Program: Film Connection for Cinematography

Cinematography

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.

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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.

Mark Kohn

Marc is an accomplished executive with a consistent record of managing costs, measuring progress with metrics and creating operational efficiencies. He’s a thoughtful and enthusiastic professional possessing the ability to create a vision, gain executive alignment and effectively lead dynamic high performance teams for success.

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Jason Hewitt

Jason Hewitt, a native of Louisiana, left the technology industry to join the film and television industry. Hewitt was an early mover in the Internet economy, founding the website creation and marketing management company Planet Symphony in 1994.

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David Fuhrer

David’s stage and studio clients include: Bravo, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, Sex & The City, American Cancer Society, Clairol, Law & Order – Criminal Intent, Amazon, Verizon, VH1, The History Channel, MTV, Director’s Guild of America and many many more.

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ICM Partners

and RRF have donated to the Hide & Seek Foundation’s SOAR (Support of Accelerated Research).

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Carl Millender

Carl Millender born in Shreveport, Louisiana on March 5, 1970 is a pioneer in the film and television industry. In 1990 Carl Millender became a cultural consultant for NBC’s new programs, including “The Fresh Prince of Bel-air”, “Seinfeld”…

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Brian Glazen

Equal parts MacGyver, Steven Spielberg and Gandhi, Brian has ideas. Ideas about marketing, ideas about communication and ideas about fixing just about anything that might be broken. When he’s not sharing his ideas with clients you can usually find him fixing things at his own home or eagerly searching for things that may need fixing…

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Sam Borowski

“Film Connection truly is the ‘Film School of Hard Knocks.’ It helps new students to gain experience and network and teaches one thing I always preach to young filmmakers: practicality. It gives new students and would-be filmmakers, writers and editors, a chance to connect personally with their mentors.”

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Alex Keledjian

Producer of Project Greenlight

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Richard Berg

Richard Berg is an Art Director’s Guild and Emmy nominated Production Designer. He is responsible for the Production Design of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Eleventh Hour, Miami Medical, Chase and Modern Family. Berg is also an architect.

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Jeff Kushon

Great program. I’m proud to be a part of it.” Jeff has worked on over 200 film sets and has been a Set Decorator on hit movies, “Dude Where’s My Car”, “Nurse Betty”, “Blade 2”, “Beautiful”, “She’s All That” as well as TV shows “Modern Family”, “Trust Me” and “Miami Medical”.

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Luis Estrada

“Our first extern in this program was put right in the middle of the action and it was amazing how he was able to learn by doing. This Film Connection is great for people with a sincere interest in this field. Our extern turned out to be a reliable resource and we hope his experience […]

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Matt Pellowski

“Being paired with working professionals and established companies allows up-and-coming artists to learn on the job, introduces them to the realities of film production, and helps them acquire the tools needed to become successful. Two of our current staff are graduates of the Film Connection.”

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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?

Tabitha Hartbauer Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Tabitha Hartbauer Learn Cinematography Mentor

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 Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Jason Hewitt Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

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

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Steve Riach Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Steve Riach Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Steve is an award winning producer, director and writer of over 250 films, documentaries, television shows and home video properties, including specials from the Olympics, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA and NCAA Championships, and college football bowl games.

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Avery Williams Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Avery Williams Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Avery O. Williams works steadily in both the film and theater worlds. He is the co-writer of the feature film Directing Eddie starring Valerie Perrine and Jade Barrymore, directed by Lawrence Kaldor which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was voted Best Comedy at the 2001 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. He wrote and directed the industrial film for the City of Atalanta entitled Surviving Domestic Violence and he wrote and co-produced the film short The Willie Witch Projects, which was showcased at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and is distributed by Trimark Pictures in their compilation entitled The Bogus Witch Project. Other short subject screenplays that have been made into films include Notes In A Minor Key, The Willie Witch Projects and The Chocolate Factory, Part 1.

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Harry Findysz Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Harry Findysz Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

“The Film Connection Program uses real world people to mentor real world jobs.”

-Harry Findysz, Tucson, Arizona, Southern Arizona Video Productions

Producer of Live Television, Music Videos, Documentaries, Winner of Ashbury Best Music Documentary 2016 Linda Chorney The Cantina

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Greg Freeman Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Greg Freeman Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Greg Freeman is an award-winning Director of Photography with nearly two decades in news, sports, entertainment, special programming, documentaries, and commercials. Greg has directed projects for nearly every major television network including ABC, Discovery, ESPN, HBO, HGTV, NBC, PBS, and more.

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Tom Malloy Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Tom Malloy Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

The Alphabet Killer, Love N’ Dancing, The Attic, Hero of the Underworld, Law & Order: SVU

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Jason Jackson Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Jason Jackson Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Past productions include LMN’s Monstresses; Investigation Discovery’s Cuff Me If You Can; America’s Most Haunted and UFO’s Crashed my Vacation; America’s Most Secret and I Faked My Own Death for Discovery; National Geographic’s 42 Ways to Kill Hitler and Don’t Try This At Home; Vampire Secrets and Ancient Ink for The History Channel; Las Vegas Bikers for truTV; Weather Channel’s Full Force Nature; True Confessions for WE-TV as well as Beyond Death and Investigative Reports for A&E.

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Matthew Temple Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Matthew Temple Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

“All aspects of filmmaking are primarily experiential, so a program like this one gives the students what they need most- the opportunity to DO.” — Matthew Temple, Producer of “The Advocate” and Universal’s “Dragon Nest: Warriors’ Dawn”

Matthew Temple has long stood at the crossroads of art and social action–his work and passion split between telling stories and participating in the creation of new paradigms wherein new stories for the future can be created. As a storyteller, he works as a screenwriter, director, producer and actor.  As a social entrepreneur, he is the founder and president of the non-profit WeStrive, where he is the executive director of the Wandering Reel Traveling Film Festival. Temple is currently VP of Production and Development for Mili Pictures Worldwide.

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Nick Kielhold Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Nick Kielhold Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Nick is your basic military brat. Except for the fact that neither of his parents were actually in the military. But, like many military families, his family moved several times during his youth, living in Omaha, Chicago, and Minneapolis among other places. And although he wasn’t living on military bases, he developed a deep interest in History, and all things military. Ask him about the Battle of Tarawa in 1943, and you may just get an entire lesson on the Pacific Theater of World War II. When he’s not painting tanks for his war game simulations, Nick works here. He shoots video. He edits video. He talks about World War II. A lot. Anyone who comes into contact with Nick will become much better versed in the history of mankind and all the wars it has produced over the years. Nick provided 50% of the formula that founded Full Effect Productions over 18 years ago, and has played a vital role in its success. Nick is a 1987 graduate of the University of South Dakota, and his previous experience includes working at a local TV station as Commercial Videographer/Producer. Not taking a cue from his parents, Nick has decided to keep his family in one city, and has called Sioux City, Iowa home since 1988. He has a wife of 29 years and an adult son and daughter. In his free time, Nick can be found studiously painting small military ships, tanks and airplanes. He has amassed large numbers of these items that comprise entire military units used for battles at the MAGECON gaming convention. He’s a film buff who’s recently installed home theater has him positively giddy, and hardly ever seeing daylight.

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Logan Hale Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Logan Hale Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Logan is a lifelong filmmaker. With 8 years of experience in Event and Experiential Marketing, Logan has a passion for communicating the brand message and essence with artistic quality and creativity.

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Megan Kennedy Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Megan Kennedy Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Megan is an award-winning photographer and videographer with over 10 years of video production experience, from directing and editing national PSA campaigns to producing feature-length documentaries.

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Calix Lewis Reneau Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Calix Lewis Reneau Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Calix Lewis Reneau is a producer and writer, known for An Even Worse Joke (2013), Canyon Road (2013) and My Cousin’s Ghetto Wedding (2016).

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Sandy Stern Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Sandy Stern Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Producer, Being John Malcovich, Saved!, Velvet Goldmine, Pump Up the Volume, Thirteen Conversations about One Thing, Equinox, Red Hot

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Rob Helmstetter Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Rob Helmstetter Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Rob has experience with major corporate ad agencies Publicis, Medicus, Digitas based in New York and Chicago. He has always been on the bleeding edge of technology and believes that services should be simple for the viewers.

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Ryan Kindahl Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Ryan Kindahl Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Documentaries, Music Videos, Commercials

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Derek Koen Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Derek Koen Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Washington Koen Media Productions is a full-service media production company specializing in video productions, streaming video solutions, presentations and audio/visual support for organizations both large and small. Whether corporate video presentations, documentaries, live streaming of meetings, or web streaming solutions, our highly-skilled and creative team- with over 20 years of combined experience – using today's latest tools and technology, can produce quality results for your company

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Brian Glazen Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Brian Glazen Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

In 2013, Brian Glazen co-produced an independent film called Fishing Without Nets. This film went on to win for Best Direction at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and recently sold to Twentieth Century Fox for distribution to theaters nation wide.

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Laura Scheiner Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Laura Scheiner Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Seasoned film development executive, writer and script consultant with exceptional story development and script analysis skills. As a development executive I’m particularly adept at pinpointing the problems in a script and coming up with creative solutions. I’m a passionate collaborator who creates a fertile environment where writers can bloom and scripts can meet their potential.

As a writer for hire I pride myself as bringing my story sense, knowledge, talent and unbridled imagination to the table in order to bring the producer’s vision to life.

As a storyteller I always aim to entertain, engage, surprise, move and provoke.

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Craig Constant Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Craig Constant Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Craig Constant is an Executive Producer at Constant66 Films. After leaving the Marine Corps, he worked as a Photojournalist/Editor for the Fox News Channel for close to seven years. Since then, he’s worked as a Sound Technician, Production Sound Mixer, Camera Operator and Director of Photography.

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Michael Van Orden Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Michael Van Orden Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Credits: Being Doug, Called to Serve, The Washing, Spit

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Albert Dabah Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Albert Dabah Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Albert has been in the video production business for thirty-three years, owning and running Simba Productions in New York City.

Clients: CNN, HBO, Apple

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Bob Kelley Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Bob Kelley Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Clients: Discovery Canada, PBS, UCDavis, Associated Press, Fox News, Blackstone Media, NBC Universal

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Marc Silber Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Marc Silber Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

With a background in visual media, director Marc Silber has interviewed scores of entrepreneurs, CEOs and creative professionals over the years. His interview series has received hearty praise and has helped countless business leaders and artists tell their story.

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Craig Roessler Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Craig Roessler Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

A film and television studio executive and producer for over twenty years, Craig has directly overseen, managed, and/or produced 25 films and seven network series with budgets totaling over $500 million. 

Craig is known for his project-management skills, having close working relationships with talent and directors, producing big looking, studio-quality content on tight budgets, quickly providing workable solutions for development and production issues, and completing projects on time, on budget.

As Senior Vice President of Production, Programming and Creative Affairs for MGM Television Worldwide Inc., Craig had direct oversight of all content development, and oversaw pre-production, production, post-production, while working with business & legal affairs, marketing, and promotion. His MGM product was nominated for 10 Emmy awards and numerous others including DGA, Golden Globes, PGA and SAG awards. 

He oversaw studio projects such as the series Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: Universe, Dead Like Me, and The L Word, as well as Showtime Movies Inherit the Wind, Twelve Angry Men, In the Time of the Butterflies, That Championship Season, and Rocky Marciano, which opened the Monte Carlo Film Festival. Craig has worked with a wide range of talent, from well-established actors and directors to breaking new talent. 

Craig grew up in Los Angeles and Colorado, working summers on ranches breaking and training western saddle horses. He attended Columbia University, working his way through school as an actor on NBC’s soap opera “Another World,” while learning production work skills for quick, quality content.

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Kel Thompson Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Kel Thompson Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

America’s Production Company was established in 2005 by Kel Thompson who has degrees in photography & advertising from Texas State University. Kel is also a graduate of the Palm Beach Film School. Kel was first published in photography at 17 years old in TX. Kel worked for News24Houston as their first helicopter videographer, before being hired by a major event production company in Florida. Two years later he established America’s Production Company after learning the ropes in photo, video, audio and event production.

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Zef Cota Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Zef Cota Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Alphabet City Films is a film production company based in New York City, NY. We are a collective of writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, and other talented filmmakers. We have created many short films, and recently produced our first feature length film: The Trouble.

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Jim DeGroot Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Jim DeGroot Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

Clients: Green Bay Packers, Disney, National Guard, Doritos, ABC World News, Good Morning America, St. Joseph’s Medical Centers, Homeland Security

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Eero Johnson Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Eero Johnson Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

“I’m Eero Johnson. I’m a film and video producer living in Bellingham, Washington. For over ten years I’ve been creating commercials, corporate videos, web videos, sales DVD’s, music videos … whatever it takes to get your message to your audience. I have a great group of clients and I love what I do.”

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Chris Varner Learn Cinematography Mentor

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Chris Varner Learn Cinematography Mentor

Background

In a career spanning nearly 20 years, Chris has worked in almost every facet of video production, from lens to post. His credits include EPK work on “Sleepy Hollow”, “Under The Dome”, “The Longest Ride”, “We’re The Millers”, “Iron Man 3”, “One Tree Hill” and more.

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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 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.