Short course

Overview

The good news is that we live in a time when it's incredibly easy to just go out and shoot a documentary. The bad news is that most peoples' efforts are unwatchable and unsellable.

On this intensive 5 day course you will learn how to develop a documentary idea and turn it into a finished film that an audience will want to see.

The first part of each morning will be spent developing the participants' own documentary ideas. Then for the rest of each day the five aspects of directing a documentary will be explored. By the end of the course, you will be ready to go out and shoot your film.

Day 1 - Developing Your Idea
How you can discover if your idea is worth turning into a documentary film and ways to develop your idea into something an audience will happily pay money to see.

Day 2 - Interview Style & Technique
Who you decide to appear in your film and how you choose them. You will also look at great interview technique and five serious mistakes to avoid.

Day 3 - Camera, Lights & Style
How you translate your idea into the language of film; Do you want to make a serious subject funny or a light subject serious? And how to decide an appropriate camera and lighting style. You will also discover ways to reveal truth on camera.

Day 4 - Editing & Sound
Creating drama and emotion through editing; The best way to use sound and music to express your vision as a director

Day 5 - Sell Your Documentary
Getting your film made on all budgets and making sure it secures an audience. How to earn a living as a documentary filmmaker.

In order to participate in this course, please bring one or two of your own ideas which you will work on throughout the week.​

The course is led by Col Spector is an award-winning writer/director who started in non-fiction at the BBC and now also works in fiction: writing and directing feature films for the cinema. He also runs his own documentary consultancy business www.thedocumentaryconsultant.com. Col started at the BBC directing various short comedy dramas series. He then went on to direct a number of highly distinctive, critically acclaimed documentaries for Channel 4 and BBC including Just Enough Distance, Trouble At The House, Puccini Cappuccini, The Real Alan Clark, and The Lost Supper.

Previous course participants said: 

"I learned more over 3 sessions with Col than I did over my entire Documentary MA."
"The knowledge I have now can't be compared to any other course."
"Col's enthusiasm and experience was invaluable in helping to move my documentary development process forward."
"Within an hour of working with Col I felt a million times better, my ideas were transformed."

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £775
Corporate Rate: £1250

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

BURSARY INFORMATION

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 scotland@nfts.co.uk

The bursary deadline for this course is Monday 8th February 2021 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 scotland@nfts.co.uk at the same time as making your course application.  

 

How to apply

Application deadline: Book Now

Please complete the application form to apply. You will be asked to upload your CV.

Begin your application