For other NFTS diploma courses
- Assistant Camera (Focus Pulling and Loading)
- Assistant Directing & Floor Managing
- Cameras, Sound & Vision Mixing for Television Production
- Creative Producing for Digital Platforms
- Directing Commercials
- Factual Development and Production
- Graphics and Titles for Television and Film
- Location Sound Recording for Film & Television
- Model Making For Animation
- Production Accounting for Film & Television
- Production Management for Film & Television
- Script Development
- Sports Production
- Writing and Producing Comedy
Both the 1st AC and the 2nd AC are critical to the success of any film or television drama production. Being part of the camera crew is exciting, varied and demanding, requiring many skills to be successful.
To do this role, you will need to:
- Be calm and level-headed
- Work well as part of a team
- Have organisational and time-management skills
- Be able to work to a deadline
- Pay close attention to accuracy and detail
- Be a good communicator
- Be adaptable to changing circumstances
- Have a positive attitude
- Cope well under pressure
- Have stamina for hard work
Recently the BFI identified Camera Crew and 1st ACs and 2nd ACs specifically, as a skills shortage area. More need to be trained, particularly ACs with experience of both film and digital. In addition, 2nd ACs need the opportunity to ‘step up’ and develop their 1st AC skills.
This course has been developed due to industry demand and combines practical experience on film shoots with NFTS student directors and cinematographers with practical hands-on workshops by working 1st and 2nd ACs.
The course consists of six months of focused production work and tuition, broken over a 12month period. The course is divided into three sections.
Section 1 (January/February)
In Section 1 you will be taught about the various cameras, lenses and other related equipment, learn about the core work of both the 1st AC and 2nd AC. There will be intensive workshops on ‘pulling focus’ manually, camera loading, completing camera sheets, marking up the clapper board and changing lenses. Students will work on two films shot on the Ari Alexa.
Section 2 (Late June/July/to mid August)
In Section 2 the focus is twofold, translating the skills learnt in Section 1 into a larger setting, whilst also learning new skills in areas such as remote ‘focus pulling’ and the 2nd ACs relationship with the DIT. Students will again work on two 'Graduation' films. These are large scale projects with crews often in excess of fifty people. In addition to working on these films students will also undertake a number of additional single day specialist workshops to flesh out their understanding of particular techniques or technologies.
Section 3 (September/October)
The final section of the course is focused on working on film. There will be a specific focus in this section on working with film stock and liaising with the lab re: processing. Section 3 will culminate in each student working on two NFTS films shot on Super 16 as both a 1st and 2nd AC.
In applying to this course you therefore need to be available to attend the School in January, February (Section 1), from mid June, July through to mid August (Section 2) and then September, October (Section 3). In special circumstances, the 3 modules can be completed over a 2-year period.
During the three teaching sections students are expected to be at the School five days per week. In periods between each teaching block students should pursue their own professional work to develop their experience.
Course participants will have full access to the NFTS facilities including: Cinema Club, Screen Arts and NFTS Masterclasses.
The course will be taught by experienced 1st and 2nd AC’s, Camera Operators and Directors of Photography. For example the course will be overseen by Oliver Stapleton and Stuart Harris the NFTS co-Heads of Cinematography and key tutors will include:
- Bob Shipsey, - Camera Operator (A Street Cat Named Bob, Silent Witness, Trial & Retribution, Funland, Blackpool, Hound of the Baskervilles) who has worked in the Film & TV industry for 30+ years. Starting at BBC Ealing Film Studios as a trainee/assistant, then freelance Clapper Loader and Focus Puller (Inspector Morse, Trainspotting, East is East, Billy Elliot).
- Jason Wingrove - Jason left an electrical career behind him to train as a camera assistant on the much missed FT2 programme in the mid 90's training on Gulliver's Travels amongst many others. Since graduating, he has worked his way up through the ranks of the camera department and travelled the world working on productions from feature films (Mad to be Normal) to commercials, television drama (Misfits) to pop promos. He is much in demand as an extremely experienced focus puller as well as a skilled camera operator.
- A CV of your work as a Camera Trainee or 2nd AC (no more than two sides of A4)