A ‘Series of Unexpected Events’ Leads to a Film Career for TCC Student

FORT WORTH, Texas – Who knew a delayed flight could lead to a new career? It did for Tarrant County College student Daniel Vazquez.

While traveling from New York to Texas, his mother experienced a flight delay. A fan of the TV series “Yellowstone,” she struck up a conversation with a man wearing a “Yellowstone” cap. That man was Cody Lassiter from Paramount Pictures.

When she told him about Daniel and his passion for film, Lassiter shared his business card with an invitation for Daniel to call if he ever needed advice. Daniel held onto the card for a couple of months.

At the time, he was the assistant general manager for the Inland Empire 66ers, a Minor League Baseball team. Despite a successful 10 years with the team, his passion for baseball had plateaued. “My true passion for film and storytelling remained unfulfilled,” he said.

He called Cody to share his thoughts about transitioning to the film industry. By the end of the two-hour call, Lassiter challenged Daniel to leave Southern California and head to Texas to enroll in the Fort Worth Film Collaborative certificate program.

Daniel left California on Jan. 14. “After a journey of 1,360 miles, four tanks of gas, two gallons of coffee, and navigating through a Texas snowstorm, I arrived in Fort Worth ready to start a new chapter in my life.”

He found his experience with the Fort Worth Film Collaborative exceptional compared to the Tier 1 school where he earned his degree in business administration and felt like just another number.

“TCC’s approach was refreshingly different,” he said. He credits the personalized attention with enhancing his learning.

Daniel pursued two certificates — Gaffer/Grip and Light Commercial Construction — because they offered comprehensive training in essential aspects of film production.

Thanks to his training and his management experience with the baseball team, Daniel had his first job in the film industry less than four months after he left California. He’s now a travel assistant for King Street Productions in collaboration with Paramount and 101 Studios. He learned about the position through the Collaborative program.

Daniel says the travel department “plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth and efficient transportation and accommodation of cast and crew.” His responsibilities involve scheduling and itineraries; budget management; travel documentation; emergency handling; and coordination with production management, casting directors and others.

“My experience with King Street Productions and 101 Studios has been incredibly positive,” Daniel said. He spoke with a 101 Studio executive on his first day, which convinced him that this role was a great fit to launch his film career.

“Each day presents new challenges, but production leadership has given me the tools and trust to succeed. I also have the latitude to make mistakes and learn from them, which is invaluable in such a dynamic industry.”

Dreams do come true, even if it might take a delayed flight to make that happen.

Tarrant County College is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions and boasts the second lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. A comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Tarrant County and online classes, TCC offers a range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training for area businesses and corporations.