Summer School: The Six Week Doco School

Australian Film Television and Radio School

Program Description

Summer School: The Six Week Doco School

Australian Film Television and Radio School

Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to hone your documentary making skills and get your own project into pitch-perfect shape. This entry/intermediate level course is aimed at giving you an introduction to the theory and business side of documentary filmmaking, plus lots of practical skills. By the end of the course, you will have developed your own documentary idea from an initial concept, and created a set of materials (pitch trailer and/or pitch document.) which can form the core of a funding approach to a screen agency, a broadcaster or crowd funding campaign.

This course is mixed delivery:

The first four weeks are delivered entirely online, before Christmas. Online component starts 23rd November and runs for 4 weeks. There will be two weekly online video tutorials (Mondays and Thursday EST 7pm). In addition to the video tute/dscussion sessions, you will have reading and viewing to do and some exercises to work on each week, as well as work to do developing your own idea.

The final two weeks will be an intensive hands-on workshop at AFTRS in Sydney from 4 - 15 January, where you will learn to shoot and edit documentary content and work on creating your own pitch materials..

In this course you will:

  • develop skills in camera, sound and editing
  • learn about story identification and development
  • practise creative story telling skills development - how to identify, research and tell a documentary story
  • get an overview of documentary modes and directions
  • have an introduction to basic documentary legals including releases, licensing free media, CC licenses, music rights etc
  • get vital Industry exposure via tutor and course guests and end of course pitch presentation to industry panel.

Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to hone your doco making skills and get your own project into pitch-perfect shape.

About the Course Lecturer: Madeleine Hetherton

Madeleine is an experienced director and producer working across a wide range of television documentary and top rating factual programs. Her long form documentary work includes directing the documentary series Making Babies (SBS) reviewed as ‘fascinating and moving’ (The Age), Beats Across Borders (ABC /Cirque du Soleil) and Love In Our Own Time. Her filmmaking has taken her around the world shooting in challenging locations including diamond diving in Africa, wildlife trafficking in Burma and the remote outback of Australia.

Madeleine's films have won and been nominated for a number of awards including Best Film - Sarasota Film and nominated for Best Directing and by the Australian Directors Guild and the Association of International Broadcasters for Best Contemporary Documentary

She has extensive experience in television documentary and factual programs shooting and producing for major Australian production companies such as Endemol Southern Star, IMG Media, Freehand TV & Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder including producing and shooting on over 60 episodes of the top rating ‘Bondi Rescue’ (Ch10/Nat Geo) as well as popular series such as ‘The Nest’ (SBS), ‘Last Chance Surgery’ (Ch7/Discovery) ‘The Poker Star’ (Ch10) and most recently, the popular ‘Outback Truckies’ (Ch 7).

She recently completed producing and directing the feature documentary ‘The Surgery Ship’. The documentary follows stories aboard the worlds largest civilian hospital ship as it roams the coast of West Africa and is currently producing the documentary Call me Dad for ABC TV.

From 2012- 2014 Madeleine was a part time lecturer on the Advanced Diploma in Documentary at AFTRS.

This school offers programs in:
  • English


4 weeks online + 2 weeks full time

Cost & Fees

Special 20% Extra Early Bird Discount - all Summer School courses are eligible for this discount if booked before 1 October 2015. The prices on the screen above are the full price followed by this Extra Early Bird price which expires on 1 October.

Regular 10% Early Bird 10% Discount - this discount applies to all Summer School courses after 1 October 2015 and is valid up to 28 days from start of the course.

Additional 5% Multi Course Discount - this discount is available if you book two or more courses at the same time before 1 November 2015 - so if you book into two or more courses prior to October 1 you could get a 25% discount! To receive this discount call 1300 065 281.

Duration & Price
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Start date
Nov. 2017
6 weeks
Full time
3,750 AUD
Start date Nov. 2017
Australia Sydney, New South Wales
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 6 weeks
Price 3,750 AUD