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Courses and Portfolio

Hi guys, I was asking if anybody has some advice on what I should do right now, I’ve been wanting to try to go to university for film and television BA and I’m unsure on where to begin, I currently work a full-time job and I’ve been trying to look around for courses that I can do online that I can learn from and build up a portfolio. I have found one course that I can do that works around my job schedule, it’s basically an introduction to filmmaking course and only 10 weeks, Should I try to learn other courses too that are more specific? Like Editing, cinematography etc. (I’ve used Adobe premiere pro for more than a couple of years but never in this aspect, I normally only edited gaming style videos).

And about the portfolio, I have never done one before for a university course as I never really went towards anything after high school, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Erin_P
Hi guys, I was asking if anybody has some advice on what I should do right now, I’ve been wanting to try to go to university for film and television BA and I’m unsure on where to begin, I currently work a full-time job and I’ve been trying to look around for courses that I can do online that I can learn from and build up a portfolio. I have found one course that I can do that works around my job schedule, it’s basically an introduction to filmmaking course and only 10 weeks, Should I try to learn other courses too that are more specific? Like Editing, cinematography etc. (I’ve used Adobe premiere pro for more than a couple of years but never in this aspect, I normally only edited gaming style videos).
And about the portfolio, I have never done one before for a university course as I never really went towards anything after high school, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I’ve been wanting to try to go to university for film and television BA and I’m unsure on where to begin
Have you looked at the entry requirements for the specific degrees that you want to do?
I think you would be surprised that you don't need any portfolio or courses other than the standard A Levels/IB/etc and GCSEs.

I’ve been trying to look around for courses that I can do online that I can learn from and build up a portfolio
The most that your portfolio and filmmaking course would do is to show your enthusiasm for the subject, and you can put that in your personal statement when you are applying through UCAS.

On the other hand, you don't actually need any qualifications to go into film or TV. Why do you want to do the degree specifically? See the following for example:
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-categories/creative-and-media

If you are not based in the UK or choose to study a degree based in the UK, then you would need to elaborate since the site is tailored to a UK audience but some of us can help for some countries outside of the UK.
Reply 2
Original post by MindMax2000
I’ve been wanting to try to go to university for film and television BA and I’m unsure on where to begin
Have you looked at the entry requirements for the specific degrees that you want to do?
I think you would be surprised that you don't need any portfolio or courses other than the standard A Levels/IB/etc and GCSEs.
I’ve been trying to look around for courses that I can do online that I can learn from and build up a portfolio
The most that your portfolio and filmmaking course would do is to show your enthusiasm for the subject, and you can put that in your personal statement when you are applying through UCAS.
On the other hand, you don't actually need any qualifications to go into film or TV. Why do you want to do the degree specifically? See the following for example:
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-categories/creative-and-media
If you are not based in the UK or choose to study a degree based in the UK, then you would need to elaborate since the site is tailored to a UK audience but some of us can help for some countries outside of the UK.

Yeah I’ve been doing a lot of research for the entry requirements, the specific degree that jumps out at me since the beginning is Film and Televsion - BA (Hons), the Minimum requirements is SQA Highers like ABBB or BBB, and it says additional requirements Portfolio, it basically says to submit a digital portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential and it’s apart of the selection process.

I’ve always liked the idea of the Editing aspect as for a career but I haven’t really gotten into any of the other career options that could come out of the course like Sound recording and design or camera work etc.

I have found a short course that I might do, its only a 10 week course and it’s an introduction to filmmaking.
Original post by Erin_P
Yeah I’ve been doing a lot of research for the entry requirements, the specific degree that jumps out at me since the beginning is Film and Televsion - BA (Hons), the Minimum requirements is SQA Highers like ABBB or BBB, and it says additional requirements Portfolio, it basically says to submit a digital portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential and it’s apart of the selection process.
I’ve always liked the idea of the Editing aspect as for a career but I haven’t really gotten into any of the other career options that could come out of the course like Sound recording and design or camera work etc.
I have found a short course that I might do, its only a 10 week course and it’s an introduction to filmmaking.

If the short course can help you build some sort of portfolio that would meet entry requirements, then I suppose it doesn't hurt.
Have you considered looking into some freelancing work or interning in a related role to help build on some portfolio as well as building on some experience?
Reply 4
Original post by MindMax2000
If the short course can help you build some sort of portfolio that would meet entry requirements, then I suppose it doesn't hurt.
Have you considered looking into some freelancing work or interning in a related role to help build on some portfolio as well as building on some experience?

I’ve looked around but couldn’t find any internships and I’m currently working full time at the moment, my plan was to try to save as much as I could till next year and build a portfolio up until then and see where I’m at when next year comes around, it’s difficult trying to do stuff when working a full time job as I’ve noticed now when I’m wanting to go towards university next year or the year after when trying to build a portfolio from scratch, I have started on a short film idea that I have and basically just writing and drawing everything that I can from start to finish to show the process? And doing the short course in October maybe can help with it too and give me some insight.

I would love to do freelancing stuff, as that was my original plan was to get into freelancing video editing but again it was building up the portfolio when I didn’t have any content to go by with… I’ve recently started to travel and it was my big first trip but I didn’t really know where to begins with filming etc.
Original post by Erin_P
I’ve looked around but couldn’t find any internships and I’m currently working full time at the moment, my plan was to try to save as much as I could till next year and build a portfolio up until then and see where I’m at when next year comes around, it’s difficult trying to do stuff when working a full time job as I’ve noticed now when I’m wanting to go towards university next year or the year after when trying to build a portfolio from scratch, I have started on a short film idea that I have and basically just writing and drawing everything that I can from start to finish to show the process? And doing the short course in October maybe can help with it too and give me some insight.
I would love to do freelancing stuff, as that was my original plan was to get into freelancing video editing but again it was building up the portfolio when I didn’t have any content to go by with… I’ve recently started to travel and it was my big first trip but I didn’t really know where to begins with filming etc.

In which case the film course would probably give you a better foundation to work from.

Just out of interest, there is commentary on low budget films that you might be interested in: https://www2.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/downloads/uk-film-council-low-and-micro-budget-film-production-in-the-uk.pdf

Typical YouTube channels that can provide filmmaking tips include Corridor Digital and RocketJump.

A course that you can look into (if you are looking for alternatives) include the 14 day filmmaker by Content Creator: https://www.contentcreator.com/14-day-filmmaker
You might want to look at the reviews before purchasing any course.

The thing with a portfolio for freelancing work is that it doesn't need to be anything fancy, but it needs to be good enough to showcase your skills. Doing a short film or a random field is better than having nothing at all (don't think there are any regulations regarding this) for example.
Reply 6
Original post by MindMax2000
In which case the film course would probably give you a better foundation to work from.
Just out of interest, there is commentary on low budget films that you might be interested in: https://www2.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/downloads/uk-film-council-low-and-micro-budget-film-production-in-the-uk.pdf
Typical YouTube channels that can provide filmmaking tips include Corridor Digital and RocketJump.
A course that you can look into (if you are looking for alternatives) include the 14 day filmmaker by Content Creator: https://www.contentcreator.com/14-day-filmmaker
You might want to look at the reviews before purchasing any course.
The thing with a portfolio for freelancing work is that it doesn't need to be anything fancy, but it needs to be good enough to showcase your skills. Doing a short film or a random field is better than having nothing at all (don't think there are any regulations regarding this) for example.

Thank you I’ll definitely check these out, the thing about the course that I’ve found is, there is an option to select credit-rated option, I think it’s like 25 hours of study, 10 SCQF credits and 5 ECTS I think is what it says.. (I’m from Scotland), yeah I’m going to start building something up with the footage I’ve got at the moment, but they do say to avoid music videos and travel vlogs in their portfolio guide video I think so.. that’s why I’m kinda starting to create short film ideas and build up from there.
Original post by Erin_P
Thank you I’ll definitely check these out, the thing about the course that I’ve found is, there is an option to select credit-rated option, I think it’s like 25 hours of study, 10 SCQF credits and 5 ECTS I think is what it says.. (I’m from Scotland), yeah I’m going to start building something up with the footage I’ve got at the moment, but they do say to avoid music videos and travel vlogs in their portfolio guide video I think so.. that’s why I’m kinda starting to create short film ideas and build up from there.

In which case, Corridor Digital and the early days of RocketJump would be great places to look into this; these people started off with next to nothing and limited location; they had to be very creative with special effects to get where they are today. They would serve as great inspirations.

Other ideas include:

mock movie trailer - I would stick to something like drama or romance to keep it cheap, unless you are brilliant with VFX

instruction videos - cooking, somersaults/sports, workouts, subject tutorial

short animation clip

something involving AI - unless you are specifically told not to do this

snapshots elapse of the sun's journey throughout the day minute by minute

slow motion footages - curtsey of SloMoGuys

trick shots and stunts - curtesy of Dudes Perfect

review - unwrapping video (plenty on YouTube), book reviews, film reviews, game reviews

video of what is happening at a local theatre workshop or what they do in college for theatre/film

mini fashion catwalk - or something you put together with your friends

interview with someone local in an office environment


Chris Nolan famously did an 8 minute movie called Larcery with some friends when he was still at UCL (you're lucky if you can find it). The time skips between scenes is a noteworthy signature of how he plays around with the element of time in a number of his movies e.g. Memento and Tenet.
Reply 8
Original post by MindMax2000
In which case, Corridor Digital and the early days of RocketJump would be great places to look into this; these people started off with next to nothing and limited location; they had to be very creative with special effects to get where they are today. They would serve as great inspirations.
Other ideas include:

mock movie trailer - I would stick to something like drama or romance to keep it cheap, unless you are brilliant with VFX

instruction videos - cooking, somersaults/sports, workouts, subject tutorial

short animation clip

something involving AI - unless you are specifically told not to do this

snapshots elapse of the sun's journey throughout the day minute by minute

slow motion footages - curtsey of SloMoGuys

trick shots and stunts - curtesy of Dudes Perfect

review - unwrapping video (plenty on YouTube), book reviews, film reviews, game reviews

video of what is happening at a local theatre workshop or what they do in college for theatre/film

mini fashion catwalk - or something you put together with your friends

interview with someone local in an office environment


Chris Nolan famously did an 8 minute movie called Larcery with some friends when he was still at UCL (you're lucky if you can find it). The time skips between scenes is a noteworthy signature of how he plays around with the element of time in a number of his movies e.g. Memento and Tenet.

Perfect I’ll check these out, thank you 🙂
Original post by Erin_P
Hi guys, I was asking if anybody has some advice on what I should do right now, I’ve been wanting to try to go to university for film and television BA and I’m unsure on where to begin, I currently work a full-time job and I’ve been trying to look around for courses that I can do online that I can learn from and build up a portfolio. I have found one course that I can do that works around my job schedule, it’s basically an introduction to filmmaking course and only 10 weeks, Should I try to learn other courses too that are more specific? Like Editing, cinematography etc. (I’ve used Adobe premiere pro for more than a couple of years but never in this aspect, I normally only edited gaming style videos).
And about the portfolio, I have never done one before for a university course as I never really went towards anything after high school, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hey I did a portfolio for uni, it helped making like mood boards and colour pallets for any potential ideas and even screenplays. Chanel 4 do a work experience and there are some courses online for free where you can do like the history of film making. the Chanel 4 is more of the business side and insight but its good to do (and you can complete it in a week but you could do it quicker). most of my portfolio was planning of the film like audio time lines where I made a 'time line' of each scene and colour coded it to be diagetic/non-diagetic etc and what sound it would be, I added bits like transitions etc. I applied to ual so I only had 10 pages to fill which made it easier, you can also add bits of photography if you have done any and you could do the mood/concept boards for any ideas you don't have to actually make one. I also added like storyboards cor each concept/mood board, I think doing other bits helps as it shows you are like genuinely interested by it if you get what I mean 😭
Reply 10
Original post by nigellaaaaa
Hey I did a portfolio for uni, it helped making like mood boards and colour pallets for any potential ideas and even screenplays. Chanel 4 do a work experience and there are some courses online for free where you can do like the history of film making. the Chanel 4 is more of the business side and insight but its good to do (and you can complete it in a week but you could do it quicker). most of my portfolio was planning of the film like audio time lines where I made a 'time line' of each scene and colour coded it to be diagetic/non-diagetic etc and what sound it would be, I added bits like transitions etc. I applied to ual so I only had 10 pages to fill which made it easier, you can also add bits of photography if you have done any and you could do the mood/concept boards for any ideas you don't have to actually make one. I also added like storyboards cor each concept/mood board, I think doing other bits helps as it shows you are like genuinely interested by it if you get what I mean 😭
Yeah definitely, I’ve been currently making a storyboard up for a short film idea that I came up with and writing everything down for it like acts 1 - 3 etc and just trying to understand each section of filmmaking but again I’ve never done anything like this before so it’s a learning curve for sure.
Original post by Erin_P
Yeah definitely, I’ve been currently making a storyboard up for a short film idea that I came up with and writing everything down for it like acts 1 - 3 etc and just trying to understand each section of filmmaking but again I’ve never done anything like this before so it’s a learning curve for sure.
I have got some things I use in lesson that goes from the basics of everything if you would like it 🙂 its so difficult making one 😭😭
Reply 12
Original post by nigellaaaaa
I have got some things I use in lesson that goes from the basics of everything if you would like it 🙂 its so difficult making one 😭😭

That would actually be great thank you! I’ve also being doing lessons on a course on skill share I think it’s Learn indie filmmaking by making a short film, and it goes through everything from creating your idea to exporting etc :smile:
Original post by Erin_P
That would actually be great thank you! I’ve also being doing lessons on a course on skill share I think it’s Learn indie filmmaking by making a short film, and it goes through everything from creating your idea to exporting etc :smile:

If you want to give me your instagram or anywhere I can contact you I can send it :smile:
Reply 14
Original post by nigellaaaaa
If you want to give me your instagram or anywhere I can contact you I can send it :smile:

Yep no worries, sent you my insta on messages 🙂

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