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The Film Industry
in Iowa

The Film Connection in Iowa is the smartest, most cost-efficient film school in the state, providing you practical opportunities no other film school can. How? By putting you in a real film production facility as a working apprentice (extern). Instead of sitting in a classroom, you’ll be on the set. Instead of learning from a career instructor, you’ll learn one-on-one from a real film industry professional who works in the business every day. Instead of meeting a bunch of students, you’ll meet real industry pros who can help you further your career. And instead of paying $30,000 or more for your education, you’ll pay about 75% LESS! There is truly no other opportunity like this anywhere else.

Whether you want to be a film editor, cinematographer, screenwriter or film director, we work with film professionals across the state that specialize in your field of interest, whether you live in Des Moines, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids or Sioux City. And the best part is, you don’t have to move to Los Angeles before connecting to the film industry—we can connect you right here in Iowa, by putting you in a film production facility near where you live!

Don’t believe us? Well, just look over this partial list of major motion pictures that have shot on location in Iowa:

  • Field of Dreams (1989)
  • Starman (1984)
  • Twister (1996)
  • Children of the Corn (1984)
  • Noises Off… (1992)
  • The Straight Story (1999)
  • The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

When major films and TV productions come on location, they often use local talent, which is why it pays to be in a real Iowa production company when the call comes in. And that’s where the Iowa Film Connection puts you, from day one.

Our film school is fully accredited, and our methods are endorsed by hundreds of major industry professionals because they know that the best way to break into film is by actually working in the industry, not sitting in a college classroom. With our unique program, you’ll have a structured curriculum taught one-on-one by your mentor, combined with many hours of actual work experience in the studio or on location. Our curriculum can be tailored to fit any specialized area of interest, whether it’s screenwriting, editing, cinematography or production. And if your dream is to make your own films in Hollywood, we can help with that, too: your mentor can use the curriculum to guide you step by step through the development of your own film idea—and when you’re ready, we’ll even arrange for you to pitch that film to real Hollywood executives! Name one other film school that offers this. (Hint: you can’t. We’re the only one.)

But there’s more. Your education means nothing if you graduate with so much debt that you aren’t free to pursue your dreams. So instead of charging you ridiculous tuition rates like the other film schools, we deliberately keep your costs low. How low? How about 75% LESS than the competition? That way, you can focus on what’s important to you—making films—instead of how you’re going to pay your student loans off.

It’s time to decide. Are you ready to make the leap? Are you serious about breaking into the film business? Whether your dream is to start our own production company in Iowa, or to make the trek to Hollywood, the Iowa Film Connection is your place to start. APPLY NOW FOR FREE to learn more.

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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Meet our Faculty

Why learn from teachers when you can learn from the professionals?

Tabitha Hartbauer Film Connection Mentor

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Tabitha Hartbauer Film Connection Mentor

Background

The BSP editing facility sets the standard for editing in Colorado. Three video edit suites utilize “Premiere Pro CS6”, “Final Cut Pro” and “DaVinci” and project Panasonic High Definition 1080p images on to 110” Stewart Screens.

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Jason Hewitt Film Connection Mentor

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Jason Hewitt Film Connection Mentor

Background

Odd Thomas, 13 Sins, Blood Out, Left Behind, Season of the Witch, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, The Outsider

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Joe Van Wie Film Connection Mentor

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Joe Van Wie Film Connection Mentor

Background

Following a spirited and notorious adolescence in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Joe did a stretch at New York University and ended up spending nearly a decade as an accomplished part of the New York City’s lively film and TV industry. During this time, he racked up credits ranging from producing feature films premiering at international film festivals to directing and producing content for a variety of national cable television networks. His most recent film is the locally-shot award-winning feature Forged. Joe is an active board member on the boards of Dress for Success, The Scranton Club and the American Advertising Federation of NEPA. Joe is also a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the American Association of Political Consultants, and two time Pollie award winner.

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John Lux Film Connection Mentor

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John Lux Film Connection Mentor

Background

John Lux is the Chief Operating Officer for the IDEAS media and experience design company, which employs film program graduates nationwide. The projects his company handles stretch from Florida, to Europe, and as far as Shangai, China.

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Rebecca Ramon Film Connection Mentor

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Rebecca Ramon Film Connection Mentor

Background

Rebecca Ramon hails from Battle Creek, MI and is a proud Midwestern girl. She believes that’s exactly what keeps her down to earth and youthful. With a BA in Broadcasting & Cable production from Western Michigan University, and an MFA in Film Production from Chapman University, one of the top ten film schools in the nation, she’s definitely standing on her own two feet. Not only does Rebecca have a formal education, her mentor for post production was Paul Seydor, a member of ACE; the honorary society of motion picture editors. Paul edited movies such as “White Men Can’t Jump” and “This Christmas”. In other words, she has learned from the best, and has over ten years of experience, which ranges from pre-production to post-production in several mediums. Most importantly, she has the passion to share her knowledge as a mentor.

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Greg Freeman Film Connection Mentor

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Greg Freeman Film Connection Mentor

Background

Greg Freeman is an award-winning Director of Photography with nearly two decades in news, sports, entertainment, special programming, documentaries, and commercials. Greg has directed projects for nearly every major television network including ABC, Discovery, ESPN, HBO, HGTV, NBC, PBS, and more.

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Matt Jeppsen Film Connection Mentor

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Matt Jeppsen Film Connection Mentor

Background

The Flying Dutchman, The Launch, Less Cowbell, One in a Million

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Steve Riach Film Connection Mentor

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Steve Riach Film Connection Mentor

Background

Steve is an award winning producer, director and writer of over 250 films, documentaries, television shows and home video properties, including specials from the Olympics, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA and NCAA Championships, and college football bowl games.

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Avery Williams Film Connection Mentor

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Avery Williams Film Connection Mentor

Background

Avery O. Williams works steadily in both the film and theater worlds. He is the co-writer of the feature film Directing Eddie starring Valerie Perrine and Jade Barrymore, directed by Lawrence Kaldor which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was voted Best Comedy at the 2001 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. He wrote and directed the industrial film for the City of Atalanta entitled Surviving Domestic Violence and he wrote and co-produced the film short The Willie Witch Projects, which was showcased at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and is distributed by Trimark Pictures in their compilation entitled The Bogus Witch Project. Other short subject screenplays that have been made into films include Notes In A Minor Key, The Willie Witch Projects and The Chocolate Factory, Part 1.

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Harry Findysz Film Connection Mentor

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Harry Findysz Film Connection Mentor

Background

“The Film Connection Program uses real world people to mentor real world jobs.”

-Harry Findysz, Tucson, Arizona, Southern Arizona Video Productions

Producer of Live Television, Music Videos, Documentaries, Winner of Ashbury Best Music Documentary 2016 Linda Chorney The Cantina

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Logan Hale Film Connection Mentor

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Logan Hale Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Tom Malloy Film Connection Mentor

Background

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

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Jason Jackson Film Connection Mentor

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Jason Jackson Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Matthew Temple Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Nick Kielhold Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Ryan Kindahl Film Connection Mentor

Background

Documentaries, Music Videos, Commercials

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Megan Kennedy Film Connection Mentor

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Megan Kennedy Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Calix Lewis Reneau Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Sandy Stern Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Rob Helmstetter Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Michael Van Orden Film Connection Mentor

Background

Credits: Being Doug, Called to Serve, The Washing, Spit

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Albert Dabah Film Connection Mentor

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Albert Dabah Film Connection 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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Derek Koen Film Connection Mentor

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Derek Koen Film Connection Mentor

Background

Washington Koen Media Productions is a full-service media production company specializing in video productions, streaming video solutions, presentations and audio/visual support for organizations both large and small. Whether corporate video presentations, documentaries, live streaming of meetings, or web streaming solutions, our highly-skilled and creative team- with over 20 years of combined experience – using today's latest tools and technology, can produce quality results for your company

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Brian Glazen Film Connection Mentor

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Brian Glazen Film Connection Mentor

Background

In 2013, Brian Glazen co-produced an independent film called Fishing Without Nets. This film went on to win for Best Direction at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and recently sold to Twentieth Century Fox for distribution to theaters nation wide.

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Laura Scheiner Film Connection Mentor

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Laura Scheiner Film Connection Mentor

Background

Seasoned film development executive, writer and script consultant with exceptional story development and script analysis skills. As a development executive I’m particularly adept at pinpointing the problems in a script and coming up with creative solutions. I’m a passionate collaborator who creates a fertile environment where writers can bloom and scripts can meet their potential.

As a writer for hire I pride myself as bringing my story sense, knowledge, talent and unbridled imagination to the table in order to bring the producer’s vision to life.

As a storyteller I always aim to entertain, engage, surprise, move and provoke.

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Craig Constant Film Connection Mentor

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Craig Constant Film Connection Mentor

Background

Craig Constant is an Executive Producer at Constant66 Films. After leaving the Marine Corps, he worked as a Photojournalist/Editor for the Fox News Channel for close to seven years. Since then, he’s worked as a Sound Technician, Production Sound Mixer, Camera Operator and Director of Photography.

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Zef Cota Film Connection Mentor

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Zef Cota Film Connection 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 Film Connection Mentor

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Jim DeGroot Film Connection 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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Bob Kelley Film Connection Mentor

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Bob Kelley Film Connection Mentor

Background

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

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Marc Silber Film Connection Mentor

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Marc Silber Film Connection 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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“I learned more about the history of film today and how people used to film videos and movies and clips with still photography. I met some more filmmakers and editors who were really nice and fun to be around”

Day 1

Brett Wilson, San Diego, CA Majored in Editing / Production

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:


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