Program: Film Connection for Cinematography

Cinematography School

The cinematographer is the set magician. DPs are responsible for the technological wizardry it takes to create the needed light and shape it for desired artistic effect.

Film Connection provides affordable, unique education models coupled with mentor-based (externship) programs that can be engaged remotely or in person.

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Cinematography Program

The DP (Director of Photography/AKA cinematographer) works side-by-side with the director from the beginning of a film’s conception to collaborate on the look and feel of the film. The DP is responsible for how the shots are composed and blocked and how the scenes are lit.  As such, the DP works closely with the director to bring his or her vision to the screen.

The DP is the director’s partner, confidant and at times, their only friend on the set. While the director works with the talent, it is the DPs job to run the crew. Together, they come up with the film’s shots and they constantly look for ways to make every image better than expected. It’s a never-ending quest that only gets more interesting with experience.

As an extern cinematographer, the Film Connection will pair you with a working DP who will not only show you the tricks of the trade, but also serve as a mentor to develop the “eye of the DP.” The eye is something that no book can teach you and no professor can lecture you on – you simply have to learn it by doing.

While learning by doing is an excellent way to learn all aspects of filmmaking, it is particularly important when it comes to cinematography since traditional lighting and camera angles are often ignored or modified to get the look the director and DP are trying to achieve.

 

This is your curriculum.

Lesson 1: Rule of Thirds

This lesson teaches basic framing within the lens, including how to frame your actors and settings in the most aesthetically appealing manner possible. Most cameras have a Rule of Thirds grid overlay in the viewfinder to make it easy to place the subject where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect and thus follow the Rule of Thirds.

Lesson 2: Basic Lighting

Lesson 2 emphasizes three-point-lighting, the most common and practical way to light a scene and give a true cinematic look and feel to your shot. Along with learning about the types of lighting instruments—open face, Fresnel and practicals—and light sources—tungsten, HMI, fluorescent and LED you’ll learn how to control your lighting through barn doors, gels, scrims, flags, shiny boards and more.

Lesson 3: T-Stops and F-Stops

This chapter focuses on the technical aspects of the camera and introduces the all-important ‘f’ and ‘t’ stops that are on every lens. Students will learn how ‘f’ and ‘t’ stops are different ways to measure how much light is being transmitted through a lens. ‘F’ stops are based on a mathematical formula, ‘t’ stops are the physical measurement of the actual amount of light which passes through the lens. You’ll learn why DPs prefer ‘t’ stops—especially when using multiple cameras.

Lesson 4: Depth of Frame

Every DP needs to understand how to frame a shot; however, to create a truly beautiful shot, the cinematographer must bring depth to the frame. This chapter will explain how to optimize beauty and depth within a frame by creating foreground, middle ground and background elements in each shot through the use of blocking and depth of field.

Lesson 5: Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image. Over time, the aspect ratios have changed based on the evolution of technology. Common aspect ratios today include 16:9 HD TV; 21:9 most movies; 14:10 IMAX. This comprehensive lesson examines the history of aspect ratio, how it has evolved through cinematic history, and where it stands today.

Lesson 6: Shot Sizes

An in-depth look at the standard shot sizes used relative to the human body. This lesson will describe each shot size and type in detail, providing both descriptive and pictorial representations of how shots should be framed relative to the subject. Wide shot, full shot, mid shot, medium close up, close up, extreme close up, Dutch angle, low angle, high angle, pan, cut in, over the head, tilt, dolly, zoom, over the shoulder, two shot, crane, aerial shots and crossing the line will be described in detail.

Lesson 7: Frame Rate

Students will explore how different frame rates affect the look of the image—did you ever notice wagon wheels that appear to be going backwards on old movies? Frame rate is to blame. Additionally, students will be given a brief history of how frame rates developed during the earlier days of motion picture film. Today, the common frame rates are 24 fps (frames per second); 30 fps and 60 fps.

Lesson 8: Final Assignment 1

Students will take the cumulative knowledge they’ve gained in prior lessons and shoot their own ‘experimental documentary’ utilizing all the skills they’ve learned from prior lessons. Students will have access to their mentor location production company’s gear.

Lesson 9: Final Assignment 2

Students will learn how to communicate with directors in a practical manner in order to understand their vision as well as learn how to integrate their own creative ideas with those of the director. Their mentor, an experienced filmmaker, will serve as the director.

Lesson 10: Final Assignment 3

Cinematography students will collaborate with fellow Film Connection directing students who are also studying in their local area. This collaboration will be in the form of a full scene, shot from the director’s script and under full control of the director and cinematography student. This project will enable cinematography students to implement and utilize every skill learned throughout the curriculum in a true, on-set manner. Additionally, it will give the cinematography student high quality footage to add to his/her professional reel.

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Connections Matter

Learn From Industry Pros

The Film Connection film school alternative is endorsed by filmmakers who are making movies, maybe even the movies you love.

Professionals in the film business—including famous producers, screenwriters and directors—endorse Film Connection’s programs for one simple reason: they know our real-world method works.

Hans Zimmer

From his early days in pop music, Hans has written original scores for such films as Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), Gladiator (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2005) Sherlock Holmes (2009) and over 100 others.

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Joel Schumacher

Joel Schumacher and RRF have donated to The Endometriosis Foundation of America. This group aims to increase disease recognition, provide advocacy, facilitate expert surgical training, and fund landmark endometriosis research.

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Larry King

The Film Connection was recently invited onto the Larry King program to talk about how our externship program is making a difference by connecting our students and getting them hired.

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Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew and RRF have helped Tracey Wilson, a former gang member, get into film school, and are now helping him make his first documentary about getting your GED and going to college.

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Judi Levine

Sundance Award-winning Producer of the Academy Award-winning film, The Sessions.

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Judge Mathis

Judge Mathis and RRF are helping inner city youth get educated through the RRF program.

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Sandy Stern

Credits: Being John Malkovich, Saved! and Velvet Goldmine.

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Henry Bromell

Henry Bromell produced, created, directed the series Homeland, and has written and produced the television dramas Northern Exposure, I’ll Fly Away, Homicide: Life on the Street, Chicago Hope, Carnivale, Brotherhood, Rubicon, and Homeland.

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Paul Guay

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Hearbreakers

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Evan Astrowsky

“I went to a good film school, but the day I graduated I had no idea what to do. No one wanted to hand me thousands of dollars to direct or produce anything so I had to figure it out on my own.”

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Ron Osborn

Credits: The West Wing, Meet Joe Black, Duckman

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Doug Eboch

Credits: Sweet Home Alabama, The Hollywood Pitching Bible

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Schedule a Virtual Tour

Tour a Film Production Company
In Your Area

Please fill out the following information, and Admissions will contact you:

* Not all programs are available in every state. Consult an Admissions Representative to learn more.

Meet our Mentors

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

Jim Fogarty

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Jim Fogarty

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

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Dale DeToni

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

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Damon Crump

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

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Mark Gibson

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

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Conrad Denke

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

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Seth Wood

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

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Ricky Lapkin

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

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Mark Roos

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

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Richard Brandes

Background

Richard Brandes (Jeepers Creepers, Penny Dreadful, My Daughter Was Stolen, Lifetime Network) is an accomplished writer, director, and producer of over two dozen feature films which have been released through well known companies including 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

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Paul Guay

Background

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Shrinking Violet

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Steve Rausch

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Steve Rausch

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

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Adam Weber

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

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Mike Domgard

Background

Credits: Blur Parties, Lincoln Promo Video, Inner Thoughts

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Aimee Schoof

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Aimee Schoof

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

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Dean Baker

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

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Ryan Heppe

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

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Karl Koelling

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

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Keith Golinski

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

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John Boros

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“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

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Edward Isin

Background

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

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Tina Miller

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Tina Miller

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

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Dennis James Lee

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

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Erik Angra

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

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Steven Schott

Background

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

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Daniel Sollinger

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Daniel Sollinger

Background

Producer: The Alphabet Killer, Six Ways to Sunday, Alone in the Dark II, In My Sleep, Girls Against Boys, Deadliest Warrior, Age of Kali

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Joe Van Wie

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Joe Van Wie

Background

Following a spirited and notorious adolescence in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Joe did a stretch at New York University and ended up spending nearly a decade as an accomplished part of the New York City’s lively film and TV industry. During this time, he racked up credits ranging from producing feature films premiering at international film festivals to directing and producing content for a variety of national cable television networks. His most recent film is the locally-shot award-winning feature Forged. Joe is an active board member on the boards of Dress for Success, The Scranton Club and the American Advertising Federation of NEPA. Joe is also a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the American Association of Political Consultants, and two time Pollie award winner.

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John Lux

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John Lux

Background

John Lux is the Chief Operating Officer for the IDEAS media and experience design company, which employs film program graduates nationwide. The projects his company handles stretch from Florida, to Europe, and as far as Shangai, China.

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Rebecca Ramon

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Rebecca Ramon

Background

Rebecca Ramon hails from Battle Creek, MI and is a proud Midwestern girl. She believes that’s exactly what keeps her down to earth and youthful. With a BA in Broadcasting & Cable production from Western Michigan University, and an MFA in Film Production from Chapman University, one of the top ten film schools in the nation, she’s definitely standing on her own two feet. Not only does Rebecca have a formal education, her mentor for post production was Paul Seydor, a member of ACE; the honorary society of motion picture editors. Paul edited movies such as “White Men Can’t Jump” and “This Christmas”. In other words, she has learned from the best, and has over ten years of experience, which ranges from pre-production to post-production in several mediums. Most importantly, she has the passion to share her knowledge as a mentor.

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Tabitha Hartbauer

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Tabitha Hartbauer

Background

The BSP editing facility sets the standard for editing in Colorado. Three video edit suites utilize “Premiere Pro CS6”, “Final Cut Pro” and “DaVinci” and project Panasonic High Definition 1080p images on to 110” Stewart Screens.

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Jason Hewitt

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Jason Hewitt

Background

Odd Thomas, 13 Sins, Blood Out, Left Behind, Season of the Witch, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, The Outsider

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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

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.”

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Film Connection provides affordable, unique education models coupled with mentor-based (externship) programs that can be engaged remotely or in person.

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