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?

Logan Hale Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Logan Hale Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Logan is a lifelong filmmaker. With 8 years of experience in Event and Experiential Marketing, Logan has a passion for communicating the brand message and essence with artistic quality and creativity.

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Tom Malloy Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Tom Malloy Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

The Alphabet Killer, Love N’ Dancing, The Attic, Hero of the Underworld, Law & Order: SVU

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Jason Jackson Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Jason Jackson Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Past productions include LMN’s Monstresses; Investigation Discovery’s Cuff Me If You Can; America’s Most Haunted and UFO’s Crashed my Vacation; America’s Most Secret and I Faked My Own Death for Discovery; National Geographic’s 42 Ways to Kill Hitler and Don’t Try This At Home; Vampire Secrets and Ancient Ink for The History Channel; Las Vegas Bikers for truTV; Weather Channel’s Full Force Nature; True Confessions for WE-TV as well as Beyond Death and Investigative Reports for A&E.

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Matthew Temple Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Matthew Temple Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

“All aspects of filmmaking are primarily experiential, so a program like this one gives the students what they need most- the opportunity to DO.” — Matthew Temple, Producer of “The Advocate” and Universal’s “Dragon Nest: Warriors’ Dawn”

Matthew Temple has long stood at the crossroads of art and social action–his work and passion split between telling stories and participating in the creation of new paradigms wherein new stories for the future can be created. As a storyteller, he works as a screenwriter, director, producer and actor.  As a social entrepreneur, he is the founder and president of the non-profit WeStrive, where he is the executive director of the Wandering Reel Traveling Film Festival. Temple is currently VP of Production and Development for Mili Pictures Worldwide.

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Nick Kielhold Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

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Nick Kielhold Traverse City-Cadillac Mentor

Background

Nick is your basic military brat. Except for the fact that neither of his parents were actually in the military. But, like many military families, his family moved several times during his youth, living in Omaha, Chicago, and Minneapolis among other places. And although he wasn’t living on military bases, he developed a deep interest in History, and all things military. Ask him about the Battle of Tarawa in 1943, and you may just get an entire lesson on the Pacific Theater of World War II. When he’s not painting tanks for his war game simulations, Nick works here. He shoots video. He edits video. He talks about World War II. A lot. Anyone who comes into contact with Nick will become much better versed in the history of mankind and all the wars it has produced over the years. Nick provided 50% of the formula that founded Full Effect Productions over 18 years ago, and has played a vital role in its success. Nick is a 1987 graduate of the University of South Dakota, and his previous experience includes working at a local TV station as Commercial Videographer/Producer. Not taking a cue from his parents, Nick has decided to keep his family in one city, and has called Sioux City, Iowa home since 1988. He has a wife of 29 years and an adult son and daughter. In his free time, Nick can be found studiously painting small military ships, tanks and airplanes. He has amassed large numbers of these items that comprise entire military units used for battles at the MAGECON gaming convention. He’s a film buff who’s recently installed home theater has him positively giddy, and hardly ever seeing daylight.

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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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Traverse City-Cadillac News

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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How to Get Out of a Creative Funk

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Everything We Know About Ant-Man and The Wasp

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What Sucks About The Big Bang Theory

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What (Most) Actors Want from (Most) Directors

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Game of Thrones has got Everyone Guessing

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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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