"This course made me excited about filmmaking again and you guys managed to make me believe that I can do it. I can't wait to get a camera and start filming!" Mari Korpela (Online Essentials 2020)
For past ten years, we have offered project support and editing advice remotely to those working in distant locations or who are unable to travel. In 2018, some of our training courses also went online as a way to reduce our carbon footprint. The use of dedicated teaching websites, online tools and downloadable editing software lowers the overall cost of our training and it also limits our participants' contribution to climate change, by taking away the need for international travel and short-term accommodation. This foundational training makes use of the equipment that participants will operate in the field or the smartphone technology that they commonly use to document their everyday lives. Our idea is to help develop local hubs of film practitioners that we can support remotely on a one-to-one or group basis in an environmentally sustainable way.
Online Essentials Course
As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic we cancelled our annual F4F Summer School and instead designed an online course to help those with upcoming teaching, research and filmmaking projects. The course includes access to a dedicated website of instructional materials, four days of structured learning involving class discussion and tutorial between 11 Jan - 15 Feb 2021 and it allows time for independent practice with tutor feedback and background reading/viewing in your own location. It costs £350/€400 for concessions or £450/€525 in employment (other currencies accepted).
Teaching includes practical and theoretical instructions in camera, sound, editing, ethics and approach for research and documentary filmmaking. All teaching materials used for our F4F Summer School will be provided via a dedicated website. There are four days of contact teaching/tutorials spread across four weeks that operate between 13:30 - 16:30 (BST - UK), to accommodate participants from various time zones. A preliminary meeting is held two-weeks prior to the start of the course, where access to our dedicated website will be granted and we explain the integration and pedagogy of the course. Our F4F Online Essentials website contains course materials, here participants can read instructional texts for each of the fourteen learning units, watch video explainers, follow useful links and access background reading and viewing information. We use the Zoom platform for class-based interactive discussions structured around two learning units per session, each lasting 90-minutes. There will be two sessions per week, each delivered by one of two dedicated tutors. Twelve micro-tasks, aimed at embedding technical aspects of the course and four practical filmmaking exercises, that mimic common fieldwork scenarios, have been designed to help consolidate the learning units. Participants upload their results to an online video platform, so that they can be shared on Slack, where we comment on the work, continue class discussion and socialise. Everyone who has attended the main sessions will receive a certificate of attendance and be welcomed as an F4F alumni. One week after the Zoom sessions have concluded, and once you have had time to practice the method and digest the course materials, we will reconvene for group tutorial sessions, where our tutors will field further questions about the course pedagogy and how to apply it in your own work.
Participants should ensure they have access to the hardware and internet connection required to run Zoom software. The Vimeo and Slack extension is optional, as is the amount of web-based learning and individual practice. Sessions are recorded for those wishing to engage with the course asynchronously. Students do not need to possess a camera, sound and editing facilities - a smartphone will suffice but this is also non-essential. Editing Apps are available online for free or paid download, depending on the software. We recommended students find some means of applying the instruction once the course has ended. The course aims to provide a basis on which participants can extend their learning through independent work in their location.
Once participants have completed the booking form and payment, we send a private link to a preliminary Zoom meeting scheduled two weeks before the main teaching. During this meeting we introduce our teachers, give password access to the website and information about Slack, Vimeo and the course integration and pedagogy. Participants will also have the opportunity to test their internet connection and practice with the Zoom software.
We offer continued support once the course has ended in terms of guided practice, project assistance and editing workshops, on an individual or group basis and subject to an additional fee.
Here's how recent participants from all corners of the globe interpreted the first course exercise - to describe in a single frame your online-offline experience during the Covid lockdowns