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Date: (awaiting dates)

Duration: 10 days
Times: 10am-5pm
Capacity: Max. 12 participants
Fee: £3000

Factual Filmmaking for Beginners is a 10-day course taking place at London Film School in Covent Garden. The workshop will encompass the entire production process including idea development, practical sessions in cinematography and post-production, as well as in-class exercises with group workshops and feedback. 

The workshop will be led by experienced factual producer, Tracey Gardiner (Scottish BAFTA-winning, Keys the Castle, Pilgrimage).

This course is aimed at those with an interest in factual programming but who may not yet have any practical experience in filmmaking. This workshop is suited for students who have none or a low level of experience in production but who wish to direct and produce their own ideas.

The course will start with participants workshopping their ideas to get them treatment and pitch-ready with guidance from the tutors. All students will take part in masterclasses in camera and sound, with practice shoots on location and with interviewees, focusing on developing the practical skills to shoot interviews, General Views and actuality. Students will be given instruction on how to edit the material they have shot on Premier Pro using the London Film School facilities.

Throughout the busy ten day workshop there will be in-class sessions to learn about budgets, contracts, the use of archive, risk assessments and sources of funding as well as legal and ethical considerations. Students will be given sample treatments and will view taster tapes, learning about different types of factual programmes. They will take part in group workshops to feedback on ongoing projects with other participants to help their filmmaking ideas. 

This intense course will provide participants with the fundamental toolkit to develop, shoot and edit their films. Students will leave with a well-developed factual programme idea and the competency to move it onto the next stage and either a short taster tape to help sell their idea or the skills to create that.

NOTE: All students need to come along with at least two ideas that they want to develop into factual programmes or a series, one of these will be the focus for the duration of the course. Students will also need to have watched several different examples of factual programmes and be ready to discuss them in class, these will be sent to all participants ahead of the course.

Please keep in mind that course timings and content are subject to change. The final schedule will be emailed to all participants in advance of the start date.

Tutor profile: Tracey Gardiner, Producer

Tracey Gardiner entered television after a career as a stockbroker in the City, when she joined FulcrumTV. After more than fifteen years at Fulcrum she then set up her own production company, Iridescent Films, which made the three part BBC 2 series PILGRIMAGE with Simon Reeve (a co-production with Lion Television). She is currently the executive producer of a feature length documentary, 100 MEN, funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and MPI Distribution.

Tracey started out making programmes about business and current affairs over twenty years ago but then branched out into science, arts, history and observational documentaries, putting together international co-production deals and private finance to fund projects. Key award winners include: KEYS TO THE CASTLE (BBC) which won A Scottish BAFTA and RTS in 2015; THE WINNER LOSER (BBC), shortlisted at IDFA and winner of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival Award in; HOW M&S LOST ITS BILLIONS (C5) Wincott, Best Documentary; SIGHTHILL STORIES (BBC) Scottish BAFTA; SEND ME SOMEWHERE SPECIAL (BBC) Grierson Newcomer Winner.

The Daily Mail said about PILGRIMAGE: “a truly miraculous journey”, TV Times: “a truly engaging first leg...4 stars”, Daily Mail: “The excellent Simon Reeve returns with a three-part series...illuminating, engaging and enjoyable viewing” and the Mail on Sunday said “a life - affirming new series...4 stars”

On BBC1 documentary TOO OLD TO BE A MUM? (2010) The Telegraph said: The film tiptoed through the ethical eggshells with an equanimity that did its makers proud. The bare facts spoke loudly enough...this was a perfect subject for a television documentary, because the pictures made their own argument."