Become a Filmmaker

Film Connection student Nate Crockett & mentor Geno DiMaria framing shot for “Hindsight”

Filmmaker is a nebulous term.

The term “filmmaker” means different things to different people. To some it means anyone who works on a film in any capacity. To others, including the Film Connection, a filmmaker is one who writes, directs, and even produces, shoots and edits their films. They are the true auteur of the film. Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino are classic examples of filmmakers.

Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Wes Anderson, David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, John Waters, Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee and Sylvester Stallone are also filmmakers, whereas Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Ridley Scott, Clint Eastwood and Michael Bay are directors but not necessarily filmmakers by this definition.

Regardless of whether you dream of becoming a director or a filmmaker, you will need to understand the process of filmmaking.
This is especially true if you are just starting out in the business. Usually, your first film projects will be low budget, which means you might well have to wear multiple hats (writer, producer, director, cinematographer, editor) and will need to have the knowledge and skills required to do so.

Filmmakers and directors have one thing in common. They must be visual storytellers. This holds true whether they write their own material (filmmaker) or work with someone else’s screenplay (director).

Filmmakers and directors need to understand the roles of the producer, the cinematographer, the rest of crew and be able to work with actors to achieve the performances they desire.

The Film Connection’s Film Production and Editing Program is designed to help you become a filmmaker. As such, it covers all aspects of filmmaking: from screenwriting to scene-setting, to working with actors, with the crew, working with an editor and handling the ever important job of staying on-budget.

Our comprehensive approach to learning to become a filmmaker has two components.

The first is the online curriculum which includes lessons on screenwriting, stages of production, cinematography, line producing, storyboarding, script breakdown, pre-production, production, working with actors and post-production.

The second component is the practical application of the online curriculum. This takes place inside a thriving film production company that is located near where you live. The Film Connection has working relationships with hundreds of film production companies across the United States so in most cases you will be externing in a film production company that’s a short 30-45 minute drive from where you live.

Externship, an in-industry approach to film education.

Externship is the heart and soul of Film Connection’s approach to industry-oriented filmmaking education. All film schools have a curriculum. These curriculums are usually quite similar in the lessons they offer. Very few films schools provide externships and those that do often have very limited enrollment opportunities. The Film Connection includes a film externship component for all of its students and places few restrictions on enrollment.

The value of an externship is often overlooked by prospective film students. They have visions of going to film school to make “their movie.” The trouble with this vision is that they will end up in film school class where almost every other film student has similar aspirations. With dozens of film students all vying for equipment use, it can be difficult to gain the access time necessary to complete your film.

With the Film Connection externship, you’re taught individually by a mentor, who serves as a film director in the film production company where you extern. Your lessons are done one-on-one and utilize the film production company’s gear in an actual professional filmmaking environment. With Film Connection, not only do you have a better chance to make “your movie,” you gain first-hand knowledge of just how films are made in the real-world.

If you dream of becoming a filmmaker, we invite you to compare our filmmaking program with those offered by other schools. If the reason you want to go to film school is to not only learn filmmaking, but to actually make films in the real-world, we think you should seriously consider Film Connection. Call us directly to tell us about your particular goals and the kind of filmmaking career you’d like to build for yourself. We’ll gladly answer all of your questions. We can be reached from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm, Monday – Friday at 1-800-755-7597.

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