This is your
San Francisco Classroom

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

Get started with a tour of a California externship location. Or call us for more information at (415) 230-2810.



* 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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San Francisco

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
$12,200 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

Average Accrued Interest Charges
Sources: Sallie Mae student loan calculator - Nerd Wallet - Best Value Schools - Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

About Our San Francisco 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?

David McClain San Francisco Mentor

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David McClain San Francisco Mentor

Background

Credits: Coca Cola, Google, Dateline, Travel Channel, NBC

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Demetria Kalodimos San Francisco Mentor

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Demetria Kalodimos San Francisco Mentor

Background

In 2000, Demetria established Genuine Human Productions, writing, directing, shooting and editing true stories about real people…genuine humans. Demetria Kalodimos has anchored and reported television news for more than 30 years. She’s won some of journalism’s most prestigious awards including 15 regional Emmys, 2 National Headliners and 2 Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards.

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Grant Salisbury San Francisco Mentor

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Grant Salisbury San Francisco Mentor

Background

Over fifteen years post production experience in Orlando—Grant has provided video editorial, 2D & 3D animations, and motion graphics for a multitude of media clients through his post production company, GFX Creative.

Short & Long Format Video Editorial, Event & Theme Park Animations, Infomercials, Broadcast Commercials, Corporate Communications and Interactive Media for The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Sea World, Lockheed-Martin, AAA Insurance, 3M, Siemens, Honda, A&D Medical, Toyota, FedEx and others.

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Jae Macallan San Francisco Mentor

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Jae Macallan San Francisco Mentor

Background

Jae Macallan is the owner, producer, and lead editor for Yoyostring Creative in Seattle, WA., with satalite offices in Portland, OR and San Diego, CA.  Yoyostring produces traditional video as well as animation, 360 VR, live video switching and video mapping. 

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Ron Osborn San Francisco Mentor

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Ron Osborn San Francisco Mentor

Background

“Simply put, there is no better or more effective way to teach anything than one-on-one, mentor to student.  This is what the Film Connection does.” — Ron Osborn

A writer/producer in television for 35 years, Ron has been nominated for 7 Emmys, 3 Cable Ace Awards, and 2 Writers Guild Awards on shows like MOONLIGHTING, THE WEST WING, and the adult animated DUCKMAN.  He has written pilots for every primetime network, numerous cable networks, as well as movies like MEET JOE BLACK; and has developed feature projects with Steven Speilberg, Ron Howard, and George Lucas, among others. .

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Sam Borowski San Francisco Mentor

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Sam Borowski San Francisco Mentor

Background

“The Recording Radio and Film Connection is such an effective program, because it takes the student out of the classroom and puts them in the very field they seek to be a part of. With mentors that actually work in the student’s respective field, they get first-hand knowledge of how everything works and just what to do. I think it’s the best way to get hands-on experience and the lessons learned are very valuable. I also think that the interview process helps to match a student with a mentor that will be right for them.” – Sam Borowski

Directed and produced the feature film, Night Club starring Oscar-Winner Ernest Borgnine, Natasha Lyonne and Paul Sorvino. Wrote and produced the feature-length documentary Creature Feature: 60 Years of the Gill-Man with Oscar-Winner Benicio Del Toro and narrated by 2-time Emmy-Winner Keith David. Also directed and produced the film Maniac.

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John Lafia San Francisco Mentor

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John Lafia San Francisco Mentor

Background

John Lafia is a director and writer, known for Child’s Play (1988), Child’s Play 2 (1990), Man’s Best Friend(1993) and 10.5 (2004)

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Brian Dryden San Francisco Mentor

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Brian Dryden San Francisco Mentor

Background

Clients: The North Face, Cherokee Sports, LSU

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Peter Foldy San Francisco Mentor

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Peter Foldy San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Eric Abrams San Francisco 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 San Francisco Mentor

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Monty Mickelson San Francisco 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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San Francisco News

Should You Storyboard?

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Film Connection student Arronn Lepperman Learns the Craft of Screenwriting

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Location Management: How Camera and Location Departments Work Together

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What Do To When Art Institute Closes

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Looking In Weird Places

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The Upside of Side Projects

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Which Books are Good to Adapt?

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Why Manners Matter in Music, Film, and TV

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The Film Scene in San Francisco

The San Francisco, California Film Connection Film School Alternative

The San Francisco Film Connection Film School Alternative 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 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 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 Alternative Most Recommended By the Pros.

Our alternative to film school has lots of professional endorsements? The pros who recommend the Film Connection are among 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 externship (apprenticeship) programs and workshops we don’t 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 often 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) Tutoring.

No one has to fall through the cracks in our film school alternative. For any student struggling with assignments or projects, we offer tutoring.
Struggling? Tutoring is available. 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 alternative provides a pathway no ordinary 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 alternative 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 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 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-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 alternative, 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 alternative 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 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 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.”

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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

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

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