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This is your
Dayton Classroom

Whether in-person or online. Real filmmaking education. Real film industry connections.
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In Dayton

Get started with a virtual tour of an Ohio externship location. Or call us for more information at 800-600-6956.


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

Programs

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

Film Production & Editing Details

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

Cinematography Details

Workshops

The screenwriter is the person who creates, takes, or adapts an idea and formulates a screenplay. Without the writer, there would be no movie. Period. He or she is the starting gate. He or she is the person who gets the ball rolling down the hill.
 
In the Film Connection for Screenwriting workshop, you will learn the elements that make for a “Killer Script” by developing and writing your own feature length screenplay under the direction and mentorship of a working professional screenwriter.

Screenwriting Details

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

Film Editing Details

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Film Connection is:
film education upgraded for the 21st century
Watch to learn why:


Dayton

Film Connection Locations

Real World
Film Education

From directing to producing to editing and screenwriting, our mentor-taught programs avoid the unnecessary costs and unrelated requirements of ordinary film schools and programs. Work directly with an accomplished industry filmmaker at a film production company or receive direct one-on-one training online.

Tuition
Comparison

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

 

Learn More About Tuition

 

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

Trade
School

$44,000 Tuition
$61,000 Loan Interest

2-Year
Junior College

$22,000 Tuition
$20,500 Loan Interest

4-Year
Traditional College

$88,000 Tuition
$122,000 Loan Interest

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

About Our Dayton 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 careers in the film industry. Your mentor will guide you through proper etiquette during real film shoots.

Making Movies

We believe the whole point of going to any film school or certificate program should be to learn how to make movies—especially YOUR movie. Our Film Production & Editing curriculum is designed around this concept, from start to finish.

What is the Next Step?

We get it. This isn’t your normal four-year college requiring coursework not associated with your area of interest. We are a post-secondary institution or trade school that's different in its approach. Here's how you can get more info:


Request Information Externship Location Call Admissions

Meet our Mentors

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

John Lafia Dayton Mentor

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John Lafia Dayton 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)

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Brian Dryden Dayton Mentor

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Brian Dryden Dayton Mentor

Background

Clients: The North Face, Cherokee Sports, LSU

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Peter Foldy Dayton Mentor

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Peter Foldy Dayton 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 Dayton Mentor

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Eric Abrams Dayton 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 Dayton Mentor

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Monty Mickelson Dayton 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 Dayton Mentor

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Daniela Larsen Dayton 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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Ryan E. Heppe Dayton Mentor

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Ryan E. Heppe Dayton 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 Dayton Mentor

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Wade Marshall Dayton 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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Jon Reiss Dayton Mentor

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Jon Reiss Dayton 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 Dayton Mentor

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Rick Dahl Dayton 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 Dayton Mentor

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Jana Sue Memel Dayton 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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Dayton News

Should You Storyboard?

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Film Connection student Arronn Lepperman Learns the Craft of Screenwriting

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Location Management: How Camera and Location Departments Work Together

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What Do To When Art Institute Closes

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Looking In Weird Places

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The Upside of Side Projects

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Which Books are Good to Adapt?

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Why Manners Matter in Music, Film, and TV

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The Film Scene in Dayton

The Dayton, Ohio Film Connection Film School Alternative

Learn to Direct in Dayton!

Strolling along the Miami River in downtown Dayton, young lovers talk about the rest of their lives together. Or maybe they’re planning a three-state crime spree. Perhaps these two are spies discussing what went wrong during the last assignment. As a film director, it’s your job to bring the story – whatever that story may be – to life.

The Film Connection for Film Production & Editing film directing program will place you in a real-world Dayton production company where you’ll work one-on-one with your mentor on all aspects of directing. This means you won’t have to move to Los Angeles, New York, or even Cincinnati or Columbus to get the education you need to become a director.

Learning how to block, set up a boom, or any of the other 101 things a director does on the set is only part of the education. Our most successful graduates made themselves available. During this eight-month program, our externs will be on the set learning about grips, gaffers, and getting the most out of the on-screen talent. Whether it was a 30-minute shoot or on location for an entire day. No matter the situation, they came ready to work.

That willingness to work pays off. One of the biggest advantages you’ll get with Film Connection is the opportunity to work with people already in the industry. Impress them on the set and they’ll remember your name. They won’t bother to learn your name if you spend all day on your phone.

“I mean, the program is awesome,” graduate Rob Chiola said. “I recommend it to everybody because these connections that I’ve made are going to be worth a thousand times the price for the tuition.”

Oh yeah – the tuition. In addition to real-world experience and valuable networking opportunities, the cost is more than 90 percent less of some 4-year universities. Because our program is only nine months long, you’ll save time and money with Film Connection.

Creating a Killer Script

Before that couple makes their way down to the river, someone has to give them a reason to be there. When you enroll in the Film Connection Screenwriting Workshop, you’ll be the one who makes the decisions for the lovers, gangsters, or spies.

Our externs work remotely with a professional writer to help craft a “Killer Script.” These are the scripts that never leave the executive’s office, the scripts that get optioned, the scripts that get made. It doesn’t matter if you are already an accomplished writer or have never written anything more than a grocery list.

“It’s really incredible how much better I feel my understanding of story structure has gotten in this short time,” Film Connection extern Vanessa Pazmino says. “My mentor has offered to help me see my screenplay through to the final act and will allow me to seek his advice in the future. He has given me a real sense of confidence for the future of my writing.”

During this workshop, our externs will have one-on-one conversations a few times a week to discuss everything between “Once upon a time” and “The End.” Studying the classics and working to understand why they continue to entertain generation after generation.

The importance of clearly defined acts, how to develop a character, and writing dialogue that sings are just a few screenwriting facets that our externs discuss with their mentors. And while Film Connection covers much more when it comes to writing a screenplay, you’ll also learn non-writing aspects of a script.

Formatting the script, finding someone to read your screenplay, even becoming a member of the Writers Guild of America are important facets that will help you on your journey to becoming a screenwriter. Film Connection will give you the tools – it’s up to you how they will be used.

Learn Filmmaking in the Real World in Dayton with The Film Connection Approach

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 Dayton 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 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!

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

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 our film school alternative including everything from how to develop a story idea, to writing a pitch and pitching professionally, to writing a treatment.

Located in southwest Ohio just north of Cincinnati along I-75, the city of Dayton is home to over 150,000 people. Known as the “Birthplace of aviation” (the Wright Brothers were from this area), aerospace remains a key part of Dayton’s economy, mainly centered around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This area is no stranger to the entertainment industry, either; a number of entertainment pros have hailed from Dayton, including film producer Mel Epstein, actors Martin Sheen, Jonathan Winters and Chad and Rob Lowe, and Veggie Tales creator Mike Nawrocki. Additionally, Dayton benefits from Ohio’s generous tax incentives for filmmakers, which draw plenty of productions to the area. If you are looking for a career in filmmaking as a film director, film producer, film editor, or cameraman, you’ll find a surprising amount of opportunity to learn in the Dayton area, as opposed to relocating elsewhere–and Film Connection can help you connect with those opportunities.

Major movies, commercials, TV shows and documentaries are filmed in Dayton and surrounding areas on a regular basis. Some of the movies that have done location shooting in Dayton and vicinity include: Street Dreams, Immortally Yours, The Dream Catcher, The Manson Family, Rain Man, It Takes Two, Eight Men Out, and the classic Harper Valley P.T.A., just to name a few.

With numerous professional connections and relationships we’ve forged over the years, Film Connection is in a unique position to help you jumpstart your career in the film and TV industry. Our original, hands-on, one-on-one, on-the-job method of teaching (the mentor/extern approach), equips you with the skills you need while helping you make valuable industry contacts. Come find out why so many Film Connection graduates go on to have a career in film and TV, and are often hired even before they finish Film Connection! Enroll in our Dayton film school alternative today, and let us get you started!

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 real-world method works.

Mark Kohn

Marc is an accomplished executive with a consistent record of managing costs, measuring progress with metrics and creating operational efficiencies. He’s a thoughtful and enthusiastic professional possessing the ability to create a vision, gain executive alignment and effectively lead dynamic high performance teams for success.

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Jason Hewitt

Jason Hewitt, a native of Louisiana, left the technology industry to join the film and television industry. Hewitt was an early mover in the Internet economy, founding the website creation and marketing management company Planet Symphony in 1994.

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David Fuhrer

David’s stage and studio clients include: Bravo, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, Sex & The City, American Cancer Society, Clairol, Law & Order – Criminal Intent, Amazon, Verizon, VH1, The History Channel, MTV, Director’s Guild of America and many many more.

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ICM Partners

and RRF have donated to the Hide & Seek Foundation’s SOAR (Support of Accelerated Research).

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Carl Millender

Carl Millender born in Shreveport, Louisiana on March 5, 1970 is a pioneer in the film and television industry. In 1990 Carl Millender became a cultural consultant for NBC’s new programs, including “The Fresh Prince of Bel-air”, “Seinfeld”…

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Brian Glazen

Equal parts MacGyver, Steven Spielberg and Gandhi, Brian has ideas. Ideas about marketing, ideas about communication and ideas about fixing just about anything that might be broken. When he’s not sharing his ideas with clients you can usually find him fixing things at his own home or eagerly searching for things that may need fixing…

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Sam Borowski

“Film Connection truly is the ‘Film School of Hard Knocks.’ It helps new students to gain experience and network and teaches one thing I always preach to young filmmakers: practicality. It gives new students and would-be filmmakers, writers and editors, a chance to connect personally with their mentors.”

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Alex Keledjian

Producer of Project Greenlight

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Richard Berg

Richard Berg is an Art Director’s Guild and Emmy nominated Production Designer. He is responsible for the Production Design of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Eleventh Hour, Miami Medical, Chase and Modern Family. Berg is also an architect.

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Jeff Kushon

Great program. I’m proud to be a part of it.” Jeff has worked on over 200 film sets and has been a Set Decorator on hit movies, “Dude Where’s My Car”, “Nurse Betty”, “Blade 2”, “Beautiful”, “She’s All That” as well as TV shows “Modern Family”, “Trust Me” and “Miami Medical”.

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Luis Estrada

“Our first extern in this program was put right in the middle of the action and it was amazing how he was able to learn by doing. This Film Connection is great for people with a sincere interest in this field. Our extern turned out to be a reliable resource and we hope his experience […]

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Matt Pellowski

“Being paired with working professionals and established companies allows up-and-coming artists to learn on the job, introduces them to the realities of film production, and helps them acquire the tools needed to become successful. Two of our current staff are graduates of the Film Connection.”

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

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