This is your
Nashville Classroom

Real filmmaking education. Real film industry connections.
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Visit a Film Production Company
In Nashville

Get started with a tour of a Tennessee externship location. Or call us for more information at (615) 852-5960.


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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 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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Nashville

Film Connection Locations

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 Nashville 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?

Jim Fogarty Nashville Mentor

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Jim Fogarty Nashville Mentor

Background

Jim Fogarty is a writer and producer, known for Waxing Gibbous (2001), Coffee & Donuts (2007) and A Legacy Reborn: The Rebirth of the W.D. Packard Music Hall (2014).

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Dale DeToni Nashville Mentor

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Dale DeToni Nashville Mentor

Background

Owner/Producer, Dale DeToni, began his career thirty years ago when he brought his experience and education from some of Chicago’s largest recording studios to Springfield, with the dream of starting his own media production company.

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Damon Crump Nashville Mentor

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Damon Crump Nashville Mentor

Background

The Millionaire Matchmaker, Risen, Broke Sky, Aliens on the Moon, Endings, Assault on Waco, Telling Stories: The Comic Book Creators, Big Rich Texas

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Mark Gibson Nashville Mentor

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Mark Gibson Nashville Mentor

Background

“As a screenwriting mentor I know that every student like every writer is different.  The Film Connection screenwriting program allows me to work one on one with my students, customizing the curriculum, allowing me to focus on each student’s needs by helping them raise the level of their writing whether it’s their first script or their fiftieth.”

As for credits, I think my two Disney films SNOW DOGS and THE WILD are certainly the most well known. 

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Conrad Denke Nashville Mentor

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Conrad Denke Nashville Mentor

Background

“There is no replacement for actual hands-on experience, and The Film Connection provides opportunities to work closely with our production team and learn what it takes to make it in the production business.” — Conrad Denke

Conrad Denke, film producer/director and CEO/owner of Victory Studios has been in the film and video business for over 30 years. He was co-executive producer and director on the PBS series “National Desk.” Denke has worked on feature films including “Assassins” with Sylvester Stallone, “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” with Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp,  “Santa Who?” with Leslie Nielson, “Boycott” for HBO, “Alone with Her” with Colin Hanks, “Cover” directed by Bill Duke, and “Mr. Warmth: Don Rickels” directed by John Landis. He is currently producing the television series “Band in Seattle” and has several projects in development including “Music for Young People” and “Daredevils and Disasters.”

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Seth Wood Nashville Mentor

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Seth Wood Nashville Mentor

Background

Seth has been working in production since 1998 and has a wide range of refined marketing skills.

With abilities in media marketing and advertising, he is an asset to almost any organization. Seth works with companies and agencies all over the US to produce “brand” friendly marketing pieces that actually generate results. Because of his extreme expertise and experience in graphics, photography, video production, and other media marketing solutions, you can get all your products produced at one boutique advertising location… Seth’s office!

Brands promoted with video projects over the past years include: Microsoft, Avaya Telecommunications, Susan G Koman, Texas Instruments, CAE, Evatran, Oster and many more. Check out the full list of production credits on his new leads generating website.

www.SwoodMedia.com

“I work hard, am deadline savvy, and ready to get YOUR job done right.”

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Ricky Lapkin Nashville Mentor

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Ricky Lapkin Nashville 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 Nashville Mentor

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Mark Roos Nashville 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 Nashville Mentor

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Richard Brandes Nashville 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 Nashville Mentor

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Paul Guay Nashville Mentor

Background

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Shrinking Violet

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Steve Rausch Nashville Mentor

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Steve Rausch Nashville 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.

Request an Invitation

View Full List

Nashville News

Should You Storyboard?

Learn More

Film Connection student Arronn Lepperman Learns the Craft of Screenwriting

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Location Management: How Camera and Location Departments Work Together

Learn More

What Do To When Art Institute Closes

Learn More

Looking In Weird Places

Learn More

The Upside of Side Projects

Learn More

Which Books are Good to Adapt?

Learn More

Why Manners Matter in Music, Film, and TV

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The Film Scene in Nashville

The Nashville, Tennessee Film Connection Film School Alternative

WANT TO LEARN TO BE A FILM DIRECTOR IN NASHVILLE?

Is becoming a working film director one of your major goals in life but find yourself confused or depressed at the lack of options or opportunities? Would you be willing to give it your all to learn how to direct films, documentaries, music videos and even commercial projects but can’t find your way into the film industry? Have you researched lauded film schools like UCLA, USC, AFI, The New School, Art Center, and The Tisch School of the Arts, only to find that even the most affordable on the list are still way out of budget or that attending school on their schedule just won’t work for you?

Well, Film Connection in Nashville does it differently than the rest. While conventional film schools and film programs have their students sitting in class for much of their education, our students spend their time in the industry, working and learning on real projects in-tandem with completing their eBook assignments. Written by working filmmaking professionals, our industry-oriented curricula enable our students to gain the historical and foundational knowledge they need to make the most of their time in the field. With us, it’s possible for aspiring film directors to build relevant knowhow and experience right along with local Nashville television and film industry connections (which are most often times how people get hired in the industry).

YES, YOU CAN STUDY FILMMAKING IN NASHVILLE

Rather than ask you to move across the country to spend what can amount to being tens of thousands of dollars on your filmmaking education, you can become an extern to a working film director or producer right in Nashville, Tennessee. Film Connection mentors are working professionals who earn their living in the industry. If attending lectures and writing papers is more your thing, definitely look into other film schools but if learning by doing and getting to assist on actual projects sounds more your style, consider applying to Film Connection. Since lesson days and times are set-up by you and your mentor, most working professionals find they have the time to both extern in-industry as well as complete their industry-oriented assignments on their own time.

Midsouth Emmy Award Winner (2012) Film Connection mentor Zac Adams has directed and produced dozens of projects at his Nashville-based Skydive Films. Two Film Connection student externs worked on Zac’s Emmy-winning documentary Hunger in America, narrated by James Denton (Desperate Housewives, NCIS, Jag), for which they received mention in the film’s credits right alongside real-world experience. Zac’s subsequent documentary film, Autism in America also enabled our students to gain actual filmmaking experience and to see their names in the credits. Lauded festival documentary film, Iron Will, which shines a light on the effect of PTSD on military veterans, narrated by Billy Bob Thornton, is another film Zac has had Film Connection student externs work on, enabling them to gain professional filmmaking experience and make film industry connections in Nashville.

However earning a spot on Zac’s crew is not easy. The longtime Film Connection mentor does not accept all of the potential externs he interviews in the Nashville area. He asks a lot of those who train with him. In order to make it, he says, “You’ve got to give it 150%. 100% isn’t going to cut it. It’s just too competitive.”

Attention to detail and being committed to doing excellent quality work is something Zac tries to impart to all of the students who train with him. Aspiring film directors who he selects as externs usually work various crew positions, from grip and gaffer, to assistant camera, to line producer and producer. Once a student has demonstrated they’re ready to try their hand at directing a film, commercial, or music video, Zac is more than willing to let them take the reins.

When asked ‘What are the qualities of a good film director’ Zac doesn’t hesitate with a response:

Knowing what you want, specifically, having a very clear and thorough vision of the project, and great communication skills, not only with your cast but with your crew, with your cinematographer, with your editor, with your colorist, sound designer, everybody…Someone that’s prepared, who has a clear vision.

Many of Zac’s former students have been hired by him to work on numerous projects. Many have secured work on shoots through connections they made while training with Zac. Some have even moved to Los Angeles, armed with the credits, experience, and knowledge they’ve attained through his mentorship.

Besides the hands-on training and bookwork Film Connection for Film Production & Editing students receive, they also have the opportunity of learning how to write a well-honed, professional screenplay via one-on-one video conference lessons in which students develop their very own film idea into a finished script that’s ready to pitch.

IF BECOMING A SCREENWRITER IN NASHVILLE IS YOUR PRIMARY GOAL, READ THIS.

If screenwriting is your main interest and learning how to write for the screen is all you want to focus on, there’s a Film Connection workshop you may want to learn more about. Books on screenwriting and how to be a screenwriter are great. But when it comes to mastering the process of screenwriting and learning how to get from “just an idea” to a completed screenplay, many fledgling or would-be screenwriters find that something is always holding them back from writing an excellent script. “What is an excellent script?” you ask. Answer: it’s what they refer to in Hollywood as “A Killer Screenplay.” These are the screenplays that get read by an agent, actor, manager, or production company reader in one sitting. Then, the proper people are notified, phone calls get made, deals struck, and the movie gets made. Sadly, 99% of the screenplays in circulation are not those scripts.

Whether you live in Nashville, or just about anywhere in the U.S.A, our Film Connection screenwriting mentors are experienced filmmaking professionals who work with you to develop own original idea for a film into a fleshed out, well-written script that’s ready to pitch to the “powers that be” and slate for production. Do all of our students ultimately write Killer Scripts which get made? No, they don’t. Nevertheless, by working directly with a professional in the business on your own idea, and getting to converse on and develop it one-on-one, is what we consider a matchless film education. Rather than simply trying to take the advice that’s given in a book on screenwriting, our student externs have the benefit of learning how to develop and condition their minds into thinking, and thus becoming a proficient screenwriter who asks the right questions and knows what’s needed in every act and every plot point of the movie they’re writing. Throughout all of this, their Film Connection mentor’s objective: to teach how to write the Killer Script. If you take our screenwriting workshop and it seems that you have succeeded in that endeavor, and you’re in good standing with Film Connection (RRFC) and have met the prerequisites, you will be invited to pitch your movie to film executives and managers i.e. the very same people who can get your movie made!

SIMPLY KNOW YOU WANT TO BUILD A CAREER IN FILM OR TELEVISION?

Don’t fret if you simply know, through and through, that a career in film, television, or the media arts is for you, yet you’re unsure on what crew position or role you want to play. The fact is, a great many of the filmmakers who are working today were once in exactly the same position as you. Others set out to be film directors only to discover once they were out of film school that they’re calling was for something else: producing, editing, being a DP (Director of Photography), line producer, or UPM (Unit Production Manager) or even a grip, gaffer, or best boy.

With Film Connection you gain exposure to the industry right alongside on-project training with your mentor. Rather than wondering whether you’d be a good director, you get to see what directing requires firsthand. You also get to experience what it’s like to assume other positions and do things like shoot B-roll, edit a scene, or serve as a producer on a project. Such direct experience is something many film school students at expensive film schools do not ever get the opportunity of doing.

To APPLY for our Nashville film school alternative, click here.

If you want to learn filmmaking but don’t want to spend a number of years and probably 15-50 thousand dollars in tuition, check out Film Connection. We’re dedicated to enabling our student externs to get what it takes to get working with local film professionals in just six to nine months. Moveover, lesson days and times are established by each mentor and their student extern, so one-on-one lesson times are flexible enough to even accomodate working professionals. If you’re serious about learning the nuts and bolts of filmmaking and want to get on with building your career, consider investing in your future with Nashville Film Connection. As a program area of Recording Radio Film Connection & CASA Schools (RRFC), we’re different from other post-secondary institutions or trade schools. Our students receive hands-on, one-on-one mentorship by training with an experienced professional who works in the industry. We’re the film program that offers you an externship in which you train with professional filmmakers to learn the ropes and get connections in the business of making movies, TV shows, commercials, new media and more. Our no-nonsense behind the scenes programs and workshops are geared towards teaching you the technical side of filmmaking. If you’re interested in acquiring well-rounded filmmaking knowhow, our comprehensive Film Production & Editing program is one option you should learn more about. Do well in the program and you could end up pitching your film to an industry executive. Nashville Film Connection wants to help you help yourself and get going in your film career.

Not only is Nashville the state capital of Tennessee, but with the nickname “Music City U.S.A.”, it is considered by many to be the music capital of America as well. A great many record labels and recording studios can be found in the area, and many professional music entertainers make their home here. Although the music scene here crosses many genres, the dominant genre is country music, which also serves as the catalyst for a major tourist industry which includes landmarks such as Opryland USA.

However, Nashville is not just a hub for music. The film and television industry has a significant presence here, as well, stimulated in part by the demand for music videos and the musical theme of the city, which inspires plenty of movies. IMDB lists over 800 titles of movies, television shows, documentaries and specials that have been connected with Nashville. Walk the Line, The Green Mile, Country Strong, The Country Bears, Head of State and The Matrix are only a few of the well-known films that have done location filming here. If you are looking at a career in filmmaking as a film producer, film editor, film director, cameraperson, or screenwriter, you’ll find that Nashville holds a great amount of opportunity for you to learn.

The secret to Film Connection’s success is our mentored-externship approach. We pair you with a working film or television professional that will personally instruct you during our 6 to 9 month course. You’ll gain valuable experience on real film and video shoots and have the opportunity to make important industry connections along the way. Learn more about Nashville Film Connection today, and you could be on the set within the month!

To APPLY click here.

 

Current Nashville Student News

Film Connection extern student Matthew Gibson builds his resume…in Nashville?

Film Connection student Matthew Gibson builds his resume...in Nashville?

Nashville, Tennessee. It’s not just about the music. Just ask Matthew Gibson, a film extern with Zac Adams of Skydive Films in Nashville.

Since starting his on-the-job training with Zac in early 2015,  Matthew has already earned Assistant to the Editor film credits on several feature film projects and music videos, as well as Sound Recorder credits on the just-released documentary Autism In America (narrated by Grey’s Anatomy star Chandra Wilson), and Pre-Production Assistant credits on a new documentary Iron Will, featuring narration by none other than Billy Bob Thornton! That doesn’t even begin to mention his own film projects.

Yes. In Nashville. Not L.A.

What’s even more remarkable about all this is that Matthew is earning all these film credits around a full-time job.

“I’m still working full time 40 hours a week just to pay bills and stuff,” says Matthew, “but on my off days I’m doing stuff like this….Sunday was my day off and I just wanted to crash, but [Zac was] like, ‘Well, we gotta shoot. We need you…I was at a shoot at 8 o’clock on Sunday morning.”

Why does Matthew push himself so hard? Simple: he’s passionate about film and wants to turn it into a career. “The more you can do, the more you can sell yourself,” he says, “and I’d like to learn as much of it as I can.”

In fact, it was the flexibility of the program, the ability to schedule his externship around his job, that first drew Matthew to enroll in the Film Connection. That, and the opportunity to learn on-the-job and make future job connections.

“They are very willing to help you with job placement, which is really the ultimate goal of any program,” he says. “That very much appealed to me…Film Connection [also] appealed to me because I still need to work 40 hours a week to pay my bills and keep my apartment and car and stuff…it’s a lot less taxing money-wise, as well as time-wise, because they are willing to work with you.”

Matthew admits that sometimes he fights exhaustion, but it’s his determination to switch to a film career that keeps him going.

“Money’s nice, fame is nice, but really, you just want to do what you love,” says Matthew. “I’ve worked enough crappy jobs to know that you should focus. You’re going to be more successful doing something that you like doing. That’s why I’m doing this.”

Read More from Matthew Gibson

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.”

Learn More

View Full List

Contact the Nasvhille Film Connection


1900 Church Street, Ste 300
Nasvhille, TN 37203
(615) 852-5960

Email: [email protected]
Hours: M-F 11:00am - 8:00pm

Recording, Radio, Film Connection & CASA Schools is licensed by the State of Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

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

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