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Providing a unique insight into the rapidly changing landscape of documentary filmmaking, our six-month Documentary Diploma offers practical and strategic advice for every stage of your documentary’s development.
Ideal for storytellers from all walks of life including filmmakers, bloggers and media activists, as well as educators, campaigners, advertisers and journalists, a year spent focusing on documentary filmmaking will transform the way you tell stories. You will gain step-by-step, practical advice on how to create and develop your own documentary, from concept and early ideas, through to filming, editing, screening and distribution.
Duration: 6 months followed by 6 months distance learning
Intakes: September each year
Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (plus additional hours, incl. evenings and weekends)
Providing a unique insight into the rapidly changing landscape of documentary filmmaking, our Documentary Diploma offers practical and strategic advice for every stage of your documentary’s development. Ideal for storytellers from all walks of life including filmmakers, bloggers and media activists, as well as educators, campaigners, advertisers and journalists, a year spent focusing on documentary filmmaking will transform the way you tell stories. You will gain step-by-step, practical advice on how to create and develop your own documentary, from concept and early ideas, through to filming, editing, screening and distribution.
In six months the course will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of the cross-disciplinary nature of current media practices. Building your technical competence through practical sessions using the latest technologies in documentary filmmaking will ensure you receive an industry-relevant learning experience during your time at London Film Academy.
Throughout the course we help you find appropriate avenues to develop multiple marketing strategies for your documentary projects. Specific lessons will cover: using social media platforms effectively, building awareness among different communities, curating online and offline content and setting up online fundraising campaigns. These sessions mean you leave us with a comprehensive understanding of the strategies needed to build successful media projects.
After the initial intensive six-month course you have the freedom to make your own media project via six months distance learning, receiving continued guidance through one-to-one feedback during this time until you graduate.
Through workshops and masterclasses, you gain an overview of current documentary film practices and learn how to navigate this complex landscape. Our expert tutors guide you step-by-step through the process and show you how to research your ideas, and develop the practical skills you need to build your project, whatever the medium. Sessions, workshops and masterclasses cover:
Research and Development
You learn to research and fully explore your ideas, targeting key audiences who would be interested in your work. This involves developing marketing and communication strategies and using a range of online tools to build audiences, exploring how your media tell stories.
The pre-production stage focusses on how to: structure your research to find good stories, explore issues of sensitivity and safety, choose the subjects of your documentaries, build good working relationships with participants, conduct successful interviews and gain confidence in filming. You start to identify your target audience and how you can connect with them.
You create effective press kits for your project, online and offline, and use tools such as ScoopIt, Twitter, Facebook, and Storify to build core audiences. You explore the mechanics of pitching an idea to a potential funder, whether it’s face-to-face or as a crowd-funding campaign such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter.
Production focuses on the importance of using online social media campaigns to raise awareness about your film in target communities while you are making it. You examine the nature of how documentary production has changed, and learn to run parallel production strategies to select the appropriate tools for your project. You learn to use a range of the latest tools that can shape your project, from the range of editing software that is currently available to the various distribution platforms that can provide vital coverage.
Content Creation and Technical Skills
This stage takes a detailed look at how your documentary transforms from an idea into a living, breathing production. You develop an understanding of the support system needed on a project and acquire the technical skills of Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Sound Recordist and Editor. You focus on processes such as how to manage your team, how to schedule your shoot and how to ensure you have the right paperwork at every step of the way. The editing process is a vital stage of content creation and you’ll take a look into the world of editing, understanding how you can learn from processes such as logging, rough cuts and test screening.
Introduction to Interactive Filmmaking
This is a key aspect of the course as it provides you with a framework in which to challenge the way we tell stories. Examine key concepts of interactive storytelling, exploring emerging genres in non-linear filmmaking. Get introduced to the latest online interactive tools and distribution platforms that are under constantly redevelopment. Explore and play with these tools to reconsider your media and the chosen forms of production and distribution.
We recognise that filmmaking is not just a local activity and you may wish to operate from bases outside the UK. London Film Academy can provide you with long-distance feedback for a further six months after you have completed the initial six-month course. This gives you the chance and freedom to make your films the way you want to make them and where you need to make them while giving you crucial access to professional advice and networks.
Careers Guidance, Pitching and Professional Development
We support your professional development during and after the course. You have several one-to-one sessions where, together, we analyse your progress on the course. We are not only a film school where you can learn but also an international network of like-minded filmmakers. We support your career strategy development and give you exclusive access to the London Film Academy list of industry jobs and work experience. While at London Film Academy you go through intensive pitching sessions, both written and verbal, to understand the level of professionalism that the industry requires. You take part in tailored sessions with guest speakers, practicing filmmakers, TV industry professionals and new media makers to increase your awareness of the industry as a whole. We continue to offer you careers and business advice long after graduation via our Filmmakers Club.
To book your place on this course please:
Apply online or
Apply by post/fax, print out the application form and post to London Film Academy, 52A Walham Grove, London, SW6 1QR, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 0207 381 6116. As soon as we've received your application we’ll send you a confirmation email containing payment details. Please check your ‘Junk Mail’ folder if you appear to have not received this email.
To be accepted onto the LFA Documentary Diploma you will also need to send us:
All international students outside of the EEA (non-EU countries) must obtain a Tier 4 General Student Visa to enter the UK. Please see Visa Information for more details.
Please see Documentary Diploma Application Checklist for further details
What kind of students are we looking for?
To apply online please click on the course date below.