Skip to main content

Considering a creative course starting in 2020 or 2021? Email to find out about studying with us. Register for one of our Online Open Days at


Digital Filmmaking for Beginners and Improvers — Overview

This short course is an introduction to digital filmmaking for absolute beginners and improvers. You will learn how to use DSLR cameras and editing software programmes to make quality digital films in a simple and straightforward manner. During the course, you will learn basic filmmaking techniques including camera movement, lighting, sound and editing. All participants will have the opportunity to shoot and edit their very own 1­-2 minute short film.


Course Content

Week 1 ­ 
Induction: Camera basics and other tools
A simple and straightforward practical induction to the equipment available for use at PCA and to the tools that students will use across the course. This will include orientation for DSLR cameras, Tripods, sliders and lenses.

Week 2 ­ 
Composition for film
A session exploring theory and examples behind composition for film. You will use practice to explore composition, framing a shot, camera angles and depth of field. The key to any filmmaker’s visual tool box.

Week 3 ­ 
Camera movement
Using examples from cinema and a little theory, you will look at how you can make your films more dynamic with a variety of movements. If you want to know the difference between a pan and a crane, this session will show you them all, and how to do them at home.

Week 4 ­
Writing a script
Writing a script is can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. For this beginners course, you will explore some of the main features of a script, including character, plot and action, and how to write them out conventionally.

Week 5 ­ 
Basic lighting
During this session, you will be introduced to using readily available lighting to create a range of different styles and looks for your film. You will be looking at what lighting is available to you, including fluorescent, tungsten, LED and, of course, daylight!

Week 6 ­ 
Basic sound recording
Recording sound well can be tricky. In this session, you will look at how best to get good audio recordings for your filmmaking. You will look at different microphones and will practice a range of techniques for dialogue, atmosphere and sound effects. As well as what technology you can use to record effectively.

Week 7­ 
Making your film
Throughout the course, you will be invited to work on developing your own short film. During this week, you will be able to concentrate on your own project within the session and get one to one support on any issues that you may be facing.

Week 8 - 9 ­ 
Having completed filming, you will be using some basic theory and examples from films to explore the editing process. Using industry standard editing software, you will begin to craft our short films. You will focus on how to use the software through tutorial session and then how to cut, splice, and transition between shots to craft the finished film.

Week 10 ­
Finishing and exporting your film
This final session will look at what your finished film might include. You will explore adding soundtrack, simple effects, titles and credits. You will also learn how to ‘export’ your finished film and upload it to a video sharing site, ready to show friends, family and the world.

Entry Requirements
Computer literacy is required. Experience with Apple computer’s would be an advantage. No film ­related experience is required.

Materials and Equipment
Please bring a notebook, pen and memory stick (8 or 16 GB).


Please note that all courses are subject to student numbers and will only run if sufficient numbers are achieved. Plymouth College of Art reserves the right to cancel a course if insufficient student numbers are recruited.

In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Plymouth College of Art has temporarily closed its buildings until further notice to protect the health and safety of staff, students and visitors. For more information please click here.

Digital Filmmaking for Beginners and Improvers — Modules

Digital Filmmaking for Beginners and Improvers — Staff

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

Digital Filmmaking for Beginners and Improvers — Student Work

Digital Filmmaking for Beginners and Improvers — Students Say

Digital Filmmaking for Beginners and Improvers — Careers & Alumni

Digital Filmmaking for Beginners and Improvers — Entry Requirements

Digital Filmmaking for Beginners and Improvers — Resources

Digital Filmmaking for Beginners and Improvers — Interview

Full Time
  • Get in Touch

    Want to ask us a question about this course?

    Tel: +44 (0)1752 203434
    Skype: plymouthcollegeofart