This is your
Traverse City-Cadillac Classroom

Whether in-person or online. Real filmmaking education. Real film industry connections.
Schedule a Virtual Tour

Tour a Film Production Company
In Traverse City-Cadillac

Get started with a virtual tour of aMichigan 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 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

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We provide job placement services.

 

Other students learn in classrooms...

OUR students learn in:

 

REAL Radio Stations

REAL Recording Studios

REAL Film Production Companies


 

Where jobs get filled.

When jobs become available, our students are often the first to know and get hired.

Long story short:

Our way just makes sense.

Our mentors want to hire people like you.

Afterall, if they’ve trained you themselves,
they know what you’re capable of.

See why we call ourselves Film Connection.
To find out exact job placement numbers in your area, give us a call.



We're here to help.

We provide job placement services.

Find Out Why

Other students learn in classrooms...


OUR students learn in the same places where jobs get filled.

 

REAL Radio Stations

REAL Recording Studios

REAL Film Production Companies

When jobs become available, our students are often the first to know and get hired.

Long story short:

Our way just makes sense.

Our mentors want to hire people like you.

Afterall, if they’ve trained you themselves,
they know what you’re capable of.

See why we call ourselves Film Connection.

To find out exact job placement numbers in your area, give us a call.

(800) 600-6956

We're here to help.

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


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 Virtual Tour

Real World
Film Education

From directing to producing to editing and screenwriting, our 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 or receive direct one-on-one training online.

Tuition
Comparison

Film Connection’s mentor styled education is a cost-effective approach to real-world, 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 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 careers in the film industry. 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?

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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Bob Kelley Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Bob Kelley Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Clients: Discovery Canada, PBS, UCDavis, Associated Press, Fox News, Blackstone Media, NBC Universal

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Marc Silber Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Marc Silber Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

With a background in visual media, director Marc Silber has interviewed scores of entrepreneurs, CEOs and creative professionals over the years. His interview series has received hearty praise and has helped countless business leaders and artists tell their story.

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Craig Roessler Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Craig Roessler Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

A film and television studio executive and producer for over twenty years, Craig has directly overseen, managed, and/or produced 25 films and seven network series with budgets totaling over $500 million. 

Craig is known for his project-management skills, having close working relationships with talent and directors, producing big looking, studio-quality content on tight budgets, quickly providing workable solutions for development and production issues, and completing projects on time, on budget.

As Senior Vice President of Production, Programming and Creative Affairs for MGM Television Worldwide Inc., Craig had direct oversight of all content development, and oversaw pre-production, production, post-production, while working with business & legal affairs, marketing, and promotion. His MGM product was nominated for 10 Emmy awards and numerous others including DGA, Golden Globes, PGA and SAG awards. 

He oversaw studio projects such as the series Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: Universe, Dead Like Me, and The L Word, as well as Showtime Movies Inherit the Wind, Twelve Angry Men, In the Time of the Butterflies, That Championship Season, and Rocky Marciano, which opened the Monte Carlo Film Festival. Craig has worked with a wide range of talent, from well-established actors and directors to breaking new talent. 

Craig grew up in Los Angeles and Colorado, working summers on ranches breaking and training western saddle horses. He attended Columbia University, working his way through school as an actor on NBC’s soap opera “Another World,” while learning production work skills for quick, quality content.

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Kel Thompson Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Kel Thompson Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

America’s Production Company was established in 2005 by Kel Thompson who has degrees in photography & advertising from Texas State University. Kel is also a graduate of the Palm Beach Film School. Kel was first published in photography at 17 years old in TX. Kel worked for News24Houston as their first helicopter videographer, before being hired by a major event production company in Florida. Two years later he established America’s Production Company after learning the ropes in photo, video, audio and event production.

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Zef Cota Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Zef Cota Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Alphabet City Films is a film production company based in New York City, NY. We are a collective of writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, and other talented filmmakers. We have created many short films, and recently produced our first feature length film: The Trouble.

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Jim DeGroot Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Jim DeGroot Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Clients: Green Bay Packers, Disney, National Guard, Doritos, ABC World News, Good Morning America, St. Joseph’s Medical Centers, Homeland Security

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Eero Johnson Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Eero Johnson Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

“I’m Eero Johnson. I’m a film and video producer living in Bellingham, Washington. For over ten years I’ve been creating commercials, corporate videos, web videos, sales DVD’s, music videos … whatever it takes to get your message to your audience. I have a great group of clients and I love what I do.”

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Chris Varner Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Chris Varner Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

In a career spanning nearly 20 years, Chris has worked in almost every facet of video production, from lens to post. His credits include EPK work on “Sleepy Hollow”, “Under The Dome”, “The Longest Ride”, “We’re The Millers”, “Iron Man 3”, “One Tree Hill” and more.

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John Raffo Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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John Raffo Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

John Raffo started as a photographer in New York before turning his attention to screenwriting. Over the last twenty years he’s worked on a variety of credited and uncredited projects (including, DRAGON, THE BRUCE LEE STORYTHE RELIC, and THE INTERPRETER”). His original screenplay RENKO VEGA AND THE JENNIFER NINE appeared on the 2011 Black List. THE 7TH SWORD is his first story written directly as a graphic novel.

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Traverse City-Cadillac 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 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 many 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 real-world method works.

Hans Zimmer

From his early days in pop music, Hans has written original scores for such films as Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), Gladiator (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2005) Sherlock Holmes (2009) and over 100 others.

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Joel Schumacher

Joel Schumacher and RRF have donated to The Endometriosis Foundation of America. This group aims to increase disease recognition, provide advocacy, facilitate expert surgical training, and fund landmark endometriosis research.

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Larry King

The Film Connection was recently invited onto the Larry King program to talk about how our externship program is making a difference by connecting our students and getting them hired.

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Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew and RRF have helped Tracey Wilson, a former gang member, get into film school, and are now helping him make his first documentary about getting your GED and going to college.

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Judi Levine

Sundance Award-winning Producer of the Academy Award-winning film, The Sessions.

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Judge Mathis

Judge Mathis and RRF are helping inner city youth get educated through the RRF program.

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Sandy Stern

Credits: Being John Malkovich, Saved! and Velvet Goldmine.

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Henry Bromell

Henry Bromell produced, created, directed the series Homeland, and has written and produced the television dramas Northern Exposure, I’ll Fly Away, Homicide: Life on the Street, Chicago Hope, Carnivale, Brotherhood, Rubicon, and Homeland.

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Paul Guay

Credits: Liar Liar, The Little Rascals, Hearbreakers

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Evan Astrowsky

“I went to a good film school, but the day I graduated I had no idea what to do. No one wanted to hand me thousands of dollars to direct or produce anything so I had to figure it out on my own.”

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Ron Osborn

Credits: The West Wing, Meet Joe Black, Duckman

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Doug Eboch

Credits: Sweet Home Alabama, The Hollywood Pitching Bible

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1000+ Reviews

Every week we ask our students to review how they are progressing with our program.

We've got questions, and they've got answers!

Read Our Reviews

Film Connection provides affordable, unique education models coupled with mentor-based (externship) programs that can be engaged remotely or in person.

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