The Film Connection is where it all starts. We help make your dreams happen.
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ATLANTA FILM SCHOOL
Your Atlanta Film School Alternative
The Atlanta, Georgia Film Connection Film School Advantage
1) We’re Located Everywhere.
The Film Connection filmmaker school has more locations than any other film school in the world. Why? Because our school takes place on-the-job in real film and production facilities. Anywhere in the United States you happen to live, we have a location near you.
Learn near where you live. Advantage: Film Connection.
2) Low Tuition Helps You Graduate Debt Free.
It’s ludicrous to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt for a film school education. It’s also completely unnecessary. We keep our tuition rates low so you can focus on jumpstarting your film career.
Other schools not only cost more, they have lots of add-on charges. Advantage: Film Connection.
3) Learn On-the-Job, Not In a Classroom.
Seriously—what can you learn about filmmaking sitting in some classroom? Nothing. You only learn this skill by doing it. That’s why we place you as a student apprentice (extern) inside a real Atlanta film production facility, where you’ll be taught by a working film professional. With the Film Connection, your classes take place on-the-job and on the set of real productions.
Real-world experience, not useless theoretical classroom instruction. Advantage: Film Connection.
4) Learn One-on-One From a Mentor.
With the Film Connection, you’re not just a student—you’re an apprentice (extern). And your instructor isn’t a full-time classroom professor—he/she is a working Atlanta film professional with years of expertise in your area of interest, whether that’s directing, screenwriting, producing, cinematography, etc. This film professional will become your personal mentor, taking you through the curriculum one-on-one. Ask any questions you like; learn at your own pace.
One teacher to one student. Advantage: Film Connection.
5) Endorsed and Recommended by Hundreds of Professionals.
We are endorsed by famous directors David Lynch, Grant Heslov, and Oliver Stone, noted film composer Hans Zimmer, and hundreds of others like them across the country. More film professionals endorse us than any other school because they know our methods work to break people into the film industry. What’s more, many of these pros choose to teach our student apprentices.
More professional endorsements than any other film school. Advantage: Film Connection.
6) True Job Placement Assistance.
Learning on-the-job has its advantages: many of our film apprentices end up getting hired or recommended for jobs by our mentors. But when no job openings are available from your mentor, we don’t leave you hanging. Our film school offers true job placement assistance through our completely free Stay Connected Program. We’ll work tirelessly to help you find employment in the film industry for up to 12 months after you graduate.
“Job placement” at other schools means handing you a cold-call lead list when you graduate. Advantage: Film Connection.
7) You’re On the Inside From Day One
The biggest challenge for any emerging filmmaker is getting “in the door” of the film industry—getting someone of influence to pay attention to you. One of the biggest advantages of the Film Connection is that by placing you in a real Atlanta film production facility, we get you on the inside from your very first day of training. You’re in the workplace, you’re on the set, you’re building relationships, you’re proving your abilities. By the time you graduate, you’re already an insider.
The other guys are on the outside, looking in. Advantage: Film Connection.
8) Unlimited Free Tutoring.
Need help with your homework? Stumped on an assignment? Trouble using your editing software? Mentor not available? No problem. Our program includes free, unlimited tutoring. Give us a call, and we’ll help you out.
Unlimited free tutoring. Advantage: Film Connection.
9) Real Industry Connections.
The film industry is all about connections, and you can’t make those connections without spending time where the film people are hanging out. By placing you in a real film production company as an apprentice (extern), the Film Connection enables you to make lots of industry connections you could never make sitting in a college or trade school classroom. These are the connections that can advance your career.
Real world film industry connections. Big Advantage: Film Connection.
10) Take It All the Way to Hollywood.
Ready to make your big break into the Hollywood scene? We’re here to help! All through your Atlanta Film Connection apprenticeship (externship), you’ll be working on developing your own film idea—and when you’re ready, we’ll arrange for you to pitch your film in Los Angeles in front of REAL Hollywood film executives! No other film school in the world offers this kind of opportunity, but with us, it’s part of your program.
A real chance to break into Hollywood. Big Advantage: Film Connection. NO OTHER FILM SCHOOL DOES THIS.
Your ATLANTA, GEORGIA FILM SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE
Only one film school in Atlanta gets you inside an actual Atlanta film production company for a film student apprenticeship (externship) working with the pros. Make no mistake, the smartest way in Atlanta to learn directing, producing, editing, camera, screenwriting or general production is to start inside an Atlanta film production company as a film apprentice–and Atlanta FILM CONNECTION puts you there. Break into the film business with our help!
Why would you spend 50 thousand dollars or more, or go deep into debt, to go to film school at a college or trade school? You can spend far less money and go to film school in a real production company right here in Atlanta. Our film school alternative is the smartest, most cost efficient way to get your film school education, and we help you get connected while you get educated.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA is the 9th largest DMA in the U.S., and the original headquarters and still pivotal player in Ted Turner’s media conglomerate of MGM, CNN, TBS and TNT, as well as home to Coca Cola, the Atlanta Braves, Hawks and Falcons, and over 30 institutes of higher learning. Not only does Atlanta host a significant TV presence along with several major cable networks, but in recent years it has seen a significant expansion of its film industry, leading the City of Atlanta to establish its own Office of Entertainment to cater to the needs of film productions. This area’s diversity of locations and mild climate make it a favorite spot for location filming. Take a look at a few of the major productions that have filmed on location here in Atlanta just in the past few years:
- Zombieland (2009)
- Need for Speed (2014)
- Prisoners (2013)
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)
- Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2014)
- Million Dollar Arm (2014)
- The Internship (2013)
- Dumb and Dumber To (2014)
- Halt and Catch Fire (TV Series, 2014)
- The Walking Dead (TV Series, (2010-present)
Needless to say, there is a growing need in Atlanta for qualified and experienced directors, producers, writers, editors, camera operators and other film crew. There are also numerous opportunities to make valuable connections with industry professionals—and the FILM CONNECTION gets you closer to the action than any other film school can.
Our unique mentor-apprentice (extern) approach is the secret of our success. We don’t waste your time by sticking you in some classroom with a bunch of other students. Instead, we place you with a seasoned film professional in a real film production company as an apprentice (extern). Your mentor will train you on-the-job, and will specialize in your particular area of interest, whether it’s producing, directing, film editing, cinematography, film editing, etc. If you dream of breaking into Hollywood with your own film, we’ve got you covered there, too; our structured curriculum is designed to guide you through the development of your own film idea, and when you’re ready, we’ll arrange a special meeting in Los Angeles for you to PITCH YOUR FILM to real industry executives!
The point is, you’ll never get this kind of opportunity to break into the film industry by studying at any classroom-based film school—so why waste your time and money? You owe it to yourself to see what the ATLANTA FILM CONNECTION can do to help you jumpstart your career!
Current Atlanta Student News
“In a few short years…Yeah, I believe that I’ve come a far way.”
Film Connection graduate Taylor Giddens is perhaps a bit understated in describing his journey. When he started with the Film Connection a few years ago, he had zero filmmaking experience. Today, he owns and operates his own production company in Atlanta.
In fact, Taylor was heading in a whole other direction—a married twenty-something, a small business owner, making his way in the world. But he had an unfulfilled dream to pursue film as a career, and he says it was his wife who ended up pushing him in that direction.
“She told me just to try it,” he says. “Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work out. You don’t want to have any regrets of not even trying it at all.”
At first, finding a film school was a challenge because they were all expensive and required him to move. But then Taylor discovered that the Film Connection could train him on the job with a mentor right there in Atlanta, and it just made sense to enroll. “I’m the kind of person that if I want to learn something, I’ll go out and do it myself,” he says. “That’s why I liked the Film Connection. . .Instead of sitting in a classroom all day, you’re actually hands-on.”
Taylor was placed as an apprentice with Film Connection mentor Carl Millender of Starmaxx Media in Atlanta. Having no prior experience, he says it was a steep learning curve at first. “When we first went on set, I didn’t know a lot of terminology,” he says. “I was trying to fake it but without looking like an idiot, and trying to learn.”
But passion and determination kicked in, and before long, Taylor found himself in an assistant role with many of his mentor’s projects, learning not only the technical skills, but also paying attention to the business side. When he finished the program, being a business owner himself—it was a natural next step for Taylor to launch his own company. He named it Kelly Productions, after his wife, who had first impressed on him to chase his dreams. “She’s kind of like the mother of the production company,” says Taylor. “She’s been very supportive, and sometimes she’s more supportive of me than I am of myself.”
Now graduated and running his company, Taylor pays the bills with corporate and commercial projects, but he keeps it competitive and interesting by taking a creative approach. “If it has anything to do with a camera, I’m ready to go,” he says. “We’re trying to establish ourselves as not just, ‘Hey, we’re not just gonna show up and shoot it’….How can we do it in a creative, fun, cinematic film way?”
And that’s not all. Since launching Kelly Productions, Taylor has been able to do several creative projects of his own, including a number of high-quality and award-winning short films. He looks forward to the day when he can do creative films full-time. “It’s a lengthy process,” he says. But considering how far he’s come in a few short years—Taylor’s well on his way.
“My mentor’s name [was] Steve Carmichael, and my name is Steven Carmichael Pitts!”
What are the odds that a Film Connection student and Film Connection mentor in Atlanta would share such similar names, or hail from the same state? (Both are originally from Alabama.) For that matter, what are the odds that these two would form such a lasting bond that the mentor would one day use the graduate’s film company facilities to teach his current students?
But that’s exactly what has happened with Atlanta-based Film Connection graduate Steve Pitts, and his mentor, filmmaker Steve Carmichael—the pair we’ve come to know as the “two Steves.” Not only did Pitts (the graduate) remain active in Atlanta’s fast-growing film scene, but he become a major shareholder in the progressive film collective Rite Media Group, under whose banner he now directs numerous projects, including several upcoming feature films! As for Carmichael (the mentor)—he now utilizes the space at Rite Media to teach new Film Connection students, and even sends his students to work on the set of Pitts’ film projects!
“I consider Steve [Pitts] a really good friend,” Carmichael says. “It’s great to be around him and, in effect, be working together…We just communicate well with each other.”
For Pitts, the feeling is mutual. “Now that Steve [Carmichael] is teaching out of our space,” he says, “for him to be able to say, ‘This guy was like you, and now look,’ it’s kind of humbling…”I’m now contributing to people that were [once] in my position…I try to help out the best I can as far as getting these guys on set and teaching them.”
When Pitts first enrolled in the Film Connection back in 2011, he says he was drawn mainly to the hands-on approach. “It seemed right up my alley,” he says. “I don’t like school—I learn better [by] just doing than I do being told how to do it.”
That hands-on training from a mentor certainly paid off for Pitts, as he has leveraged his skills to become a partner in one of Atlanta’s moving-and-shaking film companies. Today, the Film Connection students currently taught by Steve Carmichael also get plenty of hands-on experience on the set of Rite Media projects, from doing music videos for up-and-coming Atlanta hip-hop acts to being on-location for weeks at a time on feature film shoots. Through it all, Pitts remembers the hands-on learning that got him where he is today, and passes the following advice to Film Connection mentors: Don’t just stand there: do something.
“Something we always like to tell folks is, ‘You’ve got to ask,'” he says. “When any of [Carmichael’s] students come onto our set but they just kind of stand there and watch, we say, ‘Dude, grab something, ask somebody something, bug us. You’re not helping anybody out by just standing there watching.'”
RiTE Media Group is rapidly gaining a reputation as a mover-and-shaker in Atlanta’s burgeoning film scene, largely because it is a collective of film pros who understand the power of collaboration on projects. The Film Connection maintains strong ties with RiTE Media—one of our graduates is a partner in the collective, and one of our mentors, Steve Carmichael, teaches in their facility. This gives our Film Connection apprentices the opportunity to experience firsthand the power of collaboration on film projects—none more so than Film Connection apprentice Ron Reid.
Ron tells us he was initially drawn to a film career because he sees it as an outlet for creative expression: ” I think filmmaking can be like a painter illustrating themselves on to a canvas. For me, it’s part of inviting others into my own world,” he says.
But as it turns out, his military experience also taught him the power of teamwork. “One of my greatest treasured skills from service is that I maintained a strong desire to contribute as part of a team,” he says. “It’s more than about oneself.”
When Ron enrolled in the Film Connection in Atlanta, and mentor Steve Carmichael started sending him out with RiTE Media on film shoots, Ron began witnessing firsthand how collaboration and creativity can work hand-in-hand to produce something amazing. Perhaps the greatest example of this was a New Year’s Eve video shoot for music artist TOTEM, where Ron was on-hand.
“It was very long, it was very cold, it was outdoors,” he says. “It was a massive amount of people…I was with them doing that one for 22 hours, which through all the different projects I’ve worked on, that’s been the longest. But people stuck around because they had vested interest, not just on making money, but they were involved in that collaborative process…Just to see that entire piece come together when they had the release party and the actual viewing and showing of the video itself…It was almost like the power of human spirit.”
As Ron completes his apprenticeship in Atlanta, he says he has “thousands” of film ideas running around in his mind, and he’s passionate about his new career because it combines the expression he craves with the shared experience he loves. If there’s anything else he’s learned, it’s the power of having a mentor in the film business. For him, it’s Film Connection mentor Steve Carmichael. “I went to college and got a degree in business management,” he says, “which is fine—a lot of Americans do that. But I wish that everything was designed after an apprenticeship kind of approach. You get that one-on-one, you’re not just out there learning things as you go alone. You have somebody kind of guide and walk you through it. Steve’s kind of a family member in some aspects, like an uncle that I would know.”
The Film Connection is where it all starts. We help make your dreams happen.
Fill out the information below and we’ll be in touch: