Film Production Diploma
Working filmmakers will teach you the skills to write, direct, produce, shoot and edit your own films.
New Term Starts Soon
Film Production Program Description
Learn Filmmaking from Real Filmmakers
This is how you break into the industry. Job-ready, set-ready and fluent in industry lingo. Well-versed in the creative, technical and business aspects of filmmaking. And with a solid network of pros.
Learn the inner workings of production directly from those who’ve mastered it. Shoot projects in our downtown studio with the same equipment used to film today’s blockbuster films and hit TV shows. And showcase your know-how with a killer portfolio of short films, series, commercials, documentaries, music videos, and more.
Film & Television Director
Production Designer/Art Director
Interim Program Director
Michaelangelo is the general manager of Raven Banner Entertainment, an international film distributor of cutting-edge genre films. He is also the managing partner of Top Drone Inc., a company that provides a variety of aerial based cinematic and photography services. He has been a drone operator on episodes of The Amazing Race Canada and Top Chef Canada and an associate producer on the films The Breach and The Fight Machine.
Dusty is an independent filmmaker whose films have screened at film festivals around the world. His recent film Violation had its premiere at TIFF and received five nominations from the Canadian Screen Awards.
Jane is a producer of international success. Her features, such as A Dog’s Breakfast, Debug (starring Jason Momoa), and All About Who You Know are grossing millions. She founded the Toronto-based production company Monkeys & Parrots to produce film, TV and digital content with a sense of humour, passion and purpose.
“The experience at TFS was phenomenal. I now produce web series, TV shows and feature films—one of which was sold to HBO in over 20 territories.”
Bruno S. Lyra
Film Production ’18 Executive Producer, The Intersection and The Sounding
“I have worked for huge brands like Google, Indeed, Olay, TikTok, and Walmart, and I’ve also met some big directors and producers in the world of commercials. It has been an enormous opportunity.”
Film Production ’18 Casting Associate, Groundglass Casting
“Their instructors provided core industry insights, hands-on equipment training, and opportunities to meet people who were doing exactly what I wanted to do.”
Film Production ’21 Associate Director, CBC
Film Production Courses
Filmmaking Courses By Term
Term 1 (7)
Get the inside scoop on the history of film. Focus on its origins, key innovators, important milestones and associated technology, and the social and political factors that impact cinema. This course strengthens your understanding of cinematic history so you can become a pro at effectively reading, tracking and predicting current trends. Explore that history with a lecture-based course, augmented with visual teaching aids.
There’s a reason the movie business really took off when it evolved from silent films to “talkies” – sound makes a huge difference! Explore the importance of capturing audio and how it enhances visual storytelling. Learn about proper equipment usage, sound capturing (on location vs. in the studio), various microphones and mixers, and audio’s role in pre-production/location scouting, production and post-production. You will also be trained in data management and the post audio process. There will be both a theoretical and practical approach used in this course.
Editing is your key to becoming a master storyteller. Equip yourself with the basic concepts of editing through visual storytelling, technical skills and artistry. Explore theoretical concepts and become familiar with editing stations, workflow, software and its various tools. You will also investigate themes, including how to build tension and elicit an emotional response.
Learn the art of telling a story through lighting and camera capture. Gain industry knowledge to master set and studio etiquette when it comes to lighting. Learn how to safely run cable and distribute electricity, handle fixtures and hardware, and wrap a shoot in a safe and efficient manner. By the end of the course, you will put up and tear down multiple sophisticated lighting setups as if it were second-nature. This course combines theory and a hands-on studio approach.
Take a turn in the producer chair. Master the basic concepts of production through basic directing techniques, terminology, roles, basic shooting techniques, master shots, and how to interpret the written word. Along the way, gain an understanding of the three stages involved in filmmaking: pre-production, production and post-production. You’ll be immersed in labs/workshops and apply theory to firsthand experience by rotating weekly through various production roles.
Production 1 Studio
Move away from the typical classroom setting and get your hands dirty. Each week, challenge yourself by putting all the theories from your classes to the test. Through hands-on, cooperative learning, you will complete weekly short film assignments or exercises, in collaboration with your small crew.
Camera and Set Procedure
Step behind the camera and familiarize yourself with the basic operations and functionality of various cameras. Champion proper set etiquette and master the steps required to assemble/tear down equipment while respecting personnel safety standards. By the course’s end, you will confidently prepare cameras for tests and operate them effectively. And the best part – when you’re ready, you’ll be able to sign out cameras.
Term 2 (7)
Production 2 Studio
Take everything you learned from the previous term and form your own production companies. Create short-form filmed projects related to marketing and promotion. Take off the training wheels as each member takes on a different role within their team for each of the four major projects giving you the chance to experience the key creative roles: Director, Producer, Cinematographer and Editor.
Dialogue can make or break your picture. Get introduced to the critical role of dialogue and dive deep into the differences and various uses of dialogue replacement (ADR), voiceover (v/o) and narration. Develop the skills to edit, correct, enhance and effectively place dialogue, while acquiring more hands-on experience by utilizing the onsite recording booth and learning Pro Tools techniques.
Take the next step to becoming the ultimate storyteller. Learn intermediate editing techniques with a focus on storytelling, style, gloss and presentation. Experiment and dissect the work of you and your peers, while receiving continuous feedback to effectively refine and create coherent storylines. You will also study the interplay between music and the image, mastering the art of producing the desired pacing and rhythm to marry the two disciplines.
Are the cameras rolling? Focus on understanding and operating a variety of cameras, including the 16mm film camera. Build on fundamental knowledge from your previous term, gaining a working knowledge of colour temperatures, light meters and various lenses, while experimenting with complex lighting setups and safe distribution of power.
Producing and Production Management
Tap into the business and management side of filmmaking. Make sense of the chaos with lectures and hands-on demonstrations to familiarize you with the various paperwork, permits, location agreements, crew agreements, and call sheets that you might encounter in a real-world production. You will also be introduced to the various unions, guilds and their roles.
Have a story to tell? Start the first chapter of your screenwriting journey by exploring character creation, dialogue writing, screen structure and more. Learn to create complex, layered characters and write them into a scene that reveals character traits through subtle subtext. You will also pen story conflict within a scene centering on a protagonist/antagonist relationship, which culminates in the ultimate scene resolution. Your story continues as you write a second scene in sequence, discussing audience expectations and considering the opportunity to go against them to create a more compelling narrative.
Suit up and form professional production companies to deliver a quality product on time. Your introduction to the real-world involves navigating client needs and delivering a testimonial video, a broadcast-ready television commercial, and a broadcast-ready public service announcement PSA. Plus you’ll pitch and deliver either a music video, corporate video, training video or a live event. Master these challenges and you are on your way to becoming an industry professional, having gained the skills and confidence needed to work with clients and meet rigorous deadlines. This course has a theoretical portion, production meetings and a lab/workshop component.
Term 3 (8)
Advanced Directing Techniques
Dive deeper into the creative process as you learn to make technical decisions made by the Director, focusing on pre-production and production. Learn to collaborate with performers and understand how to effectively voice their ideas and vision with the crew. You will also be exposed to multiple setups, movement, and theories to gain a further understanding of the tools required to successfully direct any project.
Jump into the transformative work of historical and present-day compositions and composers. Learn how to edit music and use techniques such as zero crossing, fades and print tracks, while following the letter of the law as it pertains to syncing and licensing music for film. You will also gain a working knowledge of audio terminology, specifically on film music terms. You will acquire the skills to become a composer in your own right, and how to support a movie storyline with the use of music.
It’s time to take your editing skills to the next level. Using more advanced concepts and editing techniques, including psychological play and conscious vs. subconscious theories, you will be able to edit and complete previously shot projects including a documentary, as well as other relevant assignments.
Introducing your new bestie: the 35mm camera. Here you will learn to assemble and disassemble it while continuing to gain proficiency with the use of other cameras. Trial new concepts and techniques such as focus pulling, depth of field, latitudes, jib arms, dolly maintenance and movement. Working with colour gels and contrast ratios, you will learn to make colour corrections to create sharp, vibrant imagery that makes your images pop off the screen. You will also be introduced to camera filters and advance your understanding of lighting techniques.
What is the three-act structure and story arc? Dive into these pillars and learn to create and highlight fundamental plot points. For this, you will build on your structural knowledge: design a beat sheet for a short film, go through the process of creating a treatment, and write a first draft focusing on rising action, tension and creating a compelling narrative. Use your new skills to continue tweaking your script, as this is generally the screenplay submitted in your pitch/package for consideration for the Thesis projects/short films.
Calling all aspiring documentarians! This is your invitation to explore the various documentary techniques, styles and approaches to storytelling within the documentary structure. Working in groups, you will produce and deliver a short documentary ready for festival inclusion. This course includes lecture/classroom and lab/studio components.
Motion Graphics and Visual FX
Enter the magical world of Adobe After Effects and take your work to new heights. Design, concept and animate stunning motion graphics and visual effects. Learn the techniques and explore visual effects components that combine existing footage with computer generated imagery – commonly used when creating environmental effects to manipulate the sky or add weather, or used in logo removal. Become familiar with the software’s interface, learning how to create compositions, layer basics and transform properties, as well as create, view and use multiple masks.
Join us in the Editing Lab as the focus moves to Documentary film. Working in groups, you will produce and deliver an 8 -10 minute short documentary film ready for film festival submission. You’ll complete filmed exercises due at the end of each class. Practice and improve upon the skills that will be used to produce an engaging, broadcast-quality documentary film in the second half. At this point in your journey, you and your group will be responsible for all three major phases of film production.
Term 4 (7)
Turn up the volume on your production skills. Cut through the noise and explore the complicated yet important relationship that sound effects and foley have with both dialogue and the visual components of storytelling. Spruce up your audio vocabulary as you conduct onsite recordings with the help of stock sounds and other effects to bring your motion picture to life.
Tell your story. Manipulate emotions. Become an artist with an editing eye. This advanced course tackles these goals by building on the techniques, strategies, and theories of previous editing courses. As a result, you will develop the skills required to adjust your footage for a more consistent and polished product.
Set the scene and hone your skills in professional film and television art direction. Learn design concepts, techniques and the various roles in the art department. This will equip you with the knowledge to create a cohesive design and advance the director’s vision in creating a unique look for the film.
Package and Proposal Development
You’ve got a great story, but how do you sell it? Experience the art of packaging and presenting a concise plan to complete a compelling short film. These packages represent your team’s ability to execute and deliver a polished final project. They will be submitted to the TFS selection committee for consideration for your 5th term Thesis project. Those considered will then be invited to attend a pitch presentation for further consideration.
Budget & Scheduling
Get down to business and learn how to create accurate budgets, maintain tight shoot schedules, and use various software tools. You’ll learn the roles of line producers, unit production managers and directors, and understand above the line and below the line production costs. By the end of this course, you will possess the ability to accurately break down and create long budgets, craft stripboards, and navigate the variables associated with scheduling. This course contains a lab component where you will create a project budget and schedule reflective of your projected Thesis project.
Demystify the concepts and theories behind one of broadcast television’s strongest markets. Develop and pitch an original Factual Entertainment series concept as you are guided through the process of creating the story, structuring the episodes, casting the central personalities, budgeting the production and packaging the overall proposal. The central project in this course will be the production of a “sizzle reel” to present to producers and broadcasters.
Round out your storytelling process by bringing your ideas to life via Storyboards and Visual Storytelling. This course provides you with the skills to create storyboards, illustrate the narrative, and plan shots that will successfully demonstrate action and continuity. You will go on to learn layout and composition, and understand how to effectively communicate the emotion, subtext and storyline.
Term 5 (4)
Canadian Film Studies
Canada has had a long, revered history in the motion picture industry. Develop your unique perspective to recognize and navigate the Canadian industry by familiarizing yourself with the innovations, contributions and the who’s who of this vibrant industry. By the end of this course, you will possess a deeper understanding of how Canadian films play a dominant role in the international marketplace.
Canadian copyright laws are constantly evolving. Stay in the know by studying current contracts associated with copyright infringement and clearance. You will also explore the essential provisions of copyright law focusing on its terms, coverages, exclusive rights, ownerships and payments. You will also get into the nitty-gritty of clearances concerning writing, music, intellectual property and brands, as well as assess when it is necessary to engage legal counsel.
Finance for Film and TV
Ever wonder how today’s biggest blockbusters are funded? Here’s your opportunity to familiarize yourself with the varieties of funding applicable at different levels of the government, the different stipulations and approaches required by each, the various avenues and methods for raising your own capital, and the different strategies of financing a project.
Pre-production planning is essential to any project. Using the previously selected Thesis projects, production teams will meet with each other and discuss the various unique components of your project with your assigned faculty member. You will consider crewing, casting, location scouting, permits and insurances. You will look at shot lists, equipment needs, and the various other requirements that arise during the pre-production period. You will then target a production date and execute a successful shoot, at the conclusion of which you will submit a detailed production package. These packages typically are sent along with completed projects to the distributors.
Term 6 (6)
Emerging Media for Filmmakers
Stay ahead of the game. With technology, laws and distribution rapidly evolving, this course provides a historical perspective in order to provide the skills required to both project trends and successfully navigate relevant media. Stay on trend as regular guest speakers will present the latest developments in this rapidly evolving space.
Post Production and Workflow – Editing & Colour
Once the cameras stop rolling, how do you turn your work into a masterpiece? Encounter first-hand the requirements involved with the final output and delivery of any project. You will work on your Thesis projects or other projects as assigned by the post-production supervisor, who will schedule various delivery dates such as rough cuts, fine cuts, audio needs, output and delivery dates. Show off as well by tapping into previous knowledge gained in the editing, motion graphics, VFX and audio courses.
Post Production and Workflow – Audio & Delivery
Everything comes together as you move to post-production for a short film from acquisition to delivery. You will get to edit one of the following: a thesis film produced in the 5th term, an extra curricular film with approval from the instructors, or be assigned a pre-existing short film to complete over the duration of the course. Explores all current and required delivery formats with respect to sound, including Mono, Stereo, Surround, IMAX, and Dolby Atmos for all destinations, followed by a complete review of our Post Production Sound Workflow using AVID Pro Tools. You will also begin the initial Pro Tools Assembly and continue to work through the dialogue, music, and effects of your sound design and edit, finishing with a mix of your film’s final soundtrack. By the end of the course, you can confidently say you completed post-production on your first major project! It’s now ready for professional distribution to film festivals, streaming services, and broadcasters.
International Film Studies
Some of today’s most recognizable films are produced outside of Hollywood. International Film Studies is designed to provide an overview of cinema outside of North America and western filmmaking. Widen your perspective and be captivated by some of the great masters of World Cinema, highlighting their contributions to the cinematic art form abroad and influence on global filmmaking. Be inspired by these master works and cinematic achievements, developing an essential understanding of today’s expanding global marketplace.
Distribution and Marketing
Let’s get your film seen by audiences around the world. Familiarize you with the business of film and television distribution and marketing. You will formulate production and distribution choices dealing with projects and business partners, develop an understanding of the TV sales process and the global marketplace. Then learn the language of broadcast and film sales, creating effective “one/sell” sheets, developing a sales forecast and crafting a marketing and promotional plan. You will also learn to identify accessible and profitable markets, gain a greater understanding of the domestic and international film and television landscape. Plus familiarize yourself with the techniques involved with mobile, web and video on demand, and other emerging platforms and markets.
Ready to take on the real world? Strengthen your career-seeking strategies, hone your pitch skills and arm yourself with interview strategies and industry expectations. Use the skills you have accumulated throughout your degree and apply them to promote yourself and your work. Further study of the nature of unions, guilds and associations will be presented, as well as the role of agents and how to work with them. Finally, you will learn the steps necessary to form your own production company.
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Our Admissions Process Made Easy
Complete Toronto Film School’s online application form.
Pay the application fee of $500.00.
Provide original or notarized translated academic transcripts.
Submit two short assignments:
- Movie Critique (500 words)
Send proof of English-language proficiency (international students only)
Provide a copy of your passport (international students only)
The application fee will be deducted from your tuition total. For a more in-depth break-down of the admissions steps, please visit the Requirements page.
The tuition fees for the Film Production program are listed below.
Canadian or Permanent Residence Students:
$6220 per term
$6590 per term
Total Program Cost:
Take advantage of payment options that are available to all new Toronto Film School students.Contact Us
If you’re an international student, visit the Tuition page.
Tuition Fees do not include books, expendable supplies, equipment and resources.