Make it Pop Creations, developed in 2012 by Kevin Kazluaskas, was a freelance-for-hire business looking for additional clients, fresh talent and a permanent space to call home. Luckily, in 2015, their East Nashville landlord, Christian Paro, was looking to build an expansive studio with advances in equipment, technology and offering a huge space for projects and collaboration. Just before the business growth, Grant Carpenter joined Make It Pop’s team and discovered his professional life after Nossi College of Art.
As a student sitting in Music Video class, Grant was encouraged by his teacher to find local bands to partner with and produce a music video for a final grade. Working with a Nashville band is not only beneficial for students and their professional growth, but it allows musicians and artists access to great, affordable videos. This class allowed Grant to collaborate with the Funkonauts, which in turn introduced him to Kevin of Make It Pop.
Nashville is a network-driven city where one introduction can change your career. After showcasing what he learned in class, Kevin took Grant under his wing and they have been producing amazing videos ever since. Grant was hired as Director of Photography and enjoys heading in to a creative workspace every day of the week. When he isn’t operating the camera equipment for a shoot or sculpting light on set, he is helping with postproduction work before sending video to Make It Pop’s animator.
Projects can also require hiring an in-house director to help the client formulate ideas. Grant meets with the director to discuss a plan, including how the set will appear on camera, stabilization for the shoot and generating an equipment list from lighting needs to cameras. All these details needs to be discussed and organized before starting on the finished piece.
Make It Pop focuses on commercial work for businesses but they enjoy venturing into event coverage and music videos, where they are able to express a bit more creative freedom. When they aren’t generating impressive videos, Make It Pop encourages Nashville’s Film and Video community by providing space for events including the Nashville Filmmakers Guild. The Guild’s goal is to share stories, ideas and discuss current projects to boost the knowledge around film and film careers in Nashville. They also share feedback on gear and showcase any new tech equipment from conventions like NAB.
Grant’s team also gives back. Make It Pop doesn’t just focus on professional goals in the workspace, they also realize the importance of giving back to the community by creating a company culture centered around service.
After graduation, it can be difficult to slow life down. Grant tries by long boarding with friends and discovering new places around Nashville with his girlfriend and fellow Nossi graduate, Tiffany Bessire. He is excited about the consistent work he has seen over the past four years. “I have been able to buy a house with this career. It has really helped me support myself in a way I was not expecting.”
His one piece of advice for novice and notable professionals: Take time to work on projects for yourself. “Take time to create a project for yourself because that is how you will keep your creative interests. Do it for yourself instead of for someone else.”
Make It Pop is fortunate to call Studio 615 home. “The 17,000 square foot building is the ideal location for teams like ours to facilitate productions of any size. The LED fixtures and massive Cyclorama wall make filming in there exciting because the possibilities are endless,” said Grant. Soon, Grant and his team may be looking to open future locations in different cities like Atlanta and Chicago where a larger film community exists.
Grant is a Bachelor Degree Graduate in the Photography and Video program. Since Grant’s graduation, Nossi College split their Photo and Video degree into two intensive programs focused on Photography or Videography.
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