4 month Wildlife Documentary Film Making Course,
with 8 weeks filming in Scotland
We always find time spent filming on the Isle of Mull is a
truly fantastic experience.
Just what can we tell you about the Isle of Mull… this is the island where it all started. Our very first course was run here 14 years ago, way back in 2007 and to date we have now run 25 courses on the island and its surrounding smaller Isles, and we can honestly say, long will it remain to be one of the jewels in the wildlife filming calendar of the United Kingdom.
The whole island is such an amazing place that we think you could run a wildlife film school here and never leave the island. From the coral beaches, to the vast shingle mud flats in the sea lochs, from the sea lochs themselves to the range of mountains in the centre of the island, and from the major diversities between the north of the island and the Ross of Mull in the south, anyone visiting here will never be short of locations in which to film.
Spending 8 weeks filming here will be a truly fantastic experience.
The Natural History of the Isle of Mull:
The Isle of Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides, after Skye, lying off the west coast of Scotland. Mull is also the fourth largest Scottish island and the fourth largest island surrounding Great Britain. Mull has a coastline of approximately 300 miles that is made up on many coves and inlets but mainly 4 large peninsulas which are predominantly moorland, radiate from the centre and sea lochs. Mull has a mountainous core, the highest peak being Ben More, which reaches over 900 meters. The waters around Mull are affected by the Gulf Stream, which in turn brings coral sands with it making some of Mulls many beaches, some of the best in the world.
The island is home to hundreds of types of birds including the White-tailed Eagle, which when re-introduced in the nearby Island of Rum migrated to Mull, where it now has a stronghold; as well as several other birds of prey such as Hen Harriers, Golden Eagles and Short Eared Owl, which are all difficult to see elsewhere in the UK. …and the best of all, we have now been filming here for so long, we know where they all live.
The island is one of the primary locations in the UK for seeing some of Britain´s more elusive wildlife species. I have personally seen Basking sharks and dolphins from the coast. The island is also home to a large and thriving population of Otters that live in many coastal habitats, and can often be seen hunting during the day, we have been filming on Mull for so long now that we can guarantee that you will film these delightful little guys during your time on Mull.
The course runs for 16 weeks, from 16th August 2021 until 3rd December 2021.
The 'Practical Section' of the course (The time you will be required to be on the Isle of Mull) is from, 27th September 2021 until 5th November 2021.
Course Closing Date:
The closing date for this course is Monday 1st May 2021.
This course is booked on a ´First-come, First-served´ basis, so it is highly recommended that you book early to secure your place. You will not be able to book on this course after this date.
Module 1: Study at home - Research of, and preparation of, wildlife programming.
Module 2: Study on Mull - Fundamental production skills.
Module 3: Study on Mull - Audio recording in the field.
Module 4: Study on Mull - Production, Post-production & Editing.
Module 5: Study on Mull - 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 a remote environment.
We can guarantee that eight weeks of filming / working on location on the Isle of Mull will give you an unprecedented amount of time for you to learn and improve both your camera and production skills in a truly remote location. Mull truly is the best location in the UK to both see and film wildlife.
The entire 8 week long practical section of this course will be located on Mull, operating out of various basecamps situated in different locations around the island. Each day will consist of filming out on location and working on an edit during the evening from the footage filmed.
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; as well as 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 on Mull and the wildlife 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 Scotland; as well as three 4K cameras, a selection of lenses, audio recording equipment and other production equipment such as a DJI Inspire Quadcopter (with twin control units (one for the pilot, one for the camera operator)) a DJI Ronin MX hand-held camera stabilisation system, Tilta G2X DSLR one-handed camera gimble, DJI Osmo, Konova K7 Slider for time-lapse photography/film, plus a selection of various grip, tripod and support equipment.
During the whole of your course we will working out of a tented basecamp; which will have electrical power via a petrol generator. For your comfort each student will have your own 2-man mountain tent.
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 Form
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 2021 course 'Wildlife Documentary Film Making on The Isle of Mull' will be £6000 per student
Plus an Equipment Damage Waiver of £1000 per student
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
• The cost of all filming permits
• 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 complete our ‘Booking form’
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 on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.
• 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.