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?

Ricky Lapkin Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Ricky Lapkin Des Moines-Ames 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.

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Mark Roos Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Mark Roos Des Moines-Ames 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

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Richard Brandes Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Richard Brandes Des Moines-Ames 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.

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Paul Guay Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Paul Guay Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Shrinking Violet

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Steve Rausch Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Steve Rausch Des Moines-Ames 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.

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Adam Weber Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Adam Weber Des Moines-Ames 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.

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Mike Domgard Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Mike Domgard Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Credits: Blur Parties, Lincoln Promo Video, Inner Thoughts

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Aimee Schoof Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Aimee Schoof Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Aimee Schoof is an entertainment executive, producer, and co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films with Isen Robbins. She has produced more than 30 feature films that have premiered either at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Toronto, Venice, New Directors/New Films, and Berlin.

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Dean Baker Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Dean Baker Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

Projects range from Multi-camera Live Webcasting to National TV Ads for Good Neighbor Pharmacies, Regulator Boats, and Product launches airing on Lifetime, The Learning Channel and The Golf Channel.

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Ryan Heppe Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Ryan Heppe Des Moines-Ames 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.

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Karl Koelling Des Moines-Ames Mentor

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Karl Koelling Des Moines-Ames Mentor

Background

I began TAPROOT with a passion to create inspiring film and video content that would move people and maybe even make the world a little bit better place. There are projects that TAPROOT pursues and develops based on our interests, but I’m a firm believer that we all have our callings, and that collectively we can have the biggest impact. As a result, TAPROOT partners with businesses, agencies, and other organizations that are doing important work, helping them tell their stories and share their ideas through cinematic filmmaking.

Our team has a multi-disciplinary background that enables us to understand and compellingly translate your messages and ideas to the visual medium of film and video, and we create and execute projects of varying scale from start to finish. I run TAPROOT and provide direction on all our projects, which include: story-based branded content, television commercials, web based video of all sorts, and film series.

If you care about how you’re presenting your work to the world and want to do so in an honest, inspiring manner – we’d make a good match.

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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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