This is your
Chicago 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 film schools and programs. 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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Chicago

Film Connection Locations
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In Chicago

Get started with a tour of one of our Illinois apprenticeship/externship locations. Or call us for more information at (312) 878-4470


  • Personal Details
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  • Tuition

Contact Information

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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?


Tuition
Comparison

Film Connection’s unique mentor-style education is far more cost-effective than trade schools or traditional colleges and on average, requires less financing (based on national averages). Compare the true costs of education.

 

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 Apply Long Form 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 Choose Your Location Call Admissions

Meet our Faculty

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

David McClain Film Connection Mentor

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David McClain Film Connection Mentor

Background

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

Demetria Kalodimos Film Connection Mentor

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Demetria Kalodimos Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Grant Salisbury Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Jae Macallan Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Ron Osborn Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Sam Borowski Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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John Lafia Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Brian Dryden Film Connection Mentor

Background

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

Peter Foldy Film Connection Mentor

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Peter Foldy Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Eric Abrams Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Monty Mickelson Film Connection 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

Daniela Larsen Film Connection Mentor

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Daniela Larsen Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

Ryan E. Heppe Film Connection Mentor

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Ryan E. Heppe Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

Wade Marshall Film Connection Mentor

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Wade Marshall Film Connection Mentor

Background

Since 2007, Millennium Studios has been servicing productions in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana. Credits: True Blood, The Expendables 3, Olympus Has Fallen Request an Invitation

Jon Reiss Film Connection Mentor

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Jon Reiss Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

Rick Dahl Film Connection Mentor

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Rick Dahl Film Connection 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 Request an Invitation

Jana Sue Memel Film Connection Mentor

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Jana Sue Memel Film Connection 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 Request an Invitation

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs Film Connection Mentor

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Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs Film Connection Mentor

Background

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs has been one of the most consistent actors in Hollywood and his amazing work has won millions of hearts all over the world. He was born in the year 1953 on 4th of September and this makes his age 61 at this time. At this age he has already been a legendary actor and he will be always remembered for his contributions. He was born in a place called New York City, which lies in New York of United States of America. He belongs to the ethnicity black and nationality American. He is very humble and always carries a smile on his face. He is an extremely tall man as he has a very impressive height of 6 feet 2 inches, which is around 1.87 meters. He went to the university called Wilkes University for his degree. A lot of information on him and his interesting biography can be grabbed from wiki sites like Wikipedia and IMDb. He has been very motivated in his career and to make the scenes look real he has given many shirtless scenes as well. He has been living a king’s life and all thanks to his hard work and dedication. He has poured perfection in almost all of his work. He has been earning good money also and has his net worth in millions of dollars. He has a net worth of 1 million dollars and this speaks his success story. Videos related to him are absolutely loved in YouTube. It does not seem like he is much into social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram and does not like to upload his pictures in those sites to share them. After being so popular he has managed to keep his personal life very low profile. It does not seem like he is gay but, as he has not revealed his sexual preference nothing can be said with assurance. He has never talked about his wife and children but he looks like married. If he is not married also he has never revealed the person he is dating right now or his girlfriend. He has never talked about his current affair also if he is having any. It seems like he has not been through divorce. He has played great roles in TV shows and movies and this has made him who he is today. He played the role of Charles in a movie called Claudine in the year 1974. He played the role of Cochise in a movie called Cooley High in the year 1975. He played the role of Floyd in a movie called The Annihilators in the year 1985. In the year 2004 he played the role of Anthony in a movie called 30 Miles. Other movies to his credits are Nocturnal Agony, Otis, Tamales and Gumbo, Indecent Behavior, L.A Vice, Chance and Youngblood. He has been superb with his roles in TV shows and series as well. He appeared in a TV show called Welcome Back, Kotter from the year 1975 to the year 1979. Other TV series to his credits are Pointman, Ellen, Moesha and The Jacksons: An American Dream. Request an Invitation

Jim Fogarty Film Connection Mentor

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Jim Fogarty Film Connection 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). Request an Invitation

Dale DeToni Film Connection Mentor

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Dale DeToni Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

Damon Crump Film Connection Mentor

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Damon Crump Film Connection 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 Request an Invitation

Mark Gibson Film Connection Mentor

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Mark Gibson Film Connection 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.  Request an Invitation

Conrad Denke Film Connection Mentor

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Conrad Denke Film Connection 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.” Request an Invitation

Seth Wood Film Connection Mentor

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Seth Wood Film Connection 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.” Request an Invitation

Ricky Lapkin Film Connection Mentor

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Ricky Lapkin Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

Mark Roos Film Connection Mentor

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Mark Roos Film Connection 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 Request an Invitation

Richard Brandes Film Connection Mentor

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Richard Brandes Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

Paul Guay Film Connection Mentor

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Paul Guay Film Connection Mentor

Background

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Shrinking Violet Request an Invitation

Steve Rausch Film Connection Mentor

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Steve Rausch Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

Adam Weber Film Connection Mentor

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Adam Weber Film Connection Mentor

Background

Adam Weber is a multi-purpose media production addict who has specialized in copywriting, video production, audio production, front-end web development, digital advertising, media planning, and any other role you can think of in regards to making intangible things using software. He also likes to be creative by writing songs with his band Integrow and making delectable craft home brews in his free time. Request an Invitation

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The Film Scene in Chicago

The Chicago, Illinois Film Connection Film School Alternative

The Chicago, Illinois Film Connection Film School Advantage

1) Located Where You Are.

Our on-the-job training approach means we’re not limited to any central campus location. The Film Connection has locations all over the United States, including right here in Chicago. This means your pathway to Hollywood begins right here in the Windy City. Learn near where you live. Advantage: Film Connection.

2) Graduate With Little or No Debt with Low Tuition.

Let’s face it: student debt can be a dream-killer. The last thing you need is to be buried in debt right when you’re trying to start your film career—and yet that’s just what the other film schools will ask you to do! We don’t do it that way. We keep our tuition rate low so you can actually afford to attend our film school, and graduate with little or no debt. Other schools not only cost more, they have lots of add-on charges. Advantage: Film Connection.

3) Learn On-the-Job.

Filmmaking is a learn-by-doing profession—so why do those other schools insist on trying to make you learn it in their classrooms? Our film school program is apprenticeship (externship)-based, which means you’re placed as a working apprentice (extern) inside a Chicago production company, where all your classes take place on-the-job and on the set. It just makes more sense. Real-world experience, not useless theoretical classroom instruction. Advantage: Film Connection.

4) One-on-One Training With a Mentor.

At the Film Connection, we don’t call our instructors “teachers,” because they’re much more than that. Your instructor will be a seasoned film professional with real credits, years of experience and tons of connections—and this person will become your personal mentor, training you one-on-one. One teacher to one student. Advantage: Film Connection.

5) Endorsed by Hundreds of Film Professionals.

Who endorses the Film Connection? The film industry knows who we are, because we have a proven track record of getting our students plugged to successful film careers. More professional endorsements than any other film school. Advantage: Film Connection.

6) Real Job Placement Assistance.

Once you graduate, you won’t be left on your own. For up to a full year after graduation, our Stay Connected Program actively works with you to help you find gainful employment in the film industry. (But guess what? You might not even need our help. Many of our apprentices get hired through their mentors.) “Job placement” at other schools means handing you a cold-call lead list when you graduate. Advantage: Film Connection.

7) Become an “Insider” While You Learn.

Most film students have to go pounding on doors after they graduate. Things don’t work that way around here. With the Atlanta Film Connection, you’re in the door from day one of your training, because we put you inside a real film production company from day one. This covers one of the greatest hurdles most filmmakers face—getting someone on the “inside” to pay attention to them! As you apprentice (extern) on-the-job, you become an industry insider; it’s that simple. You’re the one actually being considered for the job while those other film school folks are outside pounding on the doors. The other guys are on the outside, looking in. Advantage: Film Connection.

8) Free Tutoring.

If you get stumped with an assignment and need help, and your mentor isn’t around, “who you gonna call?” Call us! We provide unlimited free tutoring to all our students. Unlimited free tutoring. Advantage: Film Connection.

9) Genuine Industry Connections.

The dirty little secret of the film industry (well, it’s not really a secret) is that connections are everything in this business. No matter how skilled you are at what you do, you won’t get anywhere in the film industry without connections. This is one of the greatest advantages of the Film Connection. We put you in the heart of the action, where the film professionals spend their time—and that’s where you’ll be going to school for the next six months. This means you’ll be in regular contact with hundreds of industry pros—the people who can one day hire you. Real world film industry connections. Big Advantage: Film Connection.

10) The Path to Hollywood Starts Here.

Here’s something you’ll never hear another film school offer you: a real chance to break into Hollywood with your own film! The curriculum at the Chicago Film Connection is designed to guide you through the development of your own film idea. At the end of your apprenticeship (externship), when you’re ready to make your move, we’ll arrange a meeting in Los Angeles with actual industry executives, where you’ll have the chance to pitch your film! (They don’t call us the Film Connection for nothing—we’ve got connections in L.A., too!) A real chance to break into Hollywood. Big Advantage: Film Connection. NO OTHER FILM SCHOOL DOES THIS.

Your CHICAGO, ILLINOIS FILM SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE

While there are several Chicago Film Schools from which to choose, only the FILM CONNECTION gets you working inside an actual Chicago film production company as a film student apprentice (extern), where you will learn directing, producing, editing, camera, screenwriting or general production by working alongside the pros. Hands down, the smartest way to break into the film business in Chicago is to start inside a Chicago film production company as a film apprentice (extern). We’re the school that puts you there. Why spend 50 thousand dollars or more to go to film school at a traditional film trade school? Our film school alternative costs far less, and gets you educated right in a real production company–the smartest, most cost effective way to get a film education. Be smart, learn from the pros, and get connected as you get educated. The FILM CONNECTION of Chicago can help you realize your dreams without breaking the bank. To APPLY for our Chicago Film School, click here. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS is the country’s 3rd largest DMA, behind only New York and Los Angeles. The city is rich in sports history, playing host to the Chicago Cubs and White Sox in baseball, the Bulls in basketball, the Bears in the NFL and the Blackhawks in the NHL. From a media perspective, all four networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) own and operate major Chicago TV stations, and of course, the Oprah Winfrey Network is headquartered here. Notable figures in the film and TV industries who were born in Chicago include Walt Disney, Harrison Ford, John Cusack, John Mahoney, Quincy Jones, Pat Sajak, Robin Williams and Benny Goodman. The “Windy City” also boasts a rich history in film; a little known fact is that Chicago was America’s largest filmmaking hub before Hollywood assumed the title. Film icon Charlie Chaplin launched his career in Chicago, working for pioneering film company Essenay Studios alongside Gloria Swanson before moving to Los Angeles. In the 1980s, Chicago saw a rebirth of filmmaking under the leadership of Mayor Jane Byne, and since that time, thousands of films and TV shows have been filmed in and around Chicago. Here’s just a sampling of them:
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • The Dark Knight
  • Wanted
  • Flatliners
  • A League of Their Own
  • Cheaper By the Dozen
  • The Fugitive
  • Prison Break (TV Series)
  • Divergent
  • Chicago Fire (TV Series)
  • Chicago P.D. (TV Series)
  • Public Enemies
  • The Blues Brothers
  • Save the Last Dance
  • Road to Perdition
The rapid pace and high volume of TV and film production in the city allows the FILM CONNECTION to offer its Chicago film students exceptional opportunities to learn one-on-one from a working professional mentor in a real film production company in Chicago. The other film schools will stick you in a classroom; we train you on-the-job, where you can actually connect to the film industry. With strong professional connections and relationships forged over the years, the FILM CONNECTION is in a unique position to help fulfill our students’ dreams of a career in the film and television industries—and that’s just the start. With our structured curriculum and your mentor’s help, you can even develop your own film idea, and then the FILM CONNECTION will arrange for you to pitch your film to real LA film industry executives! Between our comprehensive on-the-job training and unprecedented opportunities to make connections both in Chicago and Hollywood, it’s little wonder that the FILM CONNECTION’s mentor-apprentice (extern) approach is endorsed by some of the biggest names in the film industry! Enroll today, and let us get you on the path to your dreams. 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.

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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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Contact the Chicago Film Connection


155 North Wacker Drive--4250
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 878-4470

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

Recording, Radio, Film Connection & CASA Schools is licensed by the State of Tennessee Higher Education Commission.