Wildlife Film Academy

Wildlife Film Academy  Logo

Basic Information

Address: Block A Longkloof Studios Darter’s Road Gardens 8001 Cape Town South Africa
Phone Number: +27 (21) 4220023
Fax Number: +27 (21) 4220012
Director: Donfrey Meyer
Duration: 1 month

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Wildlife Film Academy
Wildlife Film Academy

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Additional Information

School Information:

If you are passionate about wildlife, if you have a desire to learn more about wildlife filmmaking and would like to develop your career as a wildlife filmmaker then this intensive one month course offered by the Wildlife Film Academy is for you – inspire yourself!

The Wildlife Film Academy operates a globally unique one month wildlife filmmaking course, developed by international, experienced and award-winning wildlife filmmakers. It seeks to inspire and inform aspiring filmmakers and provide a variety of skills essential to making original and appealing wildlife films.

This course has been designed with you in mind and the following key elements make the course successful:

A practical filming location in an amazing and wildlife rich area to give you hands on camera experience.
Lectures on how to conceptualize, script and make your film come to life.
Tutorials and lectures developed by renowned wildlife filmmakers who know how hard it is to make a start in the wildlife filmmaking industry.
Individual access to editing suites and personal tutors to enable you to complete your own film at the end of the course which you can use as a promo for a bigger project.

So, fast-track yourself into the wildlife film industry with the Wildlife Film Academy course that is designed to equip you with all the information you need to succeed.


ZAR 28 500

Financial Aid:


Curriculum Highlights:

In this course you'll learn everything about wildlife film-making from pre-production to post. But undoubtedly a highlight will be working and filming in some of the most beautiful wilderness in Africa, face to face with an abundance of wildlife.

School Setting:

The unsurpassed natural beauty of the Okavango, Botswana

Program Information: Course Content To make a successful wildlife or natural history film, you need to combine creative and technical camera and editing skills with a good appreciation of animal behaviour, ecological processes, ethics in the natural world and local communities, and some serious business knowledge. The Wildlife Film Academy teaches all these areas of expertise and inspires its students to combine these skills in unique and successful ways. The course is divided into 3 parts and is structured in a logical filmmaking order. The course combines a balance of theory-based lectures making use of visual materials as well as practical fieldwork and personalised tutorials in the editing and final audio mix suites. Part 1: Pre-Production and Lectures at the Academy Introduction, Orientation and Inspiration Gain an overview to the exciting industry of wildlife filmmaking. Who are the key players? What are the current trends in wildlife filmmaking? Get inspired by promos of some of the latest international documentary films to be commissioned. Engage in lively debates about ethics when filming wildlife and communities, and how to get the ultimate shot without overstepping the mark. Learn about the field trip area where you will complete your location shoot, and start thinking about the film you wish to deliver by the end of the course. What do Commissioning Editors, Broadcasters and Distributors want? The Wildlife Film Academy has an international network of broadcasters and commissioning editors such as Animal Planet and Discovery Channels as well as freelance and independent producers, distributors and filmmakers. How can you build on and maximise your relationships? What are commissioning editors looking for? How do you present yourself to broadcasters? How do you set up your own production company? How do you know what film to make? Camera Technology, High Definition, Shot Composition and Lighting You will be shown and taught how to handle various camera equipment, from small HDV cameras to large rigs, and all the accessories such as filters and different lenses. You will have much opportunity for hands-on camera practice and be taught the fundamentals of location sound. Through tours to local gear-houses, you will be shown the latest HD technology and lighting. Scriptwriting Lectures cover the importance of story in all filmmaking, determining what good stories are really about and the role of structure in film. All students present a pre-production script and a list of key footage required. Students will learn how to present clear and compelling concepts for wildlife films, how to combine research, the dramatic premise and captured footage into a coherent script, and how to keep your scriptwriting options open as production unfolds. Exposure to Key Industry Contacts, Networks and Wildlife Film Festivals You will learn about the key international festivals to attend, and how to get yourself known on the international circuit. Making contracts and developing networks is crucial and the course provides you with the necessary contacts you will need to get started. What to expect: Lectures start at 8am, finish at 5.30pm with a 1 hour lunch break at 12pm. A wide variety of different lectures and interesting perspectives from experienced filmmakers. Wildlife film screenings of award-winning international films between lectures. A complete set of lecture notes is given to you throughout the course. A lot of information in a short amount of time – come prepared for hard work! Part 2: Production and Location Shoot On the field trip all your equipment is provided (camera, tripod and accessories) and you are accompanied by highly experienced wildlife filmmakers. A logistics representative from the Wildlife Film Academy will also be with you to help with any general queries you may have. This is the chance to watch your storyboard come to life. You will be in close proximity to amazing African wildlife under the expert guidance of your experienced ranger. During the pre-production and post-production sections of the course, you are taken on several morning and night drives around the concession. You will depart on open-top Land Rovers before sunrise and return after sunset, with a combination of “filming” drives around the game reserve. The aim of the location shoot is to give you hands-on filming experience and for you to accumulate as much footage as you need of your chosen concept from which to compile your final film. What to expect: Early mornings to film sunrises and late nights to enjoy the nocturnal animals. All filming equipment is provided, but bring your own if you prefer. You will be expected to clean the equipment every evening after use and take immaculate care of it. Open top vehicles, usually landrovers, with experienced wildlife guide/ranger. Game viewing of some of Africa’s most charismatic species in close proximity. Part 3: Post-Production On returning from the location shoot to the Academy main camp with raw footage in hand, you will digitise and then edit your own footage on individually assigned editing suites under the tutorage of post-production experts. At the end of the editing period, you will have produced a broadcast quality 3 minute short film which will have voice-over narration, soundtracks and final audio mix prepared on your edit suite. What to expect: Never being ready to leave the edit suite! Technical glitches as with any good post-production delivery deadline! Long hours and frustrations. Showing your films to other students and receiving constructive feedback from your tutors. End the course with a master tape of your film and a certificate in hand!