Take a Free Course on Filmmaking Featuring Brian Tufano (Trainspotting), Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) & Other Award-Winning Filmmakers

filmmaker course

The UK’s Nation­al Film and Tele­vi­sion School (NFTS) has part­nered with the British Film Insti­tute (BFI) to lift the lid on how to make great films, with a free 6 week course that starts today.

Taught by award-win­ning film­mak­ers from a range of spe­cial­ties, includ­ing Bri­an Tufano and Mike Fig­gis, it cov­ers every­thing from sto­ry­telling, to bud­get­ing, to under­stand­ing the impact of a sound­track.

Here, for instance, is Bri­an Tufano, the estab­lished cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er, talk­ing about film­ing the infa­mous toi­let scene in Trainspot­ting — turns out you can do a great deal using half a toi­let and the tech­nique trompe-l’œil (“fool the eye”).

As part of the course, you can also can also watch shorts from recent grad­u­ates of the NFTS (a few of which are already col­lect­ing awards) and get rec­om­mend­ed videos from the Baf­ta Guru col­lec­tion — a site ded­i­cat­ed to get­ting new blood into the indus­try.

The free course, Explore Film­mak­ing, is offered through Future­Learn and gives you the chance to trade opin­ions with thou­sands of oth­er film buffs online, plus get com­ments as the weeks go by from the film­mak­ers teach­ing the course.

Here’s the break­down of what the course cov­ers:

1 — Intro­duc­tion: how does a film get from script to screen?

Nik Pow­ell, direc­tor of the NFTS and pro­duc­er of more than 40 films, includ­ing The Cry­ing Game, Mona Lisa and Com­pa­ny of Wolves.

2 — Sto­ry­telling: what’s the dif­fer­ence between plot and theme?

Des­tiny Ekhara­ga, direc­tor of Gone Too Far.

3 — Deci­sions: how to choose bud­get, sched­ule, loca­tion and kit?

Mike Fig­gis, direc­tor of Leav­ing Las Vegas, Time­Code and Inter­nal Affairs.

4 — The scene: how does a direc­tor make choic­es on set?

Corin Hardy, direc­tor of The Hal­low, recent­ly announced direc­tor of a re-make of The Crow, and direc­tor of music videos for artists such as The Prodi­gy, Olly Murrs and Devlin.

5 — Time and space: how does edit­ing affect mean­ing?

Jus­tine Wright, edi­tor of Touch­ing the Void, The Iron Lady and Locke.

6 — Sound and music: what is the impact of a film’s sound­track?

Dan­ny Ham­brook, sound design­er of Curse of the Were-Rab­bit and Le Week­end, pro­duc­tion sound mix­er on Rush.

In short — there will be no more excus­es for wrong­ly ori­en­tat­ed iPhone videos. Oh and please don’t for­get to namecheck Open Cul­ture and Future­Learn in your Oscar accep­tance speech.

You can join the course for free today.

Jess Weeks is a copy­writer at Future­Learn. Along with the rest of the Future­Learn team, she’s based in the British Library in Lon­don. Yes, it is occa­sion­al­ly like Har­ry Pot­ter.

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