This is your
Grand Rapids 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 ordinary film schools and programs. Work directly with an accomplished industry filmmaker at a fully-equipped film production company.

Programs

You will study inside a real film production company in your city as you develop your movie idea with a professional 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.

Film Production & Editing 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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Grand Rapids

Film Connection Locations

Our "Near Me" Grand Rapids Filmmaker Locations

  • Alger Heights
  • Creston
  • Eastgate
  • Oakdale
  • Heartside
  • Heritage Hill
  • North Quarter
  • Arcadia
  • Burke Acres
  • Westwood
  • Parkview Hills
  • Urbandale
  • Merritt
  • Post/Franklin
  • Springfield
  • East Grand Rapids
  • Wyoming
  • Kentwood
  • Shelbyville
  • Plainwell
  • Portage
  • Comstock Township
  • Climax
Schedule a Tour
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In Grand Rapids

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


  • Personal Details
  • More Info
  • Tuition

Contact Information

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More Info

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 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
$12,200 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 Grand Rapids 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?

Ivan Alzuro Grand Rapids Mentor

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Ivan Alzuro Grand Rapids Mentor

Background

“Unlike the local University, Film Connection sends us committed and focused students. We have turned 1 student into full-time contractor – that says it all!” Request an Invitation

Daniel Lir Grand Rapids Mentor

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Daniel Lir Grand Rapids Mentor

Background

Dream Team Directors is a prestigious directorial team founded by Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir. Their company motto, “Let our dream team manifest your dream”, symbolizes the expansion and positive attention they win for their celebrity and high-profile brand clients and collaborators such as Adidas, MTV, Coldplay, P. Diddy, Smashbox Cosmetics, Atlantic Records, Chrome Hearts, Oscar De La Renta, Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo, Golden Globe nominee Anthony Mackie, Matt Bennett of the “Big Bang Theory” and Lea Michele of Fox’s “Glee.” Request an Invitation

Rocco Michaluk Grand Rapids Mentor

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Rocco Michaluk Grand Rapids Mentor

Background

Michaluk has been creating award winning Film & TV productions for over 15 years. His Film Clients include Columbia Pictures, Indian PaintBrush, PBS, NBC, American Empirical Pictures and Fountainbrush Films. His Television clients include NBC, Television Academy / Emmy’s, MTV, Viacom, E! Entertainment, CBS, ABC, Travel Channel, Leftfield Pictures, PETA, and others. Request an Invitation

Alejandra Huerta Grand Rapids Mentor

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Alejandra Huerta Grand Rapids Mentor

Background

Alejandra Huerta specializes in On-Screen Promotions, Executive Presentation Tapes and Sizzle Reels. She started her career with Andromeda in Miami offering Production Services to MTV Latin America as an editor for on-air promotions. She then relocated to New York where she became a successful producer and editor for Viacom and NBC Universal. After her professional experience in NY she relocated to Florida where she continues to manage, produce and edit projects at Andromeda Productions. Request an Invitation

Joaquin Palma Grand Rapids Mentor

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Joaquin Palma Grand Rapids Mentor

Background

“The thing I admire most about the program is that it pairs you with people doing the job that you are aspiring to do. In doing that, I feel it gets rid of the “glamour” that people associate with this business, and helps them realize that it is, in fact, A JOB. It takes hard work, a lot of practice and a sincere courtesy towards one’s colleagues to get ahead and stay relevant; not that tired stereotype of the suffering artist that won’t settle for anything less than his vision of perfection! I don’t think they teach you that at traditional film schools.” — Joaquin Franco Palma Joaquin Franco Palma was born and raised in Los Angeles and is a first-generation American. Having started his career as a production assistant, Joaquin has gone on to become an award winning writer and director of both independent features and TV; most notably, as a staff writer on the Emmy nominated HULU series, EAST LOS HIGH. Aside from writing for the screen, Joaquin is also a published author of fiction and is a youth writing volunteer for the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND and NOSOTROS ORGANIZATION programs. Request an Invitation

Drew Mason Grand Rapids Mentor

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Drew Mason Grand Rapids Mentor

Background

I started getting serious about making videos during summer backpacking trips with my friends between college semesters at Central Michigan University. Shortly after graduating, I was asked to produce a local TV show. I jumped at the opportunity and never looked back. Since then, I’ve produced videos for documentaries, national ad campaigns, and commercials for multinational companies. Recently I was part of a team that produced videos for Lansing’s Silver Bells in the City, and we received an Emmy Award for special event coverage. My introduction to the business wasn’t with videography; I was a wedding DJ for nearly 8 years. Through this experience, I discovered that weddings are not only among my favorite things to be a part of, but also to film. I love capturing the excitement, love, and energy surrounding them. When I’m not editing videos – haha, funny joke – I like to make music. In fact, I serenaded my wife Amanda with my ukulele for our first kiss. True story! I also try to get out to the backcountry wilderness with just a backpack from time to time, especially in beautiful northern Michigan. Request an Invitation

David McClain Grand Rapids Mentor

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David McClain Grand Rapids Mentor

Background

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

Demetria Kalodimos Grand Rapids Mentor

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Demetria Kalodimos Grand Rapids 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 Grand Rapids Mentor

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Grant Salisbury Grand Rapids 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 Grand Rapids Mentor

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Jae Macallan Grand Rapids 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 Grand Rapids Mentor

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Ron Osborn Grand Rapids 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

View Full List

Grand Rapids News

Truffaut: A Brief History

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Five Romantic Movies Nearly Everyone Will Love

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Can Being Too Indie Hurt Your Career?

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Not the Norm: Non-Traditional Roles in Film and TV

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Career Tips 101: From Nice Guy to Right Guy

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The Best Smartphones to Film With

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What French Cinema Has Taught Us

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Network Like Never Before with Top Tips from RRFC Mentors

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The Film Scene in Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids, Michigan Film Connection Film School Alternative

Way back when you had to go to L.A. or New York to get a good film education. Not anymore. We’ve brought the filmmaking experience to you. We’re Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek Film Connection and we’ve partnered up with local filmmakers to offer you what those other schools just can’t: industry exposure and a chance to interface with top Hollywood decision-makers. Our behind-the-scenes track is a thorough 6-month program that hooks you up with working professionals in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, or Battle Creek. At the completion of your studies, you will not only have the real-world exposure that almost all film school grads don’t, but your very own industry contacts for future projects. If you’re brave enough to try our 8-month directors track, you’ll find yourself during your last week on a flight out to Los Angeles to meet with your dream mentor, someone who will prepare you for your own pitch meeting with an industry executive. Get connected today! To APPLY for our Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek Film School, click here. Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek are the three largest cities in southwestern Michigan, hosting a combined population area of over 300,000 people. With plenty of countryside and lakeside scenery, plus major cities like Detroit and Chicago within driving distance, this area is prime for location filming. Add to that the generous tax incentive programs offered by the state of Michigan to attract filmmakers, and you have an area that is very favorable to the film industry. If you are considering a career in filmmaking as a film director, film producer, film editor, or cameraman, the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek area is a surprising alternative to relocating to more typical filmmaking hubs like New York and L.A. This area has seen a good amount of film productions in recent years. Some of the movies that have done location filming in the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek area include Flirting With Disaster, Road to Perdition, Gran Torino, Into the Woods, Blue Collar and The Lake Effect, just to name a few. FILM CONNECTION Film School offers an inexpensive, six month course that will hook you up with a working film or television professional in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids. This person will serve as your personal instructor-mentor, giving you valuable hands-on training while helping you make industry connections that can lead to permanent employment. In fact, over 70% of FILM CONNECTION graduates get hired before or shortly after graduation. Check out our film school alternative, and see what we can do for you! 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 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 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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