Course Overview

This Diploma of Screen and Media offers professional and academic instruction in the arts and sciences of motion pictures and television.
The course aims to give the student knowledge of the technical, creative, and business aspects of the film/television industries. This includes practical hands-on training in the operation of professional equipment and state-of-the-art techniques. The course aims to produce artists with technical proficiency and technicians who are also artists.
This course is for anyone who is serious about making an immediate and significant contribution to the entertainment industry.


  1. Occupational Health & Safety
  2. Principles of Production
  3. Advanced Principles of Production
  4. Use ICT
  5. Screenwriting 1
  6. Critical Analysis in Film
  7. Script Analysis 1
  8. Visual Design
  9. Introduction to Cinematography
  10. Cinematography 1
  11. Editing Theory and Practice 1
  12. Editing Theory and Practice 2
  13. Visual Effects
  14. Unit Production Management (UPM) & Assistant Director (AD)


The following is a summary of the individual subjects that make up the Diploma program.

Principles of Production

Prerequisite: None
This is a required class designed to give the beginning film student a comprehensive overview of the filmmaking process. Students will become familiar with industry specific jobs and fundamental techniques of production, as well as basic camera operation, lighting, writing, storyboarding, sound and editing skills. Students will also be instructed in important safety procedures and guidelines with regards to equipment, props, permits, locations and sets. As a result of this class, each student will be well versed in the rules and requirements of the Equipment Centre, as well as basic set etiquette.
The class is participatory, collaborative and hands-on.

Advanced Principles of Production

Prerequisite: None
Prerequisite: Principles of Production
This is a required class designed to give the intermediate film student a comprehensive overview/ review of the filmmaking process. Students will become familiar with various approaches to camera operation, lighting, writing, storyboarding, sound and editing. Students will also be instructed in important safety procedures and guidelines with regards to equipment, props, permits, locations and sets. Additionally students will be asked to examine issues of aesthetics and style with regards to their own work. As a result of this class, each student will be well versed in the rules and requirements of the Equipment Centre, as well as basic set etiquette.
The class is participatory, collaborative and hands-on.

Screenwriting 1

Prerequisite: None
This required subject provides the students with the basics of screenwriting, emphasizing formatting, story structure, character development, conflict, and techniques of storytelling. This subject will focus on the elements of screenwriting through lectures, writing assignments and the discussion and analysis of film writing and structure. Students will be required to create two screenplays for short films (between 10-15 pages), as well as various other exercises and assignments.

Critical Analysis in Film

Prerequisite: None
This course is designed as an overview of the cinema and an introduction to the aesthetics of filmmaking, taken from a historical perspective. We will look at the cinema from several directions and perspectives. This means we will approach it as a business, as a technology, as an entertainment, as a medium and art form, and as a cultural product. We will consider the ways in which film style and discourse have evolved over the past 100-plus years. Ultimately, however, the goal of the course is quite simple: to enable you to think critically about film.

Script Analysis 1

Prerequisite: Screenwriting 1
Script Analysis seeks to identify the essential building blocks of drama, and to understand how those elements combine to affect an audience and create the dramatic experience. The course offers analytical tools for relating to a script in such a way as to arrive at its dramatic core and so to express its essential meaning.

Editing Theory and Practices 1

Prerequisite: None
Students are introduced to the creative world of the motion picture and digital editor; to study the language and theory of film editing, and basic story concepts, and to practice using them in a hands on manner. Students will gain an awareness of the importance of the editor's creative role in realizing the completed film, which is the final step of the storytelling process. This hands-on class introduces essential skills using Final Cut Pro (digitizing footage, preparing bins for editing, working with time code and creating your personal settings, etc.) and good editing habits along with understanding and appreciation of the role of editing in the storytelling process.

Editing Theory and Practices 2

Prerequisite: Editing Theory & Practice 1
As an Editing Practice course students will be allowed to practice hands on editing techniques using Final Cut Pro and A VID with an emphasis on integrating technical knowledge into the larger goal of storytelling.
As an Editing Theory course students will be introduced to the history of film editing as well as it's techniques and principles. All lessons and examples will be reinforced with screenings of historically important clips and films showing the development of the editing technique from the importing of the first clip through the output of a final finished film.
At the completion of this subject students should:

  • Be confident in their ability to perform basic editing.
  • Understand the history and importance of Film Editing.
  • Be familiar with Final Cut Pro & Apple Computers.
  • Be familiar with editing techniques and principles.
  • Understand the principles of AVID.
  • Have developed some critical editing & storytelling skills.
  • Understand the importance of coverage and basic editing "tricks."
  • Understand the proper setup and organization of editing files.

Visual Design

Prerequisite: Advanced Principles of Production
In this age of visual literacy, a good story is only the starting point for creating a good film. An audience's perceptions are equally influenced by the meanings and emotions conveyed by a director's choice of visual elements and the rhythms, patterns and comparisons created by the juxtaposition and arrangement of images.
All images consist of expressive visual components which convey messages, whether you want them to or not. Unless a director controls these elements, he or she risks both not communicating what was intended and communicating something quite different than what was intended. Similarly, a casual or haphazard combining of images could confuse the viewer and diminish or destroy the overall emotional effect of the story.
It is the purpose of this subject to study the integration of form and content in narrative film. We will examine how the visual and structural elements which make up cinematic form can be used to reinforce, create and comment upon a story and its underlying ideas. We will stress both understanding how these elements are used by others and being able to skilfully apply them to one's own work.
Design is planning, and we will stress the importance of careful, intelligent planning along with the ability to meld a creator's passion with an objective eye in order to achieve true artistic control.

Introduction to Cinematography

Prerequisite: Advanced Principles of Production
Cinematography students further their understanding and appreciation of the art and craft of cinematography by studying the prime concepts of cinematography, equipment procedures, camera mechanics, interior and exterior lighting, pre-production planning, composition, optics, electricity and safety, exposure, colour, and collaboration.

Cinematography 1

Prerequisite: Introduction to Cinematography
This subject is designed for the beginning film students to receive hands on training using the tools of the Director of Photography. The students will gain knowledge of the various occupations in both the camera and lighting departments. The course is designed to have students become familiar with shooting film and video, and learning the concepts needed to control the quality of the image. The students will review the rules, procedures, and proper handling of school equipment. Students will gain knowledge touching on aspects of Camera Systems (film and video), Film Stocks, Basic lighting designs, Lighting and Grip equipment, Exposure, Interior and Exterior Lighting control, and Colour Temperature. This course provides an introduction to the skills needed to reproduce the photographic reality of a scene, or to create a visual mood. The student will receive hands on training in these areas with a professional working in the field.

Visual Effects

Prerequisite: Video Production
Motion graphics production isn’t limited to the digital world. This subject takes you back into the studio to create custom motion backgrounds. Taking digitally captured footage and combine it with effects in popular postproduction tools like Adobe After Effects and Avid resulting in rich, abstract backdrops for your project. Taking concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the subject expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Using projects to demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D tools.

Unit Production Management (UPM) & Assistant Director (AD)

Prerequisite: Advanced Principles of Production
This subject provides students with information about the duties of the UPM, Assistant Director, and Production Coordinator (the "Production Team"). Students will learn the process of a production from the perspective of the production team from development to wrap. Students will learn to schedule and budget scripts both manually and through computerized programs. They will see how their work actually appeared on screen. Students will learn the aspects of both the production office and the set and the relationship of the production team to individual departments of the shooting crew. Students will learn about many of the forms and rules required for a production. There will be handouts, discussions, guest lecturers, and homework assignments.

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2/246 Varsity Pde. Varsity Lakes QLD Australia 4227

Email: [email protected]