Digital Filmmaking Distinction Course


Short Course for High School Students

A short course for senior high school students (Years 10, 11 & 12).

NEXT COURSE WILL BE HELD FROM 15th - 19th January 2018

The Digital Filmmaking Distinction Course seeks to provide both technical skills in the development and production of digital films and to refine their students’ critical appreciation of cinema. The course will immerse the students in a range of activities associated with the production of a digital film. The program seeks to give the students insight and understanding of the process of filmmaking outlining the evolution of the idea to the development of the script to the production of the film and its distribution. The course is an intensive overview of most aspects of digital film production and will be guided by experts in the industry and education fields.

The course scope includes film grammar, script writing, the production process, crewing, camera skills, studio production, the art of editing and distribution. Students will create a short film and the course will be completed with a review of the work.

The next Distinction Course will run in January 2018.

Cost: $495

You can download an application form here. Please complete and return by email


Course Outline

Aim: To instruct students in how to use film and digital production.

Objectives: Students will learn the following components of film production.

  • Developing and pitching an idea.
  • Operating Digital Video Cameras
  • Cinematography and lighting
  • Sound recording on set
  • Film Production roles
  • Digital Editing
  • Planning and devising works for the HSC and festivals.

Students will produce a short production working in teams and planning their works. 

Course Dates: 15th-19th January 2018

Location: Sydney Film School, 242 Young Street, Waterloo, NSW 2017


Day 1

Session A

Overview- The filmmaking process

  • Production roles- Crew and Structure
  • Producing- Production Process from concept to distribution
  • Directing – How to break down a script and work with actors.
  • Casting and Production Design
  • Shot Structure

Session B

Camera Workshop

  • Using cameras, setting up, tripods, safety and handling.

Session C

Marking guidelines and Festivals

  • How to utilise and develop concepts in the Visual arts process diary, journal or Log Book
  • Guidelines, examples of student work, qualities of work and marking criteria- Pitfalls.
  • How to brain storm concepts and develop a script - premises and theme
  • How to work in a team environment

Day 2

Session A

Storyboarding ideas and Premises

  • Discuss Script Ideas
  • Storyboarding Exercise
  • Developing a style for your film that suits the premises and story

Session B

Sound Workshop

  • Sound operation, microphones and boom swinging.
  • Recording correct levels.

Session C

Pitching workshop- how to deliver a concise pitch.

  • Pitching is part of what you do in the industry when applying for funding. This session will discuss its forms and prepare for the pitching session on Day 3.

Day 3

Session A

Pitching Class

  • Each student will pitch the one page script they have written to the class for selection of the major works. The pitches are to be no more than 5 minutes in length and will be followed by questions from the panel. 

Session B

Lighting Workshop

  • Lighting a set
  • Digital Video Cameras and lighting 

Session C


  • Select and Announce Major Productions green light from the pitching session
  • Preproduction for Master Class film shoot / protocol and procedures on set
  • Prepare for major shoot. 

Day 4

Master Class Film Shoot 

Day 5

Master Class Editing

Session A

  • Assess Film Shoot / Master class Rushes and prepare for editing.
  • Film Editing techniques and procedures
  • Digital Editing

Session B:

Screen material.

  • Screening Production works.
  • Feedback and Major Work discussion.