Program: Film Connection for Film Production & Editing

Film Production & Editing

The Film Connection film externship program – study directing, producing, screenwriting in the business without going deep in debt.

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

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Director / Producer / Screenwriter Program

The late and great film director Stanley Kubrick (Spartacus, 2001, Dr. Strangelove, Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, and more) described film directing as, “Trying to write War and Peace in a bumper car at an amusement park…”

The film director is in charge of the creative aspects of a film, ensuring their vision of the story gets to the screen in the face of constant chaos. Are you up to the challenge?

If film directing is for you, the Film Connection can help you obtain the necessary skills for becoming a professional director.

With us, you will study inside a real film production company in your city as you develop your movie idea through private instruction with a professional filmmaker.

Then you will fly to Los Angeles or New York to pitch your idea to an executive who could buy or get your movie idea made.

What you will learn
as an extern of this program:

DIRECTING/SHOOTING:

  • Shot blocking
  • Working with Actors
  • Lighting
  • Grip and Electric
  • The Art of the Interview
  • How to Make your Day

WRITING:

  • How to Pitch a Movie Professionally
  • How to Develop an Idea
  • How to Write a Treatment
  • Screenwriting

PRODUCING:

  • Budgeting
  • Financing
  • Deal Making
  • Contracts, Permits, Licensing

Apply Now

Get Educated,
Get Access,
Get Hired.

With the right experience and connections, you can jumpstart your career in the film industry.

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.

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 immersive hands-on 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 Tour

Visit 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?

Ricky Lapkin Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Ricky Lapkin Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Mark Roos Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Richard Brandes Film Production & Editing Mentor

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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Paul Guay Film Production & Editing Mentor

Background

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Shrinking Violet

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Steve Rausch Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Steve Rausch Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Adam Weber Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Mike Domgard Film Production & Editing Mentor

Background

Credits: Blur Parties, Lincoln Promo Video, Inner Thoughts

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Aimee Schoof Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Aimee Schoof Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Dean Baker Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Ryan Heppe Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Karl Koelling Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Keith Golinski Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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John Boros Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Edward Isin Film Production & Editing Mentor

Background

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

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Tina Miller Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Tina Miller Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Dennis James Lee Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Erik Angra Film Production & Editing 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 Production & Editing Mentor

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Steven Schott Film Production & Editing Mentor

Background

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

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Daniel Sollinger Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Daniel Sollinger Film Production & Editing Mentor

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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Joe Van Wie Film Production & Editing Mentor

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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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John Lux Film Production & Editing Mentor

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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Rebecca Ramon Film Production & Editing Mentor

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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Tabitha Hartbauer Film Production & Editing 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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Jason Hewitt Film Production & Editing 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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Steve Riach Film Production & Editing 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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Avery Williams Film Production & Editing 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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Harry Findysz Film Production & Editing 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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Greg Freeman Film Production & Editing 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 Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Tom Malloy Film Production & Editing Mentor

Background

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

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Jason Jackson Film Production & Editing Mentor

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Jason Jackson Film Production & Editing 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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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

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR A MOVIE?

A great number of our students come to us because they have an idea for a movie. That’s a great place to start. All great films start with an idea. Film Connection, film directing externship is designed to help you transform your idea into your movie. Here’s how we do it.

THE FILM CONNECTION PATH TO BECOMING A DIRECTOR

The Film Connection believes in another pearl of wisdom from Stanley Kubrick that the "best education in film is to make one." That’s the fundamental core of the Film Connection for film directing—you come to us with your idea for a movie and we teach you and help you implement all the steps necessary to get your movie made. Using the auteur theory of film directing, we do this in three stages.

We pair you with a professional screenwriter—one who has feature film credits—to help turn your idea into a screenplay.
We teach you all the steps in the filmmaking process through our structured curriculum and your time as an extern inside a local film production company. During this part your education you will create a sizzle reel, based on your screenplay for your film.

We set up a pitch meeting with you and film industry people who can fund your movie. You will be armed with your elevator pitch, sizzle reel, budget breakdown, screenplay and guidance from your mentor—all the necessary ingredients to get to your goal of having your film get the green-light.

WHAT DOES A FILM DIRECTOR DO?

The film director is in charge of the creative aspects of a film, ensuring their vision of the story gets to the screen in the face of constant chaos. Are you up to the challenge?
If so, the Film Connection film directing externship can teach you the necessary skills for becoming a professional director. These filmmaking skills include:

  • Storytelling
  • Scene settings and look
  • Working with actors
  • Working with the crew
  • Working with the editor
  • Budget Considerations

STORYTELLING: Without a story, there is no film.

Like everything to do with film, we start with the story. A story has a plot, a cast of characters, a setting, a conflict, and a resolution. Storytelling is relevant in all phases of filmmaking from pre-production to production to post-production. In pre-production, locations and actors get chosen for how well they fit the story. In production, the director strives to obtain the best shots and performances to tell the story. In post-production, the sequence and timing of the shots determine how the story is presented to the audience.

While the Film Connection film directing externship emphasizes all aspects of the storytelling process, from concept through editing, in both its curriculum and our externship process which is hands-on and geared towards practical application, our screenwriting portion of the training is done a bit differently. We pair you with a professional screenwriter, one who has feature film screenwriting credits and experience, to work with you in creating a screenplay based on your idea for a movie. We believe this to be a vitally important part of the process, if for no other reason than that ideas cannot be copyrighted but screenplays can. So get that idea fleshed out and developed into a screenplay you can copyright, fast!

SCENE SETTING AND LOOK: The Magic Behind What’s in a Shot.

This is where you start learning how to utilize the technical aspects of filmmaking to bring magic to the screen. Camera angles, lenses and framing determine what’s in the shot and where the eye goes. Lighting sets the tone and mood for the shot. Sets, props and wardrobe also have their influence. While the director isn’t usually the one to do these things, it’s important that they have a working knowledge of what’s involved, what’s feasible and what’s not, in order to convey their ideas to the people responsible for implementing them.

The Film Connection Film Directing externship contains lessons devoted to cinematography, storyboarding, breaking down your script, pre-production and line producing, all of which are integral to the scene setting and look.

WORKING WITH ACTORS: Getting the Performance You Are Looking For.

It may be an overused phrase, “What’s my motivation?” but this is the essential question actors ask of directors. The director must not only know what the point of the scene is but how each character in the scene presents themselves. The director should be able to answer these questions for each actor for each scene.

  • Who am I?
  • Where am I coming from?
  • Where am I?
  • Who am I with and how do I feel about this person?
  • What do I want from this person?
  • What am I doing to get what I want?

Often, films are shot out of sequence and so the above questions help the actor maintain their place and evolution in the story.
The Film Connection film directing externship devotes an entire lesson to dealing with actors: how to deal with their egos; how to respect their creativity; how to let them know you are in charge; and most of all, how to get the best performance possible out of them.

WORKING WITH THE CREW: Making a Movie Requires an Army

The first thing to realize about your film crew is that they are a different beast. They are more apt to look at their profession as a job, rather than a labor of love like many creatives do. This does not mean they aren’t professional, it’s just that they look at the movie differently than the director does. Treating your crew with respect, recognizing the crew hierarchy and ensuring they are well fed will go a long way towards an on-time, on-budget production.

The Film Connection film directing externship inserts you into a professional film production company as an extern under the guidance of their top filmmaker who serves as your mentor. You will be able to observe first-hand while you participate on shoots and gain experience on how a crew works together, how they are managed and what their roles are in making the film.

WORKING WITH THE EDITOR: We’ll Fix It in Post.

The job of an editor is to assemble the raw footage into a coherent sequence. They do this by selecting, rearranging, and splicing scenes to tell the story that began as a screenplay (the writer’s vision), was captured on film by the director (the director’s vision of the screenplay) and turned into a finished film (the editor’s vision of the director’s vision.) Before editing begins, the director and editor discuss what they want the final product to be and then the editor puts together a rough cut. The director and editor then collaborate on polishing the rough cut into the final cut, adding music and sound effects until they are satisfied it’s ready for its audience.

And just in case you're wondering, the saying, "We'll fix it in post" should not be a new phrase for the aspiring director. Even though fixing it in post is sometimes a necessary remedy it should be considered a last ditch effort. Ideally, the film director wants to confer with his or her DP and editor prior to the shoot to ensure all the necessary shots for the telling of the story are included in the screenplay and shooting schedule. A lack of sufficient "b roll" and takes essentially leaves the director and editor with not enough material to edit together into a cohesive story and flow of scenes. Ever feel like a particular scene in a movie was too short or that it changed abruptly? Lack of footage is probably the reason behind it.

Because the Film Connection film directing externship places you inside a film production company, you will be able to work with an experienced editor and get an understanding by immersion of how the relationship between director and editor works.

BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS: The Business Part of the Art of Filmmaking

At the end of the day, filmmaking is a business, and like all business ventures there is a bottom line and a desire to turn a profit. Every film deals with budgetary concerns about time and money. To arrive at a budget, the director and producer prepare a breakdown which lists all the elements involved in each scene. The line producer then determines the costs involved for each aspect of the breakdown. The finished budget includes above the line (creative talent) costs, below the line (direct production) costs, post-production costs and other (insurance, completion bonds, etc.) costs. Often, creative compromises must be reached for a film stay within budget.

With Film Connection, film directing externship takes you step by step through both the breakdown process and line producing process. By understanding how and what impacts a budget, the director gains the ability to keep the film on-budget and on-schedule.

THE NEXT STEP IS UP TO YOU

If you are serious about seeing your idea for a movie turn into fruition, we invite you to apply to the Film Connection. Because the Film Connection film directing externship gets you started learning in-industry, you’ll spend a lot of time inside a film production company, getting your hands dirty working with the gear, immersing yourself in all phases of filmmaking and gaining valuable on-the-set experience.

Additionally, you will be paired with two mentors to help guide you on your path to success: one will be a director at the local film production company you extern at, the other will be a professional screenwriter. At the end of the courses, we will setup you up in a meeting to people in the film industry who can finance your movie. We will get you primed, prepared and ready to pitch your movie concept at this meeting. If you work hard, are dedicated and passionate, you can do all of this in as little as six months. The Film Connection film firecting training is open enrollment, which means you can start anytime. Are you ready to make your movie?

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

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