FAQs

WHAT KIND OF FILMMAKING IS TAUGHT?

The term “filmmaking” is broad and covers a whole spectrum of styles and approaches: from commercials through to art house.
Each of our teachers draw on the greatest filmmakers of all time as the benchmark for which to aim. We have high aspirations for our students and want them to learn from the best.

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU TEACH?

Skills consummate with the film industry. Every student is exposed to a broad range of both film and digital skills including: directing actors; cinematography; camera operation; screenwriting; editing; producing; production management; production design; sound recording & design; digital effects; film analysis; music for film; continuity; first assistant direction; and experimental filmmaking.

WHAT IS THE RATIO OF PRODUCTION TO THEORY?

SFS operates as a busy production house, and all teaching is with a view to the practical application of skills learnt in the context of project work. We believe that the best way to learn is to learn through doing.  Screen studies is therefore taught through applying the understanding of mise-en-scene to film projects.

WHAT TECHNOLOGIES DO YOU USE?

In keeping with the international film and TV industry, the focus is on digital film.

WHAT SIZE ARE MY CLASSES?

SFS is proud of its small, personal, tutorial class sizes. This allows for much more individual attention, with many of the tutors happy to act as mentors outside of class time.  Class sizes can however sometimes vary, with Screen Studies taking up to 20 people, and Digital Editing a maximum of 16. Some lectures fit up to 30 students. 

WHAT MATERIALS DO I HAVE TO BUY?

Sydney Film School provides all the basic materials you will need for the duration of your studies. This includes all digital equipment.

Students need to provide their own notepad, pen and other stationery.

Students also need to have an external hard drive to store their footage, work files and projects plus a second drive for backup. This is also useful when you want to create a showreel of your work.

Because different computers have various connections for the external drive, we recommend the drive you buy has all of these connections and cables: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Firewire 800 and eSATA (if you buy a drive with only USB 3.0, you may not be able to connect it to all computers). The drive’s capacity needs to be a minimum of 1Terrabyte and ideally 2 or 3 Terrabytes. The speed of the drive needs to be 7200RPM.

Not all drives are suitable for editing. A cheaper drive may not be fast enough, or cope with being moved from computer to computer. The price of external hard drives varies depending on the brand, features and capacity. We have found that LaCie d2 Quadra USB 3.0 model is suitable and meets these specifications. They are available in 2TB, 3TB or 4TB capacity.

Because external hard drives can break, be lost or damaged, it is also essential that your data is backed up regularly. This should be to another external drive or the hard drive on your own computer.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE?

The Diploma course is an intense introductory program and assumes no prior experience in film. Instead we expect our students to be dedicated, passionate, open-minded and collaborative.

The Advanced Diploma course requires some previous film experience, such as the successful completion of the Diploma.

WHAT ARE YOUR WORKING HOURS?

Students have access to the school Monday to Friday, 8am – 8pm. 

ARE THERE PATHWAYS TO OTHER COURSES?

Graduates can articulate into other higher education providers via a number of further university pathways.

DOES YOUR SCHOOL CONNECT WITH INDUSTRY?

SFS is building a unique industry distribution network of film festivals, sales agents and distributors. Industry specialists teach at the school and high-profile filmmakers have given moving keynote speeches.  Our special meet-the-filmmaker series exposes students to a variety of industry professionals across a variety of disciplines. Industry sponsors support our film festival with donations and awards, and it is attended by key industry guests.

HOW MANY FILMS WILL I MAKE?

You will take a major role on a minimum of 3 films per year. On average students get involved with between 6 – 10 film projects.

DO MY FILMS GET SCREENED?

Every film produced at SFS is screened at the established and industry-recognised Sydney Film School Festival at the end of each semester. 

Many of the films that screen in the evening program end up screening at other festivals around the world and winning accolades.

ARE THERE STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD?

Students come from 15 countries: from Asia, the US, Europe, and South America. We are an international community that enjoys the exchange of cultural perspectives from around the world.

WILL I MEET AND WORK WITH AUSTRALIANS?

Australians make up a significant number of the student population and love to interact with foreign students.

Friendships result in international collaborations and networks after graduation.

CAN I GET ASSISTANCE WITH ACCOMMODATION?

Please note that Sydney Film School does not have on-campus accommodation. 

Boarding houses range from fairly large commercial properties to average sized houses run by private citizens.  Accommodation available includes full board, rooms with use of facilities, or rooms only.  Students can expect to pay $220 (AUD) to $380 (AUD) per week for a single or shared room in a Boarding House. Once settled in Australia, students may wish to share rented accommodation.

Rental properties are advertised on the internet through various website including the following links:
www.domain.com.au
www.airbnb.com.au
www.gumtree.com.au

Hostel Accommodation

Hostels provide a friendly, safe, supervised environment. You get your own room or a shared room with communal facilities such as dining room, games room and television room. Many hostels also provide meals. Share rooms cost around A$30 – A$35 per night and private rooms A$60 – A$100 per night.

Sharing a House

Sharing a house or apartment gives you more independence than homestay or hostel accommodation. However, you will need to provide your own furniture (if the house/apartment is unfurnished) and linen. You share the cost of rent, telephone, electricity and gas. You need to buy your own food and do your own laundry and cooking (although many sharing arrangements include sharing the cooking).

Renting by yourself or with others

Studio or one-bedroom apartments are smaller and less expensive to rent than larger apartments. You’ll need to provide your own furniture (if the house/apartment is unfurnished), pillows, sheets and blankets and pay for expenses such as electricity, gas, and telephone. You’ll also need to clean your apartment, do your own laundry, buy your own food and do your own cooking. Costs depend on the size and location of the apartment or house.

Some estimated costs for Sydney are:

  • 1 bedroom apartment / flat $200 – $400 (AUD) per week
  • 2 bedroom apartment / flat $260 – $600 (AUD) per week
  • 2 / 3 bedroom house $450 – $750 (AUD) per week
  • Sharing an unfurnished bedroom with other persons $175 (AUD) to $250 (AUD) per week per person.

Rental accommodation also requires the payment of a bond which equates to one month’s rent.  Most renters are also required to pay their rent two weeks in advance.

IS THERE TRANSPORT TO THE SCHOOL?

The school is located in the heart of Sydney and is therefore easily accessible by train or bus.  If you are taking the train the best is to go to the Green Square Train station as we are a 10 minute walk from it. If you are driving you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of free parking spaces in the area.  Why not ride a bike? City of Sydney is making our city bike friendly and you might like to consider this as your travel option. More and more of our students do. Wear a helmet, have your bike lights on and be careful.

Plan Your Trip – click on this link to plan your trip from your current location to Sydney Film School.

HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?

For more information on our school or courses please contact: admissions@sydneyfilmschool.com