Assistant Camera (Focus Pulling and Loading) Diploma

Apply From: 12th of May 2020
Application Deadline: 10th of September 2020
Start Date:

This innovative new course was launched in 2017 to help equip camera trainees with the skills required for a successful career as 2nd and 1st ACs on both film and television drama.

At the completion of the diploma you’ll have credits on a varied selection of films and will have worked on multiple formats to give you the foundation to build your skills as a 2nd and 1st AC.

The course is structured in way to allow people active in the film and television industry to work at their own rate and build their skills around outside work. It has three modules:

  • Working with Alexa Mini and Wireless Follow Focuses
  • Loading and working with 35mm and Alexa XT and Mini
  • Loading and working with 16mm

You can begin the course at Module 1 and you’ll have two years to complete all three modules and earn your industry recognised diploma.

This course allows you to form relationships with the current MA Cinematographers which often leads to work outside the School upon graduation.

All NFTS students can attend the School’s masterclasses programme, with recent guests including Martin McDonagh (In BrugesThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (FleabagKilling Eve), Asif Kapadia (AmySennaDiego Maradona),  Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really HereWe Need to Talk About Kevin), Louis Theroux, and M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth SenseGlass).

What you will study

This course consists of three modules. You can take up to two years to complete all three modules allowing you the flexibility to fit the course in around your work schedule.

  • Working with Alexa Mini and Wireless Follow Focuses (Jan-Mar) On this module you’ll be working with Alexa Mini cameras and the W4PU Wireless Follow Focus. The course will be taught at both the NFTS, Panavision and Arri and you’ll get the opportunity to be taught by leading tutors in their fields. This module culminates in the production of 8 short 15 minute films where you and your classmates will act as 2nd and 3rd ACs under the guidance of a professional 1st AC.
  • Loading and working with 35mm and Alexa XT and Mini (May-Aug) On this module you learn about the various 35mm cameras from the Panaflex to the Arri Studio and LT cameras. You’ll be taught how to load, the relationship between you and the Lab and the differences in workflow of a digital and 35mm film project. This module culminates in the production of eight 20-30 minute films each with a substantial production budget. Again you and your classmates will act as the 2nd and 3rd AC crews and where suitable we will be looking for people to step up to the role of 1st AC.
  • Loading and working with 16mm (Sept-Oct) This module will be focused entirely on the art of 16mm which has seen a resurgence in recent years. You’ll get to handle cameras ranging from the Arri 416 and SR3s to the Aaton cameras. Again the module will end in the production of 8 short films on 16mm each with medium sized production budget. At this point for those of you who have already done the previous two modules we’ll be looking for as many of you as possible to step up as 1st ACs.

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £6,750

Please note. the above tuition fees are for January 2020. Fees for January 2021 will be confirmed in June 2020. 

The NFTS does not charge you extra for the cost of productions or materials.

This course is only open to UK and EU/EEA applicants.

A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required against the cost of your fees on confirmation of your place.

At the NFTS you will get far more time learning directly from tutors, in real production facilities and on real projects, than in the vast majority of film schools or universities. The specialist nature of our courses mean that our students gain the relevant skills and experience they need to go straight into the industry.

Application deadline: 10 Sep 2020