This is your
Austin Classroom

Real filmmaking education. Real film industry connections.
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Visit a Film Production Company
In Austin

Get started with a tour of a Texas externship location. Or call us for more information at (512) 645-2922.


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* Not all programs are available in every state. Consult an Admissions Representative to learn more.

Programs

In the Film Connection for Film Production & Editing program, you will study directing, producing and screenwriting inside a real film production company in your city as you develop your movie idea with a professional filmmaker. Then, upon meeting the necessary requirements, you will be given the opportunity to fly to Los Angeles or New York and pitch your film idea to an executive who could buy or get your movie made.

Film Production & Editing Details

In the Film Connection for Cinematography program, you will learn the techniques involved in capturing a moving image and will start to develop “the eye of the DP.” The cinematographer is literally the set ‘magician.’ DPs are responsible for the technological wizardry required to get the needed shots and to shape light to achieve the director’s desired artistic effect.

Cinematography Details

Workshops

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 who gets the ball rolling down the hill.
 
In the Film Connection for Screenwriting workshop, you will learn the elements that make for a “Killer Script” by developing and writing your own feature length screenplay under the direction and mentorship of a working professional screenwriter.

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 so much more than that. He or she is also a qualified storyteller of the highest order.
 
In the Film Connection for Film Editing workshop, you will develop your knowledge of storytelling and screenplay structure as the foundational blueprint of a film. You will also develop your technical understanding of editing as an extern to a professional editor in a post-production facility.

Film Editing Details

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Austin

Film Connection Locations

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 ordinary film schools and programs. Work directly with an accomplished industry filmmaker at a film production company.

Tuition
Comparison

Film Connection’s mentor styled education is a cost-effective approach to hands-on, curriculum backed education in film production and editing and cinematography.

 

Learn More About Tuition

 

View BBB A Rating for Film Connection Film Institute
$12,750** Tuition
$0* Loan Interest

Trade
School

$44,000 Tuition
$61,000 Loan Interest

2-Year
Junior College

$22,000 Tuition
$20,500 Loan Interest

4-Year
Traditional College

$88,000 Tuition
$122,000 Loan Interest

**Total cost varies by program
*Average Accrued Interest Charges
Sources: Sallie Mae student loan calculator - Nerd Wallet - Best Value Schools - Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

About Our Austin Film School Alternative

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 certificate program should be to learn how to make movies—especially YOUR movie. Our Film Production & Editing 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 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

Meet our Mentors

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

Jim Fogarty Austin Mentor

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Jim Fogarty Austin Mentor

Background

Jim Fogarty is a writer and producer, known for Waxing Gibbous (2001), Coffee & Donuts (2007) and A Legacy Reborn: The Rebirth of the W.D. Packard Music Hall (2014).

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Dale DeToni Austin Mentor

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Dale DeToni Austin Mentor

Background

Owner/Producer, Dale DeToni, began his career thirty years ago when he brought his experience and education from some of Chicago’s largest recording studios to Springfield, with the dream of starting his own media production company.

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Damon Crump Austin Mentor

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Damon Crump Austin Mentor

Background

The Millionaire Matchmaker, Risen, Broke Sky, Aliens on the Moon, Endings, Assault on Waco, Telling Stories: The Comic Book Creators, Big Rich Texas

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Mark Gibson Austin Mentor

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Mark Gibson Austin Mentor

Background

“As a screenwriting mentor I know that every student like every writer is different.  The Film Connection screenwriting program allows me to work one on one with my students, customizing the curriculum, allowing me to focus on each student’s needs by helping them raise the level of their writing whether it’s their first script or their fiftieth.”

As for credits, I think my two Disney films SNOW DOGS and THE WILD are certainly the most well known. 

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Conrad Denke Austin Mentor

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Conrad Denke Austin Mentor

Background

“There is no replacement for actual hands-on experience, and The Film Connection provides opportunities to work closely with our production team and learn what it takes to make it in the production business.” — Conrad Denke

Conrad Denke, film producer/director and CEO/owner of Victory Studios has been in the film and video business for over 30 years. He was co-executive producer and director on the PBS series “National Desk.” Denke has worked on feature films including “Assassins” with Sylvester Stallone, “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” with Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp,  “Santa Who?” with Leslie Nielson, “Boycott” for HBO, “Alone with Her” with Colin Hanks, “Cover” directed by Bill Duke, and “Mr. Warmth: Don Rickels” directed by John Landis. He is currently producing the television series “Band in Seattle” and has several projects in development including “Music for Young People” and “Daredevils and Disasters.”

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Seth Wood Austin Mentor

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Seth Wood Austin Mentor

Background

Seth has been working in production since 1998 and has a wide range of refined marketing skills.

With abilities in media marketing and advertising, he is an asset to almost any organization. Seth works with companies and agencies all over the US to produce “brand” friendly marketing pieces that actually generate results. Because of his extreme expertise and experience in graphics, photography, video production, and other media marketing solutions, you can get all your products produced at one boutique advertising location… Seth’s office!

Brands promoted with video projects over the past years include: Microsoft, Avaya Telecommunications, Susan G Koman, Texas Instruments, CAE, Evatran, Oster and many more. Check out the full list of production credits on his new leads generating website.

www.SwoodMedia.com

“I work hard, am deadline savvy, and ready to get YOUR job done right.”

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Ricky Lapkin Austin Mentor

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Ricky Lapkin Austin 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 Austin Mentor

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Mark Roos Austin 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 Austin Mentor

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Richard Brandes Austin Mentor

Background

Richard Brandes is an accomplished writer, director, and producer of over two dozen feature films, which have been released through such well known companies as 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 Austin Mentor

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Paul Guay Austin Mentor

Background

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Shrinking Violet

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Steve Rausch Austin Mentor

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Steve Rausch Austin 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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Austin News

Should You Storyboard?

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Film Connection student Arronn Lepperman Learns the Craft of Screenwriting

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Location Management: How Camera and Location Departments Work Together

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What Do To When Art Institute Closes

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Looking In Weird Places

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The Upside of Side Projects

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Which Books are Good to Adapt?

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Why Manners Matter in Music, Film, and TV

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The Film Scene in Austin

The Austin, Texas Film Connection Film School Alternative

WANT TO DIRECT YOUR OWN FILMS? WANT TO LEARN SCREENWRITING, CINEMATOGRAPHY, EDITING OR ALL OF IT?

Austin, Texas has been hailed the “third coast” of U.S. filmmaking (after the filmmaking hubs of Los Angeles and New York City). Being the capital city of Texas and home to over one million residents, Austin, the “Keep it Weird” city of the southwestern United States has seen creatives from both coasts moving here in droves.

If you want to direct film in Austin, there’s no shortage of interesting locations and various club and art scenes to dip into. Screenwriters can find lots of inspiration in the many “worlds” which make up the panoply of wackiness that is Austin, from a thriving and competitive culinary arts culture, to literally hundreds of venues for blues, rock, punk, and even a soaring hip hop scene. If arthouse, indie, or even horror is your thing, you couldn’t ask for a better backdrop. Within just an hour outside of Austin film directors can find perfect locations to shoot, from the majestic Gorman Falls, to the eerie swampiness of Caddo Lake (which could double for the swamps of Louisiana), to the otherworldly Inner Space Cavern which was discovered in 1966.

Austin’s yearly South by Southwest Festival (SXSW), is now a behemoth global event that brings thousands to the city. Spanning nine days and closing with The SXSW Film Awards which takes place on the last day of the South by Southwest Film Conference, a long list of famous film directors, screenwriters, and actors who have spoken at the conference includes: Ava DuVernay, Robert Rodriguez, Mark Duplass, Seth MacFarlane, Richard Linklater, Lena Dunham, and Matthew McConaughey. “South by” has become a major hub for the business of making films as well as getting connected with working professionals in film, new media, technology, and music.

Film Connection mentor screenwriter/director/producer Christine Chen of Austin-based Moth to Flame Films makes it a point to attend or work SXSW every year. Young, driven, and talented, despite her family telling her: “You can’t make money doing art” Christine launched her production company while she was in still in business school (she also holds an MBA). Speaking of those early days, she says her production company “was sustainable within a year…I’ve been doing it ever since.”

When it comes to mentoring Film Connection student externs at her facility, Christine stresses the importance of having a serious love of the craft and a willingness to work:

You gotta work your butt off, and if you love it, then it’ll be okay…I like to tell them that this is a program that lets you do it hands-on, and this industry is perfect for that. You need that. But it is also a program that is what you make it. What you have to do is bother your mentor. Try to show your mentor that you’re excited, that you want to do more. Those are the people who succeed…Those are the people who are always on my radar that I always give stuff to. This is all about initiative, and about the people who stand out and the people who take the risk…If you are passionate, and if you have the guts and the drive to get what you want, it’s really all you need. The other stuff you can learn right on the set.

Christine’s film directing credits include numerous cutting-edge films including: the prison documentary Shakespeare on the Range, high concept short film “The Earth Below,” the very timely“Ya Albi” aka “My Heart” (currently available on Amazon Prime) and 2016 Mountain Film Festival, Best Short Film Winner “Two Paths.”

With so much going on locally, leaving to attend film school in another city or state just doesn’t make that much sense. With Film Connection in Austin, you don’t have to. Our mentored-externship approach to training in film directing, screenwriting, film production, film editing and more, is a no-nonsense alternative to film education that costs what often amounts to thousands if not tens of thousands less than programs at AFI, The New School, Columbia’s Tisch School of the Arts, and USC.

WANT TO BE A FILM DIRECTOR? CONSIDER WISELY BEFORE YOU ATTEND AN EXPENSIVE FILM SCHOOL

If you want to learn what it takes to be a film director, we believe there’s no better film education than training one-on-one with a professional director who knows the craft of filmmaking and the business of staying afloat. The sad truth of the matter is that a great many of the students who attend film school never actually get the chance to work on actual professional productions. One big reason for this is that they usually have to take out a lot of student loans to pay for the high cost of tuition. Once they graduate, they discover they simply cannot afford to take those important but not necessarily high paying jobs, the very same gigs which enable them to build their experience, get into the right environment where they can network with professionals in the local film industry, and in short, get started at building their careers.

Film Connection does all of that right from the start. Rather than send you to class, we get you training, learning, and actually conversing with a working film professional who can show you how it’s done in a direct and step-by-step manner. But that’s not all. Our curriculums are written by highly experienced film industry professionals and are created to make the most of your mentored-externship training in film directing, film production, editing, screenwriting and more. As for the cost, it’s generally just a fraction of what you’d spend at a high-priced film school or program. As for the length of training, well it’s just a matter of months, 6 to 9 months to be precise.

WANT TO BE A SCREENWRITER WHO KNOWS WHAT IT TAKES TO SEE AN IDEA THROUGH TO COMPLETION?

If screenwriting is all you want to do, that’s great! We take a slightly different approach to enabling aspiring writers to learn the craft and art that is writing for the screen. Film Connection’s screenwriting mentors work with our students in a one-to-one fashion via online video conferencing sessions or phone calls. From the very first day of their education, our students are working with their mentor to develop their own idea for a film. Then, step-by-step, their mentor coaches them on how to turn an idea into a fully realized, fleshed out script that’s ready to pitch and ready for production. The objective: to write the Killer Script i.e. the screenplay that gets talked about, that gets Hollywood excited, and gets made!

The Film Connection is more than just a school. The Film Connection is how you start your career. Have you lived in Austin for an extended period of time and constantly been craving to have a voice in the creative expression that is movie making? Well, now you can. Now you’ll be able to really put your best foot forward and completely enable yourself.

Now you can connect, get trained and get going in Austin, Texas. Whether you want to direct, write, shoot, or simply know you’ve got to work in film or television, we’re here to help and provide you with a commonsense alternative to overpriced film school. We pair you with a mentor who’s actively making their living in the industry. We place you in a production company. We get you on-set. We’ve got great curriculums and Academic Facilitators at our headquarters in Los Angeles who are there to help you should you have questions or need help with an assignment. And, whether you’re learning to direct, produce, edit, or simply want to learn who to write screenplays, we help you get that film idea out of your head and into a fully-realized, professional script. We even help you with the pitch.

Do well in our film directing, screenwriting or Film Connection for Film Production & Editing program and we’ll set up a meeting with real Hollywood agents and executives for you to pitch!

If you’ve got the drive and the willingness to work hard, we’d like for you to apply.

To APPLY for our Austin film school alternative, click here.

AUSTIN is the state capital of TEXAS and the 52nd largest DMA in the U.S. The city, home to the University of Texas, relishes its little town bigness. The city’s official slogan, “The Live Music Capital of the World” reflects the large music culture that has grown up in Austin. The long running PBS Show Austin City Limits is testimony to Austin’s love affair with music, which is as diverse as the makeup of its student population.

Feature films have found a friendly locale in Austin. In fact, over 580 films, TV shows and series have been made in Austin, according to IMDB. Recent movies that were shot in Austin include: Office Space, Miss Congeniality, Man of the House, Secondhand Lions, The Life of David Gale, Doubting Thomas, Slacker, Idiocracy, A Scanner Darkly, Waking Life, Spy Kids, Dazed and Confused, The Wendall Baker Story, Grindhouse, and How To Eat Fried Worms. The Austin Film Society recently built the Austin Studios where scenes from 25th Hour and Sin City were shot along with numerous music videos.

Film Connection, the mentored externship approach to film education, loves hooking up Austin film students with the appropriate mentor to jump start their career in film directing, or producing, or editing, or camera operating because Austin always seems to have great projects to help give our students get the priceless hands-on experience they need. If you’re looking for a film school alternative in Austin where you can get started building your career in film, check out the Film Connection.

To APPLY click here.

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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Contact the Austin Film Connection


106 E. Sixth St
Suite 900
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 645-2922

Email: [email protected]
Hours: M - F 11:00AM to 8:00PM

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

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