Short course


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.


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: Book Now

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

Begin your application