‘True Fictions’ – Fiction Filmmaking with a Documentary Sensibility

An intensive two-month course which introduces students to creating film drama with a documentary sensibility. Working together in film crews, the students swap roles to gain a taste of directing, producing, cinematography and sound recording as they develop stories inspired by real life and film them with non-actors in real locations.

This intensive two-month course is often tutored by award-winning international and national YFS tutors in directing, cinematography, sound recording and editing.

The course introduces students to creating drama with a documentary sensibility, training participants who have little or no fiction filmmaking experience in the aesthetics and practicalities of the form with a focus on working with non-professional actors and shooting in real locations.

The course often builds on work undertaken in the Art of Screenwriting for Beginners’ Course and takes some of the scripts written on it to be made into films. The training covers the entirety of the filmmaking process, from pre-production right through production to the edit and the final stages of post-production.

In a recent innovation, course participants gain experience in the different filmmaking disciplines: as producer, director, camera person, sound recordist and runner. Each student spends around two days focusing on a particular discipline, meaning they end the course with an understanding of the importance of each role and the value of teamwork.

Course participants are fully involved in editing the films, with students working closely with a YFS-trained editor to cut the scenes they shot as director and the entire crew overseeing the post-production of their film including colour grading, sound design and the addition of titles, credits and subtitles.

Take a look at how this course works in the film 2019 About the ‘True Fictions’ – Fiction Filmmaking with a Documentary Sensibility course below.

Notable films that have been made on this course include Missing and The Banyan Tree.

Topics covered on the course include:

  • The True Fictions ‘ethos’ of using non-actors and real locations to gain maximum authenticity in the films
  • The technique and purpose of the Table Script Reading prior to a shoot
  • Permissions required for shooting – including location release forms and actor and crew contracts
  • How to break down a script – listing actors, locations, props, make-up, costumes, etc
  • The Shooting Schedule – its purpose and practicalities
  • How to create a fiction film budget
  • The importance of good casting and how to run a successful audition, plus a dedicated workshop on directing non-actors
  • Shot-listing and the shots required to cover a scene (including shot size, static/moving shots, POV shots, etc)
  • How to shoot a scene – from the aspects of directing, camera, sound and production
  • Call Sheets – their purpose and practicalities
  • Rushes analysis, pick-up shots and how to go about re-shooting a scene
  • The producer’s and director’s role in the edit.

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