Short course

Overview

Delivered in the NFTS Scotland Virtual Classroom, accessed via Zoom.  

Anyone can make a short film. However, it’s rare to create a great short film that truly engages an audience. Col Spector, who has written and directed shorts and features that have all been released in the cinema (in the UK and the USA), leads you through the good, the bad and the ugly of making short films with the ultimate goal of creating shorts that audiences, festivals and distributors will love.

This seminar-based course will cover areas such as:

  • Avoiding short film clichés
  • Would you pay to watch it?
  • Is it better to be funny or serious?
  • Using improvisation in the writing
  • Playing with irony
  • Should a short follow the 3 act structure?
  • Other screenwriting rules
  • Improving your script
  • The casting process
  • Professional actors versus non-professionals
  • Directing the actors
  • Do you shoot it differently to a feature film?
  • Editing, music and sound design
  • Launching your career
  • The impact of COVID-19 on short filmmaking

Comments from the last courses include: 

"The truthful approach from Col Spector. An actual director with experience, whose opinion you can respect."

"Col gave us all great little gems of information and knowledge that really inspired me to get creative."

"(I gained) exactly what the course promised; how to direct a GOOD short film."

"I directed a short film about a month after completing the course at NFTS Scotland. The film ... premiered at BFI Flare London LGBTQ Film Festival... It’s the first time I’ve had my work showcased at a film festival, so I’m over the moon!"

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Course Fee: £425

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

BURSARY INFORMATION

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 scotland@nfts.co.uk.

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: Book Now

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

Begin your application