It Factor Studios' film performance and industry workshops unfurl under the leadership of Hollywood directors and professional actors from the American Film Institute. Founder Ryan McKinney and coach to the stars Steve Whittaker apply their workplace experience to create a safe and progressive learning environment and help actors to prepare for industry difficulties such as auditioning, resumé writing, or staring contests with Jack Nicholson. The results-driven team mentors budding performers of all experience and skill levels in a wealth of techniques, including Method and Meisner, with many courses designed to complement each other.
To enable instructional shoots and commercial productions, the studio boasts full capabilities for film preparation, shooting, and editing. Students interested in the back side of the lens can sign up for instruction in film shooting, editing, and screenwriting, enabling them to stage scenes and reboot old home movies under professional conditions. In addition to workshops, events such as guest-speaker series with working or retired film professionals help pupils to garner real industry connections.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
In 2005, The Drum Lab became Sacramento’s first and only school of drumming. Since then, the Rocklin destination hasn’t skipped a beat in its mission to elevate the standards of musical education. Voted one of the Best Places to Learn to Play Music by CBS Sacramento and the 2012 winner of Best Music Instruction from the KCRA 3 A-List, the school fuels students with the technical know-how and confidence to master their favorite songs, then instills them with the desire to expand their musical horizons.
Based upon stylistic preference, students are paired with one of The Drum Lab’s gifted instructors, who specialize in genres that include rock, jazz, R & B, hip-hop, Latin, and gospel. Once a week, in 30-minute sessions, future John Bonhams and lil’ Gene Krupas learn to play in synchronicity with their instructor in acoustically crisp lab rooms fitted with two drum kits and a playback system with headphones. The school encourages students to beat their way out of comfort zones by periodically switching genres and instructors, helping them develop a comprehensive knowledge of drumming techniques and easing the nerves of insomniac rock drummers who fear waking up in a jazz quartet.