NFTS Scotland: Archive in Contemporary Production Online

Short course


Delivered online in the NFTS Scotland Virtual Classroom accessed by Zoom, in partnership with NFTS Leeds and NFTS Cymru Wales

This course provides a practical insight into the use of archive in television and film production, with an overview of the major sources, costs, fair dealing, creative thinking with archive and recommendations of landmark archive productions.

The course covers: 

- What to think about when using archive
- Why use archive?
- Types of archive
- Historical storytelling
- Personal stories
- Changes in approach
- Major sources
- The curse of YouTube
- Bargain archive
- Free archive
- Fair dealing
- E&O insurance

This course is suitable for everyone keen to learn about production or already working in it, particularly researchers, directors and producers.
Lead tutor John Archer will also be joined by Obi Adumekwe (Associated Press, Sales Manager UK & Ireland) 
About the tutor: 
John Archer runs Hopscotch Films. Recent work includes the 14 hour WOMEN MAKE FILM: A NEW ROAD MOVIE THROUGH CINEMA, directed by Mark Cousins which in 40 chapters describes how to make a movie using examples from films directed by women - a film school where all the teachers are women. With Mark he has just completed the 160 minute film THE STORY OF FILM: A NEW GENERATION looking at innovation in cinema in the last decade, a follow up to the 15 hour THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY. He produced 2019’s HARRY BIRRELL PRESENTS FILMS OF LOVE AND WAR, directed by Matt Pinder, a biography told through home movies from the 1930s to the 1970s. Other archive projects are DREAM ME UP SCOTTY – film’s idea of Scotland – and WHA’S LIKE US? – the Scot’s character in film – for BBC Scotland. He has unrivalled practical experience of fair dealing.

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £175
Corporate Rate: £265


A limited number of bursaries are available for all of our short courses. If you wish to apply for a bursary to contribute to the costs of your course, please read the bursary guidelines below carefully to confirm your eligibility. Please do not apply to a course unless you are sure you meet the bursary eligibility criteria, or can pay for the course by other means.

Please apply as far in advance of the course date as possible to give yourself the best chance of securing a supported place, as we may not be able to accommodate all applications. We aim to advise successful applicants no later than 10 working days prior to the course start date. 

Once you have submitted your course application, your bursary application, and supporting documents, should be submitted to

NFTS Scotland Bursary Guidelines (Word doc)

NFTS Scotland Bursary Application Form (pdf)

If you are not eligible for an NFTS Scotland bursary, please read our Alternative Funding Avenues document (pdf) which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help. Please submit your application in plenty of time as timescales for funders differ. 


How to apply

Application deadline: Register your interest

Please complete the application form to apply. 

Please also read the Terms and Conditions of booking as payment of a succesful application assumes acceptance of these. 

Begin your application