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CUA51020 - Diploma of Screen and Media - Producing

A group of NYFA Australia students smiling in front of a red wall outside

CUA51020 - Diploma of Screen and Media - Producing

Diploma of Screen and Media - Producing


New York Film Academy Australia delivers the nationally recognised program CUA51020 - Diploma of Screen and Media with selected subjects focusing on producing. The Academy's CUA51020 - Diploma of Screen and Media - Producing program gives students all of the fundamental skills necessary to make their own films. The producing program is divided into two semesters, with a break of at least one week between. The curriculum integrates intensive study in all the major producing disciplines.

The One-Year Diploma of Screen and Media producing program is designed to provide students with an overview and knowledge of the contemporary realities of how producing works for film and television with an emphasis on achieving an education in the technical and creative skills necessary to produce film, documentary, and television. Students undergo a thorough regiment of classwork and film production that lays the groundwork for a professional life in the film arts. The curriculum is extremely comprehensive, teaching students the creative aspects of producing, as well as the more technical side of line producing. Students gain a practical understanding of the entertainment industry and the tools needed to successfully navigate it.


Producers are confronted with a number of visual, dramatic, financial, legal, logistical, managerial, and technical challenges. From the first day of class, students are immersed in a hands-on education on how to work through these challenges. Through an intensive sequence of classes and workshops, and with encouragement from their instructors, students rapidly learn the fundamental creative and technical skills they need to produce film, documentary, and television.

Learning Goals:
  • Introduction to the roles, tasks, and obstacles faced by film and television producers.
  • Introduction of storytelling concepts of elements, conventions, structure, and style.
  • Understand basic principles of entertainment law.
  • Introduction to filmmaking from the perspective of the screenwriter, director, actor and cinematographer, and editor.

Production Goals:
  • In collaborative groups, students develop, prep, shoot, and edit two short films.
  • Produce a short narrative film for a NYFA filmmaker.


The second semester challenges students to develop their production abilities both artistically and technically. Producing students are instructed in the craft of developing and writing dramatic treatments for a feature film and/or television pilots; in pitching story ideas to a variety of audiences; and presenting industry-standard written proposals in support of the feasibility of their projects. Students are also exposed to renowned industry speakers with the opportunity to engage in constructive conversations about the industry.

This semester culminates in each student pitching and presenting a film or television project in a Producers’ Pitchfest.

Learning Goals:
  • Continue to analyse and master key elements of effective producer’s craft.
  • Develop and write original film and television treatment.
  • Introduction and practice of effective pitching skills and drafting script coverage.
  • Learn critical elements of effective feature film business plans and packaging strategies.

Production Goals:
  • Develop an effective pitch and feature film business plan or television show bible.
  • In collaborative groups, students develop, prep, shoot, and edit a short documentary.


Interested students are invited to complete the application form, with a personal statement, and attend an interview to determine entrance to the program.

Additional Filmmaking Program Offerings at NYFA Australia

Course Descriptions

Semester 1

Term 1
Safety on Set
Producer’s Craft – Budgeting
Elements of Screenwriting

Term 2
Cinema Studies
Directing for Producers
Film Production
Producer’s Craft – Creative
Semester 2

Term 3
Producing Documentaries
Post Production for Producers
Entertainment Law & Business Practices I

Term 4
Writing the Feature Film & TV Pilot Treatment
Business Affairs
Business Plans & TV Show Bibles

Safety on Set

  CUAPPR515 - Establish and maintain safe creative practice
This subject provides an introduction to the essential administrative requirement of the Producer, following industry-standard documents and procedures. The purpose of this subject is to teach the film and performance practitioner to; determine work health and safety requirements in a given environment and occupation, to help them identify hazards and assess and manage risks, and to monitor and enhance the safety of their practice. Having sound practical knowledge of safety is paramount for film sets and sound stages.
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Producer’s Craft - Budgeting

  CUAPPM431 – Compile production schedules
This core introductory course outlines the essential roles, tasks, and obstacles faced by producers in the entertainment industry. Students will learn the importance of balancing the creative vision of a project with the logistics and budgetary constraints. Students will break down a script, create a shooting schedule, and learn how to identify all necessary elements.

Students will also learn to build budgets, make critical assumptions, and learn about unions and guilds. They will learn about film production incentives and how to track those costs. Students will be introduced to and trained on the industry-standard software.
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Elements of Screenwriting

  CUAWRT401 – Edit texts
CUAPPR415 – Develop and discuss ideas for own creative work
The student will begin the process of learning the craft of screenwriting. They will also gain insight into the creative collaborative process of filmmaking as they write, edit, and reflect on their own writing and projects with fellow students and their trainer. Students gain a good understanding of the fundamentals of storytelling and editing text, as they are immersed in essential aspects of writing for the screen, editing, and the collaborative process of developing screen stories.

Students will learn correct formatting, how to write scene descriptions, describe characters and locations, and how to develop action sequences appropriate to the genre and style of the project they are writing. They will also learn to appraise their own work, and that of others, engaging constructively in the creative collaborative process of concept development.
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Cinema Studies

  BSBCMM411 – Make a presentation
Cinema Studies introduces students to the evolution of the motion picture industry from its inceptions. Students will be given a thorough creative, technological, and industrial view of the art of filmmaking from historical and theoretical viewpoints. Students will present their own research findings and a short film.
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Directing for Producers

  CUADRT512 - Direct performers for screen productions
Effective producers create a collaborative and artistic production environment that enhances each director’s skills and provides the support needed to make the best possible project. Each student will direct their own individual film scene and will work in collaborative groups to develop and shoot a short film. Students will learn the elements of film directing and how to collaborate to tell a visual, narrative story. Students will learn film production standards and practices, working with actors, basic production documents, and the fundamentals of telling a story through the camera.
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Film Production

  BSBPMG430 - Undertake project work
Students will develop critical line producing skills working with others. Producing students will line produce a short film and gain an understanding of the production management and preproduction process. They will plan a production, monitor its progress, and resolve any issues that arise.
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Producer’s Craft - Creative

  CUAWRT512 - Develop storylines and treatments
This subject continues the study of the essential roles of and obstacles faced by film and television producers. Students will learn to develop storylines.

Topics include developing stories, optioning and developing material, doing coverage for screenplays and pilots, working with agencies and writers, and also packaging, as well as the television industry. Students will devise vision statements for a project and will also learn the basics of when and how to do various kinds of pitches, which they will workshop in class.
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Producing Documentaries

  CUAWRT415 - Write narration and material for productions
CUAAIR411 - Plan and conduct interviews
This subject offers producing students valuable exposure to documentary storytelling and filmmaking. Working in small collaborative teams, students will pitch, develop, and shoot a short documentary incorporating interviews and coverage. Teams will work collaboratively, pitching to each other, bringing cuts of their footage to class for feedback, and going through a notes process for their rough, fine, and final cuts, ultimately delivering a cut ready for distribution. Students will also learn the fundamentals of both production sound and post-production.
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Post Production for Producers

  CUAPOS511 - Edit complex media production
Students are instructed in motion picture editing and post-production techniques. They will gain an understanding of non-linear editing, post-production audio, visual effects, and professional postproduction workflow.
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Entertainment Law & Business Practices I

  CUAIND512 - Enhance professional practice using creative arts industry knowledge
This subject introduces the student to the legal and business aspects most commonly encountered in the entertainment business. Topics include intellectual property, fair use, clearance, and licensing issues, music and trademark, and basic contractual terms and clauses. Students are further introduced to business entities, distribution, and marketing models for studio and independent films.
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Writing the Feature Film & TV Pilot Treatment

  CUAPPR411 - Realise a creative project
Through in-class instruction, workshops, and drawing on basic character and story structure principles learned in ‘Elements of Screenwriting’, students will develop an original story and write a feature film or TV series treatment. During this process, students will learn how treatments “sell” stories, the similarities and differences between motion picture and television story development, and how to write a compelling treatment that meets industry standards.
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Business Affairs

  CUAFIM411 - Obtain revenue to support operations
This subject builds on the skills acquired in Entertainment Law and Business Practices I by introducing the student to the complex contractual negotiations in compensation and deal structure. Students learn about finding and raising revenue to develop and make films and become familiar with the various techniques used to finance both studio and independent films. Students will learn how to do market research and create a case study presentation.
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Business Plans & TV Show Bibles

  CUAIND412 - Provide Freelance Services
Through discussions and analysis of case studies, students will learn the critical skills to develop effective feature film business plans and television show bibles. Elements covered include developing an effective casting strategy, how to craft a comparable film or series table, and creating an appropriate financing and marketing strategy. The feature business plan and television-show bible developed in this course will be presented at the Producer’s Pitch Fest. Students will learn how about the preparation work required to operate as a freelance creative/ freelance producer.
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