This is your
Champaign / Springfield 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 ordinary film schools and programs. Work directly with an accomplished industry filmmaker at a fully-equipped film production company.

Programs

You will study inside a real film production company in your city as you develop your movie idea with a professional 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.

Film Production & Editing 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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Champaign / Springfield

Film Connection Locations

Our "Near Me" Champaign / Springfield Filmmaker Locations

  • Decatur
  • Ridgewood
  • Ayrshire
  • Mayfair
  • Glenn Park
  • Stonegate
  • Lincolnshire
  • Camelot
  • West End
  • Ravina Park
  • Lakeview
  • Cresthaven
  • Westchester
  • Hawthorne Place
  • Near South
  • Oak Ridge
  • Enos Park
  • Riverton
  • buffalo
  • Mechanicsburg
  • Harristown
  • Forsyth
  • Argenta
  • Cisco
Schedule a Tour
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In Champaign / Springfield

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


  • Personal Details
  • More Info
  • Tuition

Contact Information

Please enter your info below, and someone from RRFC will contact you:

More Info

Note: If you are serious about learning real-world audio production the way we teach it, answer the following questions to expedite your admissions process.

Note: If you are serious about learning real-world radio production the way we teach it, answer the following questions to expedite your admissions process.

Note: If you are serious about learning real-world film production the way we teach it, answer the following questions to expedite your admissions process.

Note: If you are serious about learning real-world culinary skills the way we teach it, answer the following questions to expedite your admissions process.

Which of the following do you have experience with?

What large city is closest to where you live? (Or, which city do you live in?)

Are you willing to go there twice a week for six months?

Tuition

How do you plan on paying for your tuition?
*When paid in full, tuition will receive a $2000 reduction, bringing the program’s total tuition of $12,200 to $10,200 not including administrative fees.

Are you a member or veteran of the military?


What are your goals?


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

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
$12,200 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

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

About Our Champaign / Springfield 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 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 program. We’re different, even innovative and you need to understand more before you apply. 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?

David McClain Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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David McClain Champaign / Springfield Mentor

Background

Credits: Coca Cola, Google, Dateline, Travel Channel, NBC Request an Invitation

Demetria Kalodimos Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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Demetria Kalodimos Champaign / Springfield 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

Grant Salisbury Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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Grant Salisbury Champaign / Springfield Mentor

Background

Over fifteen years post production experience in Orlando—Grant has provided video editorial, 2D & 3D animations, and motion graphics for a multitude of media clients through his post production company, GFX Creative. Short & Long Format Video Editorial, Event & Theme Park Animations, Infomercials, Broadcast Commercials, Corporate Communications and Interactive Media for The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Sea World, Lockheed-Martin, AAA Insurance, 3M, Siemens, Honda, A&D Medical, Toyota, FedEx and others. Request an Invitation

Jae Macallan Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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Jae Macallan Champaign / Springfield Mentor

Background

Jae Macallan is the owner, producer, and lead editor for Yoyostring Creative in Seattle, WA., with satalite offices in Portland, OR and San Diego, CA.  Yoyostring produces traditional video as well as animation, 360 VR, live video switching and video mapping.  Request an Invitation

Ron Osborn Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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Ron Osborn Champaign / Springfield Mentor

Background

“Simply put, there is no better or more effective way to teach anything than one-on-one, mentor to student.  This is what the Film Connection does.” — Ron Osborn A writer/producer in television for 35 years, Ron has been nominated for 7 Emmys, 3 Cable Ace Awards, and 2 Writers Guild Awards on shows like MOONLIGHTING, THE WEST WING, and the adult animated DUCKMAN.  He has written pilots for every primetime network, numerous cable networks, as well as movies like MEET JOE BLACK; and has developed feature projects with Steven Speilberg, Ron Howard, and George Lucas, among others. . Request an Invitation

Sam Borowski Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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Sam Borowski Champaign / Springfield Mentor

Background

“The Recording Radio and Film Connection is such an effective program, because it takes the student out of the classroom and puts them in the very field they seek to be a part of. With mentors that actually work in the student’s respective field, they get first-hand knowledge of how everything works and just what to do. I think it’s the best way to get hands-on experience and the lessons learned are very valuable. I also think that the interview process helps to match a student with a mentor that will be right for them.” – Sam Borowski Directed and produced the feature film, Night Club starring Oscar-Winner Ernest Borgnine, Natasha Lyonne and Paul Sorvino. Wrote and produced the feature-length documentary Creature Feature: 60 Years of the Gill-Man with Oscar-Winner Benicio Del Toro and narrated by 2-time Emmy-Winner Keith David. Also directed and produced the film Maniac. Request an Invitation

John Lafia Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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John Lafia Champaign / Springfield Mentor

Background

John Lafia is a director and writer, known for Child’s Play (1988), Child’s Play 2 (1990), Man’s Best Friend(1993) and 10.5 (2004) Request an Invitation

Brian Dryden Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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Brian Dryden Champaign / Springfield Mentor

Background

Clients: The North Face, Cherokee Sports, LSU Request an Invitation

Peter Foldy Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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Peter Foldy Champaign / Springfield 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.” Request an Invitation

Eric Abrams Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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Eric Abrams Champaign / Springfield 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. Request an Invitation

Monty Mickelson Champaign / Springfield Mentor

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Monty Mickelson Champaign / Springfield 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. Request an Invitation

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Champaign / Springfield News

Five Scientific Discoveries That Need to be Movies

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Filmmaker Daytrips: LA Film Locations

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Truffaut: A Brief History

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Five Romantic Movies Nearly Everyone Will Love

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Can Being Too Indie Hurt Your Career?

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Not the Norm: Non-Traditional Roles in Film and TV

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Career Tips 101: From Nice Guy to Right Guy

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The Best Smartphones to Film With

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The Film Scene in Champaign / Springfield

The Champaign / Springfield, Illinois Film Connection Film School Alternative

Welcome to the future of filmmaking. We’re Champaign and Springfield-Decatur Film Connection. Production companies that have worked on both narrative and documentary films have teamed up with us to provide mentors that will help get your career off the ground by providing you with studio or on location experience. There are two paths you can take. The first is our 6-month behind the scenes track that pairs you up with mentors who work in the Champaign-Springfield-Decatur corridor. The second, more comprehensive, path is our 8-month directors track. More mentors and more opportunities for you! No film program anywhere offers you a chance to see your project come alive before your very eyes and pitch it to someone who can make it happen. No one except the Film Connection. To APPLY for our Champaign-Springfield-Decatur Film School, click here. The cities of Champaign, Decatur and Springfield are located a short distance from each other along a stretch of Interstate 72 in central Illinois. Springfield is the state capital of Illinois, and the historical place where Abraham Lincoln began his political career. The combined population of the three cities exceeds 200,000 people, and several production companies call this area home. The Champaign-Springfield-Decatur area is within driving distance of several major cities, including Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis, making it a good central hub for diverse filming locations. Illinois is a film-friendly state, offering tax incentives up to 30 percent for films shot in the state, and several major film festivals are held annually in the region. The Champaign-Springfield-Decatur area makes a surprising alternative location if you want a career as a film director, film producer, screenwriter, film editor or cameraperson–but would rather not relocate to New York or L.A.   Many major movies, commercials, TV shows and documentaries are filmed in Illinois. Among the known films that have shot in the Champaign-Springfield-Decatur area and surrounding regions are Mission: Impossible, The Informant, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, and the Jimmy Stewart classic film Call Northside 777. The Champaign-Springfield-Decatur area has also seen filming for television episodes and documentaries, including the Great American Road Trip, Lincoln's Last Night, and the documentaries Route 66 Road Trip and Lincoln. FILM CONNECTION Film School of Champaign-Springfield-Decatur will put you in the heart of this production activity by hooking you up with a working film or television professional, who becomes your personal instructor and mentor.  You'll gain valuable hands-on experience on real film and video shoots, making valuable industry connections along the way.  In fact, over 70 percent of our graduates get hired, many before they even graduate. FILM CONNECTION can help you realize your dreams; let us show you how.  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 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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