WHAT KIND OF FILMMAKING IS TAUGHT?
Sydney Film School trains to equip the independent filmmaker with the skills and techniques to develop, produce and distribute short and long-form screen content, including film, television and digital. Student projects cover short scripted narratives and short documentaries.
Our teaching staff works in the professional film and television production industries, and also prepare our students for the professional expectations and protocols of the industry.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU TEACH?
Screenwriting and screen storytelling, production management, directing for screen, cinematography, lighting, production design, location sound recording and mixing, post-production and editing, sound design and sound editing, screen business and industry, marketing and distribution.
WHAT IS THE RATIO OF PRODUCTION TO THEORY?
Sydney Film School operates within the Waterloo Studios, a busy production house environment. Teaching is modelled on a professional production process, meaning a very high level of practical work and production experience. Wherever practical, training is contextualised within the production processes of the student film projects. We believe that the best way to learn is to learn through doing.
WHAT TECHNOLOGIES DO YOU USE?
In keeping with the contemporary international film and TV industry, the focus is on digital film.
WHAT SIZE ARE MY CLASSES?
Classes typically range from 10-20 for a tutorial and 30-40 for larger project briefings, film screenings, or whole school masterclasses.
WHAT MATERIALS DO I HAVE TO BUY?
Sydney Film School provides all the basic materials you will need for the duration of your studies. This includes all digital equipment.
Students need to provide their own notepad, pen and other stationery.
Students also need to have an external hard drive to store their footage, work files and projects plus a second drive for backup. This is also useful when you want to create a showreel of your work.
Because different computers have various connections for the external drive, we recommend the drive you buy has all of these connections and cables: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Firewire 800 and eSATA (if you buy a drive with only USB 3.0, you may not be able to connect it to all computers). The drive’s capacity needs to be a minimum of 1Terrabyte and ideally 2 or 3 Terrabytes. The speed of the drive needs to be 7200RPM.
Not all drives are suitable for editing. A cheaper drive may not be fast enough, or cope with being moved from computer to computer. The price of external hard drives varies depending on the brand, features and capacity. We have found that LaCie d2 Quadra USB 3.0 model is suitable and meets these specifications. They are available in 2TB, 3TB or 4TB capacity.
Because external hard drives can break, be lost or damaged, it is also essential that your data is backed up regularly. This should be to another external drive or the hard drive on your own computer.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE?
The Diploma course is an intense introductory program and assumes no prior experience in professional film or television. Instead we expect our students to be dedicated, passionate, open-minded and collaborative.
The Advanced Diploma course requires some previous film experience, such as the successful completion of the Diploma.
WHAT ARE YOUR WORKING HOURS?
Students have access to the school Monday to Friday, 8am – 8pm.
ARE THERE PATHWAYS TO OTHER COURSES?
Graduates can articulate into other higher education providers via a number of further university pathways.
DOES YOUR SCHOOL CONNECT WITH INDUSTRY?
SFS is building a unique industry distribution network of film festivals, sales agents and distributors. Industry specialists teach at the school and high-profile filmmakers have given moving keynote speeches. Our special meet-the-filmmaker series exposes students to a variety of industry professionals across a variety of disciplines. Industry sponsors support our film festival with donations and awards, and it is attended by key industry guests.
HOW MANY FILMS WILL I MAKE?
Providing you complete all assessments and demonstrate competency in the required crew role skills, you will take a major role on a minimum of 3 films per year, across multiple departments. On average students get involved with between 6 – 10 film projects throughout their training.
DO MY FILMS GET SCREENED?
Produced films are eligible for entry to the Sydney Film School Festival each year.
Many of the films that screen in the program go on to screen at other festivals around the world and winning industry accolades.
ARE THERE STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD?
Students come from 15 countries: from Asia, the US, Europe, and South America. We are an international community that enjoys the exchange of cultural perspectives from around the world.
WILL I MEET AND WORK WITH AUSTRALIANS?
Australians make up a significant number of the student population and love to interact with foreign students.
Friendships result in international collaborations and networks after graduation.
CAN I GET ASSISTANCE WITH ACCOMMODATION?
Please note that Sydney Film School does not have on-campus accommodation.
Boarding houses range from fairly large commercial properties to average sized houses run by private citizens. Accommodation available includes full board, rooms with use of facilities, or rooms only. Students can expect to pay $220 (AUD) to $380 (AUD) per week for a single or shared room in a Boarding House. Once settled in Australia, students may wish to share rented accommodation.
Hostels provide a friendly, safe, supervised environment. You get your own room or a shared room with communal facilities such as dining room, games room and television room. Many hostels also provide meals. Share rooms cost around A$30 – A$35 per night and private rooms A$60 – A$100 per night.
Sharing a House
Sharing a house or apartment gives you more independence than homestay or hostel accommodation. However, you will need to provide your own furniture (if the house/apartment is unfurnished) and linen. You share the cost of rent, telephone, electricity and gas. You need to buy your own food and do your own laundry and cooking (although many sharing arrangements include sharing the cooking).
Renting by yourself or with others
Studio or one-bedroom apartments are smaller and less expensive to rent than larger apartments. You’ll need to provide your own furniture (if the house/apartment is unfurnished), pillows, sheets and blankets and pay for expenses such as electricity, gas, and telephone. You’ll also need to clean your apartment, do your own laundry, buy your own food and do your own cooking. Costs depend on the size and location of the apartment or house.
Some estimated costs for Sydney are:
- 1 bedroom apartment / flat $200 – $400 (AUD) per week
- 2 bedroom apartment / flat $260 – $600 (AUD) per week
- 2 / 3 bedroom house $450 – $750 (AUD) per week
- Sharing an unfurnished bedroom with other persons $175 (AUD) to $250 (AUD) per week per person.
Rental accommodation also requires the payment of a bond which equates to one month’s rent. Most renters are also required to pay their rent two weeks in advance.
IS THERE TRANSPORT TO THE SCHOOL?
The school is located in the heart of Sydney and is therefore easily accessible by train or bus. If you are taking the train the best is to go to the Green Square Train station as we are a 10 minute walk from it. If you are driving you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of free parking spaces in the area. Why not ride a bike? City of Sydney is making our city bike friendly and you might like to consider this as your travel option. More and more of our students do. Wear a helmet, have your bike lights on and be careful.
Plan Your Trip – click on this link to plan your trip from your current location to Sydney Film School.
HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?
For more information on our school or courses please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org