This is your
Rapid City 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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Rapid City

Film Connection Film Institute
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In Rapid City

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


About Our Rapid City 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?

Tabitha Hartbauer Rapid City Mentor

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Tabitha Hartbauer Rapid City Mentor

Background

The BSP editing facility sets the standard for editing in Colorado. Three video edit suites utilize “Premiere Pro CS6”, “Final Cut Pro” and “DaVinci” and project Panasonic High Definition 1080p images on to 110” Stewart Screens.

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Jason Hewitt Rapid City Mentor

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Jason Hewitt Rapid City Mentor

Background

Odd Thomas, 13 Sins, Blood Out, Left Behind, Season of the Witch, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, The Outsider

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Joe Van Wie Rapid City Mentor

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Joe Van Wie Rapid City Mentor

Background

Following a spirited and notorious adolescence in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Joe did a stretch at New York University and ended up spending nearly a decade as an accomplished part of the New York City’s lively film and TV industry. During this time, he racked up credits ranging from producing feature films premiering at international film festivals to directing and producing content for a variety of national cable television networks. His most recent film is the locally-shot award-winning feature Forged. Joe is an active board member on the boards of Dress for Success, The Scranton Club and the American Advertising Federation of NEPA. Joe is also a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the American Association of Political Consultants, and two time Pollie award winner.

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John Lux Rapid City Mentor

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John Lux Rapid City Mentor

Background

John Lux is the Chief Operating Officer for the IDEAS media and experience design company, which employs film program graduates nationwide. The projects his company handles stretch from Florida, to Europe, and as far as Shangai, China.

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Rebecca Ramon Rapid City Mentor

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Rebecca Ramon Rapid City Mentor

Background

Rebecca Ramon hails from Battle Creek, MI and is a proud Midwestern girl. She believes that’s exactly what keeps her down to earth and youthful. With a BA in Broadcasting & Cable production from Western Michigan University, and an MFA in Film Production from Chapman University, one of the top ten film schools in the nation, she’s definitely standing on her own two feet. Not only does Rebecca have a formal education, her mentor for post production was Paul Seydor, a member of ACE; the honorary society of motion picture editors. Paul edited movies such as “White Men Can’t Jump” and “This Christmas”. In other words, she has learned from the best, and has over ten years of experience, which ranges from pre-production to post-production in several mediums. Most importantly, she has the passion to share her knowledge as a mentor.

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Greg Freeman Rapid City Mentor

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Greg Freeman Rapid City Mentor

Background

Greg Freeman is an award-winning Director of Photography with nearly two decades in news, sports, entertainment, special programming, documentaries, and commercials. Greg has directed projects for nearly every major television network including ABC, Discovery, ESPN, HBO, HGTV, NBC, PBS, and more.

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Matt Jeppsen Rapid City Mentor

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Matt Jeppsen Rapid City Mentor

Background

The Flying Dutchman, The Launch, Less Cowbell, One in a Million

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Steve Riach Rapid City Mentor

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Steve Riach Rapid City Mentor

Background

Steve is an award winning producer, director and writer of over 250 films, documentaries, television shows and home video properties, including specials from the Olympics, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA and NCAA Championships, and college football bowl games.

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Avery Williams Rapid City Mentor

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Avery Williams Rapid City Mentor

Background

Avery O. Williams works steadily in both the film and theater worlds. He is the co-writer of the feature film Directing Eddie starring Valerie Perrine and Jade Barrymore, directed by Lawrence Kaldor which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was voted Best Comedy at the 2001 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. He wrote and directed the industrial film for the City of Atalanta entitled Surviving Domestic Violence and he wrote and co-produced the film short The Willie Witch Projects, which was showcased at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and is distributed by Trimark Pictures in their compilation entitled The Bogus Witch Project. Other short subject screenplays that have been made into films include Notes In A Minor Key, The Willie Witch Projects and The Chocolate Factory, Part 1.

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Harry Findysz Rapid City Mentor

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Harry Findysz Rapid City Mentor

Background

“The Film Connection Program uses real world people to mentor real world jobs.”

-Harry Findysz, Tucson, Arizona, Southern Arizona Video Productions

Producer of Live Television, Music Videos, Documentaries, Winner of Ashbury Best Music Documentary 2016 Linda Chorney The Cantina

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Logan Hale Rapid City Mentor

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Logan Hale Rapid City Mentor

Background

Logan is a lifelong filmmaker. With 8 years of experience in Event and Experiential Marketing, Logan has a passion for communicating the brand message and essence with artistic quality and creativity.

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Rapid City News

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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Everything We Know About Ant-Man and The Wasp

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What Sucks About The Big Bang Theory

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What (Most) Actors Want from (Most) Directors

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Game of Thrones has got Everyone Guessing

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The Film Scene in Rapid City

The Rapid City, South Dakota Film Connection Film School Advantage

You don’t have to go to a big city and blow your life savings just to learn filmmaking. Launch your career with Rapid City Film Connection. We provide more bang for your buck, by giving you more than just a degree. We provide mentorships with working film professionals who will be your first industry contacts. Choose the behind the scenes program to learn the technical side of filmmaking. Or select the directors program, which gives you several mentors to guide your project from idea to pitch. You’ll even be flown out to Los Angeles to pitch your idea before an industry executive.

To APPLY for our Rapid City Film School, click here.

Rapid City, South Dakota is located on the west side of the state just east of the Black Hills, hosting a population of over 67,000 people. It's currently a rapidly growing community, reflecting a growth rate of over 12 percent during the past decade. Rapid City is unique in that it has a ridge of mountains that divides the city east to west–just one example of the wide diversity of beautiful natural scenery to be found in this region.  Mountains, plains, creeks and badlands are all part of the surroundings, making Rapid City a great place for on-location filming.  If you are considering a career as a film director, film producer, editor, lighting tech or otherwise, you'll find a surprising amount of opportunity here–especially with FILM CONNECTION to help you. 

Movies, commercials, TV shows and documentaries are filmed throughout South Dakota regularly, including in and around the Rapid City area. Perhaps the most famous films that were shot in these parts are Kevin Costner's epic film Dances with Wolves, and the classic western How the West Was Won, among others. 

During our inexpensive, 6-month course, you'll be paired with a working film or television professional who serves as your personal instructor and mentor, guiding you through hands-on training on real film and video shoots. Along the way, you'll also make vital industry contacts that can lead to future jobs. The fruit of our revolutionary system is in our graduates; over 70 percent of them get hired in the industry, many times before they even finish our program. You owe it to yourself to see what FILM CONNECTION of Rapid City can do for your 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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