Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Regretably we have had to cancel the 2020 edition of the annual F4F Summer School. Anyone who has already paid a deposit can email and request a full refund. We will be running an Online Essentials Course (3-24 June 2020) at a reduced fee for those with upcoming fieldwork, or others in urgent need of filmmaking advice. Please contact us if you are interested in this.
F4F™ Summer School 2020
Our Summer School has operated for twelve consecutive years in Manchester, UK. We will announce our next summer school once we have a clearer idea about how the effects of the pandemic will impact our practical courses. Cost: £1475 / £1175 concessions (students, unwaged, pensioners - proof of status required). Places fill up quickly and they are offered on a first come, first served basis once suitability has been checked through our online booking form. A £400 deposit is required to secure your place with the final balancing payment due 30 days before the start of the course. For the past five years Methods@Manchester have offered three student bursaries to support those enrolled in postgraduate research who wish to attend our Summer School.
Who's this course for?
This course is open to all applicants with an interest in using filmmaking for academic research or documentary film production. No previous filmmaking experience is necessary. In the past this course has attracted postdoctoral and senior researchers, undergraduates and people from diverse fields such as anthropology, ethnomusicology, midwifery, archaeology, activism, history, broadcast television, NGOs, migration studies, business, international relations, sociology and political science.
Teaching objectives
The general objective is to provide participants with a hands-on understanding of the foundations of ethnographic documentary filmmaking, that they will build upon in their subsequent field research.
The course incorporates 11-days of intensive hands-on introduction to professional documentary and ethnographic filmmaking workflows. We teach cinematic techniques for camera and sound recording designed to explore and describe human action as it unfolds in field sites and editing as an analytic tool, aimed at developing a strong film narrative and to explore the role of storytelling in theory-making.

Production training is offered on HD camcorders and Rode NTG-1 microphones that meet UK broadcasting standards but are lightweight and relatively easy to operate. Editing training will given by industry professionals using the latest Adobe Premiere Pro CC software on dedicated AppleMac edit suites.
Participants receive a copy of our F4F™ Digital Handbook, that includes a teaching schedule, further readings on all practical aspects of the course, information about filmmaking equipment plus links, maps and other resources.
Participants work in small production teams to make three short training films which each highlight an important part of documentary practice: the process sequence, a testimony or interview and an event recorded across a weekend. Through the collective debriefing of their own work plus associated screenings of ethnographic documentaries, participants will be encouraged to consider how these elements can be used as the 'building blocks' of more complex film narratives structured on thematic or chronological principles.
Hands-on training will be supplemented by documentary screenings as well as by a series of workshops covering topics such as:
Why make A documentary film?
Legal and ethical aspects of ethnographic film-making.
Modes of documentary storytelling including: collaborative and participatory methods, observational, reflexive and expressive forms, such as fictive narratives, sensory work and essays.
Production workflows.
Camera, sound and editing techniques
Suggested filming kits to take to the field.
Crowdfunding, online promotion and digital distribution.
The course begins on Monday at 9am and continues every weekday 9am-5pm, except the last Thursday when it will end around midday. On some evenings, there will be additional film screenings. Over the weekend, students will be assigned a filmmaking project.  
Contact us for a sample day-to-day schedule
The Futureworks School of Media are our partners in delivering F4F™. They handle the bookings and provide facilities and equipment and we take care of convening courses and teaching. Futureworks is located in central Manchester (Postcode: M3 5FS), they offer the very best post-production facilities and technical support.
Travel & accommodation
Please consider the environmental impact when traveling to our courses. If you are driving then please contact us to see if other participants can share the cost of your journey. Manchester is connected by a good system of public transport that suits rail and sea connections.We do not provide accommodation for our summer school but we recommend AirBnB for hundreds of listings in Manchester, many close to Futureworks, with something for any budget. The Castlefield Hotel offers high quality but affordable accommodation with a spa! The IBIS Budget Hotel in Salford Quays offers respectable accommodation to suit most budgets (30mins by bus, or Metrolink & walk). The YHA Castlefield offers the cheapest accommodation in shared dorms. There are many other hotels and hostels in the vicinity of Futureworks (Postcode: M3 5FS) that can be booked online.
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