Short course


Delivered online in the NFTS Scotland Virtual Classroom accessed by Zoom

This 2-day Development & Pitching course will combine practical workshop sessions with masterclasses aimed at exploring and honing best practice when it comes to developing new ideas and pitching them to prospective buyers.

Day 1 will cover an introductory masterclass from Natalie Humphreys, discussion and practical guidance on idea development as both an art and a science, plus what makes a great developer. We will also kick off a special ‘ideas surgery’ workshop session.

Day 2 will continue and conclude the ‘ideas surgery’ workshop and we will also cover best practice and take away tips, focusing on the ‘4Ts’: topline, talent, treatment and tape.

Please be prepared to bring and work on an idea. The course will be run with strict confidentiality but to get the most out of the ideas surgery we will want to support you to work on a real idea that you can hone and improve as one of the outcomes of doing this course.

This course will suit anyone who works in film and television who wants to hone their development and pitching skills and gain more confidence in how to work up and present new ideas and improve their chances of successful outcomes with buyers.

About the tutor:
Executive Producer and Storyboard Studios Founder and Managing Director Natalie Humphreys has worked across the UK and global production sector for 25 years as writer, director and executive producer, winning awards for cinematography, innovation and reaching new audiences. She has created and delivered programming across the spectrum, from constructed factual to drama, observational documentaries, factual entertainment formats, arts, history, science and natural history landmarks. After working across the UK independent sector, she joined Shine Television as head of specialist factual. She moved to Glasgow in 2011 with her husband and sons while working for the BBC, where she held a number of roles including leading factual for BBC Studios, controller of factual & daytime for BBC Television and head of specialist factual for BBC Vision. Prior to launching Storyboard Studios, Natalie led the BBC’s UK factual production network, where she was in charge of a £100M production portfolio including teams in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Cardiff, Salford, Bristol, London and the BBC Natural History Unit. She is known as a trusted originator and creative leader and served on the boards of BBC Scotland, BBC Television and was the editorial lead for the BBC’s co-production partnership with PBS. With awards from BAFTA, Grierson, RTS, Banff and Broadcast, her portfolio has included Planet Earth II, The One Show, Big Blue Live, Countryfile, Trust Me I’m A Doctor, Life and Death Row, Louis Theroux, This Farming Life, The Big Painting Challenge, Handmade, Afterlife House, Supermarket Secrets, Prehistoric Autopsy and History Cold Case. 


Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £365
Corporate Rate: £565

Online rate valid until December 2020 

Bursaries, supported by the Scottish Government, are also available for those who are eligible. 


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 are able to pay for the course. 

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

The bursary deadline for this course is 21st September 2020 at 9am

Please note that bursary funding availability from NFTS Scotland is limited and we encourage you to seek alternative avenues of funding as well. 

Please read our Alternative Funding Avenues document which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help.

NFTS Scotland Bursary Guidelines

NFTS Scotland Bursary Application Form




NFTS Scotland Hardship Fund 

With support from Screen Scotland, a new fund aimed at practitioners who have experienced significant work and financial loss as a direct result of the impact of COVID-19 is available for our online courses from May 2020 onwards.

This fund is available to those who are not able to evidence their eligibility for the NFTS Scotland bursary fund with the required supporting documents, but who now meet the income threshold criteria. 

It is a small, discretionary fund aimed at supporting those most in need. You should only apply if you are a Scottish resident and your finances have been directly affected by loss of work in March 2020 and beyond as a result of COVID-19.

To apply for support, please complete this application form and submit it to at the same time as making your course application.  

How to apply

Application deadline: Book Now

Please complete the application form to apply. 

Begin your application