Short course


This intensive practical course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a successful future career in the Assistant Directors department.  The course will be taught by top industry professionals, led by Nick Heckstall-Smith (Churchill, Ex Machina, Skyfall)

This 5-day course will be delivered online, combining virtual classroom learning and practical exercises.

The course will cover:

  • The roles and responsibilities of each member of the ADs’ department in pre-production and during the shoot
  • Where the department fits in with production and how to work collaboratively with other departments
  • The paperwork used by the whole of production as well as department-specific documents
  • Set protocol, etiquette and communication skills
  • How to break down a script for different purposes
  • How to develop a shooting schedule
  • The skills required to be a capable and successful Assistant Director
  • Health & Safety from the 1st Assistant Director’s perspective and COVID-19 protocols

This course is for anyone wishing to work in the Assistant Director’s department. 

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £450
Corporate Rate: £850

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


The NFTS Scotland bursary fund is currently closed for this course and we encourage you to seek alternative avenues of funding to support the cost of this course if required. 

Please read our Alternative Funding Avenues document which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help. Please allow yourself enough time to secure funding when considering your application.

How to apply

Application deadline: Register your interest

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