Course Location
Sydney On-Campus
Qualification
2018 Graduate Certificate Screen: Documentary
Level
Postgraduate (AQF Level 8)
Delivery Mode
Part-time
Duration
32 weeks / 2 semesters. Semester starts week commencing February 26,2018
Course Fee
$12,360
Orientation
Compulsory on campus Orientation week commencing Monday February 19, 2018. Further details will be provided post-enrolment.
Attendance Pattern
Two nights a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-9pm and 12 Saturdays over the 32 weeks (see Indicative Timetable for more details)

APPLICATIONS HAVE BEEN EXTENDED TO MIDNIGHT ON MONDAY OCTOBER 23, 2017

Story is at the heart of creative and screen business practice. Invest in your Graduate Certificate to contribute to shaping our culture through storytelling.

Empower yourself to develop and express your ideas as a documentary maker. From the commencement of this course, you will devise a multiplatform strategy for a major project, ultimately pitching your idea to a real world industry panel at the end of Semester 2.

Designed to enhance and deepen your creative and professional practice, you will have access to industry professionals as you participate in a rigorous series of workshops addressing:

  • the history, modes and genre of documentary storytelling;
  • the creative and technical skills required to interview, shoot and edit to professional standards;
  • producer-shooter skills;
  • an ethical framework and perspective in relation to your practice;
  • the business skills to finance, budget and schedule; and
  • professional legal concepts and practice.
An essential component of this course is collaboration across disciplines. This will give you the opportunity to investigate the different perspectives of cinematic storytelling and engage in collaborative exercises to build your network.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

The Graduate Certificate Screen: Documentary is a part-time postgraduate course, which is delivered across two semesters, on evenings and/or weekends at the AFTRS campus. The course is structured so that you can maintain your employment while you gain your qualification.

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?

This course will appeal to:
  • documentary makers who want to deepen, enhance and elevate their practice (short/long form documentary makers, TV producers);
  • self-taught screen content makers;
  • professionals transitioning from other areas (scientists, journalists, lawyers, actors, teachers, musicians and music/radio/sound engineers); and
  • higher education graduates looking for the next step in their career path.
One of the great strengths of this course is that it attracts people from diverse backgrounds who are clear about what they want to say - and need the knowledge and skills to do that through the documentary form. If this is you, we encourage you to apply.

WHY DO THIS COURSE?

By undertaking this course you will benefit from gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the documentary genre including history, modes and form. This course will develop and enhance your professional working practices, providing a rigorous overview of the current industry landscape, production skills (including camera, lighting and editing); and a network of industry collaborators. Major projects include the production of a documentary short and the development of a longer-form project to be pitched to industry stakeholders.

AFTRS has a long and successful history of postgraduate study. It is consistently rated as one of the top 15 film schools in the world by industry publication The Hollywood Reporter, the only Australian education institution on this list. AFTRS works closely with industry to ensure its courses are relevant and future-focused. Our graduates are sought after by industry across the country and around the world and have won and been nominated for a slate of Academy, Golden Globe, Emmy, BAFTA and AACTA awards.

FEE-HELP APPROVED

For details of help to pay for your fees, please refer to the FEE-HELP website.​

Contact our Student Centre or call 1300 131 461 or (02) 9805 6444 with any questions or to learn more about your study options. You can also contact the Indigenous Unit​.

Changes in circumstances may impact upon the accuracy or currency of information. While AFTRS takes all due care to ensure that the information is accurate, it reserves the right to vary any information described here without notice.

Last updated October 16, 2017

Timetable

INDICATIVE TIMETABLE: GRADUATE CERTIFICATE SCREEN: DOCUMENTARY

Semester 1

Documentary 1:
2 evenings - Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-9pm - for 13 weeks plus 2 Saturdays

Collaborative Practice 1:
4 Saturdays per semester from 9.30 to 5.30pm.
Currently scheduled on March 3, April 7, April 28 and May 26, 2018 from 9.30am to 5.30pm

Semester 2

Documentary 2:
2 evenings - Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-9pm - for 13 weeks plus 2 Saturdays

Collaborative Practice 2:
4 Saturdays per semester (dates to be confirmed) from 9.30am to 5.30pm.

Disclaimer: Please note this indicative timetable is subject to change.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify, examine and critically evaluate documentary genres and concepts.
  2. Identify and apply their own ethical framework in practice.
  3. Appraise and evaluate directing techniques and visual approaches to documentary storytelling.
  4. Plan and execute a shoot, manage material to online edit, and assemble for review.
  5. Synthesise, interpret and evaluate principles and applications of legal, financial and business practice.
  6. Produce written and visual materials for an industry standard documentary pitch.

Access to AFTRS equipment and facilities is determined by the specific requirements of the course learning outcomes.

Admission Requirements

Places in this course are competitive and are based on merit selection.

Candidates are required to submit the following:

1. Prerequisities

Applicants to postgraduate programs are required to hold a relevant undergraduate degree at bachelor level, or to have completed equivalent work experience and/or training.

The typical duration of a bachelor degree is 3-4 years, and candidates applying by degree equivalence are required to demonstrate they have achieved corresponding learning outcomes by completing a similar volume of relevant work experience and/or training. If you wish to apply for admission to a postgraduate program by degree equivalence, please contact the Student Centre​.

2. Application Tasks

2.1 Personal Statement

Articulate why you want to do the course and what you hope to gain from undertaking it. You can submit your statement in one of the following ways:
  • in written form of no more than 200 words (submit as PDF file); or
  • audio-visual form of no more that 2 minutes (submit as media file).

2.2 Photo Essay

Create a narrative photo essay with soundscape. Use the exercise to select a place/situation that is meaningful to you. The photo essay does not have to have people in it. You can take your photographs on any format - phone/camera/tablet. You may use as few or as many photos as you would like to communicate your narrative. Once you have a visual structure, think about how the soundscape will enhance the meaning of the images. You may use music, spoken word, found sound or a combination. The only limit for your photo essay is the duration (maximum of 2 minutes - submit as media file).

2.3 Your Documentary Idea

Tell us about a documentary idea you have that you would like to make. Clearly outline the premise for the documentary, the key characters and how the story would unfold on screen. What visual approach would you take to tell this story?

You can submit your idea in one of the following ways:

  • in written form of no more than 300 words (submit as PDF file); or
  • audio-visual form as a 1 minute pitch to camera (submit as media file).
For the purposes of this exercise do not worry about access, permissions, feasibility, budget and schedule.

3. Creative Work

Submit screen content of any form up to 15 minutes which has been directed by you. Your creative work should demonstrate your talent and potential. Be selective with your choices; we want your best work where you were the sole director. We are more interested in ideas and execution than production value (submit as media file).

OR

3.1 Additional Task (if no Creative Work) Documentary from an Australian Newspaper:

Outline a documentary that you would like to see developed based on an Australian newspaper article published between July 1 and October 16, 2017. Explain what drew you to the project and why it should be made. You can submit your idea in one of the following ways:
  • In written form of no more than 300 words (submit as PDF file); or
  • Audio-visual form as a 1 minute pitch to camera (submit as media file).
For the purposes of this exercise do not worry about access, permissions, feasibility, budget and schedule. We are looking at your ability to articulate an engaging story. Attach the original article (submit as PDF file).

4. Uploading your Documents and Media File

You will be able to upload your written documents and media file/s as part of the application process. Ensure you conform to the required file type and size specified as follows:

  • Written documents can be uploaded to the application portal and have a maximum of 10MB in size;
  • Media files under 50MB can be uploaded to the application portal;

When you are uploading your application in the AFTRS portal you will be able to upload PDF documents and some media files directly into the portal. Any media files larger than 50MB must be uploaded as follows:

  • Creative work must be uploaded to a dedicated, secure AFTRS Dropbox folder online. A hyperlink will be provided to you in an email when you complete the online application process.
  • Once you have uploaded your creative work to the Dropbox folder it will automatically be transferred into our database leaving the Dropbox empty. Do not upload the files again. Student Centre staff check all applications and will contact you if there are any files missing.

Go to this link if you need information on how to compress a media file.

5. Resume and Educational Qualifications

Provide a list of your achievements, educational qualifications and work experience. You must also provide a certified copy​ of your highest education level as detailed on the How and When to Apply​ page on the AFTRS website. Use the link provided for information on how to certify a document.

6. Proof of Residency

Ensure you submit a certified copy​ of your birth certificate or passport as detailed on the How and When to Apply​ page on the AFTRS website. Use the link provided for information on how to certify a document.

Selection Criteria

Places in this course are competitive and are based on merit selection. The selection criteria are:

  • Evidence of a creative point of view or voice.

  • Demonstrated ability to find, research and adapt a story from a non-fiction stimulus.

  • Ability to engage an audience/viewer/reader.

Subjects

Semester 1:

Subject 1: Documentary 1:

You will learn the Art of Documentary and be equipped with the skills and abilities to identify and evaluate conceptual frameworks in documentary storytelling, which will enhance your ability to research, develop and produce compelling non-fiction stories. You will learn practical camera, sound and interviewing skills that will assist you to communicate your creative vision; acquire producer-shooter skills and make a micro-doc.

Subject 2: Collaborative Practice 1

Through a series of practical exercises you will examine cinematic storytelling and related practices through the lens of other disciplines; evaluate and reflect upon your own practice within screen arts; and apply your understanding of interdisciplinary collaborative work practices.

Semester 2:

Subject 3: Documentary 2:

From the commencement of the course, you will have begun the development of your documentary idea which you will pitch to a real world industry panel at the end of the semester. You will be mentored through a set of structured development milestones to create a multiplatform marketing strategy for your project.

Subject 4: Collaborative Practice

Developing your work in Semester 1, you will continue to demonstrate your capacity to create relationships between content, form and audiences in this interdisciplinary context.

Acknowledgement

The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.