The Pops Orchestra Presents "Hollywood Holidays" with Four Guest Film Makers from the State College of Florida

The Pops Orchestra celebrates this holiday season with all your favorite Hollywood holiday film scores, featuring original movies made to the arrangements by four SCF Film students. Their teacher, Chris Bellanca, joins the Pops too as the featured narrator to 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Join conductor Robyn Bell as she talks to Lake Simms, Max Sorba, Michael La Placa, and Delaney Recupero about their lives as budding film makers, their experiences in producing the films for this concert, and the future careers they envision for themselves.

You have two opportunities to see this show:
1. Sunday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. at the Riverview Performing Arts Center and
2. Monday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m at the Neel Performing Arts Center

Get your tickets at or by calling 941-926-POPS (7677)

The Pops Orchestra: Music You Love, Musicians You Know.
We'll see you at the show!

The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota Website & Facebook & Instagram

• SCF Film Program Website

Support the show


Robyn Bell: There is not much more to love in life than a good holiday movie, but especially the music that goes along with it, whether it's on the big screen or that traditional film shown on television each year, these films in their music become part of our culture, psyche and Traditions during the month of December. It is in that spirit that I programmed the holiday show for the pop season this year called Hollywood Holidays. You can hear and see this performance on Sunday, December 11th at 3:00 PM at the Riverview Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, and on Monday, December 12th at 7:30 PM in the SCF Neel Performing Arts Center in Bradenton. Tickets are or by calling 9 4 1 9 2. Pops, that's 76, 77, and as I was selecting the films we were going to perform music from, I was searching for a way to make this particular concert a bit more special for our pops audience members. That's when I thought, I wonder if any of our fabulous SCF film students would want to partner on this project. I reached out to Chris Bellanca, who's the SCF film program manager, and lo and behold, before I knew it, I had four amazing. Film students working on many films to 13 of our selections, including a Christmas Carol, a Charlie Brown Christmas, the Grinch that Stole Christmas, the Nightmare before Christmas, the Miracle on 34th Street, Rudolph, the Red Nose, reindeer, the Polar Express. White Christmas Mame, and many more. I thought we would use the podcast this week to talk to these four fine film students and learn about about them. Our film producers are Lake Sims, max Soba, Michael LaPlaca, and Delaney Recupero. We will start with two of them, so Lake Sims and Max Sorba. Welcome to the club. 

Max Sorba: Hi. It's a pleasure to be here. 

Lake Simms: Thank you for having us. 

Robyn Bell: My thanks is all to you. You guys have put in so much hard work on this. So let's start kind of with the background here as we do on my podcast Lake. You're the one I've been mostly communicating with. You're sort of the leader of the pack, as I would say. Tell me, are you from this area? 

Lake Simms: I have been in this area for several years at this point. I was born and personally raised in California and Ohio before moving down here about 10 years ago.

Robyn Bell: Okay, so you've been here 10 years. Did you graduate from high school in this area?

Lake Simms: I did. 

Robyn Bell: Where'd you graduate from? 

Lake Simms: Manatee High. 

Robyn Bell: Manatee High School. You're a hurricane? 

Lake Simms: Yeah. Yeah. . 

Robyn Bell: Did you participate in anything at Manatee High School? 

Lake Simms: Primarily the, uh, theater department actually. 

Robyn Bell: Okay, great. So what kind of productions did you do at the theater department?

Lake Simms: When I was most active in the theater department, it was primarily acting pieces compared to musical. Mm-hmm. pieces. I didn't personally act in any of the musicals a lot of my experience. Through the theater department was, I did a lot of writing and I did a lot of directing compared to just acting on the stage.

Robyn Bell: Okay. Very cool. So you're kind of behind the scenes, which is very similar to, you know, what all this film stuff is about. So how did you get interested in being a film student? 

Lake Simms: A lot of it was just trial and error. At the beginning of the pandemic, I started consuming short film media off of YouTube. Mm-hmm. . Through that I wanted to create more of that material and it just sort of spiraled into making my own content and editing, and that's how I discovered the love for editing in particular. 

Robyn Bell: And so you, during the pandemic March, 2020, you were still a high school student? 

Lake Simms: No, I was graduated at that point.

Robyn Bell: Okay. And then what made you decide to focus on SCF for your education?

Lake Simms: Honestly, I kinda looked at it as. A close to home sort of opportunity. I didn't want to shovel out university costs for something I was still learning to explore. 

Robyn Bell: There you go. 

Lake Simms: And the film program just happens to be very good here and I've learned a lot through, Chris Blanca and Fletcher and the other teachers in the department.

Robyn Bell: Right. And we should say Chris Blanca and Chris Fletcher, the two Chrises. Yeah. I'm sure there's some confusion there. What other faculty members do you work with in the film?

Lake Simms: I work with Frank Deses as well. I've taken a few classes with him. He does more of. Live action sort of. Mm-hmm. journalism recording. I was actually working with him when I recorded your orchestra. The Sixth Senses in spring. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. And this is how we first got connected cuz last spring the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra did a sixth sense. And I think you were doing maybe a project for the class at the end of the semester. 

Lake Simms: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. And you came and filmed it and, uh, we never really met. You just came in and did your thing. And then when I reached out to Chris, Lo and behold, here's the name I had already worked with. I was like, well, this is pretty cool. Had you ever done anything like this before where you're given a soundtrack, if you will, and you needed to create video to it.

Lake Simms: I have done video that I didn't create and I've edited, but specifically, Audio. no, that was a new experience by being handed audio and recording it in that way. 

Robyn Bell: And what's your take on it? 

Lake Simms: I really enjoy it. It's definitely a challenge and through doing other audio work just in general, I'm finding a great appreciation for what you can do with audio and accompany it to the video that goes with it.

Robyn Bell: Because normally and Max help me out here, it would be the other way. Like when we find we're in Hollywood and, and somebody's written a film, The actors have already acted the part and they give you the video and then the composer writes the music to it. And so we are reverse engineering this. Right?

Max Sorba: Right. Pretty much. We even had an entire class, where. One of our assignments is to take a scene from a movie and then redo the audio for it. So we have to come up with the audio for a scene that has already been done and from the way our teacher explained it, That's just what is sometimes actually done in the industry. Sometimes 

Robyn Bell: that's normal, but Dr. Bell is abnormal . So I say do this the opposite way. So Lake, where do you see yourself in 10 years? What do you wanna be when you grow up? 

Lake Simms: Primarily working on, I think indie film is where I really wanna focus. I've thought about opening up my own studio. 

Robyn Bell: Wow. 

Lake Simms: And working more behind the scenes. I love directing. I love the editing, of course, and I, I love being in front of the screen as well. I love every aspect of it, but what you can do, with editing. Mm-hmm. , you can completely change the story of pretty much anything like reality shows. They're so fabricated. But if it wasn't for the editors, people wouldn't watch the show.

Robyn Bell: That's it. 

Lake Simms: So that's primarily where I'm focusing is with the editing in 10 years and other work of course. 

Robyn Bell: And which of the selections that I've asked the film students to make film for? Which ones have you?

Lake Simms: , I did God bless us every. I did white Christmas. I did have yourself a merry little Christmas, and I did. I'll be home for Christmas. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, you did all the Christmas ones? 

Lake Simms: Yeah. . 

Robyn Bell: And do you have any friends or family coming to the concerts?

Lake Simms: I do. I have at least my mother who is going to be coming on the Sunday. 

Robyn Bell: Very cool. Has your mom ever seen any of your.

Lake Simms: I've actually worked for her. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, nice.

Lake Simms: So she's seen some of that type of work. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Pretty cool. All right, Max, how about you? What year are you . Here at SCF? This is your first year or second year.

Max Sorba: This is, I think it's technically my third year, but I spent, I spent a few semesters just taking like one or two classes because I was juggling a whole lot at the time. 

Robyn Bell: Well that's what's great about SCF is we've set it up so you can do that if life kind of gets in the way. Right,

Max Sorba: right. And I've really appreciated that. And it's just been a really nice opportunity for me to. Do . 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. And what, uh, are you from the area? 

Max Sorba: It's actually very funny because, uh, I was listening to Lake and I was like, wow, this sounds like my life , um, cause. I'm from Indiana originally and I actually moved down here, around eight years ago. So I've been in Florida for eight years and, uh, sort of loving it. . Yeah, definitely a lot warmer.

Robyn Bell: It's nice this time of year. Yeah, it's very, very hot in the summer. Did you graduate from high school around?

Max Sorba: Yes. I also graduated from Manatee.

Robyn Bell: Did you guys know each other at Manatee High School? 

Max Sorba: We did not at all. And it's even funnier because I was also in the theater program. 

Robyn Bell: Oh my goodness. How far apart in years are you though?

Max Sorba: I don't know. I graduated in 2020. .

Lake Simms: I graduated in 2014. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, okay. 2014. Mm-hmm. . Oh, okay. So yeah, that explains, that explains a lot. And so you did theater at Manatee High School. What else did you do there?

Max Sorba: That was mostly it, honestly. Um, theater was just a year round thing for me because not only did I take the class, but I was in, Probably a more majority of the shows that we had done, or at least during my time there. Because at Manatee, at least when I went there, we would have three shows every year. One in the fall and two in the spring. Um, and I would usually do the two spring, shows. 

Robyn Bell: And you were an actor? 

Max Sorba: Yes. I've been acting. There since my sophomore year. and I actually just recently, um, at SCF, I got done with my latest acting thing because I was, in our theater program.

Robyn Bell: You were in the production of Ms. Holmes? They just did, 

Max Sorba: yes. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Very cool. 

Max Sorba: Did you have the chance to see it? 

Robyn Bell: I was supposed to. I actually bought a ticket and I got a flat tire on the way there on Friday night and I was totally bummed. I go to every one of the shows. I just love them. And Lake, have you thought of doing, behind the scene. Work with our theater program here. Since you did that at Manatee, 

Lake Simms: I've thought briefly about it, but I really wanna do my focus more on film film since I had so much time on the stage. 

Robyn Bell: Sure. 

Lake Simms: I would love to reincorporate it with writing playwrights again, but primarily I shifted my focus to film and narrative in the behind the scenes with that.

Robyn Bell: Excellent. Okay, Max, how did the film bug hit? . 

Max Sorba: Honestly, it was just one day I woke up and I was like, this is what I want to do. It started in sixth grade when in my language arts class I was told, okay, write a short story. And so I wrote the longest short story of everyone in the class . Um, And from then I knew that I just loved writing so much. It was so much fun. And up until that point when people said, what do you wanna be when you grow up? I was, a question mark. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. I don't know. I don't know. I hear that all the time. I don't know. That's why I'm here at State College of Florida, but now you know. 

Max Sorba: Yeah. I loved writing so much and I realized it's not enough just to write. I want people to see what I see when I write these things out. And because of that, the film program just, drew me in. 

Robyn Bell: Really cool. And you've had a great experience here. 

Max Sorba: Oh yeah. I've loved it.

Robyn Bell: I'm curious to the both of you, do you have to supply your own equipment and computer software and all of that? Or does the film program provide it for you?

Lake Simms: It does provide it. I actually work for the department right now and I'm in charge of the equipment room. So we provide the majority of the equipment. All our editing bays are equipped with all the software. The students need. Of course, if they wanna continue with this as a career, it's encouraged to. Guide them to get their own equipment. 

Robyn Bell: Right. And same, same when I was in the music program. You know, somebody may come in and they didn't own their own tuba. SCF has a tuba, but if you're gonna be a tuba player, hello, you gotta buy a tuba at some point. Right. It's the same kind of thing for the film department then, right? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And do either of you own your own kind of high end equipment?

Lake Simms: I do. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, 

Max Sorba: and I have a camera and some editing software.

Robyn Bell: Okay, and is it kinda like in music there's two or three like music notation softwares that are at the top. Is it the same way for you guys? You kind of all speak the same language? 

Lake Simms: Yes, there is industry standard. Yeah. Like primarily Adobe is very industry standard.

Robyn Bell: They have the market cornered Adobe. 

Max Sorba: Yeah. Our computers here have . Adobe. It's what we've been taught on Uhhuh. Um, every class where there's something digital to do with art, it's an Adobe product.

Robyn Bell: All right, Lake. Mac or pc? 

Lake Simms: Pc. Oh, you're wrong, 

Max Sorba: Max. Unfortunately, I agree. . 

Robyn Bell: All right. I'll give you, I'll give you a ding on there. . Us musicians, we're stuck on our Macs, aren't we? You filmmakers? That surprises me cuz you can always hear the creative stuff as Mac, Mac, Mac, but no pc, huh? 

Max Sorba: Um, for me it's just because it's what I was raised on and it's what I understand best. It's not so much, which one is better as, which 1:00 AM I more familiar with and which one just clicks in my brain?

Robyn Bell: Sure. And yeah, it's kinda like for me, my computer. Is wired, like my brain is, it organizes things and functions like my brain does. But is it because I've been on a Mac since third grade or has the Mac become intuitive to me? I don't know. That's, we're gonna have a whole nother podcast about Mac versus P. Okay. I'll invite you guys back. So Max, 10 years from now, What's your life look like? 

Max Sorba: Big and famous. .

Robyn Bell: Big and famous. You moving out to Hollywood or New York? 

Max Sorba: Maybe or I just, honestly, I just hope to be a part of the film industry. Still, I hope to have, , my own writing projects. Being in the works and public. I just love being a part of film sets and being part of the process and, that's how I know that this is what really draws me to film along with writing and acting. Mm-hmm. is that, I've noticed recently, I don't care how much attention I get, I just care that I'm doing this.

Robyn Bell: That's right. And it's what it does for other people. That's what our art form does, right. About bringing joy to other people and that's what brings joy to us. 

Max Sorba: Right. 

Robyn Bell: So tell us, what selections did you have to make films to? 

Max Sorba: I did a Charlie Brown Christmas, a Christmas Carol, the 2009 version, and my very favorite, the Nightmare before Christmas.

Robyn Bell: Yes. And I'm gonna, the nightmare before Christmas, pretty good work there. Max, I must say. 

Max Sorba: Thank you.

Robyn Bell: Pretty good both of you. Excellent. Works on all your tunes. And Max, do you have people coming to the concert? 

Max Sorba: I do. I have a group of friends and my mom coming. 

Robyn Bell: Very nice. Good mom's in the house Sunday or? 

Max Sorba: I'm believing it's gonna be Monday. 

Robyn Bell: Okay, well, that's nice. Now, before I let you go, do either of you have your favorite holiday or Christmas memories?

Lake Simms: That's hard to say. I'm actually Jewish.

Robyn Bell: Okay. Well, Hanukkah, yes. Holiday? Yes. 

Lake Simms: So we do this, thing when it comes to the gifts and it's almost like a, luck of the draw sort of thing that me and my siblings have where we pick a number and then we get the pick in that way. Almost like a secret Santa in a way. Because my mom also loves like how colorful Christmas is, so it's always a big ordeal. Like she sets up the trees and like some of 'em are like specifically like the blue and the white and the other ones are just all kinds of colors. Some of them are pink. Like it's just a huge, she's extremely theatrical cuz she was in the film industry herself.

Robyn Bell: Okay, well how about that? 

Lake Simms: So she tried to avoid make me not go into it, but you know,

Robyn Bell: it didn't work. 

Lake Simms: Nope. 

Robyn Bell: Well it sounds like you have a very diversified holiday season in your family. 

Lake Simms: Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: That is really cool. How about you, Max? Any special memories? 

Max Sorba: It's hard to say when they're all special. I associate it all together with bringing out all of the Christmas stuff from the basement that, uh, we had in Indiana and, walking into my grandparents house one day and just, oh, hey. Big tree and, finding all these little ornaments, which I just thought were toys and so I'd play with them. uh, we always had like fun nerdy ones, like, some Star Trek ships and like a ufo and so I just have fun playing with those and decorating this tree and, just getting in the mood. My family and, having fun in snow. Um,

Robyn Bell: not here in Florida, 

Max Sorba: unfortunately. 

Robyn Bell: My Christmas tree is fake and it's a palm tree and it comes out and puts, we decorate the palm tree only in Florida, right? 

Max Sorba: Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: Any favorite Christmas music, holiday music that you like? 

Max Sorba: Hm. 

Lake Simms: I really like, Santa Baby. 

Robyn Bell: Oh yes. That's a great one. Santa Baby. Love it. Love it. How about you Max? 

Max Sorba: I've always been a bit more of a Halloween person, so I just love the entire soundtrack of The Nightmare before Christmas .

Robyn Bell: That's a perfect synthesis between Halloween and Christmas, isn't it?

Max Sorba: Yeah, it's amazing. 

Robyn Bell: And you know, for those of you listening, you can't see this, but Max gets extra credit today because he's wearing. Robin of Batman and Robin shirt. That's always my Halloween costume. Oh. Cause my name's Robin. 

Max Sorba: Oh, 

Robyn Bell: get it? 

Max Sorba: No, I don't actually. 

Robyn Bell: Well, let's visit with our other two filmmakers on this project. Michael LaPlaca and Delaney Recupero. Michael and Delaney, welcome to the club. 

Michael La Placa: Nice to be here. Thank you. 

Delaney Recupero: Thank you. 

Robyn Bell: So Michael, tell me, are you from the Sarasota Bradenton area? 

Michael La Placa: I'm originally from, uh, Niagara Falls. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, very far from here. 

Michael La Placa: Yes. Yes. I lived on the Canadian side of the border. My dad's from the US side and I kind of grew up between both. Oh, 

Robyn Bell: oh, Canada. 

Michael La Placa: Oh yes. 

Robyn Bell: How am I doing? 

Michael La Placa: Oh, perfect.

Robyn Bell: Do you, do you have dual citizen? 

Michael La Placa: Yes, I do. 

Robyn Bell: Well, how cool is that? So what landed you then here on the Suncoast? 

Michael La Placa: My dad's property that he owned down here. We've been wanting to come down forever. Yeah, we finally did it 

Robyn Bell: and see we are recording this in November, 2022. What year did you move down here?

Michael La Placa: August of 2020. 

Robyn Bell: The pandemic brought you down? 

Michael La Placa: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Were you still in high?

Michael La Placa: I had just left high school. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. So you graduated from high school, 

Michael La Placa: correct? 

Robyn Bell: In the spring of 2020, you moved down. Here you go. Well, I think I need to get some further education. And what pointed you to the State College of Florida?

Michael La Placa: Well, I was looking at colleges in the area. And to be honest, what really sold me was visiting the campus and the beautiful Bradenton campus here. 

Robyn Bell: Michael. I was talking to someone just this morning about how pretty our campus was. I had to walk across to another building and I was like, just taking it in. It's gorgeous. 

Michael La Placa: It is. Really is. 

Robyn Bell: And you came here specifically to be a film student?

Michael La Placa: That's correct. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. So where did this love of film come along in your youth?

Michael La Placa: I guess it's always been there. I would consider myself a natural storyteller. Mm-hmm. , you know, if I was hanging out with my friends, let Mike tell the story. He tells it better. 

Robyn Bell: Yep. 

Michael La Placa: And, uh, I, I really love that aspect of it, but, uh, when I was younger, I wanted to be animation. 

Robyn Bell: Oh yeah. Like cartoons and stuff. 

Michael La Placa: Yeah. My grandmother told me I'd work for Disney. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Cartoons is kind of archaic. It's animation, right? I'm not saying it right. Yeah. Mm-hmm. , you gotta let me, gotta let me know there.

Michael La Placa: Oh, I don't know about that , but. Yeah, I, I've always wanted to be in film some way, share my stories. 

Robyn Bell: And when did you enroll at the State College of Florida? 

Michael La Placa: That would be, 2021. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Fall of 2021. So you took kind of a gap year during c 

Michael La Placa: Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Do you, have a job?

Michael La Placa: Yes. I work at Publix.

Robyn Bell: Oh. Publix is a big employer of State College of Florida students. 

Michael La Placa: Oh yeah? 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. What do you do there? 

Michael La Placa: I'm a grocery clerk. That means I stock the shelves. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, you stock the shelves. Well, that's good. Like burn calories and get your work out.

Michael La Placa: Oh, yeah, for sure. 

Robyn Bell: Gonna be d. 

Michael La Placa: Uh, no. 

Robyn Bell: Like was some people mowing you down with their grocery cart or something?

Michael La Placa: Oh yeah. Yeah. That's a possibility. Walking a, I feel bad for those, uh, baggers. Cause they walk across that parking lot with all those crazy people driving. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. That is danger. Danger. 

Michael La Placa: Oh yeah. 

Robyn Bell: I hope they get paid more than most. Probably not, 

Michael La Placa: probably not. 

Robyn Bell: No. Probably not. And Mike, if I asked you where you wanted to be in 10 years, what would you.

Michael La Placa: my ultimate dream would be a writer and director. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, so you wanna write stories and direct films, 

Michael La Placa: correct? 

Robyn Bell: Not, not act in them? 

Michael La Placa: No, no, 

Robyn Bell: no. You're, you're a behind the scenes kind of guy? 

Michael La Placa: Yes. Yes. 

Robyn Bell: And so tell me about this project you're doing with the Pops. Which of the selections did you make films to?

Michael La Placa: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, I did Mame, which was a new movie for me. I never heard about that until this project 

Robyn Bell: Uhhuh 

Michael La Placa: and, Home alone. Somewhere in my memory. Yeah. I love that song. So I, I chose that for the song. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. 

Michael La Placa: I've always loved that song.

Robyn Bell: We talked with Max and with Lake, that this project is kind of the opposite of what you would normally do. You would normally. Have the film and then the music would be written to the film. Mm-hmm. . But here we are, reverse engineering that, where I picked these medleys and said, Hey, put film to it. Did you find that particularly challenging? 

Michael La Placa: It was challenging to acquire the footage from especially these older films. My normal, uh, process would be to have a film, find music that works, fits the energy of the footage. But this, you, you have the music and you're matching to that music. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. 

Michael La Placa: and you have a limited source to pull from really, because you're finding clips from sometimes these older films. Mm-hmm. and yeah, that's, that's a bit of a challenging process, but a fun one. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Good, good. I really liked your home alone, the way you have that end. 

Michael La Placa: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: I was telling the orchestra about it Monday night, how, you know, sort of that last bit of imaging and they were like, wow. I go, yeah, wait till you see it. So really good job on that. 

Michael La Placa: Thank. 

Robyn Bell: And so when you graduate, what's next for you? How do you get your foot in the door to be a writer and a, director? 

Michael La Placa: I'm hoping an internship may, uh, throw me into. Film production studio, 

Robyn Bell: and do you see that happening for you here in the Sarasota Bradenton area, or are you gonna have to relocate?

Michael La Placa: I love Sarasota Bradenton. Yeah, I'm gonna try to stay here. 

Robyn Bell: Nice. Good for you. 

Michael La Placa: It seems like there's some stuff out there, so 

Robyn Bell: Yeah, you could probably find work here. 

Michael La Placa: Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. 

Robyn Bell: For certain. So, Delaney. 

Delaney Recupero: Hi,

Robyn Bell: how are you today? 

Delaney Recupero: Good, 

Robyn Bell: good. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Are you originally from the Suncoast?

Delaney Recupero: No, I moved down here in 2015. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. From where? 

Delaney Recupero: From Long Island, New York. 

Robyn Bell: Nice. 

Delaney Recupero: East Hampton. 

Robyn Bell: You don't have quite the Long Island accent. I'm used to hearing. 

Delaney Recupero: My mom does. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. good. 

Delaney Recupero: And she had an in-home daycare and I was in middle school at the time when she was like, I'm gonna kill someone if I don't get out of here. Cause it's like repetitive, like trying to change diapers all the time and, 

Robyn Bell: And so you moved down here, you went to middle school, and then where did you end up going to high? 

Delaney Recupero: Riverview. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Riverview Rams. And of course, that's where our first concert is. So you're very, familiar with that. 

Delaney Recupero: Yep. 

Robyn Bell: And were you involved in any activities at Riverview High School? 

Delaney Recupero: Yes, I played basketball in, 10th grade and 11th grade, 

Robyn Bell: I played basketball in high school too.

Delaney Recupero: And I also run, five Ks. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, you're a runner. 

Delaney Recupero: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Excellent, excellent. And your mom, is she running a daycare now? 

Delaney Recupero: No. She's at publix. 

Robyn Bell: Oh. But here we go. 

Delaney Recupero: A produce manager. 

Robyn Bell: I think Publix should buy a sponsorship for the podcast this week. What do you think about that? 

Michael La Placa: That's a good idea. 

Robyn Bell: And so you graduate from, Riverview High School 

Delaney Recupero: in 2019.

Robyn Bell: Okay. And did you come right to college? 

Delaney Recupero: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. So tell us about your process for choosing the State College of Florida. 

Delaney Recupero: I wanted a slow start, for my career, I think. Yeah. Um, I'm just doing the basics right now. 

Robyn Bell: and what made you, enter our film program here?

Delaney Recupero: Well, back in Riverview. I had the chance to photograph the football team and I did that and I fell in love with it. And I got. Acclimated in the photography club as well. they also showed us, Sunco Technical College Film Program as well. So I tried that and I really fell in love with it and I was like, I'm gonna stick with that. 

Robyn Bell: Nice. And when do you anticipate graduating from State College of Florida? 

Delaney Recupero: This, coming December. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. So you've got one more semester with us. 

Delaney Recupero: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: And what is your goal in life? What do you wanna be when you grow up? 

Delaney Recupero: Uh, film editor. 

Robyn Bell: A film editor. So you'll like sit at a computer all day and fix people's mistakes.

Delaney Recupero: I mean, not all day. I need fresh air. , . 

Robyn Bell: We can take your computer outside. 

Delaney Recupero: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: And do you see yourself getting work in this area? Along those lines. That's the kind of work you can do remotely. Right? People send you files, you edit it, send It's in the back. 

Delaney Recupero: Yep. 

Robyn Bell: And that's your plan. 

Delaney Recupero: I'm transferring to UCF to. Become a film major film ba. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. Bachelor of Arts. 

Delaney Recupero: Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. So you had to move to Orlando? 

Delaney Recupero: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, that's exciting. 

Delaney Recupero: Yes,

Robyn Bell: it is kind of funny how you know the land of Orlando and the land of Disney. There is a lot of work in what you guys want to do with entertainment, you know, and being in the entertainment industry and UCF has a really good program. So that's a smart move. You'll get your AA here transferred to UCF get your BA and then go make a billion dollars 

Delaney Recupero: or get my BFA after that. 

Robyn Bell: Oh yeah. Bachelor of fine Arts. Totally, totally. Mike, are you going to get any further degrees after SCF? Are you ready to just get right in the workforce?

Michael La Placa: No, I'm on my SCF program and I'm happy . 

Robyn Bell: That's great. Now, do, either of you have family that's coming to the. 

Delaney Recupero: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah, 

Michael La Placa: it's both my parents. 

Robyn Bell: Okay. Which show are they coming to? 

Michael La Placa: They're coming to the Monday Night SCF show. 

Robyn Bell: Excellent. How about you, Delaney? 

Delaney Recupero: I don't know which show they're going to, but They are coming, but I don't know which show. 

Robyn Bell: Well, if you went to Riverview, they probably live near Riverview, so that would be simplest. But, either one is gonna be fantastic. Now I'm gonna ask you a question that I ask. Lake and Max, because I know like in music, students are required to buy instruments and things like this, and they were telling me the SEF film program does a good job of providing software and providing equipment. But do you both own your own editing software, cameras, things like that? 

Michael La Placa: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: What, what do you have, Mike?

Michael La Placa: I have, uh, well, what I recommend a lot of film students is getting Da Vinci resolved, which you can download for free. It's a great editing software 

Robyn Bell: free. 

Michael La Placa: Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. 

Robyn Bell: We love free. 

Michael La Placa: But, uh, yeah, recently I, I've been building up my equipment a little. Got a new camera? Sold my old cameras, 

Robyn Bell: upgrade. 

Michael La Placa: Yeah. Getting audio. Uh, I'm trying to, trying to become the one man band. Able to produce my own shorts. Whatever. So yeah, I've been building my equipment a little bit.

Robyn Bell: Very nice. It's not, cheap to do. 

Michael La Placa: No, it is not. 

Robyn Bell: Yes. 

Michael La Placa: I'm trying to make it budget and it's, it's becoming a funny little setup that I have.

Robyn Bell: Well, I would like to see that. I bet it's pretty cool. 

Michael La Placa: Yes. 

Robyn Bell: How about you, Delaney? 

Delaney Recupero: I still have my old camera, but I wanna get a new one. But to start from getting a new one, I have to work. Old camera. like I'm planning on making basketball videos for the Riverview Rams and SCF 

Robyn Bell: Yeah.

Delaney Recupero: As well. 

Robyn Bell: Cool. 

Delaney Recupero: Like go to the games and capture game footage. Yeah, 

Robyn Bell: yeah, yeah. Yeah. Cool. 

Delaney Recupero: And I see like footage from other sports photographers and. Editors. and I really love their work that they do. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. And that's a big business. If you can get in with a sports team cuz they want to review video all the time. Even golfers, tennis players, things like that. And with IMG across the street, you know, who knows there could be some built in work right there. Cause there's so many sports things going on. So tell us, Delaney, which of the selections did you make Films. 

Delaney Recupero: I made films to the Polar Express, the miracle on 34th Street. And Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 

Robyn Bell: oh. And those are three of my favorites. You really did a great job with that. The Polar Express, that's our kind of longest song. So that was a lot of work on you?

Delaney Recupero: Yeah. 

Robyn Bell: Yeah. You enjoyed it? 

Delaney Recupero: Yeah, I had a plan for it. When I saw the the name, I was like, I have a plan. 

Robyn Bell: Oh yeah. That's kind of nice cuz you have a vision and then you can realize that vision. Did the music inspire your videos? 

Michael La Placa: Absolutely. 

Delaney Recupero: Yes.

Robyn Bell: Yeah? And, Mike? Your favorite holiday or Christmas memory?

Michael La Placa: I don't remember the year. Black Ops two, the video game had just come out 

Robyn Bell: a video game? 

Michael La Placa: Yes. And uh, my cousin 

Robyn Bell: Santa Brought it to you? 

Michael La Placa: Yes. Yes. Santa brought it to my cousin. 

Robyn Bell: Oh, to your cousin? 

Michael La Placa: Yes. Okay. We spent the night playing zombies at his house. It's a great memory. 

Robyn Bell: And your favorite, your favorite Christmas favorite?

Michael La Placa: That's, that's all I can think of right now.

Robyn Bell: I love it, Delaney. How about you?

Delaney Recupero: When I got my camera as a Christmas gift. I was like, this is so cool. And I opened it up. Like put it together and I started taking pictures of my dogs. 

Robyn Bell: Immediately you became a filmmaker. Yes. And what year was that? Do you remember? 

Delaney Recupero: I think 2018. 2017. 

Robyn Bell: And look what it sparked in you. You know that one Christmas gift. And here we are today, sitting here doing a podcast about a film that you made amazing. How long would you each say you spent making your, three films? 

Michael La Placa: I'd say just on actual editing. At least 20 hours. At this point. 

Robyn Bell: 20 hours,

Michael La Placa: yes. 

Robyn Bell: You still have some work to do or you're finished? 

Michael La Placa: Yes. There's still some work to be done 

Robyn Bell: because I gave you some edits. Maybe. 

Michael La Placa: Yes. There's always improvements that could be made. 

Robyn Bell: Yes, that's true and it's a collaborative effort. How about you, Delaney? 

Delaney Recupero: maybe 20 hours. 

Robyn Bell: 20 hours maybe for both of you, that's almost an entire day, 24 hours, right? If there's, you only slept for four hours, that's an entire day. So it's not an easy process. And I wanna thank you both for putting so much wonderful time into it. Because the end product is gonna bring so much joy to our patrons that are gonna be there, and it's gonna really enhance the mu, I mean, soundtracks it, it's one thing to just listen to the music, but to hear the music while you're watching that video, that's what it's all about. Right? 

Michael La Placa: That's how we create emotion. 

Robyn Bell: That's right. Sound, emotion. Well, congratulations to all four of our filmmakers, Lake Simms Max Sorba. Mike LaPlaca and Delaney Recupero, you are now all officially part of the club. I'm really looking forward to our pops audiences watching these original films you made to our arrangements. I've been so impressed with your work ethic and ability to hit these deadlines. It just really says a lot about you as professionals and will bode very well. For your future careers. I wish you tremendous success in those futures and I hope, uh, we can work together again some time. Thank you so much. 

Michael La Placa: Thank you, Dr. Be, it's been very fun. 

Delaney Recupero: Thank you.

Max Sorba: Thank you so much. It would be so much fun to work with you. This has, been a blast.

Robyn Bell: It has for me too.