BBC TV cameras are often down in the Dene filming the abundant flora and fauna, with the resulting footage appearing on programmes such as Springwatch. If you want to be the next Simon King, wildlife film maker extraordinaire, you ought to grab this chance of a free film-making course. Jesmond Dene ranger Michael Hancock has secured a limited number of places on a professional film making course and by the end of the course – with all equipment provided – you’ll have shot two, 5-minute films starring the wildlife of Jesmond Dene.

Alternatively the films could be about Jesmond Dene’s history, or today’s volunteering efforts, or anything really. The films will be shown on a loop in the visitor centre and will also be loaded to YouTube for the world to see.

The training will cover the theory of planning a film and conducting interviews (or recording wildlife sounds) as well as the technical aspects of using cameras, and editing. Taking place over ten days – on weekends – the courses will start in mid-October and will be hosted in the visitor centre. 8-10 places are up for grabs. The training will be conducted by Duffel Films of Heaton.

Tel: 0191 2812082


Introductory Weekend (2 days)
• Introduction to documentary film material
• Camera operation; automatic and manual settings
• Shots, sequences and composition
• Logging shots
• Directing and interview techniques
• Sound recording
• Basic introduction to editing with Final Cut

Pre-Production Weekend (2 days)
• Devising, and sharing ideas – considering a brief
• Scripting ideas
• Shot lists
• Equipment, logistics
• Scheduling
• Testing ideas

Filming (2 days filming carried out within a two-week period by each group)
• Filming of shots
• Recording sound
• Interviews where appropriate

Edit weekend (2 days) – rough edit
• Capturing and digitising footage
• Offline editing; construction of film on the timeline

Edit – finishing off (1 day)
• Sound balance (correcting levels)
• Colour grade (matching shots with each other and balancing colours)
• Adding credits and logos to the film
• Exporting finished film files for online platforms and DVDs