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BA Filmmaking

Introduction

Subject to validation

The BA Filmmaking is an exciting new development of our multi-award winning BA in Digital Film and Television. It is a scripted, drama-based, practical film-making course aimed at those who are passionate about storytelling in cinema or television. It is a rich and challenging environment for students who are keen to develop their storytelling skills to the highest level and have the passion to produce and develop new and exciting drama content.

Taught within RCS, the BA Filmmaking is a conservatoire-based programme in all aspects of drama filmmaking, from the development of filmcraft skills, directing, producing and writing short and long form content for film
and television. At RCS you have the opportunity to work with actors, composers, directors, dancers and musicians, as well as your peers from production, including scenic artists, stage managers and technicians. Everything you need to make great work for the screen is right here.

The course also has critical thinking and film and television literacy at its core, with workshops and seminars designed to build your ability to appreciate what has gone before as you craft the stories of the future.

You will benefit from extensive industry contact, which can include working on live professional sets, becoming part of the crew on a professional production, masterclasses and expert tuition from industry practitioners. We’ll help you to develop your ideas and your creativity to the highest level, as well as offering you the opportunity to make films and tell stories.

Introduction

Subject to validation

The BA Filmmaking is an exciting new development of our multi-award winning BA in Digital Film and Television. It is a scripted, drama-based, practical film-making course aimed at those who are passionate about storytelling in cinema or television. It is a rich and challenging environment for students who are keen to develop their storytelling skills to the highest level and have the passion to produce and develop new and exciting drama content.

Taught within RCS, the BA Filmmaking is a conservatoire-based programme in all aspects of drama filmmaking, from the development of filmcraft skills, directing, producing and writing short and long form content for film
and television. At RCS you have the opportunity to work with actors, composers, directors, dancers and musicians, as well as your peers from production, including scenic artists, stage managers and technicians. Everything you need to make great work for the screen is right here.

The course also has critical thinking and film and television literacy at its core, with workshops and seminars designed to build your ability to appreciate what has gone before as you craft the stories of the future.

You will benefit from extensive industry contact, which can include working on live professional sets, becoming part of the crew on a professional production, masterclasses and expert tuition from industry practitioners. We’ll help you to develop your ideas and your creativity to the highest level, as well as offering you the opportunity to make films and tell stories.

Programme structure

Year one
Working individually and in groups, you will engage with the mechanical and creative elements of writing for film and television, designed to develop technical skills and grow creative awareness. You will learn about filmcraft skills in camera, lighting, post production, sound recording, producing and directing within workshops and practical projects. Your film and television studies lectures and seminars will inspire your creativity by exploring the masters of storytelling, both current and historic. At the end of the year you will originate a five-minute short film as well as an outline for an original television drama.

Year two
You will develop your filmcraft skills and begin to find your own distinct visual style through practice and exploration. You will improve your skills in directing and producing through the production of two original short films made throughout the year. Your writing will develop with the delivery of two short film scripts and a first episode or series outline for a television drama. Within the film and television studies lectures and seminars you will further explore storytelling focusing on single directors or television shows.

Year three
You will hone your filmcraft skills to a specialised and professional level, whilst reinforcing the practice of independent responsibility and development. You will realise professional creative content for film and television including a 10-12 minute short film and have the opportunity to choose between further developing your television series outline or a one-off television drama. You will submit a research project in your final year that focuses on your chosen area of film or television criticism. The final subject matter is negotiated with your subject lecturer. Throughout years two and three there will be the opportunity to study subjects from a group of options offered to you from a variety of departments within RCS. These options offer you the opportunity to further enhance your skills in your discipline or explore other related disciplines that are of interest to you.

Staff and masterclasses

Most of the visiting lecturers in DFTV are industry practitioners who are therefore able to bring the best of current sector practice into the classroom before our students take it back out to the industry. We regularly have master classes with some of the best talent in the industry. Those who our students have worked with recently include Richard Attenborough, Kevin Spacey, Tony Marchant, Emma Thompson, James McAvoy, Billy Boyd and Bill Paterson.

Find out more about this screen undergraduate programme from Head of Screen, Adam McIlwaine.

 

Head of FilmAdam McIlwaine

DFTV Lecturer – Andy Dougan

DFTV Tutor – Gavin Rizza

EMAP Coordinator – Abigail Howkins

Lecturer in CinematographyRay Tallan

Kit CoordinatorPaul Mitchell

Why choose us?

  • Analyse the best of film and television storytelling with your own filmmaking craft in mind
  • Develop original short film and television programme ideas
  • Opportunities to make short films
  • Access to state-of-the-art technology, including RED One and RED Epic MX Digital Cinema cameras
  • We are the only conservatoire in Europe offering opportunities for screen students to collaborate with staff and fellow students across dance, drama, music and production
  • Unrivalled professional partnerships including BBC Scotland, Progressive Broadcast Hire and Dumbarton Studios
  • Learn from award-winning expert staff
  • Benefit from workshops and masterclasses from distinguished industry practitioners who work with you on a daily basis

How to apply

Applications for the BA Filmmaking programme should be made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. There is a UCAS application fee of £24 (which is in addition to the audition fee) which allows you up to six choices of programme of study.

Preparing for the interview

The panel will judge applications strictly on the level of creativity shown in the completion of the interview tasks and the ability to tell a story with a finished piece of film. The film studies element of the interview must display an ability to view a film from a creative perspective and not as simply a member of the audience.

We are looking for individuals who have something to say about the world and want to use the visual medium to say it – storytelling is at the heart of what we do.

Before applying we recommend that you read the Guide for Applicants which provides information regarding entry requirements, and the full application and audition process. Download the Guide to Applicants here.

Entry requirements

  • Scottish Highers – 3 passes (grade C or above)
  • A Levels – 2 passes
  • International Baccalaureate – minimum score of 24 with 3 subjects at Higher Level

We offer a flexible approach to students taking Highers over more than one academic year and/or who achieve their qualifications in more than one sitting.

Entrance to the Conservatoire is based on talent, potential and ability, therefore consideration will be given to relevant experience which is deemed to compensate for any traditional education. We accept a wide range of qualification, including international qualifications. If you wish to check the suitability of your qualification/experience, please contact us ( admissions@rcs.ac.uk ).

English Language

The language of study is English. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Other equivalent English Language qualifications may be considered, please contact us ( admissions@rcs.ac.uk ) for more information.

  • IELTS – 6.5 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component

Audition requirements

Audition requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Drama Dance Production and Screen Guide for Applicants on the following website

 

Fees & scholarships

Tuition fees for academic year 2016-17

  • Scottish/EU Students – £1,820
  • Rest of UK (RUK) Students – £9,000
  • International (non EU) – £15,135

Scottish/EU students

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) will pay tuition fees for all eligible full-time Scottish-based and other non-UK undergraduate EU students, who are studying in Scotland at degree level for the first time. Students should apply to SAAS for payment of tuition fees even if they are not applying for any other means of support. Eligible students can also apply for student loans through SAAS . For further advice and to check eligibility contact SAAS directly on 0300 555 0505 or visit their website .

Rest of UK students

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland studying in Scotland will be eligible for the same funding/loan package that they would benefit from if they attended an institution in their home country. For further advice please visit student finance England , student financeWales , or student finance Northern Ireland as appropriate.

International students

Students from outside the EU typically fund higher education by a variety of resources, depending on the home country. More specific information on funding options relevant to specific countries can be found here .

Scholarships

Any potential student who auditions for a place at the Royal Conservatoire will automatically be considered for a scholarship. They are awarded on a combination of talent, potential and financial need. More information about Scholarships is available here

Sources of external funding

For more information about alternative funding sources, including external scholarships and bursaries, please visit here.

The Conservatoire’s International and Student Experience team are available to advise and assist applicants and current students in respect of queries about funding your studies at the Conservatoire. Please email or telephone +44 (0)141 270 8281/ +44 (0)141 270 8223 for further information.

Graduate destinations

 

Screen graduates are employed by major broadcasters, production companies, and establish themselves as independent film-makers. Some graduates work freelance for independent companies or on short film schemes, and some have gone on to postgraduate study, including with the National Film and Television School. Our graduates are highly regarded and in demand. Graduate Paul Wright’s first feature film, For Those in Peril, was
selected for the Cannes Film Festival and chosen to compete in Critics’ Week.

Krysty Wilson-Cairns sold her science fiction script Aether to a major studio and was named as one of the UK Stars of Tomorrow by Screen International. She is currently working on an adaptation for director Darren Aronofsky. Graduate showcase film Starfish won the Royal Television Society award for Best Undergraduate film and Bethany Angus won best editor for her work on the film Skin Deep. Graduate Ben Cook won Best Editor at the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards for his work on The Scribbler.

Facilities

Most of our shooting is done on location and that means our students are trained to the highest level in industry conditions on state of the art industry standard equipment. The jewel in the crown in terms of facilities is RED Epic camera system; the camera used on films such as The Hobbit, Robocop, Lone Survivor, Pacific Rim, Muppets Most Wanted, and The Great Gatsby.

Before moving on to the RED Epic, our students are trained on the RED One, and before that the Cannon 5D Mk II. However the training begins on the Sony DSR 570, a tape-based system which ensures our camera students are proficient in all levels of technology. We also have several GoPro cameras for complete flexibility.

We have an editing classroom with 18 iMacs all equipped with Avid editing software. In addition there are three dedicated edit suites for our final year including one fitted with Avid Symphony.

Our films have also been praised for the quality of their sound and our students use SQN mixers as well as Sound Devices 744 and 422 mixers with Sennheiser 416 microphones.

We provide top level training for our students so we make sure they are supplied with the best equipment.

Images and videos

Graduation films

A selection of our final year graduation films from each of the past five years is listed below for you to see the quality of the work produced from our award-winning students. To see all of our graduation films from the past decade please visit: https://vimeo.com/rcsscreen

Starfish – 2015

(Dir. Louise Dawson) (Royal Television Society Scotland Winner Best Undergraduate Film)

The Scribbler – 2014

(Dir. Kurosh Kani) (Winner BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award Best Editor)

 

The Groundsman – 2013

(Dir. Jonny Blair) (Winner BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award Best Editor)

One New Message – 2012

(Dir. Sam Ferguson) (BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award Nominee Best Screenplay)

The Taxidermist – 2011

(Dir. Charlotte Carden) (Winner Celtic Media Festival Best Short Film, Winner BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award Best Editor)