Newsgathering and Production Weekend Course


This course will run over 2 weekends – May 22nd-23rd and 29th-30th 2010

Suitable for all those wishing to embrace the fundamentals of documentary and newsgathering production capabilities in broadcast television, corporate promotions and Web publication.

  • Multimedia researchers
  • Print Journalists
  • NGO’s
  • Corporate PR’s – and all those wishing to enter the video production sector.

This 4 day course over 2 weekends will introduce the basics for producing documentary and newsgathering programming and promotional information videos.

The first weekend will cover: industry standard research, writing and pitching techniques; UK broadcasting guidelines on sex, race, violence and the interpretation of the terms; interview techniques including cut aways, ‘crossing the line’, ‘noddies’; covert filming: uses and abuses and legal issues; legal requirements when shooting in public and private places; permits, release forms and other considerations; insurance issues: public liability; personal insurance etc… ; copyright protection; ownership of materials and developing relationship between all those involved behind and in front of the camera. You will also learn how to prepare an industry standard production budget, a production and post-production schedule.

During the intervening week, in your own time, you will be required, working in teams of 2 – 3, to research a 5 – 10 minute production idea of your choice, write a production treatment, prepare a production budget, a production schedule and a verbal ‘pitch’.

The second weekend you will ‘pitch’ (a verbal presentation) to the tutor and, as is common practice, must be prepared to justify your idea verbally towards an objective and coherent production. You will be able to finish or otherwise modify your treatment, budget and schedule after which your written treatments will then be evaluated along with your budgets and schedule details. Your submissions will be evaluated by your tutor along with staff members of the Frontline Club. There will be no grades awarded but your treatments and the clubs’ evaluations may be published on the Frontline web site. You will also be provided with a certificate from the Club stating that you have completed the course successfully and references can be provided in the event of a job interview.

Tutor: Mike Dodds.

Experienced documentary filmmaker; first as a DOP on current affairs series ‘World in Action’, ‘This Week’ and ‘Panorama’ in the UK and ‘60 minutes’ for CBS and arts programmes for WNET in the USA; later a director of an independent production company functioning as director/producer or executive producer for some 40 hours of programming for Channel Four and the BBC in the UK. Awards include: RTS, EMMY, and Prix  Italia. Past teaching experience: European Film College in Denmark; Westminster University; Thames Valley University and the NFTS.