This isn’t a boring Youngstown film school classroom. This isn’t an overcrowded college laboratory. This is life. Real Life. YOUR LIFE.

Film Connection Film School in Youngstown, Ohio specializes in pairing our students with professional filmmakers who give them real-world experience at their own studios, on-location, and at production companies across the Youngstown area.

Film Connection for Cinematography is suited for aspiring DPs i.e. Cinematographers. Film professionals in this role are the director’s partner and are charged with planning the shots, running the crew, and achieving the desired visual aesthetic. As an extern cinematographer, we pair you with a working DP who can show you the tricks of the trade and help you develop the keen “eye of the DP,” which is something best learned by doing and that’s what we’re all about!

The Film Connection for Film Production & Editing program enables you to study inside a real film production company in your city as you develop your movie idea under the instruction of a professional filmmaker. Our curriculum covers numerous aspects of professional filmmaking including: shot-blocking, working with actors, lighting, grip and electric, interviewing, and how to “make your day.” Story development and writing are also part of our film school alternative including everything from how to develop a story idea, to writing a pitch and pitching professionally, to writing a treatment. Budgeting, financing, deal-making, standard contracts, permits, and licensing are also covered.

Don’t Spend More on your Film Education if You Don’t Have to

Did you know Youngstown, Ohio is a city of around 72,000 people located on the east side of the state near the Pennsylvania border? Like Pittsburgh, its neighbor about an hour to the southeast, Youngstown is located within the “Rust Belt” and grew up around the steel industry. Despite its seemingly small size and relatively remote location, Youngstown actually has deep ties to the film industry, being the old stomping grounds of legendary movie moguls the Warner Brothers. Other entertainment pros hailing from the area include producer Paula Wagner, director Chris Columbus (The Goonies, Home Alone), and actors Victor Slezak, Catherine Bach, and Michael Pataki, to name a few. Youngstown is conveniently located within a range of major cities like Pittsburgh and Cleveland, as well as plenty of interesting natural and industrial backdrops which make for a wide range of filming locations. Additionally, Ohio offers generous tax incentive packages which attract many filmmakers to the region. If you are planning a career in filmmaking as a film director, film producer, film editor, or cameraman, you’ll find Youngstown to be a surprising alternative to relocating elsewhere.

Meet Our Mentors

Adam Weber

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Daniel Lir

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Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs

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Alejandra Huerta

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Daniela Larsen

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Get Real World Film Production Experience in Youngstown

Major movies, commercials, TV shows, and documentaries are filmed throughout Ohio regularly, including in and around Youngstown. A few of the movies that have done filming in this area include Diary of a Hitman, Uninvited Guest, Horrors of War, Turn of Faith, The Quiet Arrangement, and film classic The Deer Hunter, to name a few.

Our Youngstown Film Industry Mentors Help you Build Real World Connections

With its proximity to major cities and plenty of great filming locations–and with the numerous production companies coming into the area for film projects–Youngstown is a great connection point for film students and filmmaking professionals. FILM CONNECTION’s unique mentor-extern approach puts you into the center of the action, giving you valuable experience and vital industry contacts as you work on real-life film and video shoots. Come and find out why many of our graduates get hired, many times even before they finish our program! Let us get you started now!

Learn the skills you need to take your idea from paper to the big screen.

Real world film education by filmmakers for filmmakers, optimized for today!


Success stories

Since he started his extern program with Uptone Pictures in Raleigh, NC, Grant Gilbert has been taking…


Please take the time to read the experiences of one of our own, Korey Hehn of Pineville, OR…


The Film Connection program provided me with an opportunity to "see it and believe it"!…


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