Short courses

Improve your skills at home and explore new areas with short online courses

Some things can only be learned in a physical classroom or on a set with hands-on experience, but that doesn’t mean online learning has had its day.

As Krista Jordan, Head of Facilitation and Head of Short Courses and Industry Certificates at AFTRS, “There’s always a part of the craft that’s based on practical skills, but Around that, there’s a whole bunch of other really important learning that helps with the application and context of those practical skills, and those are the things that are learned very well in an online environment.

Jordan speaks quickly and enthusiastically about the online short courses offered by the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

“I love what you can do with it,” she said, telling ScreenHub about the extensive menu of options available. “With the flexibility, you can really incorporate them into your life and choose based on your personal circumstances and learning styles, whether you’re new to the industry or someone in the industry looking to upskill or gain skills. versatile skills.”


AFTRS’ current short course program encompasses everything from a two-day course Narrative comedy workshop with Tim Ferguson a four-day production accounting course a three-week course Introduction to directing. For those who want a more intense experience, there are ten-week courses on Write a TV series, Screenwriting for cinema Where The director’s journey with Elissa Down. This is just a small taste of the online short courses, all taught by experts with recent and significant industry experience.

Whether you’re a 16-year-old high school student with an idea for a documentary or a 50-year-old veteran looking to upskill or branch out into the screen industry, there’s something for everyone. You just need a computer and a decent internet connection.

Jordan said the beauty of short courses is their flexibility and responsiveness, not just to student needs (including students with access issues), but to evolving industry demands for new types of skills.

“Right now there’s a lot of talk around virtual production and virtual crafting,” said Jordan, who previously worked at Animal Logic as the company’s head of learning and development. Sydne, with her movie credits including The matrix, red Mill and Oscar winner happy feet.


“I spent 25 years working on the virtual side of things,” Jordan explained.

“I’ve worked with amazing R&D teams and artists, huge teams and small teams, and what I’ve learned from that experience is that when you have to work on the cutting edge of things, you have to have a sense of responsiveness.” and agility. This capacity for reactivity is better placed in the team of short formations. We can change things up, try new things and see if we have an impact.

Examples of such responsiveness include new courses developed at AFTRS specifically in virtual production, “examining the ways in which cross-pollination can occur between virtual and non-virtual crafts,” Jordan said.

She is also excited about developments in other areas complementary to production, such as film and television financing.

“We have short courses and industrial certificates in production finance which work incredibly well, with students coming out of these courses having direct industry experience and contacts. A number of students have secured employment before they have even completed the course because there is high demand and, as with many courses, the people who teach them often keep in touch with students who have made their evidence.


More than other industries, the screen and broadcast industries run on social media – who you know and who you’ve worked with before. And while it seems surprising that online courses can help with such networking, Jordan says that is indeed the case. Many students underestimate or underuse the social aspects of classes, she said.

“There are great opportunities to develop communities and build your network with online short courses.

“My big advice for any student is to embrace the fact that you can talk and interact with your fellow students and professors. Sometimes shy people isolate themselves and make online classes a kind of darkroom activity, but I would say think laterally and really have a conversation and reach out and engage.

“It’s a really easy way to push yourself a bit, try something new, learn skills, and make friends and contacts,” Jordan said.


Introduction to the documentary 31/8/2021

Explore the role of a documentary filmmaker while learning more about the genre, including factual TV series/documentaries, feature length documentaries and online documentaries. This course is designed for students who have little or no knowledge of the documentary genre but who have a strong interest in storytelling and connecting with audiences by telling true stories. The six evening Zoom sessions over three weeks will consist of lectures, screenings and discussions, and led by industry expert Dylan Blowen.

Mobile content creation 6/9/2021

Learn how to shoot and edit quality video on your mobile device, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad or Android, in this fully online introductory course. Five modules are delivered (either over five days with a daily Zoom session during working hours, or over five weeks with a weekly Zoom session outside office hours). In addition to hands-on lessons delivered via video, there are live Zoom video lessons and hands-on exercises that can be submitted to the course instructor for feedback. The tutor is cinematographer Gareth Tillson (LBF).

The director’s journey with Elissa Down 10/04/2021

Learn how to become a working manager and build a lasting career in this 10-week, 100% online course. Designed for emerging filmmakers with some experience, offering insight into the role of director to help you take your craft to the next level. Led by AACTA, AWGIE and ADG award winner Elissa Down (The Black Balloon, Feel The Beat), who works in the US and Australian industries, you’ll develop your filmmaking knowledge and skills from the comfort of your own home.

Start your new professional journey with a online short course at AFTRSAustralia’s premier screen and broadcast school.