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Wildlife Filmmaking in South Africa

Produce your own 5 minute wildlife documentary in the heart of wild Africa

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THE PROGRAM
Whether you’re driven by a passion to capture Africa’s captivating wildlife on film or aspiring to establish yourself in the competitive realm of wildlife filmmaking, our wildlife filmmaking course in South Africa is tailored for you. Africa Media’s wildlife filmmaking program spans four immersive weeks, immersing film enthusiasts into the heart of the African wilderness.
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At its essence, the program aims to cultivate a fresh cohort of skilled wildlife filmmakers, spanning all age groups, poised to step into various roles within the wildlife filmmaking industry. The Wildlife Filmmaking Course in South Africa pairs students with seasoned professionals and wildlife experts from Africa, serving as both mentors and personal tutors throughout the duration. They’ll impart industry insights and filmmaking techniques as students delve into researching, conceptualizing, filming, and editing their own personal wildlife documentaries. 
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Throughout the Wildlife Filmmaking Course in South Africa, students traverse the three pivotal phases of crafting a broadcast-standard wildlife documentary: pre-production, production, and post-production. The pre-production phase delves into mastering camera operation, editing methodologies, audio manipulation, sequencing, storytelling, and conceptualizing personalized documentaries. The production phase unfolds over nine days in one of Africa’s premier wildlife reserves, focusing solely on capturing awe-inspiring footage for students’ documentaries. Post-production is dedicated to meticulous editing and finalizing a compelling 5-minute documentary. This program serves as an initiation into the authentic world of wildlife filmmaking, exposing students to its highs, lows, and everyday challenges. It offers a firsthand encounter with the exhilarating task of documenting the world’s remarkable wildlife and untamed landscapes.
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WILDLIFE FILMMAKING PROGRAM VIDEO
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WILDLFIE FILMMAKING PROGRAM GALLERY
WILDLIFE FILMMAKING PROGRAM LOCATION
PROGRAM FAQ's
What are the program dates?
  • Program 1: 1 – 28 February
  • Program 2:  1 – 28 March
  • Program 3: 1 – 28 April
  • Program 4:  1 – 28 May
  • Program 5:  1 – 28 June
  • Program 6:  1 – 28 July
  • Program 7:  1 – 28 August
  • Program 8:  1 – 28 September
  • Program 9:  1 – 28 October
  • Program 10:  1 – 28 November
What will I get out of the program?

The Wildlife Filmmaking Course in South Africa is aimed at assisting in the development of aspiring wildlife filmmakers. Students on the course will spend a month designing, writing, filming and editing their own five-minute wildlife documentary based on the animals of one of Africa’s most beautiful and well-stocked game reserves. At the end of the course, students will present their film to students and staff of Africa Media and walk away with a showpiece that can be used to break into the demanding wildlife filmmaking industry.

What practical training do you receive?

Film techniques, camera operation, understanding wildlife, equipment maintenance, crew management, footage workflow, working with talent (including animals), video editing, voice over/soundtrack, pitching your film.

What theoretical training will I receive?

Course introduction, orientation, inspiration and story, what is selling today, film equipment, script writing, wildlife presenting, marketing you/your films, ethics in wildlife filmmaking, funding your films, and the art of pitching.

Am I eligible for the program?

No special requirements or qualifications are required to participate in the Wildlife filming training course in South Afrca; however, a background in film or biology will be of assistance

What is the program schedule?

The course is divided into three components, namely: pre-production (6 days), production (9 days) and post-production (5 days).

  • During pre-production, students will learn the concepts of making wildlife documentaries and the basics in camera use and filming techniques.
  • During production, students will stay on Schotia Reserve and spend the days collecting footage for your documentary.
  • During post-production, students will edit footage using Adobe Premiere Pro to create a 5-minute documentary. Students will also learn about pitching and selling your ideas and films.

In general, the month will follow a schedule of 5 days on and 2 days off per week. Again, this may vary, particularly when students stay at Schotia Reserve.

How long is the program?

The Wildlife filming training course in South Africa lasts 1 month beginning on the 1st (arrival day) and ending on the 28th (departure day) of each month. If you choose to arrive early (before the 1st) or depart late (after the 28th)

Do I require a visa?

No. You will not be employed. On this program, you are entitled to enter South Africa on a temporary visitor’s permit (e.g. tourism permit). Tourist visas are usually issued for three months/90 days upon entry to South Africa. However, we do recommend that you contact the South African Embassy or Consulate in your country and confirm this fact.  If your application period is for a period longer than three months, or if you plan to travel in South Africa before or after the course for a period extending 90 days, you will have to apply for a volunteer VISA application through your home embassy.

Quickly evaluate the visa status of your country when visiting South Africa here 

Who owns the media I collect?

All media (video and audio) collected on the Wildlife Filmmaking Course in South Africa is owned by you. Gloworm and the program instructor retain the right to use the media for marketing purposes only.

What equipment will I have access to?

Video Cameras available:

  • 8 x Panasonic HVX-200P series P2
  • 2 x NEX100 Sony cameras
  • 10 x GoPro cameras (effects camera)
  • 2 x Phantom 4 drone

Audio Equipment available:

  • 8 x RODE shotgun mics (camera or boom mounted)
  • 2 x Sennheiser and sony lavallière radio mic systems
  • 1 x Tascam digital audio recorder
  • 1 x Rode DSLR mounted shotgun mic
  • 1 x Soundproof audio recording suite

Accessories available:

  • 8 x video camera tripods
  • 8 x video ‘throw bags’
  • 1 x video camera crane
  • 3 x reflectors
  • 1 x radio control ‘cub cam’ filming vehicle
  • 1 x camera slider (tracking shots)

Computers: Please bring your own laptop loaded with Adobe Premiere Pro, as we use this extensively on the course.

In terms of photo processing, you must bring your own laptop to complete editing and slideshow development. This should have at least 4GB RAM and be pre-loaded with Adobe Lightroom Classic (required) and Adobe Photoshop (recommended).

Where do I stay?

Your home for the month will be in the beautiful town of Mossel Bay, South Africa. (Address – Fly me to the moon guesthouse, 182 Aalwyn Way, Aalwyndal, Mossel Bay, 6520)

For 9 of these days, you will be staying on Schotia Safaris Private Game Reserve, living in the wilderness and collecting content for your production.

What must I pack?

If you are getting ready to pack, here is a rough packing list of items you should consider bringing.

Clothing

  • Work clothes. Bring what you are comfortable in, but ensure that you have warm, strong work clothing of neutral colors, solid work shoes such as hiking boots or trainers, a good sun hat with a wide brim and a warm hat/beanie. Gloves can be helpful for early mornings. Bring a tracksuit or something similar to lounge around in during the evenings, which can get cold. Also, face buffs help keep off the cold in the evenings.
  • Social clothes. Mossel Bay is a small town, so social clothing should reflect a casual, non-formal style.
  • A swimming costume.

Video and electronic gear

  • Minimum of 1TB storage hard drive.
  • Laptop.

You are more than welcome to bring any personal videography or photographic equipment; however, this is totally optional. 

Editing programs

  • Adobe Premiere Pro

Miscellaneous

  • Toiletries &  strong sunscreen (There are also plenty of shops to purchase from.)
  • Prescription medication
  • Passport & photocopy of passport
  • Bank cards (Inform your bank of your travels.)
  • Spare cash (rands)
  • Phone & cables
  • Sunglasses
Where must travel to?

If you are travelling by plane to the Wildlife Filmmaking Course in South Africa, please fly to George Airport, South Africa. We will pick you up and drop you off at George Airport. If you are travelling by bus, there is a bus stop in Mossel Bay just a few minutes from the guest house. We will pick you up and drop you off.

Pickups and drop-offs will be organized for you on the 1st day of the month (for arrivals) and the 28th of the month (for departures).

The program begins with paperwork and orientation on the 1st of the month. There is no need to arrive prior to the 1st; however, arriving earlier in the day is preferable, as it gives you some time to settle in before the program begins. You can schedule your departure for any time on the 28th.

Do I need travel / medical insurance?

Yes. When you are accepted into this program, you agree to our liability and copyright documents, as well as an agreement that you are knowingly partaking in potentially dangerous activities. You will not be covered for accidents or illnesses, so please do organize your own medical and health insurance. You may apply for a normal travel insurance policy. Chances that you will be injured by a predator are very slim if you follow the safety guidelines and do not try anything foolish of which we would not approve. However, you will be filming wildlife which can result in accidents. It is important to be covered in case of an emergency or accident. Be sure to have insurance coverage for your entire stay in South Africa.

Do I need Malaria or other medication?

South Africa is far from Malaria areas, and there are no strange African diseases which you could pick up (that is if you respect the same safety rules as anywhere else in the world).

Please ensure that you bring any medication required. If you will require medication whist in South Africa, please contact us to ensure that it is available.

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Red Claybon
Wildlife Film Intern

This program showed me the foundational skills needed to break into the industry. I loved the variety of experiences that the program provides. Interns will get unique exposure to wildlife through the Schotia Private Game Reserve. I walked away from the program feeling more confident about my production and post-production skillsets, all while meeting some talented people along the way. I am so grateful for this opportunity and would recommend this program to anyone considering a leap into wildlife!

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Jeannine Thompson
Wildlife Film Intern

We absolutely loved Schotia, BOE, the elephant walk, and Monkeyland! We had such a blast at the beach braii and the sailing trip we did with everyone. Johnny was personable and we enjoyed our time with him. We were so thrilled to have been the only students in the class so we could get such a personalized experience, especially at Schotia.

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Kayleigh Hutchinson
Wildlife Film Intern

I’d definitely recommend the Wildlife Filmmaking Programme to anyone interested in developing their camera and editing skills! Having previously worked in the client and agency side of production I never really had any hands-on experience with cameras before, let alone filming wildlife.

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Amanda Shaw
Wildlife Film Intern

My month in the wildlife filmmaking course was absolutely life-changing. I started the program with no knowledge of the documentary production process, and I had never shot a video on anything other than my phone. By the end of the month, I had written, filmed, edited, and produced a short documentary about wildlife in South Africa. There was a massive learning curve, and it pushed me to grow exponentially. I learned so much about filmmaking through this experience. 

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William Mangan
Wildlife Film Intern

I learnt a lot here, ranging from different camera techniques to how to set up new cameras that were alien to me. The staff were always friendly and lovely to talk to. They make you feel very welcome. The food was always very nice and you leave the table with a full tummy.

PACKAGE DETAILS
IncludesExcludes
  • 9 days filming on wildlife reserve
  • Monkelyland / Birds of Eden trip
  • Broadcast quality production equipment (use of)
  • Practical training program
  • Theoretical training program
  • Professional tutor and guide
  • Airport transfers and local transport
  • 28 days of comfortable accommodation
  • 28 days of delicious and nutritious meals
  • Stay connected with internet access
  • Flights (international/domestic)
  • Editing laptop and harddrive
  • DAN Insurance / Travel Insurance
  • Staff / Crew gratuities
  • Alcohol and snacks
  • Laundry service
PROGRAM PRICE
from

$3900 / 28 nights

Connect with Program Instructor

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PROGRAM INSTRUCTOR
Gloworm - wildlife and natural history expeditions (1)
Africa Media

Media Training Institute

Africa Media is a premier destination for photography and videography training. Their expert team of instructors is dedicated to empowering passionate individuals to master the art of visual storytelling in Africa. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, join an unforgettable journey to unlock the secrets of capturing the essence of Africa through the lens.
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