This is your
Cleveland 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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Cleveland

Film Connection Film Institute
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In Cleveland

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


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 Cleveland 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?

Greg Freeman Cleveland Mentor

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Greg Freeman Cleveland Mentor

Background

Greg Freeman is an award-winning Director of Photography with nearly two decades in news, sports, entertainment, special programming, documentaries, and commercials. Greg has directed projects for nearly every major television network including ABC, Discovery, ESPN, HBO, HGTV, NBC, PBS, and more.

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Matt Jeppsen Cleveland Mentor

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Matt Jeppsen Cleveland Mentor

Background

The Flying Dutchman, The Launch, Less Cowbell, One in a Million

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Steve Riach Cleveland Mentor

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Steve Riach Cleveland Mentor

Background

Steve is an award winning producer, director and writer of over 250 films, documentaries, television shows and home video properties, including specials from the Olympics, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA and NCAA Championships, and college football bowl games.

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Avery Williams Cleveland Mentor

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Avery Williams Cleveland Mentor

Background

Avery O. Williams works steadily in both the film and theater worlds. He is the co-writer of the feature film Directing Eddie starring Valerie Perrine and Jade Barrymore, directed by Lawrence Kaldor which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was voted Best Comedy at the 2001 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. He wrote and directed the industrial film for the City of Atalanta entitled Surviving Domestic Violence and he wrote and co-produced the film short The Willie Witch Projects, which was showcased at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and is distributed by Trimark Pictures in their compilation entitled The Bogus Witch Project. Other short subject screenplays that have been made into films include Notes In A Minor Key, The Willie Witch Projects and The Chocolate Factory, Part 1.

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Harry Findysz Cleveland Mentor

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Harry Findysz Cleveland Mentor

Background

“The Film Connection Program uses real world people to mentor real world jobs.”

-Harry Findysz, Tucson, Arizona, Southern Arizona Video Productions

Producer of Live Television, Music Videos, Documentaries, Winner of Ashbury Best Music Documentary 2016 Linda Chorney The Cantina

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Logan Hale Cleveland Mentor

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Logan Hale Cleveland Mentor

Background

Logan is a lifelong filmmaker. With 8 years of experience in Event and Experiential Marketing, Logan has a passion for communicating the brand message and essence with artistic quality and creativity.

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Tom Malloy Cleveland Mentor

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Tom Malloy Cleveland Mentor

Background

The Alphabet Killer, Love N’ Dancing, The Attic, Hero of the Underworld, Law & Order: SVU

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Jason Jackson Cleveland Mentor

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Jason Jackson Cleveland Mentor

Background

Past productions include LMN’s Monstresses; Investigation Discovery’s Cuff Me If You Can; America’s Most Haunted and UFO’s Crashed my Vacation; America’s Most Secret and I Faked My Own Death for Discovery; National Geographic’s 42 Ways to Kill Hitler and Don’t Try This At Home; Vampire Secrets and Ancient Ink for The History Channel; Las Vegas Bikers for truTV; Weather Channel’s Full Force Nature; True Confessions for WE-TV as well as Beyond Death and Investigative Reports for A&E.

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Matthew Temple Cleveland Mentor

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Matthew Temple Cleveland Mentor

Background

“All aspects of filmmaking are primarily experiential, so a program like this one gives the students what they need most- the opportunity to DO.” — Matthew Temple, Producer of “The Advocate” and Universal’s “Dragon Nest: Warriors’ Dawn”

Matthew Temple has long stood at the crossroads of art and social action–his work and passion split between telling stories and participating in the creation of new paradigms wherein new stories for the future can be created. As a storyteller, he works as a screenwriter, director, producer and actor.  As a social entrepreneur, he is the founder and president of the non-profit WeStrive, where he is the executive director of the Wandering Reel Traveling Film Festival. Temple is currently VP of Production and Development for Mili Pictures Worldwide.

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Nick Kielhold Cleveland Mentor

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Nick Kielhold Cleveland Mentor

Background

Nick is your basic military brat. Except for the fact that neither of his parents were actually in the military. But, like many military families, his family moved several times during his youth, living in Omaha, Chicago, and Minneapolis among other places. And although he wasn’t living on military bases, he developed a deep interest in History, and all things military. Ask him about the Battle of Tarawa in 1943, and you may just get an entire lesson on the Pacific Theater of World War II. When he’s not painting tanks for his war game simulations, Nick works here. He shoots video. He edits video. He talks about World War II. A lot. Anyone who comes into contact with Nick will become much better versed in the history of mankind and all the wars it has produced over the years. Nick provided 50% of the formula that founded Full Effect Productions over 18 years ago, and has played a vital role in its success. Nick is a 1987 graduate of the University of South Dakota, and his previous experience includes working at a local TV station as Commercial Videographer/Producer. Not taking a cue from his parents, Nick has decided to keep his family in one city, and has called Sioux City, Iowa home since 1988. He has a wife of 29 years and an adult son and daughter. In his free time, Nick can be found studiously painting small military ships, tanks and airplanes. He has amassed large numbers of these items that comprise entire military units used for battles at the MAGECON gaming convention. He’s a film buff who’s recently installed home theater has him positively giddy, and hardly ever seeing daylight.

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Ryan Kindahl Cleveland Mentor

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Ryan Kindahl Cleveland Mentor

Background

Documentaries, Music Videos, Commercials

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Cleveland News

Network Like Never Before with Top Tips from RRFC Mentors

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Grab That Gig: Work-Grabbing Methods for Filmmakers

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Resolve to Make Effective New Year’s Resolutions with These 5 Tips

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The Power of a Sh_tty First Draft

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What Makes a Good Love Scene?

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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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The Film Scene in Cleveland

The Cleveland, Ohio Film Connection Film School Alternative

Film Connection’s approach specializes in pairing our students with professional filmmakers who give them real-world experience at their own studios, on-location, and at production companies across the Cleveland area.

Film Connection for Cinematography is suited for aspiring DPs i.e. Cinematographers. Film professionals in this role are the director’s partner and are charged with planning the shots, running the crew, and achieving the desired visual aesthetic. As an apprentice (extern) cinematographer, we pair you with a working DP who can show you the tricks of the trade and help you develop the keen “eye of the DP,” which is something best learned by doing and that’s what we’re all about!

The Film Connection for Film Production & Editing program enables you to study inside a real film production company in your city as you develop your movie idea under the instruction of a professional filmmaker. Our curriculum covers numerous aspects of professional filmmaking including: shot blocking, working with actors, lighting, grip and electric, interviewing, how to “make your day.” Story development and writing are also part of the program including everything from how to develop a story idea, to writing a pitch and pitching professionally, to writing a treatment. Budgeting, financing, deal-making, standard contracts, permits and licensing are also covered.

To apply for Film Connection at one of our externship location studios, click here.

Did you know CLEVELAND, OHIO is the 17th largest DMA in the U.S? It is home to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Baseball Hall of Fame in nearby Canton. One-time Cleveland DJ Alan Freed is widely credited with coining the phrase “rock and roll” to describe the new form of music that was taking over the airwaves. Cleveland was the location of the first rock and roll concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball in 1952. Fittingly, the authorities shut it down after the first song.

Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel grew up in Cleveland, where together they contrived the idea for the man of steel. Cleveland has served as the location for many feature films, including The Fortune Cookie, Deer Hunter, Antwone Fisher and the holiday favorite A Christmas Story. Many scenes for Spider-Man 3 were filmed in Cleveland. The city was also the setting for the popular sitcom, The Drew Carey Show. Altogether there are more than 215 feature films, TV series or specials made in Cleveland. Besides Drew Carey, other famous Celebrities born in Cleveland include Halle Berry, Arsenio Hall, Andy Warhol and Debra Winger.

Fittingly, Film Connection offers Cleveland students award-winning courses in both TV and Film. Whether you plan on being a director, producer, writer, DP, camera operator, editor, etcetera, Film Connection can provide you with mentor/apprentice programs to suit your needs. Within approximately six to nine months, a student will have the opportunity to make real industry connections and acquire real-world, on the job experience.

To apply for our Cleveland film school alternative, 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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