Get Hands-On Mentorship at our Illinois Film Production School. Learn from Industry Insiders.

If you have dreams of a career in the film industry, your path to Hollywood begins at the Illinois Film Connection. We are the best film school in the state, and we put you closer to the action than any other film school can. With our unique training approach, you won’t waste a single day sitting in some college or trade school classroom. Instead, we’ll place you as a working extern inside a real film production company, and we’ll pair you with an experienced film professional who will show you the ropes one-on-one. In other words, you’ll learn on-the-job, and “on the set.” And in so doing, you’ll be making lots of career-advancing industry connections while those other film students are still sitting in those classrooms.

What do you want to do in film? Do you want to write scripts, or edit films? Do you want to be a cinematographer? A producer? A director? Do you want to go all the way to making your own movies in Hollywood? We’ll pair you with an industry pro who specializes in your field of interest, and tailor our curriculum to fit your needs—including, if you so choose, helping you develop your own film idea and then pitching that film to REAL HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVES.

Externship Locations in Illinois

Film Production Programs and Courses for a new age for artists in California. Learn, create, record and share. Let’s amplify your life, together.

Learn Film Production Close to Home with an Illinois Film Industry Insider

The great thing is, you don’t have to move to L.A. in order to get started. Thanks in part to generous incentives offered by the state, there are many major film and television productions that come to Illinois regularly to shoot on location.

Here’s just a partial list:

  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Home Alone (1990)
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
  • Contagion (2011)
  • Man of Steel (2013)
  • Bad Teacher (2011)
  • Public Enemies (2009)
  • Chicago Fire (TV series, 2012-present)
  • Prison Break (TV series, 2005-2009)

Major productions like these frequently rely on local talent, so you can see there are plenty of opportunities to connect to the film industry right here in Illinois. By placing you as a working extern in a real production company, the Illinois Film Connection can help you make the most of these opportunities where other schools can’t.

Explore our Innovative Film Programs and Courses in Illinois. Get on a Streamlined Path to the Film Industry.

Our one-of-a-kind training program has the endorsement of hundreds of major players in the film industry, many of whom teach for us. We have been around for nearly 30 years, and we’re not going anywhere. Our program works because this is an industry that revolves around experience and connections, not college degrees or film school diplomas. You’ll get a certificate of completion from us, but the real value of our program comes with the real-world experience and the connections you’ll make by learning on-the-job—experience and connections that can even lead to jobs in Hollywood itself. Yes, we have connections there, too, and we can help you connect there, as well.

One thing that could stop your dreams dead in their tracks is being overwhelmed by student debt—so we’ve taken steps to protect you from that, as well. While other film schools charge huge tuition rates that practically force you into debt, we’ve managed our costs to offer you this on-the-job education for up to 75% LESS than our competition. This allows you to focus on your new career, not on how you’re going to pay your tuition bill.

Whether you live in Chicago, Springfield, Rockford, Peoria or some other town in Illinois, we have film professionals near where you live who are eager to train you! If you’re ready to get on the inside track to the film industry, we’re ready to help. APPLY NOW FOR FREE to get started.



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"I had an amazing experience with the program. Got the chance to learn and know what to expect in the industry I'm interested in working in.. Working with a follow…"

Reymond Gutierrez – Las Vegas, Nevada

"I got great movie recommendations that gave me many creative influences. My mentor gave constructive feedback on my script. I learned about how to work on a film set and…"

Josh Chacko – Arlington, Washington

"The curriculum offered a fantastic jumping off point for me and my mentor to dig deep into any and everything filmmaking!"

Miranda Bellio – Newton, Massachusetts

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!