How it Works
STEP ONE: – APPLY – it takes only a few minutes and there is no charge to apply.
STEP TWO – SPEAK WITH ONE OF OUR ADMISSIONS COUNSELORS – we will speak to you about Film Connection our alternative to film school in great detail.
STEP THREE – TAKE A TOUR AND MEET YOUR MENTOR – for no charge we will set up an orientation meeting for you at a local film production company, near you.
STEP FOUR – GET ACCEPTED — if the mentor at the production company in your city likes your work ethic and you are ready to begin.
THE FILM CONNECTION FILM SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE – HOW IT WORKS ONCE YOU BECOME A STUDENT
As a Film Connection film student, you will learn by doing as an apprentice (extern) inside a real life film production company in your city starting off two times per week.
On Days 3 and 4 of that same week, you will study with your mentor, who will be working with you to help you develop your movie idea. First, we will help you get to work on your pitch. A pitch is a verbal telling of your movie idea in 10 minutes or less. Pitching is a great art that takes months and months of practice, and you will be learning this art from proven Hollywood screenwriters who have sold their screenplays from first-rate pitches. Every major movie that has ever been made started with a pitch, and we will teach you how to deliver a first-rate one as a professional.
So, all told, you go to school 2 days a week as an apprentice (extern) and 2 additional days as a student at home, or 4 days total, for approximately 6 to 9 months.
At the end of the 6-9 month process, you will receive a certificate of completion and all of the following (if you have completed all of your assignments) and…
–Your screenplay will be done.
That’s right: you will have written a 90-120 page draft of your masterpiece. To be a successful filmmaker, you need not only a solid idea but an executed idea in the form of a screenplay. Screenwriting is a great art, and almost all great movies start with a great pitch and then an executed screenplay.
–Your pitch will be ready to be delivered to a Hollywood Producer.
You will have practiced and performed your pitch hundreds of times; you are now ready to perform it in Los Angeles, to a producer who has the power to get your movie made. Does this mean that it will get made? Of course not. No. We are a film school alternative that connects you to a producer but we’re not promising your movie will get made. But ask yourself: what ordinary film school flies you out to L.A. and puts you in the room with a real life movie producer? Answer: None of them do.
If your pitch is good and the producer sees potential, maybe he or she will help you get it made. If not, then you will continue pitching to other producers. You will build upon what you learned at the Film Connection and do what all successful people do: you try again!
–You will have completed over 120 hours of on-set film experience as an apprentice (extern).
We place you inside a real production company in your city. This is important for a variety of reasons. You must learn the technical aspect of real-world filmmaking, and we believe the smart way to learn filmmaking is by working in a real film production company and on real sets. This “behind the scenes” on-the-job training experience can help you find paid entry-level work after your schooling with us is complete.
We orientate you to every aspect of the filmmaking process so that you’ll be empowered with real, usuable knowledge that you can demonstrate to the film professionals you encounter as you’re building your career.
With what we are teaching you as an apprentice (extern), you will be able to walk onto any set and find entry-level work as a production assistant with the eventual goal of becoming a Location Scout, Video Editor, Camera Operator, Writer, Assistant Director, Producer, Prop Master, Set Decorator, Production Designer, Executive Producer, Talent Agent, or Casting Director.
Your first goal is to sell your idea as a writer-director or as a director, but you’ll also have a back-up plan to work behind the scenes if you don’t sell your idea the first time out. It’s called having a “Plan B,” and it’s the only way to protect yourself so you don’t have to go back to waiting tables or working at Starbucks upon graduation (no offense, Starbucks).
–We will enroll you in our Job Placement program.
When you graduate, we will help you to try and find behind-the-scenes work, either here in Los Angeles, or back at home or if you want, in any city in the nation. This way you’ll will be positioned to work in the film business where you’re consistently growing your connections and experience while you also have the movie idea and screenplay which you developed as a directing student that’s ready to go.
–You will have real world connections.
Once you graduate from our program you will have real-world industry connections in your city and in Los Angeles. Think about it. With us, your teachers (mentors) are working filmmakers both in your city and in Los Angeles. Ordinary film schools use instructors. If they are instructors at a film school, they are most likely not filmmakers working in the business. We don’t roll that way. At the Film Connection, all of our teachers are working in the business now, today. They are also part time teachers (mentors) because they love mentoring just about as much as they love making films. And many of our mentors are just looking to pass their knowledge i.e. their legacy onto a worthy talent.
–You will have completed our 20 lessons course curriculum
Click here to view our curriculum. This is what you will be learning at a pace of one lesson per week at about four times per week. Flexible schedules are available. We can often work around your day job or other commitments.
THE 3 THINGS YOU WILL NEED TO SUCCEED IN THE FILM BUSINESS, NO MATTER WHAT ORDINARY FILM SCHOOLS TELL YOU:
Ordinary film school misses the point entirely. Making it in the film business is not about taking a bunch of classes to learn the technical aspects of the craft. Hollywood does not care about the short films you make at film school, they don’t care about your degree, they don’t care about how much you know about movies or making them. While learning the technical side of filmmaking and the mechanics of the business is essential, and while it can’t hurt to know a lot about movies like Quentin Tarantino does, going to film school does not get you a career as a film director or any other career in film or tv (but maybe one as a teacher or historian).
Which begs the question: what do people really need in order to make it in the film business as a director, and why don’t film schools teach just that?
There are 3 things that you commonly need to make it as a film director:
THE FIRST THING YOU NEED TO SUCCEED AS A FILM DIRECTOR: A GREAT IDEA FOR A GREAT MOVIE.
Do you have a great idea for a great movie? Do you have an idea as great as “Jaws,” or “Pulp Fiction,” “Memento,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Evil Dead 2,″ “Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Primer,” “Looper,” “The Matrix,” or “Passion of the Christ”? Do you have an idea as powerful as “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Sling Blade,” or “El Marriachi”? Do you have a great action idea like “Die Hard”? Do you have an amazing idea for a great western like “Unforgiven” or a great drama like “Sideways,” “Shame,” or “Black Swan”? Do you have a great comedy idea like “Anchorman” or a good thriller like “Tell No One” or Open Your Eyes” or a Sci-Fi idea like “Star Wars”?
If not, we can help you develop your idea to pitch and sell to the people who can get you the money to make your movie. We can put you in the room with a credible Hollywood producer and give you that chance. We will teach you how to deliver your competent movie idea with power and intelligence to a real life Hollywood Producer.
The question is: Why don’t film schools offer the same thing?
ANSWER: Because most film schools are outdated and overpriced dinosaurs whose time has come. They don’t have the setup, resources, or mentors we have.
ADVANTAGE: FILM CONNECTION.
THE SECOND THING: Who do you know?
This world is filled with people with great ideas but who know no one in the business. They’re not connected and they do not put in the time to develop their business sense. But guess what—like it or not, the film business is just that: a business. To make it in the film business, you must know the right people at the right time. Ask yourself: who do you know? Do you know producers, real producers, to whom you can pitch your idea? And if you know them, they must look forward to hearing your pitch, and after that they must be willing to take two hours out of their busy lives to sit down on their weekend and read your screenplay. If you don’t know producers and financiers who are willing to sit down and read your work, then what do you think the chances are of getting your movie made?
It is a big-time commitment to listen to a pitch and read a screenplay which is why it is hard to get a meeting with the right people. Why would they spend their day listening to poorly developed ideas delivered by amateurs when they could progress their own careers by listening to smart filmmakers who are already adept at coming up with powerful ideas? Why should they listen to even good ideas from unknowns when they can hear good ideas from proven entities they trust?
The next question is: Why don’t the ordinary film schools introduce you to real producers who are meeting you to hear your idea?
ANSWER: Because they are not in the business of helping you get your movie made. They are in the business of charging you a lot of money to learn filmmaking.
ADVANTAGE: FILM CONNECTION.
THE THIRD THING YOU WILL NEED TO SUCCEED IN THE FILM BUSINESS: TALENT AND SKILL
Our mentors can teach you the craft and you’ll work with a screenwriting mentor too, so you can learn the ins and outs and write your own script. You will take our comprehensive course and learn via preparatory reading and assignments and one-on-one from a professional in your city as you develop your movie idea a professional in the business. You will learn how to:
- Write and deliver a pitch
- Write a screenplay that can sell
- Direct a scene from your movie
- Create a sizzle reel
- Direct: block, work with actors, compose a scene, shoot a scene
- Light and load
- Production Design
- Line Produce/Schedule
All of the above things are taught by working professionals who are working in the business today—people who have made movies, people who are running successful production companies, filmmakers who love their craft, even many filmmakers who have made movies that you have heard of. Our way is different than any typical film school in the sense that we work with you, to help you hone your skills by training on the job right from the very first week that you become a student. As for talent, well, no one can teach that. Not us, and not Martin Scorsese or George Clooney or Tarantino or anybody else. You either have a knack for filmmaking, or you don’t.
The next question is this: why would you get yourself 50 thousand dollars in debt or more to conventional film school to see if maybe you can make it in a business that’s not concerned with degrees but with great ideas and real world skills? Why spend all that money to go to film school that doesn’t help you connect with the professionals?
ANSWER: You decide.