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Online course

Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen

Learn from award-winning filmmakers about how films get from script to screen with this course from the NFTS and BFI Film Academy.

Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen

Deepen your understanding of the filmmaking process.

Over six weeks, our team of award-winning filmmakers will take you through their approach to telling stories, as well as demystifying their own filmmaking specialisms - from writing and directing to cinematography, editing and composing. Each week your filmmaker host will use examples from their own work as well as the films that have influenced and inspired them.

This course will deepen your understanding of the filmmaking process and show you how to take it further – whether making your own short films, thinking about a career, or simply a deeper appreciation of the films you watch.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsHi, I'm Nik Powell. I'm the Director of the British National Film and Television School. And we have joined up with the BFI. And with then we are running this six week course, Explore Filmmaking. So whether you're a budding filmmaker or a film fan who wants to understand more about what happens behind the scenes on a film, this course will have something for you. Our team of award winning filmmakers will take you through their approach to telling stories on screen, as well as demystifying their own filmmaking specialisms. From writing and directing to cinematography, editing, and composing, each week your filmmaker host will use examples from their own work to explain and illustrate their craft.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 secondsYou will also have the chance to see award winning short films from the NFGS, many available online for the first time as part of this course. You'll be encouraged to participate in the discussion by reflecting on your viewing and thinking more deeply about what goes into the process of filmmaking. And for those of you who want to make films yourselves, there'll be some small scale practical activities and the chance to share you work. So come and join us on our course, Explore Filmmaking, and learn at the world's number one international film school.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1- Introduction: how does a film get from script to screen?
Week 2- Storytelling: what’s the difference between plot and theme?
Week 3- Decisions: how to choose budget, schedule, location and kit
Week 4- The scene: how does a director make choices on set?
Week 5- Time and space: how does editing affect meaning?
Week 6- Sound and music: what is the impact of a film’s soundtrack?

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced
Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Discuss the differences between story and theme in a film
  • Explain the different roles involved in a film shoot
  • Explore the contribution of the camera to storytelling
  • Reflect upon the role of editing in telling a story on film
  • Identify the contribution of sound and music to a film's meaning

Who is the course for?

Whether you’re a budding filmmaker or a film fan who wants to understand more about what happens behind-the-scenes, this course from the internationally acclaimed National Film and Television School will have something for you.

What software or tools do you need?

This course doesn’t require any existing specialist film-making skills or equipment, though there will be extension activities if you want to enhance your learning experience.

Who will you learn with?

Jon Wardle

I'm the Director of Curriculum at the National Film and Television School. I'm the Lead Educator for the Explore Filmmaking: from Script to Screen course.

Tom Woodcock

I am a teacher of film and digital media as well as a freelance filmmaker.

Who developed the course?

The National Film and Television School is one of the best and most respected film, television and new media schools in the world.

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Join this course

Free

  • Access to this course for 8 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes

Upgrade - $79

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Introducing your weekly hosts
    Introducing your weekly hosts
    video

    Nik Powell (Director, National Film and Television School) introduces the five course hosts, each of whom talks about a film that matters to them.

  • Meet Mike Figgis
    Meet Mike Figgis
    video

    Mike Figgis introduces Week 3 of FutureLearn's Explore Filmmaking from the BFI and NFTS. Watch the video.

  • Brian Tufano on Trainspotting
    Brian Tufano on Trainspotting
    video

    Watch this video where cinematographer Brian Tufano explains how Trainspotting's famous toilet scene was made.

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