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Industry Pros on Alumni

Compass College’s alumni have achieved success across the industry working in different areas and departments.  This leads to two of the most important questions we get asked. 

How did they pull this off?

How do I replicate that success?

The path to success is definitely unique to each individual, but the industry values some of the share qualities that we instill in our alumni.  They take these qualities with them wherever they go, and it opens up doorways to a long, successful career.


  1. Hard Workers with Purpose: We’ve covered this in previous articles about showing up early, staying late, giving every task your best effort.  This is a mindset and attitude that you mold during your years at Compass.  We encourage you to get into these good habits.  Find purpose in everything you are doing.
  2. Passionate About Creating: Our students and alumni simply love the art of visual storytelling.  Doesn’t matter if it’s big screen films, streaming television, or a smartphone web series.  Compass fosters a love for the entire medium and our students are always excited to tell a great story.  Without a passion, great art cannot be created.  Our faculty work with students to discover that passion and unleash their creative talents. 
  3. On Set Problem Solvers: Our program instills a confidence in our graduates.  Their knowledge and skillset are both broad and detailed, making them a valuable asset on a set.  We train you to be proactive on location to help productions solve problems, which will always happen.  Keeping a cool head and being able to solve issues is a skill in very high demand.  Problem solvers can grow into leaders.  Our alumni are trained to guide a team to success.    


Having a balanced blend of these attributes is what opens up new opportunities.  Big production cities like Los Angeles and Atlanta lose young filmmakers every year simply because they can’t afford to live there any longer.  Why?  Because they were not generating enough income from working on crews to stay.  Our program hardwires these skills and mindset into our students, so they stand out on a crew.  They make themselves essential to the production, build a network, and pretty soon they’re being offered the next job then another and all of a sudden, you’ve got a career in full swing.  Our passion is for training young filmmakers all the tools they need to go out and have fulfilling careers and tell great stories.  That all starts the first day you walk through the door.

Pros in Video

  • Jim Hanon: Director/Writer, End of the Spear
  • Korey Pollard: 1st Assistant Director, The Orville9-1-1Nashville
  • David Weiss: Writer, Shrek 2The Smurfs
  • Rik Swartzwelder: Director/Writer, Old Fashioned
  • Mark Clayman: Producer, The Pursuit of Happyness

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