First-year Film Student, Matt Kevorkian is also an independent musician. After posting his work to ITunes, a solutionless dilemma occurred…until he took film. In his own words, this is Matt’s story
I have been playing guitar since I was seven years old. After 14 years of hard training, my band, The Not Mikes released our debut album. We’ve toured all across the East Coast and it’s been a dream come true.
Wanting our work to reach as many people as possible, we sold our souls for rock n roll and uploaded our music to iTunes. We signed the Apple contract to reach a whole new audience and were promised royalty checks every month if our album was bought. That’s when something amazing happened. Hundreds of people bought the album and on the site where bands can monitor the progress, our royalty money was rising. However, three months went by and we never received a check. In fact, every time I called, I was given the same answer. “The checks will be mailed soon. We are behind.” After a year of several inquires and no resolution, I felt bullied and beat. That feeling never left.
3 years later, I took a Film course at CCSU (Comm 228). While I didn’t take it seriously at first, it wasn’t long before I realized how powerful it could be. In fact, in one semester, I practiced and filmed repeatedly. Slowly and through critique and guidance, I corrected many mistakes and improved. Using my own experiences, I wanted my first film to represent independent artists. After hearing a commercial ITunes created, I wanted to fight back, while also empowering others who have been through this.
My first film, “You Can Do Better” called on Apple to do the right thing. After the film was created, I shared it on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and made connections with musicians all across the East Coast, only to find out that they had similar experiences. After 3 years of fighting to get the money my band had earned, I am proud to say that my band finally received the first of many royalty checks from iTunes. Apple did the right thing.
My advice for those who are thinking about taking film, know there will be times where you will want to quit… but don’t! Stay hungry and passionate. Dedicate yourself and you never know what your film can do, or who it can empower.
Written by 1st year Film Student, Matt Kevorkian. Matt’s Music can be heard on iTunes and other sources. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/electric-schmucks/id881732221
Posted by Jeff Teitler – Associate Professor – Department of Communication – Film Emphasis