Kyle Walczak graduated from Minnesota School of Business-Richfield (MSB) in 2009 with his associate degree digital video and media production. He has been successfully working in his field ever since.
“I only say ‘yes’ to things that further my career,” Kyle said.
Upon graduation, Kyle, who already had an unpaid internship, compiled his demo reel and contacted local production companies. “I was very ambitious, and I just jumped at any chance,” said Kyle.
The second company he visited was Volt Studios in downtown Minneapolis. The producer watched one minute of Kyle’s demo reel and offered Kyle a position as assistant editor.
As a freelance editor, Kyle also worked with Jagged Edge studios, where he had the chance to assist in the production of Gerber baby food and Advil commercials. He connected with a music video director named Phil Harder who tasked a nervous Kyle with editing a band’s numerous music videos into one long film.
Knowing that Kyle’s goal was to work on films, his mentors encouraged him to move to Los Angeles. By 2011, Kyle was in sunny California.
Resourceful as ever, Kyle contacted over 100 production studios looking for assistant editor work. After a few brief gigs, he was aboard a David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj music video. The video currently has over 200 million YouTube hits. “I just got lucky,” Kyle stated.
Kyle’s next stop was his chance to work on a film as he spent four months at Paramount Pictures editing the recent Katy Perry movie. The hours were long: 100 hours per week with one day off for every 20 on; but it fulfilled Kyle’s dream of working on a movie.
The next big break was a stint at HBO, where Kyle met an editor who had worked on the film “Silver Linings Playbook.” The editor and Kyle stayed in touch, and when another film opportunity came up in 2013, the editor reached out to Kyle. That movie turned out to be “American Hustle.”
Kyle landed the job and spent three months on post-production. His duties ran the spectrum: everything from getting lunch and dinner for 20 people every day, to prepping scenes and transcribing what happens on screen so that the editors can find the best take.
Kyle took a liking to the film’s director, David O. Russell, and told David that he wanted to work with him again. A short time later, David contacted Kyle and hired him as his personal assistant.
According to Kyle, MSB helped prepare him in all of the programs that sent him on his path. He said that his focus has always been on the importance of networking. “Focus on building relationships. The worst thing you can do is to not reach out,” he advised.
“Kyle was always very motivated and enthusiastic, always wanting to learn more and improve on what he knew already,” said digital video and media production instructor, Troy LaFaye. “He actively sought out projects outside of class to keep getting more experience, hone his skills and meet people working in the industry.”
After this busy awards season ends, Kyle isn’t certain about his future. “I have no idea where I’ll be in a year,” he said.
Having worked on two films now, Kyle says that his new dream is to be a movie producer. With Kyle’s track record of fulfilling each goal he has set for himself, we have little doubt about that one.