u Abilene-Sweetwater, TX Film School

This is your
Abilene-Sweetwater Classroom

Real filmmaking education. Real film industry connections.

An Immersive
Film Education

From directing to producing to editing and screenwriting, our externship-based, mentor-taught programs avoid the unnecessary costs and unrelated requirements of typical schools. Work directly with accomplished industry veteran filmmakers at one of our fully-equipped film production companies across the country.

Programs

You will study inside a real film production company in your city as you develop your movie idea with a legendary to filmmaker. Then you will fly to Los Angeles or New York to pitch your idea to an executive that could buy or get your movie idea made.

Director / Producer / Screenwriter Details

The screenwriter is the person who creates, takes, or adapts an idea and formulates a screenplay. Without the writer, there would be no movie. Period. He or she is the starting gate. He or she is the person that starts the ball rolling down the hill.

Screenwriting Details

In many ways the film editor is the most misunderstood of all film professionals. Often considered just a film technician, a good editor is, without doubt, much more than that. He or she is also a qualified storyteller of the highest order.

Film Editing Details

The cinematographer is literally the set ‘magician.’ DPs are responsible for the technological wizardry to help create the needed light, while at the same time also having the keen sensibility to shape the light for the greatest artistic effect.

Cinematography Details

View All Programs

Abilene-Sweetwater

Film Connection Film Institute
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In Abilene-Sweetwater

Get started with a tour of one of our Texas apprenticeship/externship locations. Or call us for more information at 800-295-4433


About Our Abilene-Sweetwater Film School

Our fully-immersive curriculum
covers all of the following:

Building Relationships

Learn filmmaking in the real world with the Film Connection’s mentored externship-based approach. We make building relationships an integral part of what we do.

Hardware and Equipment

Film Connection mentors work in the real world where the competition is fierce and having the right gear matters. As an extern you have access to the latest hardware and tools of the trade.

On-Set Etiquette

Knowing how to handle yourself on the set is a prerequisite for any successful career in filmmaking. Your mentor will guide you through proper etiquette during real film shoots.

Making Movies

We believe the whole point of going to any film school or program should be to learn how to make movies—especially YOUR movie. Our curriculum is designed around this concept, from start to finish.

What is the Next Step?

We get it. This isn’t your normal four-year college or trade school. We’re different, even innovative and you need to understand more before you apply. Here’s how you can get more info:


Request Information Choose Your Location Call Admissions

Meet our Faculty

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

Ivan Alzuro Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Ivan Alzuro Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

“Unlike the local University, Film Connection sends us committed and focused students. We have turned 1 student into full-time contractor – that says it all!”

Request an Invitation

Daniel Lir Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Daniel Lir Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

Dream Team Directors is a prestigious directorial team founded by Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir. Their company motto, “Let our dream team manifest your dream”, symbolizes the expansion and positive attention they win for their celebrity and high-profile brand clients and collaborators such as Adidas, MTV, Coldplay, P. Diddy, Smashbox Cosmetics, Atlantic Records, Chrome Hearts, Oscar De La Renta, Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo, Golden Globe nominee Anthony Mackie, Matt Bennett of the “Big Bang Theory” and Lea Michele of Fox’s “Glee.”

Request an Invitation

Horacio Jones Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Horacio Jones Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

Award winning director, Horacio Jones is a multi-faceted Video Producer, Director, and Editor. He has turned CinemaViva into one of the leading video production studios in San Diego. In addition to making outstanding corporate video productions, he is committed to making socially conscious and inspiring films and documentaries that bring magic into peoples lives in fun and colorful ways.

Request an Invitation

Deen Olatunji Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Deen Olatunji Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

Deen’s most recent film is “Warfare”, which was screened at the heart of Dallas and several other cities across the United States. Deen has also worked on several feature, short films and other content, which include “Kanaani” (Popular TV Series”), “The Call”, “King Sacrifice”, “Who Am I” , and “Dancing With The Docs-Texas”. (TV Series). He is currently working on his next projects “The Alarm Clock” (Short Film) and “Eze Back To School”  (Feature Film) all coming up in fall and winter 2016.

Deen believes the RRFC program is great because it’s one of the few reputable schools that teach you on the field which he states is a great way of learning.

Request an Invitation

Rex Piano Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Rex Piano Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

“The Film Connection allows aspiring writers to work with professionals.  The students not only learn theory, but practical applications to screenwriting.  I wish it was around when I was a student.” — Rex Piano, Producer/Director, Impact Earth, Fall of Hyperion, Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire, Murder Dot Com, Hope Ranch, The Month of August

Request an Invitation

Matt Kaczkowski Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Matt Kaczkowski Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

Matt Kaczkowski graduated from Winona State University with a BA in Mass Communications Broadcasting. He spent three years as a DJ and produced an award-winning radio production.  Prior to starting SilverWater Productions, Matt was an event planner and A/V services coordinator for 4 years. Matt’s passion for film and video is a catalyst for SilverWater’s success.

Request an Invitation

David McClain Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

David McClain Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

Credits: Coca Cola, Google, Dateline, Travel Channel, NBC

Request an Invitation

Demetria Kalodimos Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Demetria Kalodimos Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

In 2000, Demetria established Genuine Human Productions, writing, directing, shooting and editing true stories about real people…genuine humans. Demetria Kalodimos has anchored and reported television news for more than 30 years. She’s won some of journalism’s most prestigious awards including 15 regional Emmys, 2 National Headliners and 2 Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards.

Request an Invitation

Rocco Michaluk Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Rocco Michaluk Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

Michaluk has been creating award winning Film & TV productions for over 15 years. His Film Clients include Columbia Pictures, Indian PaintBrush, PBS, NBC, American Empirical Pictures and Fountainbrush Films. His Television clients include NBC, Television Academy / Emmy’s, MTV, Viacom, E! Entertainment, CBS, ABC, Travel Channel, Leftfield Pictures, PETA, and others.

Request an Invitation

Alejandra Huerta Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Alejandra Huerta Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

Alejandra Huerta specializes in On-Screen Promotions, Executive Presentation Tapes and Sizzle Reels. She started her career with Andromeda in Miami offering Production Services to MTV Latin America as an editor for on-air promotions. She then relocated to New York where she became a successful producer and editor for Viacom and NBC Universal. After her professional experience in NY she relocated to Florida where she continues to manage, produce and edit projects at Andromeda Productions.

Request an Invitation

Joaquin Palma Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Read Profile

Joaquin Palma Abilene-Sweetwater Mentor

Background

“The thing I admire most about the program is that it pairs you with people doing the job that you are aspiring to do. In doing that, I feel it gets rid of the “glamour” that people associate with this business, and helps them realize that it is, in fact, A JOB. It takes hard work, a lot of practice and a sincere courtesy towards one’s colleagues to get ahead and stay relevant; not that tired stereotype of the suffering artist that won’t settle for anything less than his vision of perfection! I don’t think they teach you that at traditional film schools.” — Joaquin Franco Palma

Joaquin Franco Palma was born and raised in Los Angeles and is a first-generation American. Having started his career as a production assistant, Joaquin has gone on to become an award winning writer and director of both independent features and TV; most notably, as a staff writer on the Emmy nominated HULU series, EAST LOS HIGH. Aside from writing for the screen, Joaquin is also a published author of fiction and is a youth writing volunteer for the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND and NOSOTROS ORGANIZATION programs.

Request an Invitation

View Full List

Abilene-Sweetwater News

Resolve to Make Effective New Year’s Resolutions with These 5 Tips

Learn More

The Power of a Sh_tty First Draft

Learn More

What Makes a Good Love Scene?

Learn More

Low Budget Filmmaking Heroes

Learn More

What Science Says About Writer’s Block

Learn More

Lorne Michaels Potential Retirement from SNL and The Future of TV Sketch Comedy

Learn More

Achieving Flow: Entering the Vortex

Learn More

How to Have a Successful Table Read

Learn More

The Film Scene in Abilene-Sweetwater

The Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas Film Connection Film School Advantage

It’s hard to believe but the Abilene-Sweetwater area finally has a world-class film school. We’re Abilene-Sweetwater Film Connection and we’re tired of film programs ripping off students by leaving them unprepared for a life in show business. We believe in learning by doing and we place students in real-world filmmaking environments so that they’re better prepared for their careers and have industry contacts. Spend 6 months learning all the behind the scenes action or 8 months writing, directing, and editing your own project. Both tracks supply a local pro to guide you, but only the directors program offers what no other film education can: a pitch meeting with an industry executive during a week-long trip to Los Angeles and your very own L.A-based dream mentor. How can you go wrong with this much professionalism around you?

To APPLY for our Abilene-Sweetwater Film School, click here.

Abilene, Texas is located in the west-central part of the state, hosting a population of roughly 120,000 people. About 40 minutes west along Interstate-20, the town of Sweetwater is home to around 12,000 people. This area is also home to Dyess Air Force Base, located just west of Abilene. A number of entertainment pros have hailed from this area, including actors Jessica Simpson, Anne Wedgworth, Fess Parker and David W. Harper. Abilene benefits from being in a film-friendly state–Texas offers a number of money-saving incentives for filmmakers–and the area is also home to several production companies. If you're looking for a career in film as a film director, film producer or film editor, the Abilene-Sweetwater area can provide more opportunities than you might think.

Major movies, commercials, TV shows and documentaries are filmed all over Texas on a regular basis, including in and around the Abilene-Sweetwater area. Some of the films that have been shot here and in the surrounding regions include Friday Night Lights, Abilene, The Stars Fell on Henrietta, Serving Sara and Glory Road, to name a few.

The secret to FILM CONNECTION's success is our mentor-apprentice (extern) approach, in which we pair you with a working film or television professional who serves as your personal instructor and mentor. You'll gain valuable hands-on experience while making vital industry connections. Our system is revolutionary, and it works! Over 70% of our graduates get hired in the industry, many times before they even finish our program. You owe it to yourself to see what FILM CONNECTION of Abilene-Sweetwater can do to help jumpstart your career! 

To APPLY click here.

Connections Matter

Learn From Industry Pros

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

Professionals in the film business—including many of the famous producers, screenwriters and directors who’ve worked on the films that inspire you—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.

Learn More

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.

Learn More

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.

Learn More

ICM Partners

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

Learn More

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”…

Learn More

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…

Learn More

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.”

Learn More

Alex Keledjian

Producer of Project Greenlight

Learn More

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.

Learn More

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”.

Learn More

Luis Estrada

“Our first apprentice (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 apprentice (extern) turned out to be a reliable resource and we hope […]

Learn More

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.”

Learn More

View Full List