NFTS Leeds: Introduction to Self-Shooting

Short course


This course is aimed at those who are new to self-shooting, and are looking to develop, embed and hone their skills.

With a mix of theory and practical exercises, the course provides a solid grounding in the skills you need to get shooting. Over the two days of the course, you will cover all of the essentials you need to start self-shooting and gain hands-on experience to help you film with confidence.

Many of the skills learnt on this course can be applied to any camera or shooting format, meaning this course will be of benefit to you regardless of which camera/s you have access to.

This course will cover:

  • Camera menu, set up
  • Tripod and handheld operating
  • Composition
  • Exposure control and white balance techniques
  • Focus control including depth of field
  • Recording sound
  • Controlled/Uncontrollable action
  • Management of CF cards and media

Through a series of practical exercises, you will learn how to frame and operate the camera both handheld and on the tripod, record good quality sound and shoot sequences. You will review exercises with the tutor and will be given individual feedback.

The course is led by Mark Hampshire, a freelance lighting cameraman with over 25 years’ experience. Having been a senior cameraman at Reuters, Mark moved into current affairs and spent many years on the major BBC and ITV current affairs programmes. Mark has worked on dozens of prime time documentaries and also worked on ITV as a live cameraman for daytime. He has worked all over the world from war zones to Hollywood and has in recent years trained dozens of self-shooting producers for both ITV and BBC.

This course is aimed at people with little or no experience who want to start down the road of the self-shooting runner, AP or producer.

Previous course participants said:

'A great step forward in beginning to understand all that's involved with self-shooting. Great, simple, and practical advice that can easily be put into practice.'

'(The highlight was) just genuinely feeling comfortable in the small group setting and having one on one moments to ask the 'stupid' questions. There was no pressure to feel like you 'should' know anything, which allowed for relaxed learning (always more productive). I really enjoyed being able to just play around with the equipment and figure things out.' 

Future course dates: 

Further course dates are to be confirmed. Please register your interest below to receive notification of when applications are being accepted.

Alternatively, you can contact Jonny Lyons, Development Manager, NFTS Leeds via email:

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £650
Corporate Rate: £1050


Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course. However, to get the most out of the course, it is likely that you may have handled video cameras before but the exact models you have used or level of experience gained don’t matter.

It is also likely that you will have some experience or understanding of working in factual and/or documentary filmmaking and the general requirements of shooting for a programme or film but this is not essential. 

How to apply

Application deadline: Register your interest

These courses are now full. If you would like to be notified when another course is planned, please register your interest here.