Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's

Everything you need to know about joining the wildlife filmmaking program with Africa Media 

What will I get out of the program?

The course is aimed at assisting in the development of aspiring wildlife film makers. Students on the course will spend a month designing, writing, filming and editing their own five minute wildlife documentary situated on 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 film making industry.

What practical training will I receive?

Film techniques, camera operation, understanding wildlife, equipment maintenance, crew management, footage workflow, working with talent (including animals), video editing, voice over/sound track, 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 film-making, funding your films, the art of pitching.

What does the fee include and exclude?

What does the course fee include? 

Accommodation, 3 meals per day, expert tuition, 10 days filming and living on Schotia Game Reserve, use of broadcast quality HD video cameras (Panasonic P2), use of professional audio gear, use of professional drone, filming expeditions to Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Harry Getty park, travel to/from George Airport, internet (medium speed).

What does the course fee exclude?

Additional short courses, laundry service, tourism excursions, extra food and beverages, international and domestic flights, game ranger tip. If you choose to arrive early (before the 1st) or depart late (after the 30th) then we will ask R400/day to cover additional food and accommodation.

Can I cancel once my place is confirmed?

Due to the number of applications received and limited places, we unfortunately do not accept all applying students. Therefore, we do not welcome cancellations or date changes after the final confirmation has been sent to us. Please, make sure that the dates you indicate in your application form suit your own schedule/budget before applying.

We request that a non-refundable USD 750 deposit is paid within a 14 days of being accepted into the program as confirmation. The remaining fee must be paid in full 30 days prior to arrival in South Africa.

Am I eligible?

No special requirements or qualifications are required, however a background in film or biology will be of assistance

What is the daily work?

The course is divided into three components, namely: Pre-production (6 days), Production (10 days) and Post production (5 days).

  • During Pre-production, students will learn the concepts of making wildlife documentaries and also 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 your footage into a 5 minute documentary and learn about pitching and selling yourself and films.

For how long is the course?

The course is for 1 month in total. The course begins on the 1st (arrival day) and ends on the 30th (departure day) of each operational month. If you would like to arrive early or depart late, then you will be charged R400/day to cover your food and accommodation.

For how long is the course?

The course is for 1 month in total. The course begins on the 1st (arrival day) and ends on the 30th (departure day) of each operational month. If you would like to arrive early or depart late, then you will be charged R400/day to cover you food and accommodation.

What months is the course?

At present we run six programs each year, starting from 1st of May with the last program finishing at the end of October.

  • 1 – 31 May
  • 1 – 30 June
  • 1 – 30 July
  • 1 – 31 August
  • 1 – 30 September
  • 1 – 31 October

Who owns the media I collect

All media (video and audio) collected by you will belong to you. However, the following licencing conditions on collected materials is required:

  • Africa Media retains total right to use the media for any non-exclusive purpose whatsoever free of charge and without requiring permission or paying compensation to the student (this includes the sale of footage). This further means that the student may only license any collected footage for non-exclusive rights to a third party.
  • Africa Media will be recognised as the ‘executive producer’ on your finished documentary.

Do I require a VISA?

No. You will not be employed by Africa Media nor paid. On this course you are entitled to enter on a temporary visitors permit (e.g. tourism permit). Tourist visiting visas are usually issued for three months/90 days upon entry in 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 prior or after the course for a period extending 90 days, you will have to apply for a Volunteer VISA application through your home embassy.

Do I need to bring my own video equipment or gear?

All video equipment is supplied as part of the course. If you want to bring your own equipment, particularly if you are interested on shooting with DSLR cameras, you are more than welcome.

In terms of post production – we prefer you bring your own laptop to edit on. This should have at least 4gb RAM and be pre-loaded with a version of Adobe premier. We do have a limited (three) number of editing computers available if you do not have your own personal editing computer.

What equipment do students 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 if you have one. It must be pre-loaded with Adobe Premiere Pro CC2018  or CS6 as we use this extensively on the course. We do have three computers to use if it is impossible for you to bring your own computer.

Where do I stay?

Your home for 21 days of the course will be in the beautiful town of Mossel Bay, South Africa. For 9 days you will be staying on the Schotia Game Park living in the wilderness and collecting content for your production.

Where must students fly to?

Travel arrangements must be made from your home town to George Airport, South Africa. We will pick you up and drop you off from George Airport.

What are the arrival dates and pickup arrangements?

Pickups and drop offs from George Airport will be organised by Africa Media for you on the 1st day of the month (for arrivals) and the 30th of the month (for departures). Students arriving or leaving outside this time will be required to pay shuttle costs for transport (R250 per trip).

Do I need travel/medical insurance?

Yes. When you are accepted into this program, you will have to sign liability, copyright documents, as well 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 insurances. 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 on a wildlife reserve which can result in accidents. So it is important to be covered in case of an emergency or accident. Be sure to have an insurance cover for your entire stay in southern Africa.

What do I need to bring? packing list

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 colours, 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.
  • Phone & cables.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Africa Media address – 182 Aalwyn Way, Aalwyndal, Mossel Bay.

Do I need to bring extra money?

We offer weekend trips for all students and interns. We recommend you have around USD300 extra per weekend trip you wish to go on these. Please note you do not have to go on ANY of these extra trips. This is simply for your information should you wish to.

Do I need malaria, or other, medication?

No, we are 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).

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