This is your
Billings Classroom

Real filmmaking education. Real film industry connections.

An Immersive
Film Education

From directing to producing to editing and screenwriting, our mentor-based 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

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Billings

Film Connection Film Institute

Our "Near Me" Billings Filmmaker Locations

  • Centennial Park
  • Broadwater-Cook
  • Kings Green
  • Highland
  • West Shiloah
  • Lakeside
  • Wellington/Wembly Place
  • South Side
  • Josephine Crossing
  • Pioneer McKinley District
  • Lockwood
  • Hesper
  • Huntley
  • Laurel
Schedule a Tour
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In Billings

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


About Our Billings Film School

Our fully-immersive curriculum
covers all of the following:

Building Relationships

Learning filmmaking in the real world with the Film Connection mentoring approach makes building relationships in the film industry is a daily occurrence.

On-Set Etiquette

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

Hardware and Equipment

Film Connection mentors exist in the real world where the competition is fierce. Having the latest gear is essential to their success which gives you access to the latest hardware.

Making Movies

Isn’t the whole point of going to film school to learn how to make movies—especially YOUR movie? The Film Connection 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?

Ryan E. Heppe Billings Mentor

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Ryan E. Heppe Billings 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. In the world of VO, he’s lent his voice to numerous commercials, both national and regional, and performs several characters on the animated series DaGeDar.

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Wade Marshall Billings Mentor

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Wade Marshall Billings Mentor

Background

Since 2007, Millennium Studios has been servicing productions in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana.

Credits: True Blood, The Expendables 3, Olympus Has Fallen

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Peter Foldy Billings Mentor

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Peter Foldy Billings Mentor

Background

“For a fraction of the price of a university course, students of the Radio, Record and Film Connection receive one-on-one consultation and mentoring from a seasoned film professional. It is an opportunity for an exchange of meaningful ideas and for some, even a chance to network, an essential requirement to make an in-road in the film business.”

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Eric Abrams Billings Mentor

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Eric Abrams Billings Mentor

Background

“Unlike many programs that stress theory over doing, our goal is for our students to have completed a 1st draft of a screenplay or be well on their way in 10 sessions.”
 
Credits I’m proud of: “Married…With Children,” “Gary & Mike,” ‘Live & Maddie,” and an unaired Muppet pilot.

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Monty Mickelson Billings Mentor

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Monty Mickelson Billings Mentor

Background

Freelance Journalist, Financial Writer, Corporate Communications Copywriter, Writer of Corporate Training and Life Skills Videoscripts, Public Relations Account Manager, Special Events Promotion and Media Wrangling, Award-Winning Published Novelist, and Feature Film Screenwriter.

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Daniela Larsen Billings Mentor

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Daniela Larsen Billings Mentor

Background

Daniela Larsen is the former CEO of Creative Media Education. She created and expanded education & certifications in Digital Media, Film, Cyber Security, Leadership and Technology. She also developed strategic partnerships in the private and public sector to make this education and training accessible to the public. Finally, she used digital media, documentaries and non profit experience to create opportunities for cause marketing, tell the stories that have real impact and increase the reach of online education to the remotest places in the world. She is currently the Executive Director & Founder of Small Candles Education & Economic Development, the CEO of the Navanas Institute and a Certified Partner for Infusionsoft.

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Jim Fogarty Billings Mentor

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Jim Fogarty Billings 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 Billings Mentor

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Dale DeToni Billings 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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Jon Reiss Billings Mentor

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Jon Reiss Billings Mentor

Background

Named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety, Jon Reiss is also critically acclaimed filmmaker whose experience releasing his feature Bomb It with a hybrid strategy was the inspiration for writing Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing in the Digital Era (TOTBO), the first step-by-step guide for filmmakers to distribute and market their films.  He also co-wrote Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul and Selling Your Film Outside the US.   He also teaches at the Film Directing Program at Cal Arts.

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Rick Dahl Billings Mentor

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Rick Dahl Billings Mentor

Background

I’ve written for many of the major studios and networks. My first movie, “Red Rock West,” was nominated for Best Screenplay by the Independent Spirit Awards. 

I think this program is fantastic. I get to spend an hour a week, one-on-one with my students. We read over their material carefully. It affords me the opportunity to dig deep and get into the details of screenwriting – a deceptively complicated craft. We can cover various aspects of formatting, different styles of writing and how they impact the reader – which ultimately determines the filmic outcome and audience sees on screen.

The time allows me to get know my students so that I’m able to help them put some part of themselves into their stories. 

Once you get past the basics, screenwriting is about story. And we all have one to tell. The more personal that is, the more impact it will have.

The terrific thing I get to experience with Film Connection, because of the one-on-one time I have with my students, is the growth they achieve in their writing

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Jana Sue Memel Billings Mentor

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Jana Sue Memel Billings Mentor

Background

“Students at the Film Connection receive the extraordinary benefit of a one-on-one mentoring relationship with highly experienced industry professionals. What an amazing way to learn your craft. Nothing could be better.” — Jana Sue Memel,

Films Jana have produced have been nominated for eleven Oscars and won three. They have also won Emmy’s, Director and Writer Guild Awards and numerous film festival awards. 

Credits:  So I Married An Axe Murderer, Tough Guys, Down Came A Blackbird, Duke of Groove

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Billings News

Low Budget Filmmaking Heroes

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What Science Says About Writer’s Block

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

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Achieving Flow: Entering the Vortex

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How to Have a Successful Table Read

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What You Should Know About Neil Gaiman

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EDM Jobs That Actually Exist!

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How to Get Out of a Creative Funk

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The Film Scene in Billings

The Billings, Montana Film Connection Film School Advantage

The newest film school in Billings is unlike anything anywhere. We’re Billings Film Connection and we offer you real-world experience, not classroom instruction. We offer a unique 6-month behind the scenes program that will be pair you with experienced mentors in your chosen concentration. Select our 8-month director track and you will be connected with local mentors and an additional dream mentor, a working industry pro in Los Angeles, who will regularly check-in with you as you put together your film project. During the final week of the program, you will be flown out to L.A. to meet with your dream mentor and pitch your project to industry pros who greenlight projects regularly in Hollywood. That’s training, industry connections, and professional feedback for a fraction of what the other overhyped programs offer.

To APPLY for our Billings Film School, click here.

Not only is Billings, Montana the largest city in the state, but it is also currently one of the nation's fastest-growing communities, with a population of about 106,000 and a growth rate of nearly 18 percent during the past decade. The Billings area is home to a great diversity of beautiful natural scenery, including mountains, flatlands, rivers, forests and more–making it a great area for location filmmaking. Entertainment industry pros with ties to Billings include folk legend Arlo Guthrie, film director John Dahl, screenwriter T.J. Lynch, and actors Stanley Anderson and Wally Kurth. Several production companies call this area home, and Billings also benefits from Montana's numerous incentive packages to attract filmmakers. If you are considering a career in filmmaking as a film director, film producer, film editor, or cameraman, Billings, Montana provides a suprising number of opportunities, and is a good alternative to relocation elsewhere. 

Movies, commercials, documentaries and TV shows are filmed throughout Montana on a regular basis, including in Billings and the surrounding regions.  Some of the films that have done location shooting here include Far and Away, Knockaround Guys, A Fork in the Road, True Colors, A River Runs Through It, and the classic film Little Big Man, to name a few. The Billings area has seen its share of television production also, including TV movie Son of the Morning Star and TV series The Amazing Race, among others. 

The secret to FILM CONNECTION's success is our mentor-apprentice (extern) approach. During our inexpensive, 6-month course, we hook you up with a working film or television professional who serves as your personal instructor. You'll gain valuable hands-on experience, and make real-life industry contacts that can lead to permanent employment. Come find out why over 70 percent of our graduates get hired! Enroll in Billings FILM CONNECTION today, and let us help jumpstart your career.  

To APPLY click here.

Connections Matter

Learn From Industry Pros

The Film Connection film school 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.

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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 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 […]

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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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