Centre for Continuing Education

Filmmaking Course: The Nuts and Bolts

Film. Focus on cinema.

Appreciate and learn about film the smart way with Film courses at the University of Sydney.

It starts with an idea, and before too long, you’re standing at the back of a theatre watching an audience cry, laugh or hide their eyes at something you made. It’s magic.

This filmmaking course will explain what’s ‘behind the curtain’, how movies are put together. You will learn about good movie ideas, development, hiring actors and crew, filming, post-production, legals, promotion, sales and distribution.

This course is aimed at the beginning film producer, but is useful and accessible to anyone who wants to know how films are made.

Course Content

This filmmaking course will cover some of the following topics:


  • What is a producer?
  • Where do movie ideas come from?
  • What makes a good movie idea?
  • Defining a market
  • Low-budget v. ‘tent-pole’ movies
  • What is ‘genre’?
  • What attracts talent?
  • Writers and scripting
  • Where to seek development funding?
  • Private investment
  • Choosing a director
  • Heads of department – crewing
  • Casting – managers and agents
  • Deferred payment
  • Points
  • Scheduling for budget, etc.
  • Budgeting
  • "Show me the money!"


  • Departments and functions
  • Working days
  • Storyboards
  • Studios and locations
  • ‘Star Wagons’ - Facilities
  • Editing
  • Stills
  • Shooting digitally – Data Wranglers
  • Dealing with incompetence
  • Being magnanimous


  • Rough cut and fine cut
  • Premier, Final Cut Pro, Avid
  • Music composition
  • Foley
  • M&E tracks
  • The mix


  • EPK
  • Website
  • One sheets
  • Social media
  • Festivals


  • Sales Agents and deals
  • Markets
  • Delivery schedules
  • Theatrical, VOD, TV, etc.
  • Returns and residuals

Course Outcomes

At the completion of this film making course particpants should have:

  1. A comprehensive understanding of filmmaking
  2. An understanding on making efficient use of your resources
  3. Learnt how to manage cast, crew and budget
  4. An understanding on how to delegate and to whom
  5. A realistic goal

Course Delivery

This course will be delivered in a face-to-face, interactive question and answer style. The instructor will screen a film as a case study, explaining the concept and how it was made. Through this template, students will learn how to adapt that knowledge to their own movie projects. Occasionally the students will be asked to complete short tasks that will help them to analyse the information received in lectures.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • A marvellous way to study the processes associated with film making.

Filmmaking Course: The Nuts and Bolts
University of Sydney (Venue TBA)
$585 GST free

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