This is your
Traverse City-Cadillac 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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Traverse City-Cadillac

Film Connection Film Institute

Our "Near Me" Traverse City-Cadillac Filmmaker Locations

  • Bay Hills
  • Silver Lake
  • Indian Trail
  • Oak Park
  • Cherry Bend
  • Slabtown
  • Old Mission
  • Holiday Hills
  • Garfield Township
  • Bingham
  • Cedar
  • Lake Ann
  • Chums Corner
  • Grawn
  • Buckley
  • Kingsley
  • Mayfield
  • Acme
  • Marton
  • Haring Township
  • Highland
  • McBain
Schedule a Tour
Schedule a Tour

Visit a Film Production Company
In Traverse City-Cadillac

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


About Our Traverse City-Cadillac Film School

Our fully-immersive curriculum
covers all of the following:

Building Relationships

Learning filmmaking in the real world with the Film Connection mentoring approach makes building relationships in the film industry is a daily occurrence.

On-Set Etiquette

Knowing how to handle yourself on the set is a prerequisite to a successful career in filmmaking—your mentor will guide you through proper etiquette during real film shoots.

Hardware and Equipment

Film Connection mentors exist in the real world where the competition is fierce. Having the latest gear is essential to their success which gives you access to the latest hardware.

Making Movies

Isn’t the whole point of going to film school to learn how to make movies—especially YOUR movie? The Film Connection curriculum is designed around this concept from start to finish.

What is the Next Step?

We get it. This isn’t your normal four-year college or trade school. We’re different, even innovative and you need to understand more before you apply. Here’s how you can get more info:


Request Information Choose Your Location Call Admissions

Meet our Faculty

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

Ryan Kindahl Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Ryan Kindahl Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Documentaries, Music Videos, Commercials

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Megan Kennedy Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Megan Kennedy Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Megan is an award-winning photographer and videographer with over 10 years of video production experience, from directing and editing national PSA campaigns to producing feature-length documentaries.

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Calix Lewis Reneau Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Calix Lewis Reneau Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Calix Lewis Reneau is a producer and writer, known for An Even Worse Joke (2013), Canyon Road (2013) and My Cousin’s Ghetto Wedding (2016).

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Sandy Stern Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Sandy Stern Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Producer, Being John Malcovich, Saved!, Velvet Goldmine, Pump Up the Volume, Thirteen Conversations about One Thing, Equinox, Red Hot

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Rob Helmstetter Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Rob Helmstetter Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Rob has experience with major corporate ad agencies Publicis, Medicus, Digitas based in New York and Chicago. He has always been on the bleeding edge of technology and believes that services should be simple for the viewers.

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Michael Van Orden Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Michael Van Orden Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Credits: Being Doug, Called to Serve, The Washing, Spit

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Albert Dabah Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Albert Dabah Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Albert has been in the video production business for thirty-three years, owning and running Simba Productions in New York City.

Clients: CNN, HBO, Apple

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Derek Koen Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Derek Koen Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Washington Koen Media Productions is a full-service media production company specializing in video productions, streaming video solutions, presentations and audio/visual support for organizations both large and small. Whether corporate video presentations, documentaries, live streaming of meetings, or web streaming solutions, our highly-skilled and creative team- with over 20 years of combined experience – using today's latest tools and technology, can produce quality results for your company

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Brian Glazen Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Brian Glazen Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

In 2013, Brian Glazen co-produced an independent film called Fishing Without Nets. This film went on to win for Best Direction at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and recently sold to Twentieth Century Fox for distribution to theaters nation wide.

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Laura Scheiner Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Laura Scheiner Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Seasoned film development executive, writer and script consultant with exceptional story development and script analysis skills. As a development executive I’m particularly adept at pinpointing the problems in a script and coming up with creative solutions. I’m a passionate collaborator who creates a fertile environment where writers can bloom and scripts can meet their potential.

As a writer for hire I pride myself as bringing my story sense, knowledge, talent and unbridled imagination to the table in order to bring the producer’s vision to life.

As a storyteller I always aim to entertain, engage, surprise, move and provoke.

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Craig Constant Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Craig Constant Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Craig Constant is an Executive Producer at Constant66 Films. After leaving the Marine Corps, he worked as a Photojournalist/Editor for the Fox News Channel for close to seven years. Since then, he’s worked as a Sound Technician, Production Sound Mixer, Camera Operator and Director of Photography.

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Traverse City-Cadillac 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 Traverse City-Cadillac

The Traverse City-Cadillac, Michigan Film Connection Film School Advantage

At Traverse City-Cadillac Film Connection, we give you what overpriced overhyped big-city film programs don’t: mentorships with local filmmaking professionals. When you’re looking for a job in entertainment, degrees matter way less than real-world experience. Wouldn’t you rather spend six months under the tutelage of someone who works regularly in the industry instead of some stuffy classroom listening to a professor who’s never even made a movie? Wouldn’t you rather have contacts that you can communicate with over time to develop your network? We offer this and more in two programs.

The first is a 6-month program for those who want to learn what happens behind the scenes. Our signature feature, the professional mentorship, will find you working professionals in your area of concentration. The second track is for those of you who want to be the kind of visionary director that steers a project from its inception. Over eight months, you will get your shot to write, direct, and edit your project with your local mentors. Then you’ll coordinate with your dream mentors in Los Angeles and visit them (on us, of course) en route to pitching your idea before an industry executive. This is the stuff that people dream about and it’s all yours.

To APPLY for our Traverse City-Cadillac Film School, click here.

Located along Lake Michigan on the northwest corner of Michigan's lower peninsula, Traverse City is a town of about 14,000 people. Although essentially a small town in a rural setting, Traverse City has quite a wide reach. It is the major center of commerce for most of northwest Michigan, a major hub for tourism, and the largest producer of tart cherries in America. Over a half million people turn out annually for Traverse City's National Cherry Festival held every July. About 50 miles to the south lies the town of Cadillac, with a population of about 10,000 people and a reputation for natural beauty, set in an area of scenic forests and lakes great for location filming.

In terms of media and film, the reach of the Traverse City-Cadillac area is also wide; the Traverse City-Cadillac-Sault Ste. Marie DMA is not the most populous DMA in the nation, but is the largest single DMA in terms of land area. Additionally, this region is home to the annual Traverse City Film Festvial, founded by filmmaker Michael Moore, attracting plenty of filmmakers to the area each year. Add to that one of the most generous tax incentive packages offered anywhere, thanks to the State of Michigan, and you have a wonderful alternative location for learning film production, film directing or film editing, without having to relocate elsewhere.

Movies, commercials, TV shows and documentaries are filmed all over Michigan on a regular basis. Some of the films that have done location shooting in the Traverse City-Cadillac area and surrounding regions include The Scrapper, Die Hard 2, Locked Away, Somewhere in Time and Anatomy of a Murder, to name a few. 

FILM CONNECTION OF Traverse City-Cadillac pairs you with a working film or television professional who serves as your personal mentor and instructor during our inexpensive six-month program. Along the way, you'll gain valuable hands-on experience on real film and video shoots, and you'll make strategic industry connections that can lead to permanent jobs. Come find out why over 70 percent of our graduates get hired!

To APPLY click here.

Connections Matter

Learn From Industry Pros

The Film Connection film school is endorsed by filmmakers who are making the movies you love.

Professionals in the film business—including many of the famous producers, screenwriters and directors who’ve worked on the films that inspire you—endorse Film Connection’s programs for one simple reason: they know our immersive hands-on method works.

Mark Kohn

Marc is an accomplished executive with a consistent record of managing costs, measuring progress with metrics and creating operational efficiencies. He’s a thoughtful and enthusiastic professional possessing the ability to create a vision, gain executive alignment and effectively lead dynamic high performance teams for success.

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Jason Hewitt

Jason Hewitt, a native of Louisiana, left the technology industry to join the film and television industry. Hewitt was an early mover in the Internet economy, founding the website creation and marketing management company Planet Symphony in 1994.

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David Fuhrer

David’s stage and studio clients include: Bravo, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, Sex & The City, American Cancer Society, Clairol, Law & Order – Criminal Intent, Amazon, Verizon, VH1, The History Channel, MTV, Director’s Guild of America and many many more.

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ICM Partners

and RRF have donated to the Hide & Seek Foundation’s SOAR (Support of Accelerated Research).

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Carl Millender

Carl Millender born in Shreveport, Louisiana on March 5, 1970 is a pioneer in the film and television industry. In 1990 Carl Millender became a cultural consultant for NBC’s new programs, including “The Fresh Prince of Bel-air”, “Seinfeld”…

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Brian Glazen

Equal parts MacGyver, Steven Spielberg and Gandhi, Brian has ideas. Ideas about marketing, ideas about communication and ideas about fixing just about anything that might be broken. When he’s not sharing his ideas with clients you can usually find him fixing things at his own home or eagerly searching for things that may need fixing…

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Sam Borowski

“Film Connection truly is the ‘Film School of Hard Knocks.’ It helps new students to gain experience and network and teaches one thing I always preach to young filmmakers: practicality. It gives new students and would-be filmmakers, writers and editors, a chance to connect personally with their mentors.”

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Alex Keledjian

Producer of Project Greenlight

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Richard Berg

Richard Berg is an Art Director’s Guild and Emmy nominated Production Designer. He is responsible for the Production Design of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Eleventh Hour, Miami Medical, Chase and Modern Family. Berg is also an architect.

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Jeff Kushon

Great program. I’m proud to be a part of it.” Jeff has worked on over 200 film sets and has been a Set Decorator on hit movies, “Dude Where’s My Car”, “Nurse Betty”, “Blade 2”, “Beautiful”, “She’s All That” as well as TV shows “Modern Family”, “Trust Me” and “Miami Medical”.

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Luis Estrada

“Our first apprentice (extern) in this program was put right in the middle of the action and it was amazing how he was able to learn by doing. This Film Connection is great for people with a sincere interest in this field. Our apprentice (extern) turned out to be a reliable resource and we hope […]

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Matt Pellowski

“Being paired with working professionals and established companies allows up-and-coming artists to learn on the job, introduces them to the realities of film production, and helps them acquire the tools needed to become successful. Two of our current staff are graduates of the Film Connection.”

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