Curriculum

All Film Connection courses employ the mentored externship method of learning in one-on-one, hands-on sessions with a working professional filmmaker proficient in your field of study. This allows you to learn at your own pace, in real world, practical application situations, and focus on particular areas of interest to you.

Film Connection provides unique, mentor-based programs that are affordable, so you can stay in control of your finances.

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Film Connection Courses


All Film Connection courses employ the mentored externship method of learning in one-on-one, hands-on sessions with a working professional filmmaker proficient in your field of study. This allows you to learn at your own pace, in real world, practical application situations, and focus on particular areas of interest to you.

In the Film Connection for Film Production & Editing program, you will study directing, producing and screenwriting inside a real film production company in your city as you develop your movie idea with a professional filmmaker. Then, upon meeting the necessary requirements, you will be given the opportunity to fly to Los Angeles or New York and pitch your film idea to an executive who could buy or get your movie made.

Film Production & Editing Details

In the Film Connection for Cinematography program, you will learn the techniques involved in capturing a moving image and will start to develop “the eye of the DP.” The cinematographer is literally the set ‘magician.’ DPs are responsible for the technological wizardry required to get the needed shots and to shape light to achieve the director’s desired artistic effect.

Cinematography Details

Workshops

The screenwriter is the person who creates, takes, or adapts an idea and formulates a screenplay. Without the writer, there would be no movie. Period. He or she is the starting gate. He or she is the person who gets the ball rolling down the hill.
 
In the Film Connection for Screenwriting workshop, you will learn the elements that make for a “Killer Script” by developing and writing your own feature length screenplay under the direction and mentorship of a working professional screenwriter.

Screenwriting Details

In many ways the film editor is the most misunderstood of all film professionals. Often considered just a film technician, a good editor is so much more than that. He or she is also a qualified storyteller of the highest order.
 
In the Film Connection for Film Editing workshop, you will develop your knowledge of storytelling and screenplay structure as the foundational blueprint of a film. You will also develop your technical understanding of editing as an extern to a professional editor in a post-production facility.

Film Editing Details

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Meet our Mentors

Why learn from teachers when you can learn from the professionals?

Ryan E. Heppe Film Connection Mentor

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Ryan E. Heppe Film Connection Mentor

Background

During his tenure at CCH, Heppe was hired by legendary producer David Foster (The Getaway, Short Circuit, The Mask of Zorro) and quickly climbed to the position of Head of Development where he became involved with Foster’s productions: Collateral Damage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hart’s War starring Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell, and The Core starring Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank.

As a hyphenate Producer/Director/Writer/Actor, some of Heppe’s work includes: Production of the docu-drama The Magic Was In The Music, a remake of Short Circuit, adaptations of the 80’s television mini-series V and cop series T.J. Hooker, among others. As an actor, he’s starred in such stage productions as You Can’t Take It With You, Life On The Bowery, Dracula and Picnic at Hanging Rock – several of which he directed. In the world of VO, he’s lent his voice to numerous commercials, both national and regional, and performs several characters on the animated series DaGeDar.

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Wade Marshall Film Connection Mentor

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Wade Marshall Film Connection Mentor

Background

Since 2007, Millennium Studios has been servicing productions in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana.

Credits: True Blood, The Expendables 3, Olympus Has Fallen

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Jon Reiss Film Connection Mentor

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Jon Reiss Film Connection Mentor

Background

Named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety, Jon Reiss is also critically acclaimed filmmaker whose experience releasing his feature Bomb It with a hybrid strategy was the inspiration for writing Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing in the Digital Era (TOTBO), the first step-by-step guide for filmmakers to distribute and market their films.  He also co-wrote Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul and Selling Your Film Outside the US.   He also teaches at the Film Directing Program at Cal Arts.

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Rick Dahl Film Connection Mentor

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Rick Dahl Film Connection Mentor

Background

I’ve written for many of the major studios and networks. My first movie, “Red Rock West,” was nominated for Best Screenplay by the Independent Spirit Awards. 

I think this program is fantastic. I get to spend an hour a week, one-on-one with my students. We read over their material carefully. It affords me the opportunity to dig deep and get into the details of screenwriting – a deceptively complicated craft. We can cover various aspects of formatting, different styles of writing and how they impact the reader – which ultimately determines the filmic outcome and audience sees on screen.

The time allows me to get know my students so that I’m able to help them put some part of themselves into their stories. 

Once you get past the basics, screenwriting is about story. And we all have one to tell. The more personal that is, the more impact it will have.

The terrific thing I get to experience with Film Connection, because of the one-on-one time I have with my students, is the growth they achieve in their writing

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Jana Sue Memel Film Connection Mentor

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Jana Sue Memel Film Connection Mentor

Background

“Students at the Film Connection receive the extraordinary benefit of a one-on-one mentoring relationship with highly experienced industry professionals. What an amazing way to learn your craft. Nothing could be better.” — Jana Sue Memel,

Films Jana have produced have been nominated for eleven Oscars and won three. They have also won Emmy’s, Director and Writer Guild Awards and numerous film festival awards. 

Credits:  So I Married An Axe Murderer, Tough Guys, Down Came A Blackbird, Duke of Groove

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Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs Film Connection Mentor

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Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs Film Connection Mentor

Background

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs has been one of the most consistent actors in Hollywood and his amazing work has won millions of hearts all over the world. He was born in the year 1953 on 4th of September and this makes his age 61 at this time. At this age he has already been a legendary actor and he will be always remembered for his contributions. He was born in a place called New York City, which lies in New York of United States of America. He belongs to the ethnicity black and nationality American. He is very humble and always carries a smile on his face. He is an extremely tall man as he has a very impressive height of 6 feet 2 inches, which is around 1.87 meters. He went to the university called Wilkes University for his degree. A lot of information on him and his interesting biography can be grabbed from wiki sites like Wikipedia and IMDb.

He has been very motivated in his career and to make the scenes look real he has given many shirtless scenes as well. He has been living a king’s life and all thanks to his hard work and dedication. He has poured perfection in almost all of his work. He has been earning good money also and has his net worth in millions of dollars. He has a net worth of 1 million dollars and this speaks his success story. Videos related to him are absolutely loved in YouTube. It does not seem like he is much into social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram and does not like to upload his pictures in those sites to share them.

After being so popular he has managed to keep his personal life very low profile. It does not seem like he is gay but, as he has not revealed his sexual preference nothing can be said with assurance. He has never talked about his wife and children but he looks like married. If he is not married also he has never revealed the person he is dating right now or his girlfriend. He has never talked about his current affair also if he is having any. It seems like he has not been through divorce.

He has played great roles in TV shows and movies and this has made him who he is today. He played the role of Charles in a movie called Claudine in the year 1974. He played the role of Cochise in a movie called Cooley High in the year 1975. He played the role of Floyd in a movie called The Annihilators in the year 1985. In the year 2004 he played the role of Anthony in a movie called 30 Miles. Other movies to his credits are Nocturnal Agony, Otis, Tamales and Gumbo, Indecent Behavior, L.A Vice, Chance and Youngblood.

He has been superb with his roles in TV shows and series as well. He appeared in a TV show called Welcome Back, Kotter from the year 1975 to the year 1979. Other TV series to his credits are Pointman, Ellen, Moesha and The Jacksons: An American Dream.

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Jim Fogarty Film Connection Mentor

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Jim Fogarty Film Connection Mentor

Background

Jim Fogarty is a writer and producer, known for Waxing Gibbous (2001), Coffee & Donuts (2007) and A Legacy Reborn: The Rebirth of the W.D. Packard Music Hall (2014).

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Dale DeToni Film Connection Mentor

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Dale DeToni Film Connection Mentor

Background

Owner/Producer, Dale DeToni, began his career thirty years ago when he brought his experience and education from some of Chicago’s largest recording studios to Springfield, with the dream of starting his own media production company.

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Damon Crump Film Connection Mentor

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Damon Crump Film Connection Mentor

Background

The Millionaire Matchmaker, Risen, Broke Sky, Aliens on the Moon, Endings, Assault on Waco, Telling Stories: The Comic Book Creators, Big Rich Texas

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Mark Gibson Film Connection Mentor

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Mark Gibson Film Connection Mentor

Background

“As a screenwriting mentor I know that every student like every writer is different.  The Film Connection screenwriting program allows me to work one on one with my students, customizing the curriculum, allowing me to focus on each student’s needs by helping them raise the level of their writing whether it’s their first script or their fiftieth.”

As for credits, I think my two Disney films SNOW DOGS and THE WILD are certainly the most well known. 

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Conrad Denke Film Connection Mentor

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Conrad Denke Film Connection Mentor

Background

“There is no replacement for actual hands-on experience, and The Film Connection provides opportunities to work closely with our production team and learn what it takes to make it in the production business.” — Conrad Denke

Conrad Denke, film producer/director and CEO/owner of Victory Studios has been in the film and video business for over 30 years. He was co-executive producer and director on the PBS series “National Desk.” Denke has worked on feature films including “Assassins” with Sylvester Stallone, “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” with Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp,  “Santa Who?” with Leslie Nielson, “Boycott” for HBO, “Alone with Her” with Colin Hanks, “Cover” directed by Bill Duke, and “Mr. Warmth: Don Rickels” directed by John Landis. He is currently producing the television series “Band in Seattle” and has several projects in development including “Music for Young People” and “Daredevils and Disasters.”

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Seth Wood Film Connection Mentor

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Seth Wood Film Connection Mentor

Background

Seth has been working in production since 1998 and has a wide range of refined marketing skills.

With abilities in media marketing and advertising, he is an asset to almost any organization. Seth works with companies and agencies all over the US to produce “brand” friendly marketing pieces that actually generate results. Because of his extreme expertise and experience in graphics, photography, video production, and other media marketing solutions, you can get all your products produced at one boutique advertising location… Seth’s office!

Brands promoted with video projects over the past years include: Microsoft, Avaya Telecommunications, Susan G Koman, Texas Instruments, CAE, Evatran, Oster and many more. Check out the full list of production credits on his new leads generating website.

www.SwoodMedia.com

“I work hard, am deadline savvy, and ready to get YOUR job done right.”

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Ricky Lapkin Film Connection Mentor

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Ricky Lapkin Film Connection Mentor

Background

Ricky Lapkin full-service production company offering cinematic shorts and films, corporate audio visual services, and analog recording transfers to all digital formats.

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Mark Roos Film Connection Mentor

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Mark Roos Film Connection Mentor

Background

“I create music that connects people. It’s what I love to do and I’ve been doing it for over 25 years. I’ve worked with some if the best directors around on a variety amazing of projects in just about every medium there is, including computer games, full-feature and documentary films, websites, radio, television shows, commercials and custom music production.”

Clients: Discovery Channel, MSNBC, History Channel

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Richard Brandes Film Connection Mentor

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Richard Brandes Film Connection Mentor

Background

Richard Brandes is an accomplished writer, director, and producer of over two dozen feature films, which have been released through such well known companies as Alliance/Atlantis, Screen Gems, Sony, HBO, CBS, NBC/Universal, and Lionsgate, to name just a few. Known in the industry for creating highly commercial, profitable films, Richard has an impeccable reputation for completing his projects on schedule and on budget.

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Paul Guay Film Connection Mentor

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Paul Guay Film Connection Mentor

Background

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Shrinking Violet

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Steve Rausch Film Connection Mentor

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Steve Rausch Film Connection Mentor

Background

Steve Rausch is owner and operator of focused motion. Focused Motion produces and shoot video content for commercials, industrial videos, surgeries and live sporting events. My company has worked on documentaries, programming for Discovery Networks and reality TV shows.

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Adam Weber Film Connection Mentor

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Adam Weber Film Connection Mentor

Background

Adam Weber is a multi-purpose media production addict who has specialized in copywriting, video production, audio production, front-end web development, digital advertising, media planning, and any other role you can think of in regards to making intangible things using software. He also likes to be creative by writing songs with his band Integrow and making delectable craft home brews in his free time.

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Mike Domgard Film Connection Mentor

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Mike Domgard Film Connection Mentor

Background

Credits: Blur Parties, Lincoln Promo Video, Inner Thoughts

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Aimee Schoof Film Connection Mentor

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Aimee Schoof Film Connection Mentor

Background

Aimee Schoof is an entertainment executive, producer, and co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films with Isen Robbins. She has produced more than 30 feature films that have premiered either at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Toronto, Venice, New Directors/New Films, and Berlin.

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Dean Baker Film Connection Mentor

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Dean Baker Film Connection Mentor

Background

Projects range from Multi-camera Live Webcasting to National TV Ads for Good Neighbor Pharmacies, Regulator Boats, and Product launches airing on Lifetime, The Learning Channel and The Golf Channel.

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Ryan Heppe Film Connection Mentor

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Ryan Heppe Film Connection Mentor

Background

During his tenure at CCH, Heppe was hired by legendary producer David Foster (The Getaway, Short Circuit, The Mask of Zorro) and quickly climbed to the position of Head of Development where he became involved with Foster’s productions: Collateral Damage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hart’s War starring Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell, and The Core starring Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank.

As a hyphenate Producer/Director/Writer/Actor, some of Heppe’s work includes: Production of the docu-drama The Magic Was In The Music, a remake of Short Circuit, adaptations of the 80’s television mini-series V and cop series T.J. Hooker, among others. As an actor, he’s starred in such stage productions as You Can’t Take It With You, Life On The Bowery, Dracula and Picnic at Hanging Rock – several of which he directed.

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Karl Koelling Film Connection Mentor

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Karl Koelling Film Connection Mentor

Background

I began TAPROOT with a passion to create inspiring film and video content that would move people and maybe even make the world a little bit better place. There are projects that TAPROOT pursues and develops based on our interests, but I’m a firm believer that we all have our callings, and that collectively we can have the biggest impact. As a result, TAPROOT partners with businesses, agencies, and other organizations that are doing important work, helping them tell their stories and share their ideas through cinematic filmmaking.

Our team has a multi-disciplinary background that enables us to understand and compellingly translate your messages and ideas to the visual medium of film and video, and we create and execute projects of varying scale from start to finish. I run TAPROOT and provide direction on all our projects, which include: story-based branded content, television commercials, web based video of all sorts, and film series.

If you care about how you’re presenting your work to the world and want to do so in an honest, inspiring manner – we’d make a good match.

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Keith Golinski Film Connection Mentor

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Keith Golinski Film Connection Mentor

Background

Keith Golinski of Fulvew Productions is a Director of Photography, editor and producer. He’s best known for his work on America’s Most Haunted (2013), Talking Dead (2005), and An Ordinary Killer (2003).

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John Boros Film Connection Mentor

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John Boros Film Connection Mentor

Background

“The captain and anchor of our ship, guiding his crew with a father’s compassion and an uncle’s knack for mischief.”

Credits; The Fly, EMI Orientation

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Edward Isin Film Connection Mentor

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Edward Isin Film Connection Mentor

Background

FightZone Presents, Sacred Waters, The Wishing Stone, Dawg Fight

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Tina Miller Film Connection Mentor

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Tina Miller Film Connection Mentor

Background

Storytelling through video, aided by full-service in house production and post capabilities. Many of our pieces use documentary technique or a high-energy concept or brand approach.

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Dennis James Lee Film Connection Mentor

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Dennis James Lee Film Connection Mentor

Background

Credits: Hawaii Five-0, Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil, Dragon Wars: D-War, Soap Girl, Secret of the Five Fingers

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Erik Angra Film Connection Mentor

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Erik Angra Film Connection Mentor

Background

UFC 111 fight – Cinematographer, Animal Planet – Most Outrageous – 3 documentaries – EA Sports international commercials Kyrie Irving – NBC – HBO – Full flight features – Very astute cinematographer – Worked on film “21” – Edited TV series “Folk Lorist” – Extreme Makeover – AD Bo Burnham – International campaigns for Coca Cola

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Steven Schott Film Connection Mentor

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Steven Schott Film Connection Mentor

Background

Credits: Jeff Foxworthy Show, The Lost Calendar, The Final Season

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Choose a Film Company in Your City

We provide access to vetted local film companies in over 250 cities across the country. With Film Connection, there’s no need to relocate.


Find Location

What is the Next Step?

We get it. This isn’t your normal four-year college requiring coursework not associated with your area of interest. We are a post-secondary institution or trade school that's different in its approach. Here's how you can get more info:


Request Information Externship Location Call Admissions

Titanic, The Avengers, Avatar, Roma, Juno, Lady Bird. No matter if the movie has a budget of $100 million or $10,000, each one has a story to tell and someone to tell it. At Film Connection, we want to give our externs the access to learn about the industry from professionals who are already making films, day in, day out.

We offer programs and workshops that cover every aspect of the filmmaking journey. If accepted, you will receive one-on-one mentoring from an industry professional, giving you first-hand experience in what it takes to make a career in the business.

Film Connection Directing Approach

There’s more to directing that yelling “action!” or “cut!” while on the sound stage. Of course, you already know that. But do you know about blocking, what a gaffer does, or the importance of a grip? And we’re not talking about an online definition - as a director, you’ll need to know how all of the various roles and crew position work together in the creation of a movie.

That’s the knowledge you’ll receive when enrolling in The Film Connection directing courses. Working within a professional film production company, you’ll extern directly with a filmmaking expert. At a four-year college, conventional trade school or film school, your teacher may be dealing with many different students at once.

We feel the one-on-one approach, access, opportunities and methodology of Film Connection’s directing courses are more beneficial for those who want to get started working in film. Instead of waiting for your turn to ask a question, you could be on-location helping the director refocus a feisty leading man, alter the lighting, or look over the dailies. Of course, it’s not all craft services in exotic locales. Much of the work actually happens long before the first reel of film is loaded into the camera.

The Phases of Production

Pre-production meetings are filled with collaboration between the director, the producer, location manager, and unit production manager (UPM) to create a schedule for the shoot. A film is rarely shot in sequence (from the first scene to the last). Rather, efficiency and time and availability of talent are factors taken into account and a schedule and finalized shooting script are nailed down during this phase of production.

From there, a project will advance onto “production.” During this phase, shooting starts and long days can be spent on the sound stage, back alley, or any of the many shooting locations for the film. The full crew, comprised of the following roles, begins production: Assistant Director Unit Production Manager, Director of Photography (DP or Cinematographer), Assistant Camera (AC), Gaffer, Grip, Sound Recordist, Hair & Makeup Department, and Production Assistant(s).

In post-production AKA “post,” the director gets to working with an editor to make sure their vision makes it to the screen. At this point they may also create “sizzle reels” to entice potential buyers and ultimately sell the film if it hasn’t already been optioned.

Learn Directing by Seeing and Doing (along with the bookwork)

With Film Connection, you can learn about all of the phases of production as you extern with a professional filmmaker who can explain it all to you and answer any questions you may have, all so that you can attain a real world understanding of what it takes to make a movie. From the moment it’s merely an idea until it’s sold and distributed for audiences to enjoy.

Film Connection Screenwriting Methodology

Just want to write movies? With us, you get remote one-on-one training with an experienced filmmaker who knows what it takes to get a script made and on the screen. The Film Connection screenwriting mentored-externship will give you the foundation you need to draw upon to ultimately write your Killer Script.

It starts with the classics. From a galaxy far, far away to a gin joint in western Morocco, you and your mentor will discuss what made those scripts so appealing and how reading the best will help you become a better writer. Understanding why Rocky needs an Apollo - and even the other way around - is what gives a script its life.

What do you want to write about?

Is there a book from your childhood you’ve always wanted to adapt for the big screen? Or a story about a time in your life which had a profound effect on you? The story is the backbone of a film - make it a good one. Story structure, character development, and the genre and theme you’re writing are all foundational aspects of the craft we’ll dig into in preparation for you to begin writing your own screenplay.

Outlines, treatments, and even the correct screenplay format are covered in the curriculum and lessons with your mentor, prior to diving into the first draft. By the time you start, you’ll have a good handle on what your script will look like. Just remember - it’s a first draft. There are a few more drafts coming, so don’t worry about being perfect.

Rewrites, polishing, reads, agents, and eventually selling your screenplay are some of the final steps you’ll learn in the Film Connection screenwriting courses. Even becoming a member of the Screenwriters Guild of America and when to get paid are examined. This is a complete workshop covering all aspects of writing a script.

Clearly, screenwriting is more than sitting at a desk with a keyboard, screen, and a big pot of coffee. But it doesn’t have to be as expensive as attending a four-year university, either. Film Connection screenwriting training costs a fraction of so many other writing programs and scriptwriting couses, and no, you won’t have to move to L.A., New York, or other entertainment hubs to get the education you need.

If you enroll in Film Connection directing externship, you will work with one of our professional mentors at a production facility, on-set,or on shoots. As for your schedule, that's established by you and your mentor. We do, however, ask that you commit to the schedule set since our mentors are busy working professionals who don't have time to adjust their schedules on the fly.

If you choose to study only screenwriting, you will be connect with your mentor one-on-one via online video conferencing or on the phone. Your screenwriting mentor will show you how to turn your story idea into a workable concept for a film. From there, they will advise you, read your work, and will coach you on how to go from idea to the finished draft and beyond.

It takes a lot of hard work to write a Killer Script or direct a film that makes it onto the festival circuit. But at Film Connection, we believe getting access it takes to learn the process of writing for the screen should be well within every driven person's reach. Ready to start working (and working hard) towards a career as a director or screenwriter? Apply today.

About Our Programs

Directors, producers, and screenwriters are responsible for telling a story and hiring the people to take their vision and get it on the big screen.

Cinematographers and editors help frame the scene, set the pace, capture the mood and make it all come together. Their importance to a successful film cannot be understated.

That’s why our director, producer, screenwriting, cinematography and editing programs are taught by seasoned professionals. These experts in their field will assist aspiring producers, directors, screenwriters directors of photography (DPs) and editors learn the ropes, whether it’s filming commercials, industrials, features, documentaries, television and beyond. Get mentored and attain the foothold you need to launch into a rewarding career in the film industry.

Coursework is delivered via distance education and completed at a location determined by the student. Externship locations can be up to 60 miles away from the student’s address. The externship mentor will work with each student on structuring a specific schedule, the student agrees that he/she will be available to meet with the mentor for a minimum of two sessions per week.

Film Connection provides unique, mentor-based programs that are affordable, so you can stay in control of your finances.

New! Finance your education with Climb.
Get approved in minutes with no impact to your credit score.