This is your
San Diego Classroom

Whether in-person or online. Real filmmaking education. Real film industry connections.

Film Connection is:
film education upgraded for the 21st century
Watch to learn why:


Schedule a Virtual Tour

Tour a Film Production Company
In San Diego

Get started with a virtual tour of aCalifornia externship location. Or call us for more information at 800-600-6956.


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 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

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We provide job placement services.

 

Other students learn in classrooms...

OUR students learn in:

 

REAL Radio Stations

REAL Recording Studios

REAL Film Production Companies


 

Where jobs get filled.

When jobs become available, our students are often the first to know and get hired.

Long story short:

Our way just makes sense.

Our mentors want to hire people like you.

Afterall, if they’ve trained you themselves,
they know what you’re capable of.

See why we call ourselves Film Connection.
To find out exact job placement numbers in your area, give us a call.



We're here to help.

We provide job placement services.

Find Out Why

Other students learn in classrooms...


OUR students learn in the same places where jobs get filled.

 

REAL Radio Stations

REAL Recording Studios

REAL Film Production Companies

When jobs become available, our students are often the first to know and get hired.

Long story short:

Our way just makes sense.

Our mentors want to hire people like you.

Afterall, if they’ve trained you themselves,
they know what you’re capable of.

See why we call ourselves Film Connection.

To find out exact job placement numbers in your area, give us a call.

(800) 600-6956

We're here to help.

San Diego

Film Connection Locations

Our "Near Me" San Diego Filmmaker Locations

  • Little Italy
  • La Mesa
  • Encinitas
  • Mission Beach
  • Bird Rock
  • Old Town
  • La Jolla
  • Miramar
  • Pacific Beach
  • Burlingame
  • Carmel Valley
  • El Cerrito
  • La Playa
  • Midway
  • Nestor
  • Rolando
  • Skyline
  • Webster
  • El Cajon
  • Lakeside
  • National City
  • Chula Vista
  • Del Mar
  • Solana Beach
Schedule a Virtual Tour

Real World
Film Education

From directing to producing to editing and screenwriting, our 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 or receive direct one-on-one training online.

Tuition
Comparison

Film Connection’s mentor styled education is a cost-effective approach to real-world, 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 San Diego 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 careers in the film industry. 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 San Diego Mentor

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Ricky Lapkin San Diego 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 San Diego Mentor

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Mark Roos San Diego 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 San Diego Mentor

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Richard Brandes San Diego Mentor

Background

Richard Brandes (Jeepers Creepers, Penny Dreadful, My Daughter Was Stolen, Lifetime Network) is an accomplished writer, director, and producer of over two dozen feature films which have been released through well known companies including 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 San Diego Mentor

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Paul Guay San Diego Mentor

Background

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Shrinking Violet

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Steve Rausch San Diego Mentor

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Steve Rausch San Diego 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

Adam Weber San Diego Mentor

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Adam Weber San Diego 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.

Request an Invitation

Mike Domgard San Diego Mentor

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Mike Domgard San Diego Mentor

Background

Credits: Blur Parties, Lincoln Promo Video, Inner Thoughts

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Aimee Schoof San Diego Mentor

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Aimee Schoof San Diego 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.

Request an Invitation

Dean Baker San Diego Mentor

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Dean Baker San Diego 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.

Request an Invitation

Ryan Heppe San Diego Mentor

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Ryan Heppe San Diego 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.

Request an Invitation

Karl Koelling San Diego Mentor

Read Profile

Karl Koelling San Diego 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.

Request an Invitation

View Full List

San Diego News

Should You Storyboard?

Learn More

Film Connection student Arronn Lepperman Learns the Craft of Screenwriting

Learn More

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

Learn More

The Film Scene in San Diego

The San Diego, California Film Connection Film School Alternative

Who gives you Sea World and Film School in the same city? We do. The folks at Film Connection bring an alternative film school to you. Your Mentor will steer you through a hands-on film making crash course that will leave you ready, willing, and able to work in the film biz. Film Connection. Alternative. Different. Cool.

To APPLY for our San Diego Film School, click here.

San Diego, California is the 7th largest city in the nation but probably number one or two in terms of weather, beauty and diverse locations for filming. Film Schools in San Diego pale in comparison to its infamous neighbor Los Angeles, but professional filmmaking in San Diego is just as popular as it is in L.A. Many film and TV production companies make their home in San Diego and so if you are considering a career in filmmaking as a film director, film producer, film editor, or cameraman San Diego is an excellent choice for you.

Many major movies, commercials, TV shows and documentaries are filmed all over San Diego every single day, making it ideal for those filmmakers who love California but are not interested in living in la la land Los Angeles.

Some of the well-known movies that have been filmed in San Diego include:
Almost Famous, Traffic, Into the Wild, Babel, Lords of Dogtown, Bruce Almighty, Antown Fisher, The Cell, Pearl Harbor, Bring It On, Apollo 13, Free Willy 2, Wayne’s World 2, and Bugsy to name a few.

Television production in San Diego is huge as well and has been home to such productions as: American Idol, COPS, 24, Entourage, Nip/Tuck, MTV Real World, JAG,and X Files.

Thousands of professional commercials, TV shows and Feature Films are shot on the streets of San Diego every year. It is also only two hours from Los Angeles, 8 from San Francisco and a short jaunt to either Arizona or Las, Vegas, Nevada making it ideal for both film students and filmmaking professionals.

Good luck with our film school.

Jump in with both feet.

Film Connection puts you in the middle of the action

San Diego, California is the 7th largest city in the nation but probably number one or two in terms of weather, beauty, and diverse locations for filming. Film Schools in San Diego pale in comparison to its infamous neighbor Los Angeles, but professional filmmaking in San Diego is just as popular as it is in L.A.

Many film and TV production companies make their home in San Diego, so it makes sense that there are also a number of San Diego filmmaking schools for you to choose from. But how many put you in the middle of the action on day one? Film Connection places you in a professional production company so you can get hands-on experience from the start.

Of course, you won’t be grabbing a camera or sitting in the director’s chair on day one. But you will learn by doing, building a foundation on how movies, TV shows, commercials, videos, and more are produced. Interested in writing a film script? You’ll have weekly, one on one remote meetings with a professional screenwriter to help you draft a “Killer Script.”

You’ll have one-on-one access with a mentor, a filmmaking professional in San Diego, taking an accelerated learning program that will prepare you for a future in the industry. Not everyone wants to spend four years in school – our programs are six to nine months long. You’ll also save a lot more than time with us, too.

With enrollment fees reaching six figures for many “name” universities, Film Connection tuition remains under $15,000. In many professions, huge student loans are just a fact. We just don’t think becoming a director, editor, cinematographer, or screenwriter should be part of that conversation.

Close to home or in your home

You won’t need to uproot your life and move to L.A., either. With easy access from La Jolla, La Playa, and La Mesa, as well as El Cajon and El Cerrito, you can work one on one with an industry professional on set or on location. In fact, you may not even have to leave your house.

FIlm Connection feels the best way to learn about the industry is by being placed in a fully immersive environment. Getting your hands on the equipment, building relationships, and picking up the little nuances that make a production successful. Of course, now that social distancing is a household phrase, making it into the studio may not always be a possibility.

Film Connection is all about increasing access for our externs, not cutting it off. We’ve been offering remote learning for decades, providing unmatched learning opportunities online. We all found out in 2020 – life can be turned upside down without warning. But that shouldn’t keep you from telling your story. Or maybe that will become your story!

What we offer can’t be found in books

As an educational institution, there will still be required readings, tests, and exams to prove your knowledge of the curriculum. But we also offer something else that just can’t be measured: opportunity. Every day you train, you’ll be working with San Diego film professionals. Learning from them, gaining experience from them, building relationships with them.

There’s an old – and perhaps overused – saying in the entertainment industry: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. While the San Diego Film Connection will teach you a lot of the “what,” we’ll also introduce you to plenty of the “who.” When it comes time to make your movie, sell your script, or find other work in the industry, the connections you make during our program could pay off huge.

That is, depending on the impression you make during the daily “interviews.” Were you someone people could rely on, did you learn from your mentor and your experience, were you indispensable? Or were you on your phone the whole time?

If you can’t follow through during the program, no one is going to make the effort to remember your name. Do what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it, and how they want it to be done, and you may find yourself on the contact list of a few VIP phones.

Just like setting up your schedule, having a say in your curriculum, and getting your movie made, your success with Film Connection is largely up to you. We’ll give you the opportunities, but it’s up to you to make the most of them.

San Diego Film Connection Mentors

There’s a reason we feel the Film Connection way of learning about filmmaking is the best way there is. It’s because of our mentors. One look at the resume of our San Diego mentors and you’ll see why. They specialize in scriptwriting, high-quality story-driven content, location and studio production, post-production and video editing, project consultation, animation and graphic design, web videos, and branding.

They’re Emmy-nominated, work in several facilities and on location, and have worked over several mediums. They’ve produced documentary films, Latinx projects, short films, music videos, and more. Our San Diego mentor’s clients include Vice, Red Bull, UBS, Union Bank, the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, California State Parks, Theatre Corner/KPBS, and San Diego Gas & Electric. They have other experience in the Healthcare, Automotive, Education, and Sports industries.

Our San Diego location is also our greatest advertisement: One of our Film Connection mentors hired a Film Connection graduate as their Studio Manager. He also serves as a Production Assistant, 1st Assistant Camera, and Studio Supervisor. Wondering if our programs work? The San Diego Film Connection proves it.

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 real-world method works.

Hans Zimmer

From his early days in pop music, Hans has written original scores for such films as Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), Gladiator (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2005) Sherlock Holmes (2009) and over 100 others.

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Joel Schumacher

Joel Schumacher and RRF have donated to The Endometriosis Foundation of America. This group aims to increase disease recognition, provide advocacy, facilitate expert surgical training, and fund landmark endometriosis research.

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Larry King

The Film Connection was recently invited onto the Larry King program to talk about how our externship program is making a difference by connecting our students and getting them hired.

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Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew and RRF have helped Tracey Wilson, a former gang member, get into film school, and are now helping him make his first documentary about getting your GED and going to college.

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Judi Levine

Sundance Award-winning Producer of the Academy Award-winning film, The Sessions.

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Judge Mathis

Judge Mathis and RRF are helping inner city youth get educated through the RRF program.

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Sandy Stern

Credits: Being John Malkovich, Saved! and Velvet Goldmine.

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Henry Bromell

Henry Bromell produced, created, directed the series Homeland, and has written and produced the television dramas Northern Exposure, I’ll Fly Away, Homicide: Life on the Street, Chicago Hope, Carnivale, Brotherhood, Rubicon, and Homeland.

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Paul Guay

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Hearbreakers

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Evan Astrowsky

“I went to a good film school, but the day I graduated I had no idea what to do. No one wanted to hand me thousands of dollars to direct or produce anything so I had to figure it out on my own.”

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Ron Osborn

Credits: The West Wing, Meet Joe Black, Duckman

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Doug Eboch

Credits: Sweet Home Alabama, The Hollywood Pitching Bible

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1000+ Reviews

Every week we ask our students to review how they are progressing with our program.

We've got questions, and they've got answers!

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Film Connection provides affordable, unique education models coupled with mentor-based (externship) programs that can be engaged remotely or in person.

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