable life skills ​helping those involved become college and career ready. Students  in these projects have ​developed essential intrapersonal skills, such as discipline, organization, and problem-solving abilities. ​

They have also honed their interpersonal skills through teamwork, mentorship, and the use of ​professional communication. Notably, these students have acquired cross-curricular skills that transcend ​the realm of film production, including critical thinking, creativity, project management, and adaptability. ​

Logan Ostram, Vista School, Ivans, Utah, lostrom@vistautah.com

Teacher

To be able to have these workshops available across the state would be a game changer. As someone who came from the industry and is now in the classroom, I try to have as many mentors as I can come to my classroom to show my students what it's really like in the film industry and then try to set up opportunities for them to have internships so they can not only be ready to walk on set, but they can have job opportunities lined up after they graduate. The Film Mentor Education Programs will make opportunities like that possible and provide experiences that the students won't find anywhere else to network and provide the growth that they so desperately want and need. ​

Aimee Devine, ​Highland High School, ​ aimee.divine@slcschools.org

Teacher

Film Production has been a growing desire for the students of the Wasatch ​

School District.  Joseph Garrard and his film mentors have catapulted our film program and the skill set of our students.  Joseph has provided hands-on training in areas of Writing, Directing, Producing, Auditioning, Camera (Director of Photography), Sound Mixing, Grip, Gaffing, Wardrobe, Production Design, and more.  As an educator who teaches Film Production, these workshops have been heaven sent and super beneficial for my students.   Opportunities are offered to the novice to the most seasoned filmmaker and the best part, the training is provided for FREE!

    ​

William E. Jones​, Grizzly News & Intro to Film 1 & 2  Rocky Mountain Middle School, Heber, Utah​

Teacher


It has been such an amazing opportunity to be able to work with Joseph these past three years.  Four years ago, the state changed the curriculum for this class to be more project based.  Those of us who had been teaching Film suddenly found ourselves with a whole new set of state standards and most of us had limited experience with how to meet the core objectives.  In our district we were given a year to figure it out.  ​

It was at this time that Joseph walked into our lives.  He brought with him his personal experiences in the industry, resources in the way of his friends and associates and they have been able to share with us and our students hands-on knowledge.  We have had zoom lessons, as well as  hands-on training on a live shoot that we would not otherwise have been able to participate. ​

He has filled a gap in our skill level and brought us to the realization of what we could do if we had more time and someone with the energy to help us structure our programs.  I am no longer afraid to at least try to help my students create projects and I am grateful to him for how much he has helped us come this far.

 ​

Nancy Head Pine View Middle School Educator​

nancy.head@washk12.org

Teacher

Having personally experienced the power of these programs, I believe that investing in film education will not only empower aspiring filmmakers but also contribute to the enrichment of our local communities and the film industry at large.  This program has acted a conduit for those who wish to have a future in film. These initiatives provide students with hands-on experience in film production, helping them develop essential skills in storytelling, cinematography, directing, and more.​

 Film education empowers educators to expand their knowledge and stay updated on the latest trends in the industry. This, in turn, equips them to better guide their students and foster a passion for cinema. ​

The ripple effect of knowledgeable and motivated teachers cannot be overstated when it comes to nurturing young talent. 

I have witnessed firsthand the impact this film education program has had on young individuals. Students are excited and engaged on these sets. This is an investment in the growth of the local film industry here in St. George.   

By providing opportunities and resources to the next generation of filmmakers, we ensure a constant influx of fresh perspectives and creative voices, ultimately enriching the artistic landscape of our community. These initiatives create pathways to employment within the film industry, contributing to economic growth and job creation. 

Tisa Zito, UTU   tisa.zito@utahtech.edu

Teacher

Working with Joseph has been so valuable for me and my students. He brings a wealth of knowledge and connection to the local film industry. The workshops he is striving to continue are the best type of education for our students. Not only are they learning professional practices, they are also learning the 21st-century interpersonal skills needed for any career, and the technical skills they learn are valuable no matter what, but the most important thing I think is the students learn how to learn and to think critically to create something of value. I hope that you will see the value that I have experienced and will support him in his efforts to create a thriving film education program in the state. It benefits us all. If you would like to speak more please reach out.

Dustin Allen​, Crimson Cliffs High School, St.George,Utah, dustin.allen@washk12.org. ​

Student

The film mentor program has provided amazing insight into the program I love. Without the mentors I don't think I would be able to understand filmmaking at all. Teachers are good to get us started but there is nothing like being able to go on set and learn how it's truly done . Without Joe I wouldn't be the person I am today, with such a hobby. The program not only works, it works Like a well-oiled machine. each experience is eye opening and amazingly helpful!

 ​He’s an inspiration!​

 Wasatch High School Film Student​

Student

I took multiple of Joseph’s workshops. The workshops helped me a lot they ranged from how to set up a camera, to writing scripts. Some of my favorite parts of the workshops was how he would bring the equipment we were learning about. Like for our sound workshops he brought different mics and mixers. For the writing workshop he brought books that he recommended we read, gaff tape to show us how it worked, and he also brought pictures to give us script ideas so we could practice writing scripts. We also acted out scenes to see how the scripts should work. I learned so much from his workshops that helped me on a personal level but also helped my teamwork, and filming, writing, recording, and even lighting skills!​

 Film Student, East High School

Student

When I went to one of these film workshops, it was the first time that I was able to be on a real set and work with actual professionals. Before this, everything that I learned was either in a classroom setting, or by experimenting with different filming aspects on my own. These methods are good; however they can only do so much for us - which is where the workshops come in. The professionals that work with us teach us a lot of things that you really only pick up with experience: changing camera placement based on the actor's actions (when it is different than the shot list), how to properly frame and focus different shots, and improvisation (most notably when some equipment is having problems, or a set piece gets broken, etc.) These skills are essential to making quality films, and its much easier to ask questions when you are with the professionals, than on your own making your own content. Overall, it was a lot more fun, productive, and helpful experience for me personally than learning in a classroom setting or trying to "figure it out" on my own.​

Film Student at Wasatch High School​

Student

Going on a field trip to UVU for the film studio workshop was amazing! It was great to be able to work on a set with professional filmmakers and it was really helpful. By working with them, I was able to watch the responsibilities of each crew position and what they thought was the best way of doing something. This was very beneficial because I was able to apply what I observed to my own projects. Another helpful thing was being able to see how long it actually takes to film high-quality projects and what it would be like to work on a real set. I want to be part of the film industry when I’m older, so being able to experience a day on a professional set was so valuable. Going on this field trip was also a lot of fun and they let us participate in the filmmaking process. 

Student, East High School

Professioinal Filmmaker and Mentor

I’m a lighting professional in the motion picture and television industry. I’ve known and worked with Joseph Garrard for over 30 years. The idea of providing film education programs for middle school and high school students is a great way to introduce students to this exciting field. Finding your way in this profession can be very challenging, and contacts with the working community are difficult to come by. It was only toward the end of my college education when I began the connection process with industry professionals. Joe’s idea of jumpstarting interest and skills early in these student’s lives will certainly grow our film community and make Utah more competitive in the future.​

John Raymer, Gaffer, Salt Lake City, Utah

Former Student/Filmmaker

The mentor program led by Mr. Garrard has given students a chance to learn first hand what skills are needed and expected on film sets. With the knowledge Mr. Garrard and his colleagues provide young people an opportunity to develop interests, skills and passions to lead them to succeed in the industry. I myself have continued to utilize the lessons I learned through this program as an independent Director and Cinematographer, working with Brands for commercials, Bands for music videos, and Establishments for Advertisements.  

 

This program benefits young people to develop themselves and find potential callings for a future in the industry.

 

-Hien Maeda

Professional Filmmaker and Mentor

I am writing this recommendation on behalf of my friend and colleague Joseph Garrard.​

I am a costume designer, working full time in the Salt Lake market. I specialize in period costume design and textiles.  I have been a working professional in the film industry for thirty years. In that time I have had opportunity to work in many other states and countries but have spent the bulk of my career working for Utah production companies. I had the privilege of growing up in a film family and have made most of my contacts from those connections. I would love to see people who have interest in the art of film, have access to the opportunities that I have had.  As a costume designer I am always looking for help. There are real opportunities for our youth who have interest in joining the film industry in Utah.  It can be a real career choice, and further education in middle and high schools could open up possibilities for interested students.  There is a real need for local crew members in all departments and aspects of film making in Utah.  Mentorship and instruction in middle school and high school could help students see the possibility of making Film a career. Doing this would also benefit Utah film makers to fill essential positions in our Utah market.  ​

 ​

Jacqueline Newell​

Costume Designer​

jacquinewell74@gmail.com

Professional 
Filmmaker and Mentor

I started working in the film and television industry in 1985 here in Utah as a script supervisor while I was attending film school at BYU.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film and have worked consistently for the last almost 40 years.  ​

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I have worked with Joe Garrard on many projects over the last almost 40 years and know him and his work ethic well.  He is an extremely talented Boom Operator and I have seen his passion for bringing the film world to local high schools.  I have had the opportunity to participate in his efforts in that endeavor by mentoring students both on a one-on-one basis and also in groups.  I wish I had had access to those kinds of opportunities while I was in high school.​

 ​

I look forward to working with Joe and the students in the future, to share the knowledge I've gained about the film and television industry.  ​

 ​

Penny Johnson​

Script Supervisor  penji4@gmail.com

Professional Fimmaker and Mentor

I understand the Joseph Garrard is working toward an on-going Film Education program for secondary schools in Utah.  I think this is great.  Joseph is a seasoned professional and I'm sure he'll be able to pass on to a new generation great ideas and tools for careers in film.​

 ​

Thanks for helping him along the way.​

 ​

T.C. Christensen​

Writer / Director  tcdp@aol.com

Professional Filmmaker and Mentor

As a working professional Cinematographer in the local film industry, I have worked on many projects over the years, from features and television shows to commercials.  Knowing what it takes to work in this industry, I know it is a difficult thing to teach students the art of filmmaking in a way they can immediately apply it to a working film set.  I have worked with Joseph on a few of the workshops of Utah Film Mentors and have had an amazing experience working directly with college and high school students.  The method of creating real film settings for the students is the closest thing to teaching them right on a working film set.  The workshops and the Utah Film Mentor programs would be an amazing opportunity for high school students, and frankly college students in Utah to learn all aspects of film production in an educational format.  I enthusiastically recommend any support you can offer to make this dream come true for students in Utah.​

Brian Wilcox  Cinematographer​

bkwilcox1621@gmail.com

Professional Filmmaker and Mentor

The Film Education Program gives high school and college students the tools and know-how to create (write, pre-produce), produce, and post-produce worthwhile films at an age where there is less to un-learn and more to gain from practitioners in the biz.  A budding filmmaker can more easily make his or her film and even envision a possible career path.  Having participated as a mentor, I have seen young people becoming empowered to move forward towards their dreams.   ​

 ​

Dave Trottier, screenwriter and script consultant ​

keepwriting.com (The Screenwriter’s Bible)​

Professional Filmmaker and Mentor

I am writing to extend my support of Joseph Garrard in his creation of a non-profit to support film education in Utah. When USBE changed the curriculum for Film as Art to Media Arts and incorporated making films as a part of the requirements, there became a large need to help current theater teachers to get up to speed in film creation and all that it involves. Joseph Garrard has seen this need and has been reaching out to school districts, including Washington County School District and has been providing professional development for teachers and students to learn the film making process. Our teachers have been very grateful for the education they have received from Joseph. His connections with those in the industry has also been invaluable in creating educational opportunities for our educators.

 

Robert Schmidt Washington County School District Arts Coordinator

Professional Filmmaker and Mentor

As a longstanding supporter of the mentor program, I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous impact it has had on our school's approach to teaching the art of writing and creating student films. The invaluable guidance and support provided Mr. Garrard and the team of mentors have significantly enhanced our students' creative expression and storytelling skills, fostering a profound sense of self-confidence and accomplishment. 

Looking ahead, I firmly believe that this program will not only enable us to expand our outreach to a broader spectrum of high schools across the state but also create an environment where students can explore their creativity and develop essential communication skills. The prospect of having Mr. Garrard dedicate more time to each participating school, without the burden of time and financial constraints, is indeed an opportunity that holds the potential to revolutionize the way we approach film education in Utah’s CTE classrooms. 

  

In summary, my experience with the mentor program has been transformative, and I am convinced that its continuation and expansion will be instrumental in shaping the future of film arts education in our state. 

  

 Should you require any further information or clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

  

Sincerely, 

Kristina Yamada, CTE Education Specialist, Utah State Board of Education 

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