6 month Wildlife Documentary Film Making Course,
with 8 weeks filming in Iceland
An overland expeditionary film course
to Hornstrandir in Iceland,
filming the Arctic Fox on location in the Arctic Circle
Filming Arctic Foxes in Iceland; wow… if you're serious about filming wildlife in a remote location; you will not get any more remote than this.
The land of Fire & Ice is carved into the surface of the planet by millions of years of volcanic activity, some of which is still going on today. Famous for its utterly remote and striking landscapes, Iceland sits very high on many peoples ‘must-do’ lists; and the Peninsular of Hornstrandir is a unique photographic highlight of Iceland due to its population of beautiful and mischievous Arctic Foxes.
We can guarantee this will be like no other wildlife film course you have ever been on. Spending 8 weeks filming in Iceland will be a truly amazing experience.
By its very nature, sitting in the middle of the north, of the north Atlantic; Iceland is very remote. Further to this, the upper north western region of Iceland is called the Westfjords; and to the very north of Westfjords is the Hornstrandir Peninsular; which in itself is so remote it is only assessable by boat. We will set up our basecamp on the northern coastline of Hornstrandir, at the back of the beach in Hornvik Bay.
The only thing north of us will be sea ice and the North Pole !
There are no footpaths onto the Hornstrandir Peninsular, let alone any roads; and you need a special environmental permit to visit here for most of the year. This remote location is so far north that its actually the only part of Iceland that lies within the Arctic Circle. The peninsular is home to Iceland´s Arctic Fox and the whole of the Peninsular is a protected. With very low levels of human interaction you are able to observe the Foxes in there natural habitat, at very close proximity, totally unaffected by our presence.
The overall purpose of the 'film course / expedition' is to produce a 45 minute documentary about your travels across Iceland to film the Arctic Foxes in Hornstrandir. Our journey will start at the ferry port ‘Saydisfjordur’ on the far eastern coastline, and travel across the full width of southern Iceland to Reykjavik. After spending some time in Reykjavik we will then travel north to the area of Westfjords, where the highlight of our time in Iceland will be filming for a week on the extremely remote Peninsular of Hornstrandir, filming Arctic Foxes with local guides and wildlife experts.
The logistical company we will be working with is Borea Adventures. In turn, Borea have been working in Westfjords and Hornstrandir as local wildlife guides for many years, and are the logistical company of choose for the numerous visits by the BBC NHU to the area when filming Arctic Foxes - so your time in the area couldn't be spent in better hands.
We can guarantee that you will not find another wildlife film course, traveling to such a remote location, for such a period of time anywhere else.
Our approximate Course Itinerary:
Week 1, 2, 3 & 4:
We will start the course / overland expedition at the ferry port ‘Saydisfjordur’ on the far eastern coastline, travelling overland across the southern half of Iceland towards Reykjavik. During this time we will be introducing you to the film equipment and teaching you how to operate it, whilst stopping off at various locations to undertake filming etc.
Week 5 & 6:
This will be the period of time when we visit the Hornstrandir Peninsular and also undertake our 3 day Sea-Kayaking trip (with waterproof cameras,) on the lookout for Whales etc.
Week 7 & 8:
Although we will still be filming as necessary, we will spend most of this 2 week section editing our final film; before we leave Iceland.
A week on the Hornstrandir Peninsular filming Arctic Foxes:
The Hornstrandir Peninsular lies to the north western tip of Iceland above the region know as the Westfjords. The area we will be filming Arctic Foxes in is so far north that it actually falls within the Arctic Circle, and is the only part of Iceland that does this. We will be spending a total of 6 days working and filming on the Hornstrandir Peninsular.
We will head to the remote bay of Hornvik on the northern cost of the Peninsular, which we will need to get to by boat (There are no roads or footpaths that go to Hornstrandir from Westfjords). We will stay for in a specially built tented basecamp supplied and run by Borea Adventures, who, as well as supplying all of our boating transportation needs around the peninsular during our stay, will also be supplying a local wildlife guide to help us get the most out of our time in the area.
3 days Sea-Kayaking:
Whilst we are in the area of the Hornstrandir Peninsular we will also undertake a 3 day Sea-Kayaking trip, (You do not have to do this if you do not want to) where we will paddle around the remote coastline, camping out over night in a small camp we build upon landing. You do not have to be experienced in Sea-Kayaking to undertake this part of the course, as again all of the equipment necessary will be supplied by Borea Adventures, who will also be supplying a fully qualified instructor for the whole of your time on the water.
We will have some waterproof cameras with us for our time on the water, and we are sure that this additional activity, will add some vary interesting footage of both us, the landscape and coastline of Iceland to the final film, with some spectacular footage of wildlife and sea birds, and possibly even whales.
The course runs for 24 weeks, Monday 11th April to Friday 23rd September 2022
The 'Practical Section' of the course (The time you will be required to be with us in Iceland) is from, 6th June to 29th July 2022.
Course Closing Date:
The closing date for this course is Friday 31st December 2021.
This course is booked on a ´First-come, First-served´ basis.
Our course to Norway and the Arctic Circle filled up in just 7 days; so it is highly recommended that you book early to secure your place.
You will not be able to book on this course after the closing date.
Module 1: Study at home - Research of, and preparation of, wildlife programming.
Module 2: Study in Iceland - Fundamental production skills.
Module 3: Study in Iceland - Audio recording in the field.
Module 4: Study in Iceland - Production, Post-production & Editing.
Module 5: Study in Iceland - Application of foundation skills in documentary production on location.
Module 6: Study at home - Evaluation of overall standard of a wildlife documentary.
You do not need to have any previous film experience to attend the course. (However a basic understanding about how the principles of how a lens works, as well as shutter speeds and exposure will help you)
We will take you through the whole process of film production from start to finish including; script ideas, production ethics, script writing, presenter and voiceover-led productions, filming on location, recording audio on location and editing on location, as well as all necessary logistics and camp-craft requirements to allow you to be able to successfully work in such an environment.
We can guarantee that eight weeks of filming / working on location in Iceland will give you an unprecedented amount of time for you to learn and improve both your camera and production skills in an extremely remote location. Iceland is know as the land of Fire & Ice for a very good reason, and has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
The entire 8 week long practical section of this course will be located in Iceland, operating out of various base camps situated in different locations around the island.
We will spend the first two weeks instructing you in the use of both the cameras and the audio recording equipment as well as all our other items of production/grip equipment; whilst undertaking various filming tasks throughout the day.
The last two weeks will be a dedicated editing session where you will produce the final ´polished´ copy of your film, undertaking a final edit with tasks such as colour correction, key-framing and time re-mapping.
You will be tasked to complete a 45 minute broadcast standard wildlife documentary film, about your time in Iceland and the wildlife (Arctic Foxes) you find there. The final film can be presenter led or have an accompanying voiceover, as well as a selection of background music and additional text and graphics, as you see fit.
This course will have a maximum of 4 students working from a Land Rover. The Land Rover will have a wildlife guide/driver, with the students occupying the rest of the vehicle. The Land Rover will carry everything logistical we need for our time in Iceland; as well as 4K cameras, a selection of lenses, audio recording equipment and other production equipment.
During the whole of your course we will working out of a tented base camp; which will have electrical power via a generator.
Number of Students:
To minimise our impact on the ground in reference to the size of our base camps, there is a maximum of 4 students permitted on this course.
How to Book:
To pay the booking deposit or fully book on this course please complete our Enquirers / Booking page
The course will take you through all the stages of -
• Initial program / script ideas & brainstorming
• Script writing
• Production ethics
• Presenter lead programming
• Presenters' scripting
• Animal observation & tracking
• Filming on location
• Filming a Presenter on location
• Sound recording on location
• Video editing on location
• Audio editing on location
• Production of final film / documentary
• All necessary logistics & camp-craft
(We will also cover the elements below at various points during the course (Time Permitting))
• Locating / tracking Animals
• Map & compass work
• Navigation overland without a map
• Route planning
• Camp placement & orientation
• Base camp management
• Water management & sanitation
• Emergency procedures & actions
Course Fees & Equipment:
The course fees for our 2022 expeditionary course 'Wildlife Documentary Film Making in Iceland' will be £10,000 per student
Plus a fully refundable Equipment Damage Waiver of £1000 per student
(Whilst we appreciate that £10,000 per student is a large sum of money; Iceland is an expensive place to visit. Not only practically (as we have to ship all of our film equipment overland with us in a vehicle) but also logistically, as the access to the Hornstrandir Peninsular is a very specialist undertaking, and will need a lot of logistical support to allow us to do this. (access permits, film permits, specialist wildlife guides, boat access and use of Borea's base camp etc.)
As part of your course fees we will supply you with:
• All 4K camera equipment
• All 'on location' production equipment
• All 'on location' 4K editing equipment
• All basecamp tents and equipment
• All staff and instruction
• A local specialist Arctic Fox wildlife guide from Borea Adventures
• A base camp cook from Borea Adventures for our time on the Hornstrandir Peninsular
• The use of a boat for access to and around the Hornstrandir Peninsular
• The cost of all filming permits for the Hornstrandir Peninsular
• The cost of a Drone permit for filming on Hornstrandir Peninsular
• The cost of all location fees
• The cost of all camping fees
• All vehicles and transportation overland required during your course
To apply for the paperwork to book on this course please - Click here
For more information on paying for your course via instalments - Click here
For more information on the Equipment Damage Waiver - Click here
• All of the UK Wildlife Film School courses are booked on a ‘First-come, First-served’ basis, so it is highly recommended that you book early to secure your place.
• You are not able to book after the closing date.
• Although this as an 16 week course, there is an 8 week ‘Practical Section’ in the middle of the course that you need to attend in Iceland.
• Flights to and from the UK are not included in your course fees as our students fly in from many different destinations around the world.