Research Skills for TV

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A great researcher is an asset to any production, and this course is designed to give you the key skills to work across all genres of factual television. Course participants will learn through practical exercises, lectures, screenings and discussions about how to research and write a one-off or series doco, magazine segment or current affairs proposal. Subjects covered will include:

• how to identify potential stories and angles for different program formats
• the different research tools you may need
• archival researching
• understanding the importance of finding great "talent" - and how to prepare them
• basics copyright and legal issues relevant to the researcher
• the importance of thinking about visuals – even if you're not the one actually shooting the story
• once you've researched it – how to pitch your story effectively.

Course Lecturer Lesley Holden is an enormously experienced, talented and respected researcher and producer. If you already working in TV production and need to improve your research skills, or want to move into TV Research, then this course will give you a great grounding.

After the initial weekend intensive, course participants will have some “homework” to do before the final Thursday evening, where they will share the results of their research with the class. Interstate participants can be involved in this final session via Skype if they wish.

About the Lecturer: Lesley Holden

Lesley Holden is a producer/researcher/writer who has worked on many award - winning productions across a number of genres and formats from social justice documentary series to studio chat programs. She has worked in the industry for more than 25 years and is motivated by a strong passion for collaborative story telling. Lesley's series credits include The Great Australian Race Riot (Ep 3), Australian: The Story of Us, Redesign My Brain; Whitlam, The Power and the Passion; Raising the Curtain; Darwin’s Brave New World; Indonesia: A Reporter’s Journey, Dying to Leave, numerous documentaries and Geoffrey Robertsons' Hypotheticals .

What previous students have said about this course:

"Lesley was very generous with her's a terrific course for good Industry outcomes".

"An unbelievably valuable tool for my further career...great, great delivery - awesome!"

" I would recommend this course to people interested in learning more about TV Production and where research sits in the production/development line".

***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page


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.