Folly Farm Centre

Folly Farm Centre


11-13 November 2019


Folly Farm Centre, Stowey, Pensford, Bristol BS39 4DW


£350 + VAT - Course only

£600 + VAT - Course + Accommodation


  • 3 days tuition

  • Lunch

  • Breakfast and dinner for residential guests


Up to 10 students


Email Blue Fire Films to book

FF building.jpg

The Science Documentary Film-making Course at Folly Farm near Bristol is a three-day course teaching the basics of film-making. The course material is based on years of experience making science documentaries for the BBC.


This 3-day film-making course will take you through all the stages of making a short documentary about your work. It includes:

- Documentary theory: what makes a good film? How to think about using film and video to promote your work. The language of film: Shot sizes, camera movement, and how to use them.

- Pre-production: Planning your film, researching content, organising shoots. Understanding equipment, copyright and permissions, and story-boarding.

- Production: Shooting interviews, shooting additional material, getting good quality sound, and lighting your interviews

- Post-production: Editing your film, boosting the colour and audio of your film, best use of music, adding simple graphics, titles and web links.

- Promoting your film: Upload to Youtube, search engine optimisation, social media, getting your film seen.

Each day will combine learning theory in the classroom, with practical, hands-on experience of filming techniques, and analysing footage. Each participant will have the opportunity to be involved in every stage of the film-making process. They are invited to come prepared to make their own film on the course, and will be taught all the stages to produce a finished film after 3 days.


The course and accommodation are both at Folly Farm in Somerset. The venue is an 18th Century restored farm house set in a 250-acre nature reserve. 100% of Folly Farm’s profits go to the Avon Wildlife Trust.

For more information about accommodation:


  • A camera that shoots film: DSLR is best but anything will do.

  • A Laptop

  • Editing software: We recommend either Professional editing packages like Premiere Pro or free-ware, like iMovie or HitFilm Pro.

  • In addition, students can bring: Tripod, audio equipment including microphones, external hard drive but it’s not essential.



I’m definitely going to use all the things that I learned. I work in communication for a big airline and I can use all the techniques that I learned in this week. I would definitely recommend this course.
— Teresa Bartelds, KLM
As Managing Editor of Ecography, I often help our authors to communicate their research via social media. This course gave me additional tools to make short videos for authors. I gained understanding in film-making theory as well as how to shoot films and what to think about when interviewing researchers. In addition, I learned how to edit film material in film-making software, and with simple tools, make a film look really professional. I highly recommend this course!
— Maria Persson, Lund University
I’m a biologist, and it’s important to talk not just to your peers, but to the public. What was great about the course was it covered all the stages of film-making in a week, and we got a good idea how to make effective movies that we can use in our jobs.

The teacher’s background and effective communication skills were very important in conveying such a huge amount of information in just one week.
— Frederico Mestre, University of Evora
I didn’t really understand all of the steps involved in making a short documentary. Before the course and with my science training I would have probably prepared something descriptive and boring. The tricks for effective storytelling of scientific results in a video documentary were really useful and the techniques for shooting and editing videos were foundational to me. You basically leave the course with the knowledge and skills to start preparing your own videos.
— Professor Miguel Araújo, University of Madrid


University of Oxford, University of Bristol, University of Bath, University of Evora (Portugal), NHS