Digital storytelling: new online course on filmmaking for the web

The University of Birmingham is joining forces with the BBC Academy and Creative Skillset to create a new free online training course on the FutureLearn platform starting in September.

The four-week MOOC (Massive Open Online Couse), Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web, will use a combination of theory and practice to show participants how to tell powerful stories through film online.

The course aims to provide training and skills development for those in the creative industry, but is relevant to anyone who wants to start creating and distributing their own film content online, personally or professionally.

It will be led by Dr Michele Aaron and Dr Richard Langley from the University’s Department of Film Studies and Creative Writing, who bring extensive experience of both creating and curating film content.

The areas of focus for the four weeks of the course will be:

  • Week 1: Storytelling – what makes a good story and how to develop and structure stories
  • Week 2: Researching stories, preparing for and planning filming
  • Week 3: Filming and interviewing techniques
  • Week 4: Editing and distributing films

Registration is now open on the FutureLearn website.

Professor John Heath, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Estates and Infrastructure at the University of Birmingham, said: ‘We are proud to be partnering BBC Academy and Creative Skillset to deliver this innovative new online course. We are passionate about helping our students to tell powerful stories through film and this is an ideal opportunity for us to offer a taste of the Birmingham experience and share our expertise with a new community of aspiring filmmakers.’

Joe Godwin, Director of BBC Birmingham and the BBC Academy, says: “This is a fantastic example of the BBC Academy looking at new ways of delivering training not only across the BBC, but also sharing it with the wider creative industry. Digital delivery offers exciting new ways to deliver training to reach more people, more effectively and at a lower cost. It also allows us to explore new content formats to make sure our world-renowned service is as relevant and useful as possible, as well as added elements such as social learning.” 

Dr Kion Ahadi, Head of Research and Evaluation at Creative Skillset says: “Creative Skillset is delighted to fund a new MOOC - Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web - developed in partnership with the University of Birmingham and the BBC Academy. Our recent survey of the creative media workforce, published in May 2015, shows an increase in demand for online training from 18% in 2010 to 23% in 2014. High fees were also the most commonly reported barrier to training across the creative media sector at 31%, so this four-week, free online course will help meet the needs of the industry.”