Writing, Directing & Screen-craft
Our Writing, Directing and Screen-craft course prepares young people to enter the stage and screen industries as the core creatives. This equips those with a creative vision with the skills and breadth of knowledge they need to write, direct and manage productions.
This free, full-time, post-16 course is underpinned by a combination of two qualifications; the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Performing Arts Practice, the BTEC Level 3 and Foundation Diploma in Creative Media Practice, in total worth the equivalent of 3 A'levels.
This is a 2 year study programme.
Got a creative vision? See yourself as a director or screen-writer? Want to work in the core creative teams for TV, film, radio or theatre? Interested in acting and performing, but want to write for and direct others?
At BOA Stage and Screen Production we place significant emphasis on work-readiness, project based learning and industry collaboration, and our purpose-built curriculum has been designed in collaboration with major UK industry partners to ensure our students are genuinely "set-ready" when they leave us. The Writing, Directing and Screen-craft course at BOA Stage and Screen Production academy is much, much more than the BTEC course alone, it is a passport into the industry.
Students at BOA Stage and Screen will undertake a sequence of live industry projects, working with major partners such as the RSC, BBC and Method in Motion, choosing roles, attending relevant workshops and classes, executing their duties, and keeping a journal and e-portfolio as evidence. For example every year our Year 13 students make a full commercial feature film, working with the team from Threewise Entertainment!
The content of the journal and e-portfolio is regularly assessed against both the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Performing Arts Practice, and the BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Creative Media Practice, in total worth the equivalent of 3 A'levels.
This means students leave equipped with the qualifications, credits, experience and professional network they need to progress directly into the industry, or pursue further studies at the very best universities.
WhAT WILL I STUDY?
This pathway covers the following specialisms:
- Writing and devising for film, television and theatre
- Constructing narrative & developing ideas
- Acting, presenting, performing for screen and radio
- Acting for motion-capture
- Production processes (e.g. TV Drama, Film and Radio)
- Directing and talent management
- Creative Writing
This course provides learning experiences through which you will develop a wide range of skills required within the performing arts sector. Through practical exploration and real-life performance and film projects, you will develop and hone specialist creative and management skills required to work successfully in this industry.
HOW WILL I LEARN?
You will develop essential industry knowledge and skills through a number of exciting projects led by industry professionals and Academy teachers. You will collaborate across pathways at BOA Stage and Screen Performing Academy and will work closely with our sister school, Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA). You will work with directors, performers and other members of the performing team to produce live performances and film projects.
You will be assessed through practical work on a variety of performing projects and will be required to carry out coursework as part of your programme of study. Coursework is set in a variety of different ways at BOA Stage and Screen Performing Academy. For example, you may decide that developing a website is the best way to showcase your skills. Other options for assessment could include an e-portfolio, presentation, video log or podcast. There are no formal written exams on this course.
Over the duration of your studies you will build a multimedia portfolio and logbook that tracks all of your experiences, roles and projects, and evidences your outcomes. You will reflect on how successful you have been and ear-mark those experiences which have been most useful. At key milestones throughout the course your portfolio will be assessed by authorised assessors based at the academy.
HOW IS THE COURSE STRUCTURED?
Foundation Year (Year 1)
In this module you will develop a range of writing skills and techniques and encounter a wide variety of inspiring practitioners. You will develop an understanding of basic writing, directing, and production processes. You will develop your performance skills and screen-craft. You will carry out a number of roles on a variety of projects. Projects could include live and filmed performances. You will also have the opportunity to work on film and television projects in the film studio or out on location. You will have the opportunity to work on projects with industry professionals.
The Stage and Screen Industry
In this module you will take part in a range of sessions where you will explore the media and performing arts industries. This module will provide you with a thorough understanding of different roles within the industry and how they work together as a team. As part of this module, you will explore current industry practice and procedures. You will explore employment opportunities that are available to you and will develop an understanding of the trade unions that will represent you should you go on to work professionally within the creative industries.
Extended Year (Year 2)
Personal Creative Profile
In this module you have the ability to choose roles based on your specific areas of interest. You will create work that reflects your individual career goals. You will refine the skills developed in the foundation year modules and will explore ideas in your specific role. You will develop an individual project and will then create promotional material to use for your own progression into employment and will explore networking opportunities.
In this module you will collaborate with others to produce all the required elements for a live or filmed event in your individual performing role of choice. You will work professionally and autonomously in your role and will demonstrate your ability in planning, writing, designing, organising, collaborating and communicating to realise a full-scale production. In this module you will demonstrate the refined skills and knowledge developed in previous modules throughout the course.
WHAT CAN THIS LEAD TO?
We have chosen to deliver the BTEC level 3 Foundation/Extended Diplomas because they are widely recognised by industry and universities alike as the ideal vocational training route into technical stage and screen careers.
Students who graduate BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy with this qualification will be well equipped to pursue careers in film, television, video, sound, experience (VR, AR, 360), visual communication, digital media, marketing & promotion, live media events, and other technical media-related disciplines.
Following successful completion of their course students may choose to transition straight in to full time employment in entry-level specialist roles, or they may choose to secure a higher apprenticeship or even go on to university.
Direct to Employment
The content, structure and assessment of this qualification have been developed in consultation with teachers, employers, professional bodies and academics to ensure that the qualification supports progression to higher education and, should learners choose to enter employment directly, that it is appropriate and consistent with current practice.
University and Higher Apprenticeships
This study programme, equivalent to three A Levels, is a two-year, full-time course that meets entry requirements for learners who want to progress to higher education courses in related areas before entering employment.
Careers in the screen industries can take many different forms. Technical staff and crews tend to work freelance, whereas management and production teams are either permanent or on fixed term contracts. In the world of marketing and social media, specialists tend to work to a service level agreement, whilst others are permanently employed by an organisation or signed up to an agency. Salaries range across the whole spectrum, driven by the specialist skills required, the responsibility of the role and the production budget.
Ultimately, the variety and excitement of a career in the screen industry is second to none, but of course making connections and building a robust professional network is key. That is why we ensure every student graduates BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy set up with a freelance portfolio, professional film and TV credits, and key connections in the Birmingham industry network.
Here are some examples of professional roles and careers in a few of the key departments involved in bringing a production to reality:
KEY CREATIVE TEAM
The producer initiates, coordinates, supervises, and controls matters such as raising funding, hiring key personnel, contracting and arranging for distributors. The producer is involved throughout all phases of the process from development to completion of a project.
The director is responsible for overseeing the creative aspects of a film, including controlling the content and flow of the film's plot, directing the performances of actors, selecting the locations in which the film will be shot, and managing technical details such as the positioning of cameras, the use of lighting, and the timing and content of the film's soundtrack.
Screenwriters or scriptwriters are responsible for researching the story, developing the narrative, writing the screenplay, and delivering it, in the required format, to the Producers. They are almost always freelancers who either pitch original ideas to Producers in the hope that they will be optioned or sold, or who are commissioned by a Producer to create a screenplay from a concept, true story, existing screenwork or literary work, such as a novel or short story.
The story producer has overall responsibility for the story across episodes. In reality TV, the story producer is responsible for creating a story line via editing/producing the show's source footage. They may also be responsible for writing the host’s dialogue.
Provides a critical overview of the screenwriting process, using their analytical skills to help the screenwriter identify problems and thereby help to strengthen and develop the screenplay.
Responsible for the initial scouting of locations for the production, taking into account production logistics, eg location fees and budgetary restrictions, local permitting costs and regulations, camera and lighting requirements, convenience to other locations, production services, crew and unit parking.
Director of Photography/Cinematographer
The director of photography is the head of the camera and lighting department of the film. The DoP makes decisions on lighting and framing of scenes in conjunction with the film's director.
Works closely with the Director and Producer to understand requirements, suggests artists for each role, as well as arranging and conducting interviews and auditions.
Visualises stories using sketches on paper. Quick pencil drawings and marker renderings are two of the most common traditional techniques, although nowadays Flash, Photoshop and specialist storyboard software applications are being used more often.
An executive producer is usually an investor in the project or someone who has facilitated the funding of the project. There may be multiple executive producers on a project, depending on the financing arrangements.
Typically, a line producer manages the budget of a film production. Alternatively, or in addition, they may manage the day to day physical aspects of the film production.
The production manager supervises the physical aspects of the production including personnel, technology, budget, and scheduling. It is the PM’s responsibility to make sure the filming stays on schedule and within its budget. The PM often works under the supervision of a line producer and directly supervises the Production Coordinator.
The production coordinator is the information nexus of the production, responsible for organising all the logistics from hiring crew, renting equipment, and booking talent. The PC is an integral part of film production.
The Production Secretary provides administration assistance in the production office to the production co-ordinator and production manager.
Production accountants are responsible for managing finances and maintaining financial records during film production. They work closely with the Producer and the production office to manage the day-to- day accounting office functions, and report on the project’s financial progress against the budgets (cost reporting).
Post-production supervisors are responsible for the post production process, during which they maintain clarity of information and good channels of communication between the Producer, Editor, Supervising Sound Editor, the Facilities Companies (such as film labs, CGI studios and negative cutters) and the Production Accountant.
First Assistant Director
The first assistant director (1st AD) assists the production manager and director. They oversee day-to-day management of the cast and crew scheduling, equipment, script, and the set. They ensure the filming comes in on schedule while maintaining a working environment in which the director, principal artists (actors) and crew can be focused on their work.
Second Assistant Director
The second assistant director (2nd AD) is the chief assistant of the 1st AD and helps carry out those tasks delegated to the 1st AD. The 2nd AD works closely with the Production Coordinator to create the daily Call Sheets that let the crew know the schedule and important details about the shooting day.
Third Assistant Director
The third assistant director (3rd AD) works on set with the "First" and may liaise with the "Second" to move actors from unit base, organise crowd scenes, and supervise one or more production assistants.
Production Assistant/Production Runner
The production assistant or runner assists the first assistant director with on-set operations. PAs also assist in the production office with general tasks.
Also known as "continuity", keeps track of what parts of the script have been filmed and makes notes of any deviations between what was actually filmed and what appeared in the script. They make notes on every shot, and keep track of props, blocking, and other details to ensure continuity from shot to shot and scene to scene.