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 800-600-6956.


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


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
$12,750** 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 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?

Dale DeToni San Francisco Mentor

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Dale DeToni San Francisco 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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Damon Crump San Francisco Mentor

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Damon Crump San Francisco Mentor

Background

The Millionaire Matchmaker, Risen, Broke Sky, Aliens on the Moon, Endings, Assault on Waco, Telling Stories: The Comic Book Creators, Big Rich Texas

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Mark Gibson San Francisco Mentor

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Mark Gibson San Francisco Mentor

Background

“As a screenwriting mentor I know that every student like every writer is different.  The Film Connection screenwriting program allows me to work one on one with my students, customizing the curriculum, allowing me to focus on each student’s needs by helping them raise the level of their writing whether it’s their first script or their fiftieth.”

As for credits, I think my two Disney films SNOW DOGS and THE WILD are certainly the most well known. 

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Conrad Denke San Francisco Mentor

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Conrad Denke San Francisco Mentor

Background

“There is no replacement for actual hands-on experience, and The Film Connection provides opportunities to work closely with our production team and learn what it takes to make it in the production business.” — Conrad Denke

Conrad Denke, film producer/director and CEO/owner of Victory Studios has been in the film and video business for over 30 years. He was co-executive producer and director on the PBS series “National Desk.” Denke has worked on feature films including “Assassins” with Sylvester Stallone, “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” with Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp,  “Santa Who?” with Leslie Nielson, “Boycott” for HBO, “Alone with Her” with Colin Hanks, “Cover” directed by Bill Duke, and “Mr. Warmth: Don Rickels” directed by John Landis. He is currently producing the television series “Band in Seattle” and has several projects in development including “Music for Young People” and “Daredevils and Disasters.”

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Seth Wood San Francisco Mentor

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Seth Wood San Francisco Mentor

Background

Seth has been working in production since 1998 and has a wide range of refined marketing skills.

With abilities in media marketing and advertising, he is an asset to almost any organization. Seth works with companies and agencies all over the US to produce “brand” friendly marketing pieces that actually generate results. Because of his extreme expertise and experience in graphics, photography, video production, and other media marketing solutions, you can get all your products produced at one boutique advertising location… Seth’s office!

Brands promoted with video projects over the past years include: Microsoft, Avaya Telecommunications, Susan G Koman, Texas Instruments, CAE, Evatran, Oster and many more. Check out the full list of production credits on his new leads generating website.

www.SwoodMedia.com

“I work hard, am deadline savvy, and ready to get YOUR job done right.”

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Jim Fogarty San Francisco Mentor

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Jim Fogarty San Francisco 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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Mark Roos San Francisco Mentor

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Mark Roos San Francisco 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 Francisco Mentor

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Richard Brandes San Francisco 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 Francisco Mentor

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Paul Guay San Francisco Mentor

Background

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Shrinking Violet

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Steve Rausch San Francisco Mentor

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Steve Rausch San Francisco 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.

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Adam Weber San Francisco Mentor

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Adam Weber San Francisco 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.

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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

Why San Francisco is a Great Place to Learn to Become a Film Director.

You live in San Francisco. You dream of becoming a director or filmmaker. You’re asking yourself what the best way to achieve your goal. To start, you’re in a great city to learn to become a film director. With the help of the San Francisco Film Connection Film Directing Program you can LEARN TO BECOME A DIRECTOR without ever leaving the Bay Area.

Here’s why: The secret to becoming a film director is to start directing. Therefore, it follows that the best place to learn to become a director is the place where you can do the most directing. Forget film theory, forget the rules of cinematography, forget traditional concepts of education, just find a way to start making films and learn how to tell a story in pictures.

This is where the San Francisco Film Connection Film Directing Program comes into play. Once you’ve enrolled, you’ll be mentored our externship program. That means you get paired with an accomplished San Francisco film director and their film production company—someone like Sean McCarthy of Guerilla Wanderers. Sean owns two studios in the Bay Area, a million dollars in film equipment and has won Telly Awards, Ava Awards, Hermes Awards, Viffs Awards and BAFFS Awards.

As a student, you will have access to this equipment and studios plus the mentoring expertise of Sean and find yourself directing your own films from virtually the get-go. Spoiler alert. Your first films are most likely going to suck. Don’t worry, that’s to be expected. And that’s where the San Francisco Film Connection Film Directing Program excels. Imagine being able to go over your first efforts, scene by scene, frame by frame with a true professional, like Sean McCarthy offering you suggestions, tricks of the trade, while he critiques your films on a one-on-one personal basis. Your learning curve to becoming a director has went supersonic. It’s not rocket science, the more films you direct, the better you will become at directing and the San Francisco Film Connection provides you with virtually unlimited access to all the gear, studio space and instruction you need to make as many movies as you can.

Rest assured, we don’t simply hand you a camera and tell you to come back tomorrow with your finished film. The San Francisco Film Connection Film Directing Program has an outstanding structured curriculum that breaks down into three main sections:

Section One: Screenwriting. Just like an author of a book tells a story with words, the director is there to tell a story with a camera. Our screenwriting section teaches you what goes into writing a screenplay—we even pair you with a screenwriting mentor with feature films to their credit for this section—because if you understand how to translate a written screenplay into a visual film you’ve learned is the essence of directing. Even if you never write a screenplay yourself, you need to understand screenwriting conceptually is vital to becoming a good director.

Section Two: Directing and Filmmaking. This section of our curriculum deals with all the technical and logistical considerations a director needs to know to create a film. It covers everything from pre-production to production to post-production–from lighting to permits, from cinematographer to meal breaks, there’s a million details a director needs to understand, communicate and decide on throughout the filmmaking process. Our curriculum covers them all.

Section Three: Pitch Meeting. Many of our students come to us with an idea in mind for a feature film they want to make. This might even be true in your case. That’s great—fabulous even. For those students, we help them craft an elevator pitch (a thirty words or less description of their movie idea), create a sizzle reel (in essence a movie trailer for their movie idea), perfect their screenplay (with the help of their screenwriting mentor) and produce a budget breakdown. Then we set up a pitch meeting for them with film industry heavyweights who have the power to green light their film. Guess what? Even if you are looking to direct something other than a feature film, say a music video for instance, you will still need to have a pitch meeting with the band so that they will hire you to direct their music video. The San Francisco Film Connection will teach you the skills for this, or any other type of pitch meeting you need, so you can be prepared.

We started by posing the question, is San Francisco a good place to learn film directing. We followed that with some great reasons why you can learn everything you need to learn about becoming a film director in San Francisco. Guess what? If you’re a current resident of San Francisco, here’s another compelling reason why it can be the best place for you to learn to become a director.
Homefield advantage: You already live in San Francisco. You know the city. You know some of its great locations. You know people in San Francisco who can become your cast and crew. You know what things cost in San Francisco. You presumably have a roof over your head in San Francisco. You might have a job or a thriving side-gig setup. Because you live in San Francisco, you can establish home town connections with local businesses to sponsor your films or become clients of your work.

So, isn’t the real question you should be asking yourself is, “How many films am I going to direct in the next six months if I attend film school to become a director?” It’s also the first question you should be asking of film schools you are thinking of attending. You’ll find their answers interesting. Because at the end of the day, degrees don’t matter when it comes to directing. What matters is your reel, and the more films you direct, the more content you will have for your reel. The San Francisco Film Connection will make sure you graduate with a great reel and awesome real-life Houston film connections.

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 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. We believe the best way to “break into the film business” in San Francisco is to start out inside of a San Francisco film production company. FILM CONNECTION gets you in the door. So what will you do once you’re learning right inside of a professional filmmaking environment? What will you do with access and opportunity as a regular part of your externship?

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 and student extern 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, 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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