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 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 fully-equipped film production company.

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 apprentice (extern) to a professional editor in a post-production facility.

Film Editing Details

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Traverse City-Cadillac

Film Connection Locations

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/externship locations. Or call us for more information at 800-295-4433


  • Personal Details
  • More Info
  • Tuition

Contact Information

Please enter your info below, and someone from RRFC will contact you:

More Info

Note: If you are serious about learning real-world audio production the way we teach it, answer the following questions to expedite your admissions process.

Note: If you are serious about learning real-world radio production the way we teach it, answer the following questions to expedite your admissions process.

Note: If you are serious about learning real-world film production the way we teach it, answer the following questions to expedite your admissions process.

Note: If you are serious about learning real-world culinary skills the way we teach it, answer the following questions to expedite your admissions process.

Which of the following do you have experience with?

What large city is closest to where you live? (Or, which city do you live in?)

Are you willing to go there twice a week for six months?

Tuition

How do you plan on paying for your tuition?
*When paid in full, tuition will receive a $2000 reduction, bringing the program’s total tuition of $12,200 to $10,200 not including administrative fees.

Are you a member or veteran of the military?


What are your goals?


* Not all programs are available in every state. Consult an Admissions Representative to learn more.

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 Traverse City-Cadillac 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 program should be to learn how to make movies—especially YOUR movie. Our 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 program. We’re different, even innovative and you need to understand more before you apply. 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?

Ryan E. Heppe Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Ryan E. Heppe Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

During his tenure at CCH, Heppe was hired by legendary producer David Foster (The Getaway, Short Circuit, The Mask of Zorro) and quickly climbed to the position of Head of Development where he became involved with Foster’s productions: Collateral Damage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hart’s War starring Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell, and The Core starring Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank. As a hyphenate Producer/Director/Writer/Actor, some of Heppe’s work includes: Production of the docu-drama The Magic Was In The Music, a remake of Short Circuit, adaptations of the 80’s television mini-series V and cop series T.J. Hooker, among others. As an actor, he’s starred in such stage productions as You Can’t Take It With You, Life On The Bowery, Dracula and Picnic at Hanging Rock – several of which he directed. In the world of VO, he’s lent his voice to numerous commercials, both national and regional, and performs several characters on the animated series DaGeDar. Request an Invitation

Wade Marshall Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Wade Marshall Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Since 2007, Millennium Studios has been servicing productions in Shreveport and throughout Louisiana. Credits: True Blood, The Expendables 3, Olympus Has Fallen Request an Invitation

Jon Reiss Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Jon Reiss Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety, Jon Reiss is also critically acclaimed filmmaker whose experience releasing his feature Bomb It with a hybrid strategy was the inspiration for writing Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing in the Digital Era (TOTBO), the first step-by-step guide for filmmakers to distribute and market their films.  He also co-wrote Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul and Selling Your Film Outside the US.   He also teaches at the Film Directing Program at Cal Arts. Request an Invitation

Rick Dahl Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Rick Dahl Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

I’ve written for many of the major studios and networks. My first movie, “Red Rock West,” was nominated for Best Screenplay by the Independent Spirit Awards.  I think this program is fantastic. I get to spend an hour a week, one-on-one with my students. We read over their material carefully. It affords me the opportunity to dig deep and get into the details of screenwriting – a deceptively complicated craft. We can cover various aspects of formatting, different styles of writing and how they impact the reader – which ultimately determines the filmic outcome and audience sees on screen. The time allows me to get know my students so that I’m able to help them put some part of themselves into their stories.  Once you get past the basics, screenwriting is about story. And we all have one to tell. The more personal that is, the more impact it will have. The terrific thing I get to experience with Film Connection, because of the one-on-one time I have with my students, is the growth they achieve in their writing Request an Invitation

Jana Sue Memel Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Jana Sue Memel Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

“Students at the Film Connection receive the extraordinary benefit of a one-on-one mentoring relationship with highly experienced industry professionals. What an amazing way to learn your craft. Nothing could be better.” — Jana Sue Memel, Films Jana have produced have been nominated for eleven Oscars and won three. They have also won Emmy’s, Director and Writer Guild Awards and numerous film festival awards.  Credits:  So I Married An Axe Murderer, Tough Guys, Down Came A Blackbird, Duke of Groove Request an Invitation

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs has been one of the most consistent actors in Hollywood and his amazing work has won millions of hearts all over the world. He was born in the year 1953 on 4th of September and this makes his age 61 at this time. At this age he has already been a legendary actor and he will be always remembered for his contributions. He was born in a place called New York City, which lies in New York of United States of America. He belongs to the ethnicity black and nationality American. He is very humble and always carries a smile on his face. He is an extremely tall man as he has a very impressive height of 6 feet 2 inches, which is around 1.87 meters. He went to the university called Wilkes University for his degree. A lot of information on him and his interesting biography can be grabbed from wiki sites like Wikipedia and IMDb. He has been very motivated in his career and to make the scenes look real he has given many shirtless scenes as well. He has been living a king’s life and all thanks to his hard work and dedication. He has poured perfection in almost all of his work. He has been earning good money also and has his net worth in millions of dollars. He has a net worth of 1 million dollars and this speaks his success story. Videos related to him are absolutely loved in YouTube. It does not seem like he is much into social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram and does not like to upload his pictures in those sites to share them. After being so popular he has managed to keep his personal life very low profile. It does not seem like he is gay but, as he has not revealed his sexual preference nothing can be said with assurance. He has never talked about his wife and children but he looks like married. If he is not married also he has never revealed the person he is dating right now or his girlfriend. He has never talked about his current affair also if he is having any. It seems like he has not been through divorce. He has played great roles in TV shows and movies and this has made him who he is today. He played the role of Charles in a movie called Claudine in the year 1974. He played the role of Cochise in a movie called Cooley High in the year 1975. He played the role of Floyd in a movie called The Annihilators in the year 1985. In the year 2004 he played the role of Anthony in a movie called 30 Miles. Other movies to his credits are Nocturnal Agony, Otis, Tamales and Gumbo, Indecent Behavior, L.A Vice, Chance and Youngblood. He has been superb with his roles in TV shows and series as well. He appeared in a TV show called Welcome Back, Kotter from the year 1975 to the year 1979. Other TV series to his credits are Pointman, Ellen, Moesha and The Jacksons: An American Dream. Request an Invitation

Jim Fogarty Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Jim Fogarty Traverse City-Cadillac 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). Request an Invitation

Dale DeToni Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Dale DeToni Traverse City-Cadillac 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. Request an Invitation

Damon Crump Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Damon Crump Traverse City-Cadillac 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 Request an Invitation

Mark Gibson Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Mark Gibson Traverse City-Cadillac 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.  Request an Invitation

Conrad Denke Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Conrad Denke Traverse City-Cadillac 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.” Request an Invitation

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Traverse City-Cadillac News

Want to Know if Film is for You? Make a Microshort!

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Great Movies about Moviemaking

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For The Love Of…Lists

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Five Scientific Discoveries That Need to be Movies

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Filmmaker Daytrips: LA Film Locations

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Truffaut: A Brief History

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Five Romantic Movies Nearly Everyone Will Love

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Can Being Too Indie Hurt Your Career?

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The Film Scene in Traverse City-Cadillac

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

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 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 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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