Film and Television Freelance Training (FT2)
FT2 offers an introduction to some of the technical and production jobs in film and television. Its New Entrant Technical Training Program is a full-time, two-year course which trains new entrants to become freelance technical assistants in specific areas, including editing, sound, and hair and make-up. FT2 does not train scriptwriters, directors or producers.
The style is like that of an apprenticeship; trainees spend around 80 per cent of their time on attachments with film and television crews, gaining practical experience of the pre-production, production and post-production processes. This is supplemented by general and specialized periods of training combining theory and practical work.
Applicants to FT2 must be over 18 years of age and registered as being unemployed. In most cases, the only essential qualifications are demonstrable talent, commitment and determination, along with a strong visual/technical sense. However, the organization receives an average of 150 applications for each available place on the scheme, so the selection procedure is extremely tough.
For further information, contact FT2 directly, enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
National Film and Television School
The school offers a full-time postgraduate course of three years' professional training, enabling its graduates to take positions of responsibility in all aspects of film and television production. Courses are offered in animation direction, cinematography, documentary direction, editing, fiction direction, producing, screen design, screen music, screen sound and screen writing (two years). The average age of entry is 25, although there is no hard-and-fast rule on age. Candidates need to demonstrate knowledge of basic skills in practice and theory within their specialist area. Shortlisted applicants are offered induction courses prior to their final selection. Assistant level training is also available, as is a wide range of courses for industry professionals.
London International Film School
The London International Film School offers a practical, two- year diploma course to professional levels, accredited by the British film technicians' union, BECTU. Approximately half of each term is devoted to film production, and half to practical and theoretical tuition. All students work on one or more films each term and are encouraged to switch unit roles to experience different skill areas. Facilities include two cinemas, two shooting stages, two rehearsal stages and 15 cutting rooms. Equipment includes 35 mm and 16 mm Panavision, Arriflex and rostrum cameras, Nagra recorders, Steenbeck editing machines and U-matic video. Tuition is by permanent and visiting professionals. Applicants should have a degree or an art or technical diploma. Other qualifications may be accepted in cases of special ability or experience. All applicants must submit samples of their work and be proficient in English. Courses begin in January, April and September.
European Media School
The European Media School provides training in many aspects of media production and management. Courses are based around practical projects and academic tuition by industry professionals. Students are chosen competitively on the basis of talent, enthusiasm and commitment. They are continually assessed and, where suitable, are given work experience placements with established media production houses and broadcasters.
Scottish Broadcast and Film Training Ltd
This is an employer-led partnership operating in Scotland to monitor, assess and provide training for the broadcast, film and video industries. It operates a New Entrants Scheme that provides eight, 18-month training places across production, craft and creative areas for young people over the age of 18.
Gaelic Television Training Trust
The Gaelic Television Training Trust offers a two-year program of college and industry-based training to Gaelic speakers.
The college training takes place on the Isle of Skye at the Gaelic college SabhalMorOstaig. Here, trainees are given a broad-based induction to the television industry, before they go on to specialize in a chosen area of program-making. The initial training also includes course components designed to increase understanding and awareness of the needs of the Gaelic-speaking communities.
All trainees are then given a year-long attachment, either in Glasgow with BBC Scotland or Scottish Television, or in Aberdeen with Grampian Television. During this time, students are given the opportunity to attend other industry-organized training courses within their chosen disciplines. Finally, the trainees undertake a video production project which allows them to apply their programs-making skills under broadcast conditions.
Although not a formal requirement, it is expected that applications will hold some further or higher education qualification. Selection is on the basis of interview, with competence in Gaelic taken into consideration when allocating places.
Cyfle provides training for Welsh speakers (including Advanced Welsh learners) in the film and television industry. It is a two-year, full-time course involving placements with independent production companies in Wales as well as formal training sessions and seminars. The grades in which training is provided change from year to year to reflect the needs of the industry. Applicants should be at least 20, Welsh speaking and be able to demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to the industry. Cyfle also provides opportunities for the redirection of skills within the independent sector in Wales. Cyfle is an NVQ Assessment Centre for the television industry.
Short Courses and Workshops
WITCH (Women's Independent Cinema House)
WITCH runs video/media production courses with Open College accreditation, which are open exclusively to black women. The courses last for 12 weeks and include a two-week placement. No formal qualifications or previous experience are required.
Polymedia Short Courses at the University of Westminster
The University's Faculty of Communication has a commercial branch which runs an eight-week basic television course and two-day television presenter course. No formal qualifications are required.
Video Engineering and Training (VET)
VET's courses are intended for people with basic knowledge who wish to update their skills. They include non-linear editing and introduction to video technology.
It is almost impossible to provide comprehensive, up-to-date information on the many and widely differing degree courses available, and readers are strongly advised to use this chapter as a jumping-off point, to consult CRAC Graduate Studies (Hobsons Press), CRAC Directory of Further Education Courses (Hobsons Press), British Qualifications (Kogan Page) and to seek information direct from the institution offering the course in which they are interested.