This is your
San Francisco 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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San Francisco

Film Connection Film Institute
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In San Francisco

Get started with a tour of one of our California apprenticeship locations. Or call us for more information at (415) 230-2810


About Our San Francisco 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:


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Meet our Faculty

Why learn from teachers when you can learn from the professionals?

Tabitha Hartbauer San Francisco Mentor

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Tabitha Hartbauer San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Jason Hewitt San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Joe Van Wie San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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John Lux San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Rebecca Ramon San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Greg Freeman San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Matt Jeppsen San Francisco Mentor

Background

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

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Steve Riach San Francisco Mentor

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Steve Riach San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Avery Williams San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Harry Findysz San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Logan Hale San Francisco 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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San Francisco News

What Makes a Good Love Scene?

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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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The Film Scene in San Francisco

The San Francisco, California Film Connection Film School Advantage

The San Francisco Film Connection Film School Advantage

1) Locations and More Locations.

The Film Connection is not limited to a central campus, or even a handful of campuses. Our on-the-job training approach has enabled us to establish hundreds of locations throughout the U.S. Whether you want to learn filmmaking here in San Francisco, or in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Nashville, Atlanta, Phoenix or Billings, Montana, we can arrange an apprenticeship (externship) near where you live.
Learn near where you live. Advantage: Film Connection.

2) Super Low Tuition.

Taking on tens of thousands of of debt can kill your career before it ever gets off the ground. Our tuition is so low that you can graduate the program with little or no debt, and get on with your film career without the extra burden.
Low tuition, no add-on charges. Advantage: Film Connection.

3) Learn On-the-Job, Not In a Classroom.

Which do you think would be better: to learn film in a classroom, or to learn on-the-job and on the set of real film productions? With our program, you’re placed as an apprentice (extern) in a real San Francisco film production company, where you learn the real world of film by participating in the process.
Real-world experience, no classrooms. Advantage: Film Connection.

4) Be Mentored One-on-One By a Film Professional.

Our instructors aren’t career professors lecturing in classrooms; they are real film producers, film directors, screenwriters, film editors, etc. who are actually working and have real film credits. One of these stellar professionals will become your personal mentor, teaching you everything you need to know about the film business in general, and your area of expertise in particular.
One teacher to one student. Advantage: Film Connection.

5) The Film School Most Recommended By the Pros.

Our film school has lots of professional endorsements? The pros who recommend the Film Connection are the best in the business. We have their support because they see our results every day, in the many film students we introduce into the industry.
Lots of endorsements from real film professionals. Advantage: Film Connection.

6) Job Placement Assistance.

If you aren’t hired immediately upon graduation from our apprenticeship (externship) program, we don’t just leave you alone to find your way. For all our graduates, we offer up to 12 months of active job placement assistance through our Stay Connected program.
We don’t just hand you a cold-call lead list when you graduate. We help you find work. Advantage: Film Connection.

7) From the Jump, You’re On the Inside

Getting the attention of someone on the “inside” of the film business is one of the biggest hurdles film students face. With the San Francisco Film Connection, this isn’t an issue, because from day one of your training, you’re already on the inside, working in a real film production company, proving your abilities to the people who have the power to help advance your career.
Get on the inside track of the film industry. Advantage: Film Connection.

8) Free Tutoring.

No one has to fall through the cracks in our film school. For any student struggling with assignments or projects, we offer free, unlimited tutoring.
Unlimited free tutoring. Advantage: Film Connection.

9) Real Connections with Real Professionals.

With our program, you’re meeting and connecting with hundreds of actual film industry pros—the ones who can one day hire you. Connections are KEY to succeeding in the film business, and we put you in the heart of the industry so you can make those connections.
Real world film industry connections. Big Advantage: Film Connection.

10) Take It All the Way To Hollywood

Dreaming of making it big in Hollywood? Our film school provides a pathway no other film school offers. With our structured curriculum, you’ll be guided step by step in the development of your very own film idea, and when you’re ready, we’ll set up a meeting in Los Angeles for you to pitch your film to actual industry executives! This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, and only the Film Connection offers it.
A real chance to break into Hollywood. Big Advantage: Film Connection.

Your SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA FILM SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE

Welcome to the San Francisco FILM CONNECTION, the film school that places you in an actual San Francisco film production company, where you will learn directing, producing, editing, camera, screenwriting or general production by working as a film student apprentice (extern). One of the best ways to break into the film business in San Francisco is to start inside a San Francisco film production company as a film apprentice (extern), and the FILM CONNECTION gets you in the door.

We don’t believe film school should cost 50 thousand dollars or more, so we place you inside a real production company to learn filmmaking for far a lot less. Many industry professionals agree that our mentor-apprentice (extern) approach to teaching filmmaking is a smart and cost-effective way to learn. Get connected as you get educated with our film school alternative.

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

While SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA is itself home to about 800,000 people, the greater San Francisco Bay Area (comprising San Jose, Oakland and lots of other cities) is a sprawling metropolitan area of about 8.5 million people, making the Bay Area the 5th largest DMA in the country. Moving well beyond its roots as a gold-rush town, San Francisco has a reputation for being an intellectual city, a liberal city and a cultural city, which allows for great diversity in the media and performing arts. This city will forever be linked with the Summer of Love, which spawned a revolution in the music business with acts such as the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead.

Additionally, San Francisco boasts a thriving film community, not only due to its numerous film festivals per year and plenty of film and TV productions on the local level, but also because its diverse scenery and resources attract hundreds of major productions to film on location. Just look at a sampling of the many films that have been filmed in the San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Blue Jasmine (2013)
  • The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
  • Mrs. Doubtfire (2013)
  • The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
  • House of Sand and Fog (2003)
  • The Princess Diaries (2001)
  • Patch Adams (1998)
  • Interview With the Vampire (1994)
  • Basic Instinct (1992)
  • Escape From Alcatraz (1979)
  • The Graduate (1967)
  • The Birds (1963)
  • Vertigo (1958)

As you might imagine, San Francisco’s active film scene makes it a great place for up-and-coming producers, directors, film editors and screenwriters to connect to the industry and learn the business without necessarily having to migrate to Los Angeles. This makes FILM CONNECTION’s Film School in San Francisco an excellent choice for the student seeking career opportunities in film.

The FILM CONNECTION curriculum revolves around the mentor/apprentice relationship. We place you as an apprentice (extern) in a real production company, and we pair you with a mentor who has years of experience in film production, and who trains you one-on-one in all aspects of the trade. Not only does this approach provide the very best and most thorough education possible, but it also enables you to gain valuable work experience and make lots of connections to advance your career. In as little as six months, you’ll not only be well-prepared to embark on your film career, but you’ll also have the connections to help you do it! You owe it to yourself to see what the SAN FRANCISCO FILM CONNECTION can do for your career.

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 San Francisco Film Connection


555 California Street, Office 4925
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 230-2810

Email: [email protected]
Hours: M-F 9:00AM - 6:00PM