This is your
Des Moines-Ames Classroom

Real filmmaking education. Real film industry connections.
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Visit a Film Production Company
In Des Moines-Ames

Get started with a tour of an Iowa externship location. Or call us for more information at 800-295-4433.


Please fill out the following information, and Admissions will contact you:

* 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 inside a real film production company in your city 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.

Film Editing Details

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Des Moines-Ames

Film Connection Locations

Our "Near Me" Des Moines-Ames Filmmaker Locations

  • Beaverdale
  • Meredith
  • Magnolia Park
  • Drake
  • Capitol East
  • Sterling Trace
  • Laurel Hill
  • East Village
  • Jordan Park
  • South Park
  • Allenview
  • Tullamore Glenn
  • Helena
  • Northridge
  • Edwards
  • Marquisville
  • Pleasant Hill
  • West Des Moines
  • Urbandale
  • Ankeny
  • Elkhart
  • Cambridge
  • Huxley
Schedule a Tour

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 film production company.

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
$12,750** 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 Des Moines-Ames 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 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?

Ryan Kindahl Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Ryan Kindahl Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Documentaries, Music Videos, Commercials

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Derek Koen Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Derek Koen Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Washington Koen Media Productions is a full-service media production company specializing in video productions, streaming video solutions, presentations and audio/visual support for organizations both large and small. Whether corporate video presentations, documentaries, live streaming of meetings, or web streaming solutions, our highly-skilled and creative team- with over 20 years of combined experience – using today's latest tools and technology, can produce quality results for your company

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Brian Glazen Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Brian Glazen Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

In 2013, Brian Glazen co-produced an independent film called Fishing Without Nets. This film went on to win for Best Direction at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and recently sold to Twentieth Century Fox for distribution to theaters nation wide.

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Laura Scheiner Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Laura Scheiner Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Seasoned film development executive, writer and script consultant with exceptional story development and script analysis skills. As a development executive I’m particularly adept at pinpointing the problems in a script and coming up with creative solutions. I’m a passionate collaborator who creates a fertile environment where writers can bloom and scripts can meet their potential.

As a writer for hire I pride myself as bringing my story sense, knowledge, talent and unbridled imagination to the table in order to bring the producer’s vision to life.

As a storyteller I always aim to entertain, engage, surprise, move and provoke.

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Craig Constant Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Craig Constant Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Craig Constant is an Executive Producer at Constant66 Films. After leaving the Marine Corps, he worked as a Photojournalist/Editor for the Fox News Channel for close to seven years. Since then, he’s worked as a Sound Technician, Production Sound Mixer, Camera Operator and Director of Photography.

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Michael Van Orden Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Michael Van Orden Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Credits: Being Doug, Called to Serve, The Washing, Spit

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Albert Dabah Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Albert Dabah Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Albert has been in the video production business for thirty-three years, owning and running Simba Productions in New York City.

Clients: CNN, HBO, Apple

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Bob Kelley Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Bob Kelley Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Clients: Discovery Canada, PBS, UCDavis, Associated Press, Fox News, Blackstone Media, NBC Universal

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Marc Silber Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Marc Silber Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

With a background in visual media, director Marc Silber has interviewed scores of entrepreneurs, CEOs and creative professionals over the years. His interview series has received hearty praise and has helped countless business leaders and artists tell their story.

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Craig Roessler Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Craig Roessler Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

A film and television studio executive and producer for over twenty years, Craig has directly overseen, managed, and/or produced 25 films and seven network series with budgets totaling over $500 million. 

Craig is known for his project-management skills, having close working relationships with talent and directors, producing big looking, studio-quality content on tight budgets, quickly providing workable solutions for development and production issues, and completing projects on time, on budget.

As Senior Vice President of Production, Programming and Creative Affairs for MGM Television Worldwide Inc., Craig had direct oversight of all content development, and oversaw pre-production, production, post-production, while working with business & legal affairs, marketing, and promotion. His MGM product was nominated for 10 Emmy awards and numerous others including DGA, Golden Globes, PGA and SAG awards. 

He oversaw studio projects such as the series Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: Universe, Dead Like Me, and The L Word, as well as Showtime Movies Inherit the Wind, Twelve Angry Men, In the Time of the Butterflies, That Championship Season, and Rocky Marciano, which opened the Monte Carlo Film Festival. Craig has worked with a wide range of talent, from well-established actors and directors to breaking new talent. 

Craig grew up in Los Angeles and Colorado, working summers on ranches breaking and training western saddle horses. He attended Columbia University, working his way through school as an actor on NBC’s soap opera “Another World,” while learning production work skills for quick, quality content.

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Kel Thompson Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Kel Thompson Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

America’s Production Company was established in 2005 by Kel Thompson who has degrees in photography & advertising from Texas State University. Kel is also a graduate of the Palm Beach Film School. Kel was first published in photography at 17 years old in TX. Kel worked for News24Houston as their first helicopter videographer, before being hired by a major event production company in Florida. Two years later he established America’s Production Company after learning the ropes in photo, video, audio and event production.

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Des Moines-Ames 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 Des Moines-Ames

The Des Moines-Ames, Iowa Film Connection Film School Alternative

Want to Learn Directing in Des Moines?

As the director of a movie, TV show, short, or commercial, you’re the PIC – person in charge. It’s up to you to have the vision to bring a screenplay or treatment to life and to rally everyone to be the best that they can be for a single scene or more than 12 hours of shooting.

But we’ve all heard stories about actors that are supposed to be… difficult to work with. How you manage those egos, as well as your own, is just one aspect of The Film Connection Film Director Program. The first step is to rid your mind of preconceived notions.

Learning to set the tone in that first meeting, first table read, and first day of shooting can go a long way to making the production more enjoyable for everyone. Friction between a director and actor is just the first of a long line of dominos.

After it falls, everything else could follow suit as the everything else may follow suit. If everyone is walking on eggshells, or worse picking sides, it will be a miserable experience for everyone. As the director, it’s your job to manage these personalities. Know when to push back of course, but maybe leave the bullwhip at home.

There is much more to learn about being a director, and Film Connection gives you the opportunity to learn one-on-one with a seasoned pro as your mentor. Working with a film production company, our externs learn every fact of filmmaking. And a big part of any production is making sure everyone feels relaxed, safe, and ready to work.

Learn Screenwriting in Des Moines by Working 1-on-1 with an Experienced Filmmaker.

There’s an adage when it comes to producing a script: write what you know. Are you a Des Moines history buff? Perhaps a drama involving a young family during The Flood of 1851 as they triumph over long odds. Or a tense thriller set in the middle of one of the largest insurance hubs in the world.

So you probably weren’t alive in 1851 and just as unlikely a high-powered executive in a worldwide insurance firm. But those two scenarios will help you decide what kind of screenplay you’ll be writing. One of the lessons in The Film Connections Screenwriting Workshop is what kind of theme/genre you’ll be writing to.

Drama, thriller, comedy, or horror are all examples of genres while triumphing over adversity or good vs. evil are themes. Every good script has one of each and your mentor will help you find which works best for your story. And so much more.

You will be collaborating remotely with an industry professional as your mentor as a Film Connection extern. That means you’ll have the opportunity to discuss character development, dialogue, writing actions and descriptions, and the importance of all three acts.

As you near a finished product, our mentors will explain the final steps of selling your script, getting an agent, and even becoming a member of the Writers Guild of America. You’ll get everything you need to make a start in the industry. The rest is up to you.

To APPLY for our Des Moines-Ames film school alternative, click here.

Des Moines Does Filmmaking, Commercials, Television and so can You!

Located in central Iowa, Des Moines is the state capital of Iowa, as well as its largest city–hosting a population of nearly 200,000 people in a greater metropolitan area of over half a million. About a half hour to the north, Ames is home to around 57,000 people. Together, the two cities anchor a media market that encompasses 35 counties in central Iowa. The Des Moines-Ames area is home to several film or television production companies, and sees quite a bit of film activity; additionally, it is within driving range of other metropolitan areas such as Kansas City, St. Louis and the Quad Cities area, making it a good central hub for location filmmaking. If you are considering a career in filmmaking as a film director, film producer, film editor, or cameraman, FILM CONNECTION can help you tap into the resources available in this area so you don’t have to relocate somewhere else.

The Des Moines-Ames area and surrounding locales have played host to numerous major film productions, which include The Experiment, Dead Awake, Peacock, Field of Dreams, and Twister, just to name a few. Iowa State University in Ames was one of the film sites for the oft-mentioned 2008 documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed starring Ben Stein. The Des Moines-Ames area has also seen its share of television filming, including episodes of Cops, The Biggest Loser and others.

As you can see, the current filmmaking landscape of this area makes it a surprising choice for aspiring film students–and FILM CONNECTION can put you right in the middle of it by hooking you up with a working professional in the Des Moines-Ames film or television industry. This person will serve as your mentor/instructor during our six-month program, giving you valuable hands-on experience and helping you make valuable connections.  No wonder 70 percent of our graduates find permanent jobs in the industry. You could be next! Enroll in Des Moines-Ames FILM CONNECTION’s film school alternative today.

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 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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