This is your
Philadelphia Classroom

Real filmmaking education. Real film industry connections.

An Immersive
Film Education

From directing to producing to editing and screenwriting, our mentor-based programs avoid the unnecessary costs and unrelated requirements of typical schools. Work directly with accomplished industry veteran filmmakers at one of our fully-equipped film production companies across the country.

Programs

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

Director / Producer / Screenwriter 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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Philadelphia

Film Connection Film Institute
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In Philadelphia

Get started with a tour of one of our Pennsylvania apprenticeship locations. Or call us for more information at (267) 713-3920


About Our Philadelphia Film School

Our fully-immersive curriculum
covers all of the following:

Building Relationships

Learning filmmaking in the real world with the Film Connection mentoring approach makes building relationships in the film industry is a daily occurrence.

On-Set Etiquette

Knowing how to handle yourself on the set is a prerequisite to a successful career in filmmaking—your mentor will guide you through proper etiquette during real film shoots.

Hardware and Equipment

Film Connection mentors exist in the real world where the competition is fierce. Having the latest gear is essential to their success which gives you access to the latest hardware.

Making Movies

Isn’t the whole point of going to film school to learn how to make movies—especially YOUR movie? The Film Connection 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. 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?

Ryan E. Heppe Philadelphia Mentor

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Ryan E. Heppe Philadelphia Mentor

Background

During his tenure at CCH, Heppe was hired by legendary producer David Foster (The Getaway, Short Circuit, The Mask of Zorro) and quickly climbed to the position of Head of Development where he became involved with Foster’s productions: Collateral Damage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hart’s War starring Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell, and The Core starring Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank.

As a hyphenate Producer/Director/Writer/Actor, some of Heppe’s work includes: Production of the docu-drama The Magic Was In The Music, a remake of Short Circuit, adaptations of the 80’s television mini-series V and cop series T.J. Hooker, among others. As an actor, he’s starred in such stage productions as You Can’t Take It With You, Life On The Bowery, Dracula and Picnic at Hanging Rock – several of which he directed. In the world of VO, he’s lent his voice to numerous commercials, both national and regional, and performs several characters on the animated series DaGeDar.

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Wade Marshall Philadelphia Mentor

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Wade Marshall Philadelphia Mentor

Background

Since 2007, Millennium Studios has been servicing productions in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana.

Credits: True Blood, The Expendables 3, Olympus Has Fallen

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Peter Foldy Philadelphia Mentor

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Peter Foldy Philadelphia Mentor

Background

“For a fraction of the price of a university course, students of the Radio, Record and Film Connection receive one-on-one consultation and mentoring from a seasoned film professional. It is an opportunity for an exchange of meaningful ideas and for some, even a chance to network, an essential requirement to make an in-road in the film business.”

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Eric Abrams Philadelphia Mentor

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Eric Abrams Philadelphia Mentor

Background

“Unlike many programs that stress theory over doing, our goal is for our students to have completed a 1st draft of a screenplay or be well on their way in 10 sessions.”
 
Credits I’m proud of: “Married…With Children,” “Gary & Mike,” ‘Live & Maddie,” and an unaired Muppet pilot.

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Monty Mickelson Philadelphia Mentor

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Monty Mickelson Philadelphia Mentor

Background

Freelance Journalist, Financial Writer, Corporate Communications Copywriter, Writer of Corporate Training and Life Skills Videoscripts, Public Relations Account Manager, Special Events Promotion and Media Wrangling, Award-Winning Published Novelist, and Feature Film Screenwriter.

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Daniela Larsen Philadelphia Mentor

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Daniela Larsen Philadelphia Mentor

Background

Daniela Larsen is the former CEO of Creative Media Education. She created and expanded education & certifications in Digital Media, Film, Cyber Security, Leadership and Technology. She also developed strategic partnerships in the private and public sector to make this education and training accessible to the public. Finally, she used digital media, documentaries and non profit experience to create opportunities for cause marketing, tell the stories that have real impact and increase the reach of online education to the remotest places in the world. She is currently the Executive Director & Founder of Small Candles Education & Economic Development, the CEO of the Navanas Institute and a Certified Partner for Infusionsoft.

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Jim Fogarty Philadelphia Mentor

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Jim Fogarty Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia Mentor

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Dale DeToni Philadelphia 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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Jon Reiss Philadelphia Mentor

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Jon Reiss Philadelphia Mentor

Background

Named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety, Jon Reiss is also critically acclaimed filmmaker whose experience releasing his feature Bomb It with a hybrid strategy was the inspiration for writing Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing in the Digital Era (TOTBO), the first step-by-step guide for filmmakers to distribute and market their films.  He also co-wrote Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul and Selling Your Film Outside the US.   He also teaches at the Film Directing Program at Cal Arts.

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Rick Dahl Philadelphia Mentor

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Rick Dahl Philadelphia Mentor

Background

I’ve written for many of the major studios and networks. My first movie, “Red Rock West,” was nominated for Best Screenplay by the Independent Spirit Awards. 

I think this program is fantastic. I get to spend an hour a week, one-on-one with my students. We read over their material carefully. It affords me the opportunity to dig deep and get into the details of screenwriting – a deceptively complicated craft. We can cover various aspects of formatting, different styles of writing and how they impact the reader – which ultimately determines the filmic outcome and audience sees on screen.

The time allows me to get know my students so that I’m able to help them put some part of themselves into their stories. 

Once you get past the basics, screenwriting is about story. And we all have one to tell. The more personal that is, the more impact it will have.

The terrific thing I get to experience with Film Connection, because of the one-on-one time I have with my students, is the growth they achieve in their writing

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Jana Sue Memel Philadelphia Mentor

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Jana Sue Memel Philadelphia Mentor

Background

“Students at the Film Connection receive the extraordinary benefit of a one-on-one mentoring relationship with highly experienced industry professionals. What an amazing way to learn your craft. Nothing could be better.” — Jana Sue Memel,

Films Jana have produced have been nominated for eleven Oscars and won three. They have also won Emmy’s, Director and Writer Guild Awards and numerous film festival awards. 

Credits:  So I Married An Axe Murderer, Tough Guys, Down Came A Blackbird, Duke of Groove

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Philadelphia News

Low Budget Filmmaking Heroes

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What Science Says About Writer’s Block

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Lorne Michaels Potential Retirement from SNL and The Future of TV Sketch Comedy

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Achieving Flow: Entering the Vortex

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How to Have a Successful Table Read

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What You Should Know About Neil Gaiman

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EDM Jobs That Actually Exist!

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How to Get Out of a Creative Funk

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The Film Scene in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Film Connection Film School Advantage

The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Film Connection Film School Advantage

1) Locations Everywhere.

Because of our unique brand of apprenticeship (externship) training, the Film Connection isn’t limited to one or a few campuses. We’ve got locations everywhere, including in Philadelphia! No need to move or to quit your day job. Your pathway to Hollywood starts right where you live!
Learn near where you live. Advantage: Film Connection.

2) Graduate Debt-Free With Our Low Tuition.

The cost of education has been skyrocketing, and it’s a travesty. How can you launch a film career when you’re buried in student debt? It doesn’t have to be this way, and we have a system that proves it every day. Our tuition is so low that you can graduate with little or no debt and get on with your film career.
Other schools not only cost more, they have lots of add-on charges. Advantage: Film Connection.

3) Ditch the Classroom, Learn On-the-Job.

At the Philadelphia Film Connection, we don’t believe in classrooms. You will have a structured curriculum, but you won’t spend a single day in a classroom with other students. Instead, we train you on-the-job by placing you as a working apprentice (extern) in a real film production company. It’s a more effective way to learn, and it’s a great way to get connected to the film industry.
Real-world experience, not useless theoretical classroom instruction. Advantage: Film Connection.

4) One-on-One Mentoring From a Bona Fide Film Professional.

There’s no classroom with our program; there’s also no “class.” You’re the only student, paired with an established film professional with actual film credits and lots of connections. This seasoned pro will become your personal mentor, training you in all the aspects of your chosen film discipline one-on-one.
One teacher to one student. Advantage: Film Connection.

5) Hundreds of Film Professionals Endorse Us.

We’ve got so many endorsements from high-profile film professionals that they are too many to list here. These pros endorse us because they know our program does more to break people like you into the business than any other school.
More professional endorsements than any other film school. Advantage: Film Connection.

6) Actual Job Placement Assistance.

No informal “cold call” job lists from us. We don’t just clue you in on the latest job offerings—we bend over backwards to help you get hired. Our one-of-a-kind Stay Connected Program provides up to 12 months of active job placement assistance after you graduate. (You might not need it, though—play your cards right, and your mentor just might hire you! It happens all the time with the Film Connection.)
“Job placement” at other schools means handing you a cold-call lead list when you graduate. Advantage: Film Connection.

7) No Pounding on the Door: You’re Already On the Inside.

The biggest challenge to breaking into the film business is getting your foot in the door—getting noticed by busy people who don’t know you from Adam. With the Philadelphia Film Connection, we’ve got you covered in this area. From day one, you’re placed as a working apprentice (extern) INSIDE a real film production company, so you can build those relationships as you go. By the time you graduate, you’re already an industry insider.
The other guys are on the outside, looking in. Advantage: Film Connection.

8) Unlimited Free Tutoring.

If you’re having trouble with your assignments and your mentor isn’t available to ask—ask us! We offer free, unlimited tutoring to all our students to ensure no one falls through the cracks.
Unlimited free tutoring. Advantage: Film Connection.

9) Connections—Tons of Them.

The Film industry is centered around connections. You could be the best cinematographer, director, producer, screenwriter or film editor on the planet, but if no one knows you—good luck with that. The greatest advantage with the Film Connection is that all your classes take place in the heart of the industry—on-the-job and on the set—where you can meet and connect with hundreds of established pros. These are the people of influence you’d never meet in a classroom—the people who can one day hire you.
Real world film industry connections. Big Advantage: Film Connection.

10) Take It All the Way to Hollywood!

You might be perfectly content to work in the thriving Philadelphia film scene, but if you want more…we’ve got more. Your curriculum is structured to guide you through the steps of developing your own film idea. When your apprenticeship (externship) is complete, we’ll arrange a meeting in Los Angeles with actual Hollywood film industry professionals, and you’ll have the chance to pitch your movie to them! Can you think of one other film school that does this? We think not…
A real chance to break into Hollywood. Big Advantage: Film Connection. NO OTHER FILM SCHOOL DOES THIS.

Your PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA FILM SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE

Among Philadelphia Film Schools, only one actually gets you inside a real Philadelphia film production company to work as a film student apprentice (extern), learning the arts of directing, producing, editing, camera, screenwriting or general production from the pros. Hands down, the smartest way to break into the film business in Philadelphia is to apprentice (extern) inside a Philadelphia film production company–and the FILM CONNECTION is the film school that puts you there.

Don’t make the mistake of spending 10-50 thousand dollars to go to film school at a college or film trade school when you can get your film school education in a real production company for far less money. Be smart, get on the inside track, learn from the pros and make vital industry contacts while you learn in a real-world environment! Our film school alternative is the smartest, most cost efficient film school you’ll find anywhere.

To APPLY for our Philadelphia Film School, click here.

Home to more than 1.5 million people (and anchoring a metro of nearly 4 million), PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA is the 4th largest DMA in the United States. A city rich in history, music, art, culture and sports fans (with SIX major teams calling Philly home), the “City of Brotherly Love” is bustling with things to see and do. This city’s legacy in the entertainment industries can’t be understated, either. Entertainment icon Dick Clark first launched his star-making dance/music show American Bandstand at a Philadelphia television station in the early 1950s. Other major entertainers and film professionals with Philadelphia roots include Peter Boyle, David Brenner, Bill Cosby, Bradley Cooper, Tina Fey, Grace Kelly, Irvin Kershner, Will Smith, Holly Robinson Peete, Boyz II Men, Frankie Avalon, M. Night Shyamalan, Kevin Bacon, and John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, just to name a few.

Since the late 1980s, Philadelphia has been home to an emerging film industry as well, thanks in part to generous incentives and the support of the Philadelphia Film Office. MovieMaker Magazine once named Philadelphia as the second best location to make a film. Today, local soundstages, great local talent and diverse locations make Philly a popular site for film and TV productions. Here are just a few noteworthy films and shows that have done location shooting here:

  • Unbreakable
  • World War Z
  • Limitless
  • Philadelphia
  • The Sixth Sense
  • Twelve Monkeys
  • After Earth
  • Marley and Me
  • Baby Mama
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (TV Series)
  • Rocky (all the Rocky films)

You can see that there are plenty of opportunities in Philadelphia to connect to the film industry, and the FILM CONNECTION’s mentor-apprentice (extern) approach can get you closer to the action than any other film school can. Whether you desire to be a director, producer, editor, camera operator, lighting director, special effects master or any film professional, the FILM CONNECTION has a tailored course curriculum for you.

You will study one-on-one with your mentor who will be a film professional in your field of study. Your classroom will be on-the-job and on the set in Philadelphia. Upon graduation, you will have gained the on-the-job, real world experience and industry connections that you need to succeed in a career in the film industry—and if you choose it, when you’ve completed your apprenticeship (externship), we can even arrange for you to pitch your OWN FILM to REAL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES in Los Angeles! You owe it to yourself to see what we can do for your film career.

To APPLY click here.

Connections Matter

Learn From Industry Pros

The Film Connection film school is endorsed by filmmakers who are making the movies you love.

Professionals in the film business—including many of the famous producers, screenwriters and directors who’ve worked on the films that inspire you—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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Contact the Philadelphia Film Connection


155 North Wacker Drive--4250
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 713-3920

Email: [email protected]
Hours: M - F 12:00PM to 9:00PM