Courses

Self shooting

You’ll learn how to handle a camera and take well-composed, correctly exposed and focused pictures – with good sound - which make sense in the edit. You’ll learn the tecchy aspects of how to focus, expose and white balance correctly as well as how to choose focal lengths and frames. You’ll learn how to cover common situations – working with a reporter, interviewing people, filming meetings and how to film movement intelligently. After initial tuition, you will film a series of exercises and get detailed feedback on your rushes. The aim is to make you confident on any camera.

Documentary directing

What do we do as directors? How do we shape the content and appearance of our films to make them moving, memorable and watchable? This course is designed to help competent self-shooters get the best results when working with their contributors. You'll consolidate the technical aspects of focus, exposure, framing but we'll aim to develop with you a toolbox so you can get usable scenes out of every situation you meet.

Smartphone filming

The best camera is the one you have with you at the time...

For most of us, that means the smartphone in our pocket. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try for - and get - great picture and sound. Just look at movies like Tangerine and Unsane to see the results you can achieve from careful and intelligent use of the smartphone as a capture device.

This course will teach you how to get the very best out of your phone. Through a series of classroom talks and practical filming exercises, we’ll learn about....

* the best apps and gadgets to achieve excellent picture and sound

* simple ways of recording effective, striking interviews with your contributors on your phone

* how to maximise the advantages of the smartphone and minimise its limitations. Our aim is to get you excited about the possibilities rather than being frustrated.

* how to film intelligently to capture the shots and scenes you need to tell your story - that never changes, whatever the camera!

The aim of the course is to send you away happy and excited about the results you can achieve from smartphone filming with your contributors and confident you know how to tell their stories effectively and stylishly.

Interviewing

How to film your interviewees and how to get the very best out of them as contributors – how to frame your questions and your behaviour to enable them to relax and give great answers. At a technical level, you’ll learn how to use available light, focal lengths, depths of field and frames to make your interviewees look their best. You’ll also learn some of the softer human skills to help people speak and behave naturally in front of camera – the tricks and wiles documentary-makers use to enable their contributors to be themselves. The Mail on Sunday described Nick as “one of the best interviewers in Britain today” and in this course you’ll review clips from Nick’s films to see different styles in use. Then you’ll work through a series of practical exercises to give you confidence setting up interviews in different settings.

Short Study Modules for Universities and companies

These can be custom made for small groups of individuals – up to six at a time. Nick teaches one month long short study modules for medical students at Oxford University. Students usually start with little or no hands-on camera experience. They learn camera and sound skills skills and – over a three week period – make promotional documentaries for a local charities or projects they care about. They film on professional sound and vision gear, using the Canon C300, GoPros and smartphones with various gizmos and apps and Sennheiser mics and radio mics. Check out what recent students have said in the testimonials section.

Exec work

If you’re looking for personal guidance on a film or series project then Nick can help. Nick’s one of the most experienced documentary execs in the country – working for every broadcaster on pretty well every type of factual single film or series. Landmark has always enjoyed a reputation for developing staff careers and helping emerging talent. We can help with:

  • making your project attractive to a commissioner by writing an irresistible pitch and making a short but compelling recce film

  • looking at rushes with you to improve your filming

  • reviewing rushes to identify compelling characters

  • helping you build narratives to keep people watching

  • viewing assemblies or rough cuts and advising on how to make them better