Choosing a course at Film Oxford
We offer affordable, bite-sized training in filmmaking, digital video production, screenwriting, creative software and digital media delivered by professionals working in the industry. This page is about helping you to choose the right course.
1) Begin at the beginning
- Introduction to Digital Video is a weekend taster course (11 hours’ teaching). You don’t make a finished film – a weekend is too short for that – but you do lots of hands-on exercises. Many people do this course and then go on to Shooting Video.
- 3 Day Video Production is a daytime, weekday taster course (13.5 hours’ teaching) and is more “pacy” than Introduction to Digital Video. You’ll be given a brief to make a short factual film. You’ll learn the basics of planning, shooting and editing in order to make your film and gain a good overall understanding of the process. The finished film is put on our YouTube channel. and you will have the opportunity to show it publicly at Open Screen, our “open mic night” for filmmakers. Many people do this course and then go on to Shooting Video or our more specialised courses.
- Shooting Video is our main digital video production course for the confident beginner. It runs over seven weeks, with seven evening classes plus two full days at weekends (33 hours’ teaching, plus additional production meetings & preparation outside class time). You will make a narrative-based production (usually a short drama); the purpose of this is so the learning is more challenging and more “real life”. This course looks at the filmmaking process in a holistic manner and is a really good place to start – understand the basics and decide where to go next! The finished film is put on our YouTube channel and is shown at Open Screen.
- We run a Stop Motion Animation weekend, a fun, hands-on introductory course for beginners.
2) The technical challenge: How to shoot and edit your film
Filmmaking is where art and science meet; creative and technical skills must be melded together.
DSLR Cinematography explores the particular challenges and opportunities presented in using DSLR and Mirrorless cameras to shoot moving image.
Editing with Premiere Pro is covered in brief on 3 Day Video Production, and in more depth on Shooting Video, but the focus is on getting your film made rather than the technical aspects of the software. Many learners choose to progress to the Adobe Premiere Editing weekend after taking their first production course. Other people just want to take our Adobe Premiere Editing as a stand-alone course instead.
Ever wondered why professional productions look so slick? The answer is that while editing software such as Premiere is perfect for cutting together and structuring your film, to make it look great – with rich colours, special effects and 3D motion graphics – you need Adobe After Effects. Our After Effects weekend shows you how to use the After Effects interface; once this complex and versatile software is understood, the sky’s the limit for you to go on and create stunning work of your own.
In the creative professional world, video editors and photographers need to use a huge palette of creative software, not just one editing programme. Photoshop and Lightroom are brilliant ways to grasp how to get better images; and what makes a great photograph also makes a great film. Lightroom is for organising and editing of many photos at once (say from a single shoot), Photoshop is for the detailed editing of single images (for print, web or video so you can create your film poster, add images to your website and use images in your film).
Each piece of creative software you learn will make it easier to grasp the next. It will allow you to make connections and build an understanding of the creative and technical processes needed to solve problems and make great films in postproduction.
Our Creative VJ course is hard to classify. It uses software, but for performance, with live mixing of video and music for clubs and other art spaces.
3) How to get your film made
If you want to make factual films, check out Developing Documentaries. This weekend course will give you the tools, techniques and knowledge required to go out and make your film. It is said that “a documentary is made in the edit, whilst a drama is made in the screenplay”, so if drama is your thing – or you just want a working knowledge of what screenwriting involves – try the Introduction to Screenwriting weekend, or for those with some prior screenwriting experience, the New Screenwriters course.
As well as a script, you’ll need a director. Once you have an understanding of the filmmaking process, take a look at our Directing Drama weekend.
We are always happy to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to get in touch – but do read the full information on each course page and check out our FAQs first!