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Note: If you are serious about learning real-world film production the way we teach it, answer the following questions to expedite your admissions process.

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*When paid in full, tuition will receive a $2000 reduction, bringing the program’s total tuition of $12,200 to $10,200 not including administrative fees.

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The Film Industry
in Tennessee

Lots of film schools claim they can get you on the path to a film career, but the Tennessee Film Connection is the only film school in the state that actually delivers.  How?  By keeping you out of the classroom completely!  Our unique training program places you in a real film production company as a working extern, learning one-on-one from a seasoned film industry professional.  Your classes take place on-the-job and on the set, where you can gain valuable work experience and make important industry connections while you learn!  By the time you graduate, you are effectively already an industry insider, well ahead of the other film school students who spent all that time sitting in the classrooms. Whether you want to be a cinematographer, film editor, screenwriter or director; whether you live in Chattanooga, Nashville or Memphis; whether you want to start our own production company in Tennessee or break into Hollywood to make your own films; whatever your plans for a film career, the Tennessee Film Connection is your gateway to get there!

The best part is, you don’t have to move to Los Angeles to start getting connected to the film industry, because we have the resources to get you connected right near where you live!

Need proof? Take a look at just a few of the major film and TV productions that have shot on location here in Tennessee: 
  • Walk the Line (2005)
  • Water for Elephants (2011)
  • October Sky (1999)
  • The Firm (1993)
  • Country Strong (2010)
  • The Green Mile (1999)
  • The Last Castle (2001)
  • Identity Thief (2013)
  • Cast Away (2000)
  • Nashville (TV Series, 2012-present)
When productions like these come on location to film, they often rely on local talent—and of course, there is plenty of local production activity ongoing in Tennessee.  You can see that there are plenty of opportunities to make industry connections without leaving the state—but you CAN’T make those connections sitting in a classroom.  You can only do it by getting on-the-job and on the set—and that’s where the Tennessee Film Connection puts you, from day one! Our film training program is endorsed by some of the biggest players in the entertainment industry, many of whom choose to teach for us because they know the best way for you to learn is to become directly involved with the industry.  We’ll pair you with a mentor who specializes in your particular area of interest (whether editing, cinematography, screenwriting, producing or directing), and you’ll follow a structured curriculum geared to your needs.  And here’s something no other film school in the world will do for you: if you want to break into Hollywood with your own film, your mentor will guide you step-by-step through the development of your own film idea, and then we’ll arrange for you to PITCH YOUR FILM to real film executives in Los Angeles!  (Yes, we’ve got connections there, too.) What about the cost?  We know that getting buried in student debt could kill your film career before it ever starts, so unlike other film schools that charge ridiculous tuition rates, we keep your costs incredibly low.  With the Tennessee Film Connection, you’ll pay roughly 75% LESS for an on-the-job film education than most film schools charge to let you sit in their classrooms! If you’re serious about pursuing a career in film, you owe it to yourself to see what our one-of-a-kind program can do for you!  Apprenticeships are available now!  If you’re ready to get started, APPLY NOW FOR FREE

Programs

In the Film Connection for Film Production & Editing program, you will study directing, producing and screenwriting inside a real film production company in your city 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

Workshops

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 who gets the ball rolling down the hill.
 
In the Film Connection for Screenwriting workshop, you will learn the elements that make for a “Killer Script” by developing and writing your own feature length screenplay under the direction and mentorship of a working professional screenwriter.

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 so much more than that. He or she is also a qualified storyteller of the highest order.
 
In the Film Connection for Film Editing workshop, you will develop your knowledge of storytelling and screenplay structure as the foundational blueprint of a film. You will also develop your technical understanding of editing as an extern to a professional editor in a post-production facility.

Film Editing Details

View All Programs

Meet our Mentors

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. Request an Invitation

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 Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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 Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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 Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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). Request an Invitation

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 Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

Ryan Kindahl Film Connection Mentor

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Ryan Kindahl Film Connection Mentor

Background

Documentaries, Music Videos, Commercials Request an Invitation

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 Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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 Request an Invitation

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 Request an Invitation

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 Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

Craig Roessler Film Connection Mentor

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Craig Roessler Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

Kel Thompson Film Connection Mentor

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Kel Thompson Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

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. Request an Invitation

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 Request an Invitation

Eero Johnson Film Connection Mentor

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Eero Johnson Film Connection 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.” Request an Invitation

Chris Varner Film Connection Mentor

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Chris Varner Film Connection 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. Request an Invitation

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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

Tuition
Comparison

Film Connection’s mentor styled education is a cost-effective approach to hands-on, curriculum backed education in film production and editing and cinematography.

 

Learn More About Tuition

 

View BBB A+ Rating for Film Connection Film Institute
$12,200 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

Average Accrued Interest Charges
Sources: Sallie Mae student loan calculator - Nerd Wallet - Best Value Schools - Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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